Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Growing Hair, Growing Up

Well, as you should know by now, I shaved my head at the end of August. It was an experience unlike any other. My former roommate, Kadi, made a video of the experience. You can check it out here. Thank you, Kadi! :)

I originally shaved my head as a way to fill my self-love cup to the brim, and I believe today that cup is overflowing in the most incredible way. I walk a little taller. I speak a bit clearer. I listen to myself. I honor myself. It took a few months to get there though, and I knew there would be an adjustment period and time of intense learning before I felt the full effects of my commitment.

At the end of 1985, I graced an unsuspecting world with my presence. (You guys had NO CLUE what was upon you when I was born, did you?!) And into this world I came with a full head of hair. I had never known life without hair! My mom gave me a horrible boy haircut when I was in 2nd grade that I was convinced had scarred me for life until last year, but that was about as short as I went until I shaved my head. So, this was a big sensory experience, feeling my full scalp for the first time ever. (I might have gone skinny dipping later that night for an even bigger sensory experience. It was pretty much amazing.) I loved the shaved head so much, and I have heard people say, "Oh, you should keep it bald! It looks great on you!" To which I would reply, "Yeah, I have a good melon!" But the whole idea was to allow my hair to grow back, healthy and natural, and learn something there.

Have I learned something? I've learned a million things, all of which I don't have the time or memory to completely recall, but one big - no, HUGE - lesson was this: I needed to grow up.

In early October, when the tiny hairs were peeking their little selves out of my scalp, I was rushing around getting things ready for a fashion show, and I had to make my way across town in high traffic time to pick up a friend and make it to the venue by a certain time. I drove like a bat out of Hell, more so than usual, and crap in my car that had been piling up for forever was flying all over the place. Finally, I took a turn and a bunch of unnecessary trash spilled into my leg area, making it even more unsafe for me to drive. In my frustration, I yelled, "GOD! It's like I live with a child!" And then, immediately after that as if I were automatically a completely different person, I said to myself, sternly yet calmly, "Anslee, YOU'RE the child." Damn. I just got school - by me.

In this moment, I realized that my hair kind of represented my life stage at the time. Let me break it down for you a bit.

So, check it:
1) I had a car that was full of trash and other stuff that I was neglecting to deal with.
2) I hadn't fully moved into my house. About 75% of my belongings were still in the garage, in boxes, all over the place because I kept saying I would "get to it later/gradually." (Uh huh.)
3) I was spending money like crazy, and rather irresponsibly.
4) I never cleaned unless I absolutely had to.
5) I was eating a bunch of toxic foods, mostly in an act of rebellion against those who tried to hold me accountable. This list includes myself.
6) In every way, business-wise and personally, I was completely unorganized - and well known for it.
7) My time management skills were practically nonexistent.

Now, imagine a small child or teenager. Does most of the aforementioned list apply to them? It totally does, doesn't it?! YIKES, GUYS! Upon this realization, I broke down. I broke down hard, friend. It was real, real deep, but it was so good. The saying "The first step is identifying the problem," couldn't have been more true. I needed to really suck it up, grow up, take responsibility for my life, and fix the areas that needed attention and/or repair. A few nights after that, I spent 3 hours organizing the cabinet under my bathroom sink. 3 hours. It was exhausting, but it was progress.

Like with any big change, it doesn't happen overnight, but the commitment was there. By the beginning of December, I had fully moved into my house as my new roommate was moving in, with all of my belongings in place, organized, and clean. I was so jazzed to have everything put together that I would just stare at it! It was something that I had never seen before in my own life, only imagined or saw in magazines or in other people's homes. There weren't a bunch of boxes or bags filled with random, questionable things. I donated a huge pile of stuff as well. Getting rid of things, clearing out the clutter, cleaning it all up was on my To Do List for most of my life, and scratching that off was not only a relief, but a release.

How is this related to my health? There is an emotional/mental side of getting organized and clearing out the unnecessary things in your life to make room for the good things to come in. In my laziness to really grow up and handle all of these things (and several others - this was just a huge lesson that I wanted to write about!), I was essentially hoarding all of these emotions with it that were getting in the way of my mental/emotional/physical/spiritual success. It is all connected, and learning this connectedness and how it relates to my forward motion commitment to myself was something that blew my mind. It needed to be done, so I did it.

I'm still working on my business organization. It's a little difficult during the winter to work in my garage (my new studio space!), but I'm making it with my little space heater, my assistant, and my determination to get this awesome life of Anslee to be a well-oiled machine for success, happiness, and love. I'm excited about what I'm learning, and I'm so thankful that my hair - my hair! Really?! - showed me some areas that were truly holding me back so I can drop kick them, tackle them, and show them how it's really done.

This is my life, right? It's up to me to make it the best it can possibly be, to shine brightly, and to be an example to others. I'm grateful for these opportunities to learn and grow, and I know there are more ahead of me in this journey!