Hair, Make-Up & Fear

Barris_hairdresser_Agnes 1962

“We have to make a relationship with our emotional energy. Usually, when we speak of expressing our energies, we are more concerned with the expression than with the energy itself, which seems to be rushing too fast. We are afraid the energy will overwhelm us, so we try to get rid of it through action. However, once you develop a harmonious relationship with your energy, then you can actually express it, and the style of expression becomes very sane, right to the point.” – Chogyam Trungpa

I spent the day today with my hair & make-up whiz Rachelle. It means a lot to me that Rachelle has jumped on board with this wild idea of slowly transforming my hair to the “ultimate blonde” (as she calls it).

So far, each time I get a little blonder I encounter a period of total self-doubt. I wonder WHAT AM I DOING? The physical commitment of changing my hair color pushes me farther along the path and the self-doubt that arises with that forward movement can feel really bad. I long to attach the sensation of fear in my belly, the trembling in my heart and the tension in my shoulders with a PROBLEM, so that I can just fix it and be done with it.  But my teachers & friends tell me that I cannot just escape the feelings by making a plan to better myself.

Pema Chodron encourages me to let go of that whole fix-it story and touch the feelings underneath. Today, underneath the story of not being (insert anything here) enough is a tender vulnerability that feels surprisingly like love. It feels much less rigid than all those grasping thoughts about fixing the problem. I’m grateful that today I remembered that this is an option: let go of the story and sink down into it. I’m grateful I meditated today too because I think that gave me a tiny bit of practice in letting go. I’m grateful that I am surrounded by friends and teachers who remind me that it is now that matters, not some perfect future.

There will always be room for improvement and what is really important is this moment (because who knows how long we have). And while I am planning a better me I miss the greatest opportunity I have. That opportunity is to be a human being, to engage with the fear of being passionate about something, to feel sad, to feel lost, to allow my friends to comfort me, encourage me. I miss my chance to connect with others which is all I really want in the end anyway.

3 thoughts on “Hair, Make-Up & Fear

  1. powerful stuff …lately I’ve been increasing the amount of time I spend meditating and I notice some empty spaces inside but gratefully they no longer seem to need to be filled. Carry it on!


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