Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 215; It's Only Hair

I Am the Soul That Lives Within
I’ve been wearing my hair in dreadlocks for more than 30 years.  Twenty years ago, when I was doing a day time talk show the network’s executives “asked” me to cut my locks off, saying that if I did the show would be renewed and I would get my huge signing bonus. I decided that if not being me was valuable to someone else, than being myself should be invaluable to me.
Lately, I’ve been having migraine headaches and my long flowing locks have felt like an extra weight. After exercising, I like to stand under the shower, letting the water run through my hair, but lately, even that has been painful.
Over the years I have heard from folks who all say that I have inspired them to be their natural self. I have had the surprise of reading my name in books and articles about hair and image trend setters.

When we are true to ourselves, we inspire others to do the same. So a few days ago, when I woke up to another migraine, I wanted to chop my hair off. I was in a hotel and my travel scissors were way too small for the job. So I said a prayer, did meditation, exercised and ran cold water through my hair.
When I got into the session that I was attending with Carolinas Healthcare System, I saw a room full of beautiful people. They were all there to learn more about diversity and inclusion with the latter being more about them including themselves and their unique abilities. My eyes saw one beautiful being after another and my spirit felt them all at the same time.
Just behind the table where I was seated, was a woman whose hair was cut so close to her head, that you could barely see hair at all. She smiled and I thought I saw my own reflection.
During the break I grabbed my phone and made two calls; one to my sister Christine and one to my hairdresser. I told my sister that I was going to cut my hair off. She laughed and said that just before answering the phone, she had teased my daughter about wanting to take her thick hair to make a coat. We laughed and she said that it may help with the migraines.
When I called the beautiful women whom I call, miracle workers at Piera’s Salon, they laughed and said, yeah we’ll cut your hair; NOT. They made the appointment thinking that I was joking. But that night, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.
I cut my locks off the same way I decided to grow them, I just did it. I had no idea what I would get. I had never worn my hair short but have always worn it natural.
I was wonderfully surprised by a beautifully round head and my sister told me that when we were babies, our mom would not leave us lying flat and would lovingly caress and “shape” our heads. I don’t know if there is any merit to the whole shaping thing, but I am so grateful for this wonderful roundness.
This morning when I woke up and ran my hand over my head, I felt revived and renewed.
Lots of lessons, here are a few to ponder:
·         Who inspires you and who do you inspire?

·         What are you holding onto and why?

·         Without letting go of you, what can you let go of?

“I am not my hair, I am not my skin. I am the soul that lives within.” India Ire

Be you be well, be Spirit
Bertice Berry, PhD.
Eddy, The Miracle Worker from Piera's Salon

Simone, my inspiration from CHS


  1. You look gorgeous! Now there's nothing to distract from your beautiful smile.

  2. Very nice. I hope that it helps with the migraines.

  3. Powerful, Radiant, Beautiful & Naturally you, as always!
    - Sherehe

  4. I feel honored that I was honored to hear you speak at the CHS conference as you were so inspiring but I also feel I that we were the last to see you before you transformation. I did the same Memorial weekend 2008 and have never looked back. It has been a freeing journey and I hope for you it will be the same, physically, mentally and spiritually!! God bless you and your family!

  5. You look beautiful Bertice! I love your round head.

  6. You look more than beautiful with your new hair choice. THANK YOU for giving so much to Carolinas Healthcare System Diversity Conference. I hope that God continues to bless you and your family...and please, come back to Charlotte and CHS at any time.

  7. WOW!!! How interesting that I saw the same CHS employee (Simone) with the bald head and thought to myself that I wish I had the confidence to be that free publicly! She's so beautiful. I've privately worn my hair that same way (very short and almost bald) for the past 12 years. It looks good on you too!

  8. A few weeks ago, I got rid of the wig and with my natural hair. Needless to say, I got lots of stares and one person told me I looked beautiful. I was so self-conscious with all the looks I was getting, I called my sister and said I needed to talk to her. I asked her if there was something wrong with my look and she said to me "I needed to break the chains and stop being in bondage to my hair and what other people thought of me." She also quoted the words from India Arie's song - I An Not My Hair. My hair is beautiful and so was I. Thank you Dr. Berry for posting your picture and for your words of encouragement at the CHS Symposium - you look beautiful darling!!

  9. Dr. Berry
    You have developed into a more beautiful, mature, loving woman. I remember your strong and beautiful spirit many years ago. Continued Blessings my Beloved. You are Amazing.

    De'Lise Temple