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|