Ever since I was a child my hair has been an important focus in my life. My hair is healthy, thick, curly, and sometimes unmanageable. Despite the broken combs, tired hands from washing/twisting and the never-ending task of picking up curls of hair from all over, I treat my hair well so I get the love in return. Over the past two years or so it seems like my hair has been going through a phase of stagnation. It didn’t seem to be growing despite my detailed hair care routine. For a while, it didn’t bother me much but recently I’ve been wondering about the reason for this stagnation. I’ve brought this topic up to a few people and followed their suggestions and yet – no change. So I wondered what I was not doing or what I was doing too much of?
One day as I was getting ready to head out I had to look twice in the mirror – my hair seemed different. I could actually feel the curls on the back of my neck while my hair was dry! I say when it was dry because usually once my hair dries the curls get so tight that my hair shrinks a lot. I was happy to notice this change and then I realized that I had forgotten about my concern about the seemingly stagnant phase. Maybe not worrying about it so much was the first step for some change? This made me think about the bigger lessons from my hair that I can apply to other areas of my life:
- Worrying doesn’t change situations: Change doesn’t usually occur during the times I worry (about my hair or other life events). Worry is like a swing that the monkey in my mind can occupy. It gives the monkey something to do but it doesn’t take the monkey anywhere!
- Sometimes when we take a step back, we can see things differently: After I stopped worrying about my hair, I was able to just focus on keeping it healthy and well groomed. The obsession over whether it was growing or not took away from seeing that my hair was actually getting healthier. In life, sometimes when we are so consumed with a problem or situation it’s hard to see the bigger picture. When you can take a moment to re-evaluate and re-focus it’s easier to recognize any change.
- Figure out what is most important and be true to those goals: In this case, was it more important for me to see quick growth or to know that my hair is healthy? I turned my focus to maintaining the health of my hair instead of judging myself for not seeing “quick” growth. At the end of the day, I’d rather have hair that is healthy! I also learned that quick growth is not the only indicator of healthy hair!
- Practice self-compassion in all things: Being negative or comparing my hair to others is unhealthy behavior and it creates the opportunity for doubt and unkind thoughts. Instead, by practicing acceptance of my hair and of myself, I actually reduce stress and increase more positive energy (which I’m sure is best for my hair!)
I always appreciate the bigger lessons that I learn from small situations. So, as simple as worrying about my hair may seem, there were so many life lessons neatly tucked in for me to discover. I try to approach life this way as often as I can. Whenever I face a challenge, disappointment, or frustration I try to see the bigger picture and find the deeper meaning. It may not always be easy or simple to do in that moment, but once you’ve had a chance to reflect on your day or the situation – see what else you can learn about yourself or discover how that situation can enhance your personal growth.
What situations have you learned from recently?
“A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.”