Listening to Yourself
Photo courtesy of Purino/Shutterstock.com
Earlier this year I did something I'd been wanting to do for quite a while, I dyed my hair pink. Not all of it, but just a small section in the back. It's called peek-a-boo highlights. The point of them is that they are only visible if you pull your hair up and you want to show them off, or if someone is really paying attention.
This past year has been a literal reawakening for me. I wrote about it here. As I worked through the process of rediscovering who I am I realized just how much time and effort I had put into hiding. The hair spoke to the inner quirky part of me. The artist, the writer, the creative soul that stays locked in a corporate world most of my waking hours. Truthfully, I was nervous about how it would be received at work. Would people notice? Talk about it? Judge me?
Then something really beautiful happened, I stopped caring. The color of one section of my hair doesn't change who I am. It doesn't change my ability to do my job, to offer advice or to help problem solve. In truth, what it does it makes me happier and better able to do all of those things. It was a small step towards rediscovering my true self and she is someone I am very interested in meeting. After the pink faded out, I switched to deep purple. It was a blip on the radar to the people in my life. Oh, her hair is purple now, no big deal. As it turns out, people don't care because that surface stuff is just surface. I'm still me.
So, as we wind down this year and I contemplate what color is next (I'm thinking maroon or red for the holidays), I'd like to offer my encouragement to anyone out there who has been thinking about trying something. It doesn't have to be changing the color of your hair. Maybe you’ve been considering taking a painting class or joining a church or walking into spin class at the gym. Please go paint or join or climb on that bike. Do whatever it is that little voice in your head is nudging you to do. That's your authentic self, trying to remind you who you are. I bet you'll be glad you gave it a try. Maybe you'll love it. Maybe you'll fall off the bike, but either way you'll have a great story and a memory and the confidence to know you can try something new. It will change you in small but profound increment, all for the better.
When I take the time to really stop and think about it, this is what I want my son to know. It's OK to take a risk, to get outside of your comfort zone and do something different. As I watch him grow, I see that the unfiltered exuberance he had when he was younger is starting to fade just a bit. There is a hint of doubt creeping in and that breaks my heart. So we talk about it and link hands and jump, together whenever possible, into whatever the thing is at the moment. More times than not we end up having fun because your inner voice usually is steering you towards something it knows you will enjoy.
Let's try and honor all the parts of who we are and let's try and teach our children to do the same. We are all beautifully unique, and for me the differences are what make
s life beautiful and rich and interesting. Do the thing you've been thinking about but have talked yourself out of trying countless times. Maybe, just maybe, you'll discover a part of yourself that has been hidden for far too long.
Maureen Churchill works full-time outside the home and is a mom to one wonderful little boy. Check in with her to see how she is searching for ways to balance her work and home responsibilities, as well as what she is doing to consciously slow down and pay more attention to the little moments that actually turn out to be the things that make parenthood magical.