Why I Shaved My Head

Dear Fellow Seekers,

This week I’m letting you in on a pretty personal topic. It makes me a bit nervous to write this... I’m scared you might disagree with my reasons or my politics or you’ll feel uncomfortable in your own long-haired skin after reading it. 

Please know that I have no intention of creating a shaved head cult, nor do I judge any of you for growing your hair really long, or dying it regularly, or whatever you do. I want you to feel free being yourself, just like I’m working on feeling free to be myself. 

It’s just that my fear of disapproval runs deep, I guess. I’ve always been afraid of being different. I’ve been afraid of being too sensitive, too shy, too quiet, too vegan, too spiritual.

And therein lies reason #1: I’m sick of living out of fear. 

The second reason is that if I didn’t have a family, I would be a monk

Whenever I have time to watch TV, I always want to watch documentaries about monks. Yup - movies about monks or Buddhist nuns are my favorite! They always inspire me and make me feel calm. 

I’m fascinated by monks. It’s like my whole being lights up when I’m in their presence. Buddhist monks were my first meditation teachers and I will never forget the warmth of their smiles and their tangible, incredible kindness.

Shaving my head lets me practice being non-attached to my physical appearance while still living a householder’s life. In my mind, it’s not an all-or-nothing choice. 

I think we can live in families but still choose to renounce certain things as reminders to look inward for satisfaction and contentment. It takes away that limiting belief that “one day I’ll get my appearance right, or my bank account right, or my relationships right, and then I’ll feel at ease.” 

It leaves our happiness in our our hands, and doesn’t let us blame others or our outer circumstances for our suffering.

The third reason is really straight forward: I think Selfie culture is killing our sense of basic goodness.

I noticed that I (like many people) spend more time than I was aware of looking in the mirror, fixing my hair, blow-drying my hair, being concerned about my hair, and feeling confident only when I looked “put together” or was ready to snap a photo. I’m sure you can relate - whether you’re a man or a woman. Just look around in any public place and you’re sure to see someone grooming themselves in front of a cell phone and posting their selfie to Instagram.

I still have an Instagram and Facebook account, but shaving my head has made me more aware of what I post, and trying to make it of value to others, not just a “look at me” picture. 

The 4th reason is also very straight forward: Donald Trump is our president. 

There’s never been a time I’ve felt more like rejecting societal norms and especially the expectations of women than right now. I know that I can be smart and beautiful and valuable no matter what I look like - and now is a time I feel I have to act on that truth. 

The last reason is a bit more complex, and has to do with excuses and time management. I make excuses all the time about not having time to do this, or do that. The things that get pushed aside are things that really matter to me - like cooking homemade food or meditating or practicing yoga or spending time with my husband or friends. While I never spent a lot of time on my hair compared to what other women do, it still felt like shaving my head would save precious time in the morning and motivate me to practice more.

The good news - it’s worked! Since shaving my head, I actually do feel more centered. I practice more every day, and I’ve even taken the leap to be fully vegan and gluten free. These are things I’ve always tried to do but couldn’t seem to pull off.

Something about shaving my head gave me the energy and confidence to do all these things I’ve wanted to do.

I hope these reasons and this story are in some way interesting or inspiring to you. Let me know if there’s something you’re scared to do, but that you feel in your gut might actually help catapult you towards greater happiness or contentment.