Geez, how's that for a title!?! Seems I'm going to bare all today. Not only am I going to attempt to describe something that I myself, am still yet to fully understand, but headlining it is me revealing my shaved head from nearly twenty years ago! Yikes!!! Best I get on with things before I chicken out.
I spoke about some insights a couple of weeks ago. A shift within me that occurred whilst I was away at The Craft Sessions. Well I’ve been pondering that since then and here’s what I’ve come up with...
This journey of mine proved to be a massive step towards my independence as a woman. A woman doing something for herself and by herself. A woman discovering who she is and who she wishes to become. I can remember only one other journey in my life to date, where I have experienced something similar. I was twenty years old and it was just before I met Tuck. In 1996 having just graduated from University I departed Adelaide for a solo journey around parts of Australia. After heading through the centre and settling for a bit in Darwin, I traveled the East Coast down from Cairns before arriving back into Adelaide some six months later.
I always look back on that trip as a journey of self-discovery and it was during my stay in the Whitsunday Islands that I symbolically (and drastically) shaved off my hair. I’d met up with a fun group of backpackers and we all underwent the clippers. The significance of that haircut was not something I acknowledged at the time but as I grew further into adulthood I began to interpret that decision as a shedding of my old self. Shortly after that trip I moved to Melbourne to study dance (which is where the portfolio photo above came from) and then started to grow my hair again before meeting Tuck with a funky little crop on my head.
Moving forward to 2015 and I spent most of my weekend at The Craft Sessions feeling a little unwell. A vomiting kind of unwell. It was a bit weird because I didn’t let on to anyone about it at the time and it didn’t necessarily debilitate me or stop me from enjoying myself. I knew it wasn’t a physical ailment that I was purging, but an emotional release. And while I wasn't shaving my head this time around, I have been left with the same feeling. I recognise that feeling of something being triggered. Something liberating, a shedding or purging of my old self, only two decades later and the shedding was of a different self in readiness for this new chapter whatever that will be and whoever I will be.
Are you still with me? I know, this post is a deep one, even for me! I wouldn't blame you if you ran for the hills, but since we've got this far, I'll keep going...
So now I'm a few weeks into these thoughts and I'm not about to declare myself healed or this grieving process over, but still I feel like there's something different about me, only I'm not yet sure quite what it is. The heart ache, the pain, the loneliness, the vulnerability, the anxiety, the overwhelm, it's all still there but I feel like I am stronger at observing it all now rather than feeling consumed by it. Maybe some days it even fades a little? It's something internal, something that sits deeply, of that much I am certain. Maybe it's the feeling of a quiet calm? A subtle confidence that wasn't there before, or maybe a gentle knowing, or an understanding, or a peaceful reassurance? I feel like my days are no longer defined by my grief, but I don't even know what that means. In fact, I really don't know about any of this, I just know that whatever is going on, it feels good, sort of restful. And maybe a little bit frustrating since I can't quite put my finger on what this is all about!
A little while ago a friend recommended the two books below, Phases: The Spiritual Rhythms in Adult Life by Bernard Lievegoed and Why on Earth: Biography and the Practice of Human Becoming by Signe Eklund Schaefer. Although each is written by a different author, they are both based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. I am somewhat grateful they are not written by Steiner himself since it takes me a good deal of time to decode each sentence that great philosopher wrote, as brilliant as he was. These two books discuss the various stages within our lives as humans and describe how within these stages we all share a similar pattern, although our experiences are unique. They offer the idea that when we each reach a certain age, we are presented with different life phases, giving us the opportunity to extend ourselves within our life purpose. You know, the big life purpose, as in the reason we are each here. Mmm, yes just a bit of light reading ahead for me :-) No seriously, I find this topic fascinating and am looking forward to discovering what both these books have to say. I'm hoping they might offer some further insight or clarity on this feeling I've got going on.
So on that note... I wish you all a happy end to your week and a wonderful weekend to follow.