By Margaret A. Brunson, Ph.D., MPA
I couldn’t believe that I was about to get my hair cut, and I mean a REAL cut: the big chop. This was not the typical big chop that women (who have finally decided to go natural) post about on social media every day. I was not cutting off relaxed hair. Instead, I was cutting off my “fluffy goodness” (the name I’d given my natural hair that had been a part of me and that I’d watched grow for the past 5 years)! For a few months prior, it had been the only thing I thought about when I thought about life and hair (as I normally do). I’d considered alternatives, but no other decision brought me as much peace of heart and mind as the one I needed to make.
So, five days before my most recent hair appointment, when feelings of trepidation, angst, and excitement accompanied by a tinge of melancholy crept into my mind, I was neither shocked nor unprepared to deal with it. I knew that once I made the decision to cut my hair, these emotions would arise. Yet the promise of uncertainty didn’t deter me. I accepted this as my reality and understood the need to follow through with this particular action.
I tried to talk myself out of it.
It didn’t work.
You see, since going (back to) natural in 2009, my hair has served a divine and spiritual purpose in my life. At the time, I committed and related my hair journey to my personal process of spiritual growth. I’ve shared my story of transition and transformation with people across the globe through my book, New Growth: How My Hair Saved My Life, and through a number of talks, seminars and workshops about what it means to find “Purpose in the Roots.” I have dedicated myself to living a life of triumph and purpose; one that will ultimately inspire others to do the same.
However, lately, I feel as though my spirit and heart are no longer connected in the same way to that story. It was certainly the beginning of a period of growth and transformation, but there is now a new phase of the journey. Don’t get me wrong, I am still committed to living a life of purpose and growth. Be that as it may, I have, seemingly, turned a corner on my life’s journey and my story of New Growth now serves as a (beautiful) reminder of how much I’ve grown. Yet, I’m no longer connected to that transition story. Life is a process. The transition story I’ve shared by using my hair as a platform is one filled with difficulty, pain, heartbreak, and resiliency; but also one of overwhelming spiritual and emotional triumph.
My life is shifting to a new perspective of my journey; one connected to a growing, evolving theme of Love. Living a life of Love has become the priority. For the past few months, my heart has connected to the importance of Love and that it (Love) is indeed enough. I desire for every aspect of my life to be rooted and grounded in love because I recognize that this is the only way I will be able to fully embrace the life God has placed me on earth to lead and live; #TheLoveLife. The Love Life is not just about romantic love. It is inclusive of ALL love and most importantly, Godly, spiritual, pure, and real love. #TheLoveLife is about what it would look like for us to wake up daily with love on our minds and go out into the world living and leading that Love.
So, I walked into Taji’s Natural Hair Salon and Tonia cut my hair! I needed to cut my hair because I’m ready to experience the newness of God’s love poured out in my life. The cutting of my hair symbolized shifting the spiritual connection of my personal process. Through new growth, my spirit was awakened; with this cut, I will continue the process to refine the woman I’ve become; a woman living #TheLoveLife. As one who considers myself a leader, I recognize that my personal and professional life have certainly been shaped, in many ways, by love. It is imperative that, as I attempt to lead the way, I recognize the power of love to do things that I’ll never be able to do in my own strength, power or control. #TheLoveLife will require me to embrace vulnerability in every aspect of my life. Vulnerability invites new levels of opportunities, fresh relationships that add light to my life, and new horizons.
So, what does this have to do with you? I want you to journey with me as I seek to shape the way I live and lead into #TheLoveLife. Each month, I will share my (and others’) experiences. There will be unique ways to interact, engage, and encourage each other as we all commit to being more open to leading a life of love.
#TheLoveLife is a campaign, movement, leadership development theory, self-help strategy/intervention, community engagement principle, cure for the ills of the world, catchy hashtag, personal mantra, and/or whatever you want or need it to be. Most importantly, it’s about embracing a different way to view your life’s journey; and I am so excited to share #TheLoveLife with you!