Recently I had my hair cut. I’d been growing it for months and it had gotten quite long. My hair grows thick and heavy (both a blessing and a curse) and I’d simply had enough of the weight of those long locks, so I decided to chop chop. My hairdresser, Ellen, convinced me not to go completely short though, to leave enough length to be able to still tie it back on hot days, and suggested she take off about three inches.
Almost immediately after she made the first cuts, I felt lighter. I swung my head this way and that. It felt good to be so less encumbered.
On my walk the next morning, with my hair swinging in the breeze, it occurred to me that the feeling of lightness I was experiencing could be a metaphor for the sense one experiences when they let go of their burdens and concerns. I have been weighed down with various stresses and worries of late, finding it a challenge from day to day to put anxieties aside and mindfully experience life in the moment. As unlikely as it may seem, swinging my hair made me feel better, as if I was flinging my stresses away while the lightness of my hair helped my mind to feel less weighted.
I know this is a temporary feeling, and quite fanciful. The matters causing me stress don’t disappear just because my hair is shorter. My hair will grow again. But for now, when I feel troubled I will simply swing my hair this way and that, and I will feel better.