My body has stopped producing melanin. Meaning…I’m going grey. In fact, I am already 60% grey and in another year I’ll be 100% grey. I have been dye free for 16 months and have felt all the emotions. It’s been an interesting personal journey and has made me self-conscious as I think about my desirability…or perceived lack of desirability as I go grey.
I went on a date with a beautiful man and all I thought was ‘He is looking at my grey hair and isn’t going to ask me out on date #2’. Part of me wanted to run out and dye my hair. Another part of me was like ‘It’s superficial – my outside. My hair colour is irrelevant. Hopefully he likes both – my outside as I am with my grey hair, and the colour of my soul.’
It was really interesting to observe my reaction, thought process and being comfortable with who I am and the skin I am in. To challenge myself to truly practice ahimsa and non-violence in my words and thoughts to myself. Ahimsa is one of the yamas. The yamas can be described as moral codes in the 8 limbs of yoga. There are 5 yamas:
- Ahimsa (non-violence)
- Satya (non-lying)
- Asteya (non-stealing)
- Brahmacharya (non-waste of vital energies)
- Aparigraha (non-greed)
This personal journey of going grey is not actually about the colour of my hair and going grey but it’s about feeling comfortable with who I am and practicing self-kindness. Sometimes it is easier to be kind to someone else than it is to practice self-kindness and acceptance. We can hold ourselves to a higher standard and be more loving and accepting to others. I know I do. I expect better of myself in every respect of my life and am patient and loving with others. Whereas I get cranky with myself when I don’t do something and don’t hit my goals perfectly.
And it’s so funny that this year I have started this yoga teaching course at Stretch Yoga and in all of their communication they say ‘Come as you are’. I went to Indonesia and spent a week in yoga classes and Bex Tyrer a wonderfully talented yoga teacher there said ‘You are perfect how you are…you don’t need to be xyz. The world we live in says we need to be this, that and the other. We don’t need to be anything other than what we are’. A couple of years ago my yoga teacher who has since moved to Melbourne said ‘You are not broken. Like the moon that has phases, sometimes we shine brightly and sometimes the moon does not shine. Does that mean that the moon is not there? No, the moon is there, it will shine again brightly in the future. You are perfect how you are.’ This all resonated with me and something I hold onto.
Today I am not advocating for grey hair… or for hair dye. I am advocating for self-kindness and self-acceptance how you are. I think it’s about being comfortable in your skin, finding peace within and being body positive regardless of whether you wear high heels, no shoes, dreadlocks, straight hair, purple hair, no hair or grey hair.
You are perfect how you are and I encourage you to practice self-kindness and self-acceptance as I also endeavour to practice this.
Side note: We made it to date #2 but never made it to date #3…and that’s OK. I am practicing ahimsa! And accepting of what is..and what isn’t. xo