GOING ALL IN ON GRAY: A WOMANIFESTO
A personal rite of passage into powerful wildness
If you’d asked me in, say, January (as I was approaching my 60th birthday) if this would be the year I’d choose to embrace the whole gray hair thing, I’d have rolled my eyes and said Nahhhhhh, not bloody likely.
But then, this is 2020.
And so just weeks later the world went all topsy-turvy, and we were dealing with both mortality and gray roots as we all sheltered in place and wondered where this was all going.
I didn’t have any control over the pandemic, but damn it, at least I could deal with my hair. I was one of the gazillion women who was reading reviews of hair root color products and ordering some to try.
At some point, however, I started getting curious. What was my natural hair color, anyway? And more importantly, was it possible I might actually want to try out the whole gray/silver thing? How would that feel?
This year I’ve gotten really interested in how things feel and the moment-by-moment experience of life.
I’ve also been doing some deep soul work and hearing some inner music I’ve never noticed before.
The Soul Care Masterclass I launched early this year had to shift from being an in-person group program to a virtual one, and leading that conversation was the best medicine for me in the face of some scary and disheartening times. Virtual gatherings can provide real warmth and connection, it turns out. I was myself incredibly nurtured and sourced by the community of women who participated in that first program and then the ones that followed.
MARINATING IN ALL THINGS RELATED TO CARING FOR THE SOUL IS BOUND TO HAVE YOU DISCOVER SOME NEW STUFF. WHEN YOU ASK WHAT THE SOUL WANTS…FUNNY THING IS, IT ANSWERS.
WHO KNEW MY SOUL WOULD HAVE A STRONG OPINION ABOUT MY HAIR?
And so when I was able to get in to see Jordyn my Hair Goddess (aka the owner of Salon Snob here in Chicago), I not only had a wild head of hair to work with, I also had a newly hatched Grand Hair Plan. What would it take to go gray, I asked? Cuz I’m picturing myself with a crowning glory of silvery gray.
That day Jordyn did her masterful magic and transformed me into a blonde. That was a stepping stone in the process. At my next appointment just two days ago, I stepped out of her salon with a head of silvery gray hair. And it felt awesome.
There are very different ways to go gray, of course. And I’m not talking hair chemistry here, I’m talking about the energy behind it, the place one is coming from.
There’s the fu*k-it kind of energy, which has more than a whiff of resignation to it. As in why bother, who cares, no one sees me anyway, what’s the difference. I feel old, so whatever, I give up.
Hmm, not so very inspiring, right?
I don’t personally know very many women who are coming from that place, however.
The women I know who have chosen to take the step of embracing their steely silver locks are not relinquishing or giving up on anything, but are doing so from a place of strength and confidence.
I’m not going to try to speak for all women here, just myself, however.
For me, going all in on gray is a way of stepping into something, claiming a new level of power.
It’s about owning it.
WHAT’S THE “IT” I’M OWNING?
I’m owning my rich tapestry of experience, and the fact that I’m not exactly a beginner at this thing called life.
I’m owning my wildness, the sensual spirit that could give a shit about a few sags and curves and would rather dance than sit on the sidelines.
I’m owning that sexy is a state of mind.
I’m owning my fierceness.
I’m owning my tender heart.
I’m owning my unique expression in the world.
And perhaps most importantly, I’m owning my gifts, my means of contributing to this sweet world of ours.
That last one, owning my gifts, is a tricky one.
WE ARE SO CONDITIONED TO QUESTION OURSELVES, DOUBT OURSELVES, DIP DOWN INTO IMPOSTER SYNDROME, AND WONDER WHETHER WE’RE ACTUALLY, SECRETLY FULL OF CRAP.
Yet when we dim the lights, hold back, hesitate, stay stuck, refuse to fully trust ourselves…ultimately what we’re doing is withholding something good from others.
This week alone I’ve spoken with several women who are brilliant and talented and yet they sometimes are skeptical that they can really provide much, really. Or they doubt they’ll ever find a way to fulfill on who they are.
What a difference it makes when we get our attention off whether we’re sufficient, and we just get out on the dancefloor and be our full-tilt boogie-babe selves!
ULTIMATELY—AND TRUST ME, I IT TAKES SOMETHING JUST TO DANGLE THIS OUT THERE IN PUBLIC—I AM CHOOSING TO HAVE THIS GOING GRAY THING BE A PERSONAL RITE OF PASSAGE FOR ME.
At the heart of the matter, it’s about claiming my place among the Wise Women—the women of the world who lift each other up and celebrate imperfection and are moved to tears by the beauty in this world.
And by the way, nobody can give you your place—it must be claimed.
It’s time. I’m ready.
Incidentally, claiming your place among the Wise Women has not one little thing to do with your hair color. It’s a way of being.
I’m simply using the radical change in hair color as my marker, my totem, a visual reminder that something has transformed over here with Deborah Jean.
Am I forever a gray-haired woman now? I dunno, maybe. Very possibly. But it’s also possible it could change thanks to some future whim, some future rite of passage I’ll generate that I couldn’t even conceive of right now.
For now, however, I’m going to rock my steely, silvery gray, and I’m going to continue to dance every damn chance I get.
How do you feel about going gray?
What’s it mean to YOU?
Please drop a comment below and tell me about your own experience, I’d love to hear!
ALSO: If you’re interested in having a guide on your own journey and exploration of living your life as a work of art, I’d be honored to discuss that with you.
Meanwhile, I look forward to hearing from you below!
With love and moxie,
Wait, there’s more?… Get the full Moxie Diaries in your inbox by signing up here.
We respect your privacy and will never sell your info.