by GG of Peace Love and Pretty Things
“Don’t you know that,Patience is a virtue (yes it is),
And life is a waiting game
don’t you know that,
peace must be nurtured…”
~Seasons Change by Corinne Bailey Rae
Transition is the movement, passage or change from one position or state to another. The concept of transitioning reverberates throughout this blog in reference to my hair and to my life.
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During my transition to natural hair, I had many days where I felt completely lost. Even now, I’m still learning how to handle the newness of my hair. I was relaxed for 15 years, and I’ve only been natural (as an adult anyway) for about a year and a half. Transitioning my hair has given me a new perspective on life. I’ve proven to myself that if there is something I want to do or change about my life, I can not only do it, but I can find amazing beauty in it.
From my experience, the following fundamental principles will see you through any type of life transition that you take on. We can’t rush through change. We must give ourselves time to learn and develop these qualities:
Patience. Anything worth doing requires patience and mindfulness. We live in an impatient world and we are programmed by our environment to expect immediate gratification. Life itself is an experiment in patience. Being a long-term transitioner, I was forced to slow down and pay attention to what was happening with my hair. As more natural hair grew, I took my time getting to know it through trial and error. Likewise, as I’m experiencing personal growth in leaps and bounds, I feel excited and I want everything to happen right away. But I realize that the gift is the journey of discovery. Where I used to see limitations and shortcomings, now I see creativity and possibility. Same with my hair. This change in perspective takes time.
Fearlessness. I used to be scared of everything. Scared to fail. Scared to succeed. Scared to try. Scared of disapproval. The only way to defeat fear is to stare it in the face and walk through it. Notice I said walk through it. Not over it or around it. Why? Because fear is an illusion. Think about the worst thing that could happen, accept it, and move forward. The first time I decided to wear my hair in a bush, I was so worried about what people would think and say. Since then, I’ve found so much freedom and self-confidence from wearing my hair big and natural. It can be fuzzy, bushy, and even frizzy – and I feel beautiful. Recently, a lady in a parking lot told me that I needed to go do my hair (long story). I immediately laughed at this lady and felt sorry for her. I love my big, unruly hair so much that I don’t care who doesn’t like it. As a direct result of this new found confidence, I now push myself to do new things in other areas of my life. What else have I been missing?? What used to be lofty aspirations of mine are now material goals that I am actively pursuing. I feel the uncertainty, but I am fueled by the excitement and the promise of more growth. I don’t want to live in fear. So, I won’t.
Consistency. Once we figure out what’s working and what’s not, we must make it a priority to maintain it. Stephen Covey says that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. Protect your routines ferociously. If you are seeking length retention, then set a low manipulation routine that keeps your hair moisturized and protected and stick with it. If you tell yourself that you don’t have time, then you won’t. I write everyday. I don’t always finish what I’m writing, but I make progress. This is protection and maintenance for my spirit and my purpose. For me, there is an undertone of action in the word consistency. If I’m consistently working towards something, then I need to be doing not delaying.
Resiliency. Be prepared to roll with the punches and be flexible. Keep getting back up everytime you fall down. All successful people have failed at some point. The difference between them and others is that they don’t allow failure to defeat them. We have to bounce back from plans that fall through, people who put us down, and inner doubts that challenge our resolve. When having a bad day or a bad experience, our defense mechanisms tell us that we never want to experience that again so we think that if we don’t try, we won’t have to hurt again. The way I see it, my feelings might be hurt for a moment; but if I give up, then I will only develop a deeper hurt that will linger on indefinitely.
Individuality. Don’t see yourself as less than worthy than anyone else. Sometimes I see someone’s hair and I think “Wow, my hair will never look like that.” Maybe it won’t. But my hair is, can and will be just as healthy and fabulous in its own right. There is enough abundance in this world for everyone to leave their own unique stamp and be memorable. The more you get to know your own strengths and weaknesses, the more you will be able to use them to affect the world. Instead of feeling envious of others, be motivated to find your own success. What works for others, make not work for you and vice versa.
What other principles have helped you transition your hair or reposition your life? What has been the biggest challenge for you? Share with us in the comments.
Want more GG? Check her out on Write Curl Diary!
This is truly a great post. Thank you for sharing.
Reading this was like a warm and fuzzy blanket! All these kept me going…the patience (when my hair didn't perform I as expected and trying again); the consistency (practicing good hair habits for example doing a prepoo before I even knew what it was); and the resiliency (NOT resorting to a relaxer). Thank YOU for these words of encouragement!
You articulate amazingly GG. Your words are clear and profoud; always encouraging. You speak truth, but not just your own, you communicate in way that the reader can make your words their own truth also. Dear sister you are blessed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your gift.
I really appreciate this site for its support of the whole person, although hair is a big part of it, hair is only a part.
Thank you Nikki. Thank you GG.
I absolutely love these principles and I'll definitely be using them for my hair and my life! 😉 I especially love the Fearlessness principle! It reminds me of an excellent book I once read, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. That book changed my life and I would highly recommend it. Thanks for the post and for sharing your wisdom!
Alona of hairpolitik.com
Excellent post… I just big chopped 6 days ago and this was much need. Thank you!!!
I love this site, I read it every morning while drinking my coffee.
I've been transitioning for 8 months and this past Saturday I let my beautician flat iron my hair. To my surprise I got an ear full from her and the other beautician on how they felt about so many women going natural. They thought women were doing it primarily to save money and they plan to charge them more because of the amount of time it takes to do their hair (my beautician charged me $5 more dollars then 2 months ago when I was there!)
The other beautician said, "I think the relaxer is the best thing that ever happened to black women and I will NEVER go natural! Then she looked at me and said, "you like your hair like that?" Duh! I wasn't held at gun point to do this. Trust me ladies, I gave them the business right back – don't criticize my choice and I won't criticize yours.
Needless to say that may have been my last visit.
I soooooo needed to read this today. Thank you!!!
Love this statement under Fearlesness: "What used to be lofty aspirations of mine are now material goals that I am actively pursuing…. I don't want to live in fear. So, I won't."
Determination and a strong sense of commitment to myself have been my sword and shield during all of my life changing journeys. I don't leave home without them.
Great post. I think it's all the people that don't understand what I am trying to accomplish and those that think straight hair is the only hair. It hurts but I am learning to let the comments go and do what's best for me.
Peace, Love and Chocolate