Recently, I have been dying my hair black. I used to frequently dye my hair black when I was a teenager. And then, for some reason, my hair stopped retaining the colour and I ceased dying my hair. I spent some of my most important and formative years being a mellow goth. I wore black and I wore black make-up. Black resonated for me. And I still love my black hair and my black make-up.
In recent years, I stopped listening to the radio. I have no idea what’s in the charts. It has nothing to offer me; no depth and my attention turned to yogic mantras. But the last few days, I’ve been listening to and downloading my “old” music on youtube: The Cure, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd and U2. I am rummaging through the old material, as well as the new, catching up. The Smiths and New Order are coming. Why oh why, I wonder, did I ever stop listening to them? Their music still courses through my veins and it is undoubtedly fully immersed into my Soul.
In the photos accompanying my post, I am wearing some makeshift “jeans” – this is the first time I have worn jeans since my early 20’s. My partner was pleasantly surprised. He likes a girl in jeans and took some photos.
I’ve also recently been applying make-up – my black eye make-up. I haven’t worn make-up in years.
My partner asked me why I am wearing make-up again. “You don’t need it”, he said.
So, what’s happening as far as I see it?
We travel through various stages in our lives.
In paganism, we refer to life in three stages, which course through Nature, through everything, independent of our sex. These periods are self-explanatory and are known as the Maiden, the Mother, and Crone stages. In yoga, we could also refer to these periods as Birth, Life and Death.
As humans, we tend to compartmentalize a lot. Time is a human-made concept that doesn’t actually exist and in reality, the Past, Present and Future, can and do often simultaneously exist together.
Furthermore, things happen at the right time for each individual Being.
I am at an age where we often reassess our Lives, where we may stop rushing our lives and taking our lives for granted. We may begin to reassess and we may make changes. Some people refer to this as a “mid-life crisis” and some refer to this as an “awakening”. I am of the latter.
I am in my early 40’s and I have been a mother for 5 years now. If rigid, we could say that I am in the “Mother” stage. But, realistically, I am experiencing all these stages right now – Maiden, Mother and Crone.
Specifically, at this time, I am revisiting more of my Maiden.
Experiencing my Maiden comes with nostalgia. I am revisiting my youth. Within nostalgia resides enjoyment and grief, which comes with the realization of letting go. It’s bitter-sweet. And it’s OK. I am allowing myself to Be. I acknowledge that this is a phase, and I am allowing myself to experience what I want and need to experience at this specific point in my Life. If I am not totally OK with my greys increasingly coming through, I allow myself to not be OK with that, while also being OK with allowing myself the enjoyment of dying my hair black. I am effectively self-loving and self-nurturing.
And that tucked-in t-shirt in the photos, has a increasing likelihood of exposing my all-time, unique, protruding-shaped belly with a side of roll. I’ve decided to love this part of me and effectively my whole body. It’s about time. She has patiently and unconditionally lovingly served me, all this time. To accept one’s physique as a woman is a big deal for a woman residing in a predominantly, yet collapsing patriarchal world, which encourages certain specifics in order for a woman to be considered beautiful.
Luckily for me, I have never really conformed. But even in the past, while non-conforming, there was always a little self-consciousness. But there is increasing self-love happening here. If I do not want to wear a bra, I will not. If I do not want to wear deodorant, I will not. If I do not want to shave, I will not. After all, the Divine has created me in a specific way and asked me when I began this journey to honour that. Therefore, I choose to love all of me – all my shadows, and at this specific time, I am focusing on loving my body. I choose to honour my body, my vehicle in this Lifetime; the glue which grounds my Soul to this Earthly plane.
We waste so much time in our youth, and beyond, recognizing the beauty in others yet we are blinded to our own. I spent a long time not realizing or accepting how beautiful I was, even though I was told countless times. Wisdom comes with age and the wisdom spared often falls on deaf ears. Because we do, after all, need to go through our own journey, we need to develop our own wisdom, and create the path for our own awakening. This is what makes our Life rich. And when we get there, the blindfold begins to creep down our face, exposing the Awe, the Beauty, the Love and Mystery of Life, which paves our way into Maturity, Evolution, Gratitude and Life.
As I lay in savasana the other day, I experienced the natural, unforced blossoming of self-love as I heard something within and outside of myself say “You are so beautiful.” And there was no fighting it. My mind had grown tired and given up the gun. It had surrendered and I increasingly and gratefully sank into more self-love.
It is true. It always was. I am beautiful.