Not your standard yoga post but some food for thought in this age of Instagram perfection and media pressure, especially but not exclusively on young girls and women to always look picture perfect.
After years of hiding the advancing of old age about a year ago I finally decided not to dye my hair anymore and let nature take it's course.
We live in a time were appearances are super important, where how we look takes precedence over who we are and how we are. So I postulate that perhaps by hiding our perfect imperfections with creams and potions we may, in fact, be missing a trick.
I have never been the type to go to the hairdresser , in fact I clearly remember my mum actually begging me to go with her at some point as my hair were getting crazier and crazier.
I also remember noticing my first grey hair when I was still at senior school so I cannot have been older than 17 or 18.
The last time I dyed my hair was for Christmas last year and since then I have not felt the need despite my greys getting longer and longer and more and more numerous.
So why all of a sudden this gesture of rebellion against conventions that ladies should be striving to look young and beautiful all the time?
Well there are several reasons and please be aware these are my own personal reasons and I have absolutely nothing against all the lovely beautiful ladies who love to look gorgeous, I am just saying it just simply isn't me or who I personally want to be.
1) I want to grow old been proud of my body exactly as it is , the external signs of the passing of time in full view without shame or wishing for it to be different. I often catch myself thinking "I should make an effort" "I should really work on taming my frizzy mane" , but then my mindfulness kicks in and reminds me to appreciate things exactly as they are and be in the present moment without wishing for something else.
2) I want to look in the mirror every day and see this reminder ... this reminder that my presence here is temporary and that I must enjoy the gift of today for nothing is forever. We rush around thinking this will never end, then one day it sadly does, so I remind myself that I have a little less time left every day that my hair grows longer and greyer.
3) I do not need to impress anyone, not even my loved ones who already think I am slightly crazy anyway. Why pretend to be someone my parents wanted me to be? I just want to be who I am. When I spend the Summer in Italy I wash my hair with just water every day and after two weeks I can really see how my hair is without any intervention. It's wild and crazy and beautiful!
4) Every grey hair reminds me of an experience, of a memory , a lesson learnt , just like the lines on my face tell the story of my laughs and my tears, my determination and my successes, my frustration and my failures. In Italy we say that grey hair is a sign of worry, in Ayurveda it is suggested that they are a sign of a Pitta imbalance ( too much fire!) , whaever thet are, they are not going away and they are part of me now.
5) It is indeed difficult to find hair dye that is not toxic to yourself, the environment or both so why keep poisoning myself? I also started using shampoo bars and after a few experiment found some that actually work well with my hair. I only wash my hair twice a week and no longer worry about grey roots appearing as they are well and truly out !
So there you have it, and now for the part that matters the most, this personal choice of mine makes absolutely no difference to you, to your life, your ability to sleep, eat or live a peaceful existence so why make it your business in the first place? Exactly!
So the next time you catch yourself considering someone else's hairstyle, hair colour, make up choice or any other physical characteristic with a critical eye, stop for a moment and think about the value of authenticity and how in the end really what we look like matters very little as long as we are at peace with ourselves.