Sometime in life we are presented with a glorious opportunity to create a meaningful ritual and practice true gratitude. Kyle’s story is all about one such event in his life – getting his long hair cut. Yes, I said a mundane thing such as a haircut could be a ritual full of gratitude, of endings, and of new beginnings.
Here is some background information for you the reader;
Kyle is intending to live a more spiritually based life.
Kyle’s mother, Liz, died of cancer 16 years ago when he was twelve.
Cancer agencies often receive hair from donors that is then weaved into wigs for women undergoing chemo treatment and the attendant loss of hair.
Kyle, once a professional base player, had really long hair that served him well as a musician. However he is in the midst of a career change and focusing on his new passion of becoming a stuntman. His flowing locks no longer serve him.
We were chatting one day about moving forward in his life, letting go of the old to embrace the new and how we could use rituals to support these powerful changes. When Kyle mentioned he was thinking of cutting his hair we immediately began creating a ritual that would mark this important transition.
Shannon, a dear friend of Kyle’s, would be the perfect hair stylist for the job. Her home-based studio would be just the right location. Interestingly, Shannon’s mother, Linda, died of cancer May 13, 2016 only a year and a half ago.
- The date was set – December the 2nd, 2017 in White Rock at 3:00pm PST.
- Hair to be donated to the cancer agency for use in a wig to be created in the name of both women.
- All to be done in gratitude for the feminine.
Saturday afternoon arrived and the ritual began right on time.
“So Kyle how was it for you to go through a haircut in this more sacred way?” I asked.
“The first hair chop was the biggest, my hair was tied in a braid. I could hear and feel Shannon hacking at the tail, as if it was a piece of petrified or dead wood. I didn’t so much feel emotion on the first chop, it was more a sense of it was already gone. It was as if I already ready had said good-bye to my hair for a while before actually arriving in this moment, like it was past its best before date.
The two male witnesses, Shannon’s Dad and husband, were like part of the welcoming party as I stepped into my new self. They welcomed me with joy, compliments, love and respect. A rite of passage/ritual we often do not have the privilege of experiencing in this day and age. ”
“And after the cut was complete?” I questioned.
“My short hair feels more natural in a sense. It was really tough letting go, I had held onto my ‘look’ a little too long.” Was Kyle’s initial response. “Times before when I got it trimmed I was sad and regretted my choice. This time it was different. It felt like the right thing to do for me to be finished with what I was and step into a new and yet to be known me.”
Shannon works at a salon and she is weary of who and what energy she invites into her “sacred” home space. For the occasion of my ‘haircut ceremony’ Shannon was more than happy to have me in her house.
“And how was it for Shannon?” was my next question.
“Shannon’s Dad and husband were there too. They were sitting in the living room listening to the music all about a rock star who had recently died. Memories of both Liz and Linda, the two mothers, filled the space. It was oddly a feeling of celebration for the four of us.” Kyle recalled. “Shannon got a little emotional as the haircut moved along, remembering her mom and how this haircut was an act of gratitude for both our moms.” He offered.
“Thank you for sharing this experience with me. It was such an honor to be part of it.” Were Shannon’s words on a Facebook post showing off Kyle’s new look.
As we sit at Cuppa’ Joes writing this story, Kyle’s braid along with the address of the Cancer Society sits on the table. His hair soon to be made into a wig to be used by a woman who has experienced hair loss s a result of chemo treatments. The wig will bear the names of both mothers and is being offer to the cancer agency with both respect and gratitude.
From a simple haircut to a sacred ritual marking the ‘death’ of Kyle as he once was, and his rebirth in to his new self. All it took was some intention to make life’s mundane into life’s meaningful.
Thanks to Kyle and Shannon for sharing their experience.