Day 70- let’s raise some money for the children of India… I am SHAVING MY HEAD!

It all starts with a pair of shorts. Not just any pair of shorts, but my favourite pair of shorts that I have had for at least six years. You know those shorts that seem to miraculously fit regardless of how much weight you put on or lose? At 46kg, at 60kg, they always fit, always make me feel dressed up enough or casual enough, always feel comfortable, can look great with anything and have the perfect sized pockets that fit everything I need in them. I have worn these shorts in nearly every single country that I have been to. They have followed me everywhere and are even known by Andrew as “those shorts”. The tragic event occurred in Mexico. I sat on a bench at La Choza de Viernes, our favourite beach bar hang out in Puerto Escondido. Some kind of sugary drink had congealed on said bench, exactly where I perched my well dressed a** and ruined the shorts forever.

I know that my mum will probably have some kind of secret recipe involving bi-carb soda but I have tried washing, soaking and scrubbing but nothing is taking away the unsightly stain from the seat of those little shorts. Close to tears, I have to admit defeat and put them in ‘the bag’ to be handed on in the ever-cyclical world of second-hand fashion. I try to meditate but I can’t get over these shorts. I have a huge attachment to them. This gets me thinking about fashion. I am somebody who wouldn’t exactly be mistaken for a fashionista. You could say I have my own unique sense of style that occasionally parallels what the cool kids are wearing. But does fashion even have a place on a spiritual journey? If you look at my yoga wardrobe, you might be forgiven for thinking the answer is yes. Between Yogalicious and Soul Sound, yoga clothes look pretty damn good these days! But mostly they are about comfort. And the aim and result of yoga happens regardless of which yoga pants I am saluting the sun in.

As I meditate on fashion and its connection to spirituality, I know that the two can be complimenting aspects. (There is at least one fashion blogger out there who thanks his good karma for the ability to accessorize.) But how do I connect fashion with my spirituality? Fashion is about beauty, luxury and art, but it is also about attachment. It can’t be denied that fashion is a symbol of material wealth since the highest fashion labels are also the most expensive. However fashion is also about creating an outward expression of your inner-self. For women it is about telling the world who you are. It is about having the courage to rock red lipstick or the calf strength to strut around in five inch stilettos with that swagger that says, ‘yeah, I know I look good’. I may not be able to walk in heels anymore but I will admit that I love lippy and secretly hope to one day own a Hermes scarf. Though the reality is that where I am right now, sitting in meditation, none of those things serve me. Where I go when I venture into myself, none of those things come with me. When I knock on the door to the divine, there is no dress code.

In many cultures, hair is one of the defining factors of vanity and attachment to self-image and pride. I spend a lot of time caring for my hair, hiding behind it, twirling it around my fingers, braiding it and fretting about how much damage high altitude and salt water do to it. I also massively identify myself by my hair and so do you; “You know Liz, with the brown hair…”

I usually always sport long hair. My head has been shaved exactly twice in my life. The first time I was only three and my favourite outfit was my Ninja Turtles shirt and blue shorts so people thought I was a boy with really long eyelashes. The second time I shaved, I was 21 and I raised just over $2000 for cancer research. It was the most liberating thing I had done in my adult life. Without it, I finally saw myself. That same year I did my yoga teacher training and became closer to my true self than I had ever been before. Almost exactly four years on and I am at another major year in my life, when every day offers a new adventure of self-exploration and expanding awareness. I am about to head to India by myself for the first time and shaving my head seems like the most obvious thing to do. Aside from shedding the attachment to my self-image, it will also be really great not to have to carry around shampoo, conditioner, treatment, argan oil, hair sunscreen and a brush…

Since shedding this luscious mane of hair is such a dramatic change, it warrants a little bit of encouragement and so I am doing a fundraiser for the I-India project, which helps children in need, particularly those living on the streets, those that are orphaned, have been sold into prostitution or trafficked. The project offers education and training at the Jhag children’s Village in Rhajasthan. If you wish to donate, please visit my fundraising page at www.everydayhero.com/365daysinbliss. Even a small contribution goes a long way.

As I once again prepare to say goodbye to my long mane of hair, I realise how easy this decision is. I already feel liberated from my attachment to self-image, material possessions and of course, liberated from my hair brush. I take one long look at my beloved shorts and put them in the bag.

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