I love going to the hairdresser. It is one of the events every couple of months that I really look forward to. After the months of lockdown, last Friday it was hairdresser-day for me.
I went to a place that I had been before but got assigned to someone I hadn’t met in person, yet. He introduced himself and we conversed about what I thought needed to be done. During his reply I felt comfortable in his presence, filled with the tone of his voice and the confidence he put in his planning of what he was going to do.
First things first
When he started to work on my hair by taking care of the highlights, I simply closed my eyes and started to feel. Each time the hair comb lightly touched my scalp, I could feel the cold of the paste he applied and it somehow got heavier for a short moment right there. Each sliding of the comb through my hair felt like being stroked softly. When he was done, and I had concluded based on what I had felt, that he’d done a very thorough job, I remained with my eyes closed, focussing on what there was to still be felt. Besides feeling I recognized the noises around me like people chatting with each other, street noises coming in, the noise of switched-on hairdryers blowing warm air. I enjoyed to good smells of shampoo, conditioner, hairspray (not to say that it might all be good for our bodies…).
Feeling, listening and smelling as my main interaction with the world put me at ease.
From being at ease to being at peace
I was left alone for 30 min and kept my attention at feeling, listening, smelling and enjoying only. My relative calm mind mixed the impressions of my senses with some thoughts occasionally but it wasn’t too impressive to take my attention off what my senses delivered.
Being at ease slowly transformed into being at peace.
He then washed my hair. I intensely enjoy having my hair washed by another person. It catapults me back into my childhood years when one of my parents would do it, sometimes accompanied by yelling and crying from my side when soap would get into my eyes and make them burn and sting. But I always have experienced it as an act of being loved and cared for and that’s how it felt when his firm hands professionally massaged my scalp. It put me back into really wanting to feel and enjoying what I was feeling. It made me realize that surrendering can be a great thing and here it made great sense: It felt so welcoming with soft shampoo in my hair, the uplifting smell that it released, caring fingers dancing all over my scalp and the warm water giving me a sense of deep relaxation.
The final cut
Afterwards he had to untangle my hair and prepare it for the cut. He did all that with a lot of sensitivity and I could sense his experience guiding him. I loved seeing how well he structured each step he took and once he started to cut my hair, I was back with my eyes closed to simply feel. The gentle but determined, accurately repeated pull on a string of hair at a time in order to then cut the ends off made my scalp and neck muscles respond with a counter-pull as my head moved the other direction to balance and resist. I wondered if I could be so sensitive that I could feel the cut through my hairs…
I enjoyed this gentle on-going play with my body’s response, my mind’s recognition, followed by the final cut. I concluded that this man is a sensitive man; his movements and their pace reflected that clearly. I could feel it in my body as I was immensely calm and trustful. His energy had a calm and soothing quality to it. The peacefulness inside me had deepened by then.
Completing the job
The drying of the hair felt quite similar to the cutting process with the additional warm air around my head and a good smell that was released. I was enjoying that very much, even more than all steps before, as I knew that this was the last thing that someone else would do with my hair for a long time, except for my husband stroking my head. It felt good and I indulged in that feeling and wanted to hold on to it, forever.
When he turned off the hairdryer and the job was done, I enjoyed what I saw in the mirror. I felt grateful for his work on my hair. Feeling so deeply while engaging other senses as well had allowed me to connect and gave me the confidence to simply trust the process with enjoyment and relaxation.
Feeling deeply on the yoga mat
This experience of feeling deeply at the hairdresser was similar to what I learned on the yoga mat over the last 17 years. My yoga practice and teachings rests mainly on feeling deeply the sensations my body reveals. The recognition of what I feel is the basis for every next step I (my body) will take: into or out of a pose, deepening or releasing an action or impact, opening or closing my body, diminishing or freeing my breathing, softening or hardening sensations, increasing or decreasing counterforce, forcing or allowing flow.
My yoga posture practice has taught me a lot about feeling(s). It increased my senses in terms of sharpness, more precision and accuracy. Feeling deeply has taught me to enjoy life. I enjoy it more and more each year.
Refining what I feel has clarified a lot for me that was related to old wounds. I healed some of them. It has been a rewarding process and I’m not planning to quit on feeling and trusting my senses for the sake of an even richer and more fulfilling life!
Feeling to build resilience
I believe that feeling deeply is one of the reasons we came here for. The recognition and processing of it prepares us to build a deeply embedded resilience. To give the body authority over the mind in appropriate situations can bring deep silence and nourishment into our lives. It enables us to develop and deepen our trust in nature and the intelligence of life. It raises our awareness of being a part of the whole. It raises our awareness for connectedness with all beings.
The only condition is serious and deliberate interest. I definitely am interested. What about you?