|Picture by Triple L Photography|
"A man who views the world the same way at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life." That's one of my favorite quotes by Muhammad Ali. I would modify it slightly and say that if you view the world the same way this year as you did last year, then you've wasted a year of your life. Your experiences help shape the person you are and the person you will become, so I think it's important to always think about your experiences and evaluate what is going well and what needs to change. My manager and I go through this every year as we discuss how my performance measured against my goals and we set goals for the following year. I also go through a similar process personally as I evaluate my life, career path, relationships and finances on an annual basis. Each year, I become a different person and I view the world differently.
Adding Time Back to the Clock
This year, I'm not interested in spending a lot of time styling my hair. I accept that I have to dedicate some time to working with my hair on wash day, but other than that, I've decided to find a simple style and work with that. All those different styles I used to wear appealed to my sense of vanity and versatility, but I could (and should) be more productive with my time and that is a major focus for me this year. Unless, I have a need for a standout look or a special do or I get extremely bored, I think I'm going to keep it simple. I read someone's blog the other day (sorry I forgot who) and she said: unless your name is Rhianna, you don't need to wear a different style everyday. Funny but true!
Focusing on Mind and Body/Health & Fitness
Natural hair groups are notorious for hair growth challenges. Instead of challenging your hair, challenge your mind and body. Last year, I got so busy at work, that I didn't work out for about 3 months straight. I was exhausted and my stress level was almost unbearable. This year, I'm making health and fitness a priority. My goal is to workout three times a week, but definitely not less than twice. Working out has a cumulative effect since I eat better, drink more water and feel less stressed after an intense workout. Also, those factors will definitely help with hair growth and it's getting my body right for summer, so it's a win-win situation. Not to mention this is something more productive I can do with all that extra time I'm saving from hairstyling. I'm also allocating time to personal development. Education doesn't stop after you get a degree, certification or license and that's an important message I try to communicate to my son. I make sure I feed my mind daily (independent of job required learning) just as I would feed my body.
Keeping it Simple & Saving $$$
I admit I was guilty of buying several products from multiple product lines requiring me to pay shipping & handling for each company or purchasing at expensive Whole Foods. I thought Whole Foods was a Godsent because they had most of the natural hair products I liked, the product cost the same, and I didn't have to pay for shipping and handling (S&H). But these products were EXPENSIVE. Previously, I justified it because I was saving so much money styling my own hair and not paying a fortune for microbraids and weaves. Now my perspective has changed. Although, I'm saving money by doing my own hair, I now want to save more so I can reallocate that savings elsewhere. I'm not ready to switch to the store brands that I honestly believe are not as good as the natural product lines, so I'm changing my product lines to products I can purchase at vitacost.com, which offers plenty of natural products at discount prices and charges a flat S&H rate of $4.99. They sell several of my must-have products: Rosewater, Vegetable Glycerin, Aubrey Organics conditioners, oils and essential oils. They don't sell my favorite Jane Carter Solutions conditioner, which I absolutely love for detangling. But now that I'm wearing a simpler hairstyle that minimizes tangles, I can detangle using my fingers and I only need a little water and my coconut oil for that. So I decided to switch from Jane Carter to Alba Botanica conditioner, which vitacost sells. I buy my products in bulk, so I'm probably paying about $10 in S&H per year (if that). Yep - we all want beautiful hair, but there's nothing more beautiful than a woman who knows how to work her hair and her pocketbook ;-)
My New Perspective
To sum up my perspective this year on my hair: I love my natural hair, but there are so many other things in life that is more important, so I'm trying to create more balance. I'm tired of hearing about the women who will spend a fortune on their hair, but they don't have a savings account, money saved for retirement or a college fund for their children. I'm also tired of seeing women who allow their health to take a back seat to their hair or their hair is gorgeous, but their head is empty or full of non-value added thoughts. My blog is about positive reflections, so I don't intend to ever sound negative. My comments are only intended to serve as mirrors for you and me, if you see a reflection that you don't like, change it. That's what I'm doing and that's not only part of my natural hair journey, but a part of life's journey.
~Loving Me Naturally