This is a story about following my intuition. But not only that. It's also about you, about following your gut, your heart, what you know to be true, and letting it lead you along your life path. For this is the secret essence of a soul journey; it means listening to the whispers of your bones and spirit, your connection to the Divine, and, in the great swirling tapestry of the Universe, your breath between the threads of it.
Sufi poet Rumi writes, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Our soul-journey is filled with many unique nuances, shifts, and shadows and it is important to not sit in judgment over them. There are no mistakes or failures, only tender lessons which are opportunities for gratitude ~ because sometimes it takes struggles and do-overs to know ok, this is what happens when I do not follow my soul. That's what it feels like, that's what it sounds like, so I'll know better next time. We may need to make correction or peace with others sometimes, but these experiences are invaluable. When they happen, cherish them, love them. Be surrounded by grace and continue on.
But I want to share a following-intuition story that turns out really right. Sometimes things don't make sense and you wonder if you're crazy, or if other people will think you are crazy. It's ok if they do. Our job is to listen and follow even when we don't know why or how. The answers will come, and sometimes? The very act of living brings the answers to you.
My story? My surprising, I-don't-know-why-I'm-doing-this soul-intuition moment?
This past weekend I cut off my dreadlocks.
|a commemoration for my journey: weaving whole by janae charlotte.|
Some of you may remember my ecstasy last spring when, with the help of a soul friend, I fulfilled a deep dream. It took about fourteen hours of love to dread my hair and I loved them, I loved every single lock. “I am astonished at how ancient and right they feel,” I wrote. “Like I've always had them and that I needed them to come home.”
A hunger to “come home” will not stop keening until our spirit sighs yes. And when this happens it's important to create a mark of remembrance, because something powerful occurs here, something significant and holy. A shift, a turn, a dive deep, an altering, a growth, a transformation. Sometimes we soulful wanderers need to intentionally ground ourselves; sometimes we need to anchor ourselves in the earth and be present in our bodies and let our cells tell a story ~ our very own visible, vulnerable, and catch-your-breath-sacred living memoir.
That is what dreadlocks were for me. A sacred memorial, a physical mile marker along my sojourn which quietly proclaimed, here I am. I am whole. I am home.
The thing about a soul sojourn is that it is impossible to forecast just how much and how fast one can evolve. The past few years have proven very transformational for me, but it's been since January this year that I've hung on for dear life, shedding old skin and spinning around the universe at what I call the speed of Light. Of Light, because this awakening is incomparable in every way. I am not the same person I was a year ago, or last spring, or even two weeks ago. This awakening, my metamorphosis, happened so fast and so deeply that I don't have language to describe parts of it. Many people who knew me before don't have a clue who I am now.
Truth is, I don't even look the same.
In the course of life and with all the other changes, my hair began changing too. Sara agreed to come spend time with me and take a look. And in all of our research, hours spent watching dreadlock videos on YouTube, combing dreadlock forums and asking every person we knew to ask about locks, neither of us had seen what my hair was doing. Almost like it, too, was growing at the speed of Light, bursting from the cages I locked them in. My soul and me, we can't be tamed. And my hair knew it. In retrospect, it only makes sense to release my dreadlocks after a physical space of three months ~ one symbolic season in earth years, but my own ancient history in Light years.
The wild gypsy
But that wasn't the plan. I loved my dreads beyond words. I didn't intend to remove them, only to have my hair-whispering friend observe its development and growth. That morning I woke haunted by the song Summertime Sadness by Lana del Rey. I didn't know why; I was excited to see Sara and let her take a look at my locks and roots. But they were starting to feel strange. And when my weaving friend buried her hands in them, I knew instantly: my hair wanted to be wild-gypsy free. Like me.
“We can brush these out,” she said, hopeful and determined.
So began a ten hour hair journey. We stayed up til four in the morning, soaking my hair in conditioner and running combs through them inch by inch, sacrificing some of the more weary locks to scissors. When we went to bed we were about halfway through and we all ~ she, me, my hair ~ needed to rest.
Since she lives out of town, part of our next-day plans included an intuition-led excursion to a local rock and crystal shop. Both Sara and I wanted to add to our collections and let ourselves be drawn to stones without prior knowledge of what each stone meant or symbolized. We wanted to listen, and carefully select whichever ones called to us. So I wrapped my half-in, half-out dreads into a ponytail and off we went.
|the rutilated quartz i picked|
It's quite an intriguing adventure, following your intuition with hair, with stones, with life, really. Sometimes you don't know until the very moment you're in what choice you will make, but when you do, it suddenly is the only right way and the only one that makes sense. And it's the confirmations we get along the way that leave us shaking our heads in wonder and surprise, and leave people like me trailing soulsighs everywhere.
I found myself drawn to a beautiful piece of rutilated quartz. I didn't know anything about them, other than that I loved how an entire universe seemed suspended gracefully within them. I chose this one and am happy. What followed next, however, is what left me undone and sobbing in the middle of the crystal shop.
“Can you tell me about this one?” I asked the cashier, as we admired each other's tattoos and I handed over the cash.
“Let me get the book,” she said, and thumped down a hefty volume called The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian. She flipped through pages and turned it around to face me.
I scanned through the technical paragraphs to the end, where it related spiritual, emotional, and physical qualities. I read, “Rutilated Quartz infuses one's energy field with Light energy. It is excellent for telepathic communication, receiving spiritual inspiration for creative endeavors such as art or writing, or for enhancing one's psychic abilities.” Well, that makes sense, I told my artist-writer self. I moved on. “Rutilated Quartz can be used to help with the phenomenon of phantom pain when a part of the body is removed, yet is still perceived. It helps stimulate hair growth and can be used to help counter hair loss. Rutilated Quartz is also useful in helping to bridge or stitch wounds so they heal more quickly.”
And that was it. I stared in shock at the book, at my friend, at the cashier, and then burst into tears.
|my rutilated quartz|
Maybe it won't mean anything to anyone else, but for me, following my intuition right in the middle of releasing my beloved dreadlocks, this touched my soul. I didn't want to lose my hair but to let it be free. Freedom means so much to me; it's why I'm alive and my hair wants it, too. My dreadlocks served me well and I adore that I had them for a season. I locked them in the beginning as an expression of my soul, and in a bittersweet offering, I released them for the same. I must continue along my own path, my sojourn, and allow the wild gypsy energy to rise untamed, even through the wildly free strands of my hair.
|wild gypsy free|
So how is this a story about you?
I hope you take from this what I've learned more concretely over the last few days. When your gypsy soul sings, listen. Listen to your soul-song. Don't be afraid to follow. When your intuition rises and surprises you, don't ignore her. Don't discount what you feel. It may be something small but you never know what it might mean for you. Keep your eyes open for what my friend Mandy calls secret messages. Life is full of them, if we only look!
I find that the beautiful art my friend Janae created for me, commemorating my sacred dreadlock experience, is just as appropriate now ~ perhaps even more so. I can't thank my friend Sara enough for her patience and love. Because of her and her hair-whispering hours, I still have my hair, and it is free.
I am woven whole.
Soul stirring prompt: