When I transitioned to gray hair, I was going through my own personal transition. I was a single mom with two children to raise. I was very concerned that I might lose my job as a model if I let my gray hair grow in because, at the time, there were no gray hair models. This was decades ago before the gray hair movement.
There were three steps I took that really helped me transition. The more I thought about these three steps, the more I realized they can help anyone through any transition in life. They are valuable no matter what you’re going through.
The first step is to ask yourself what it is that you value in your life? What is important to you? What is essential to have? When I look back, what was essential for me at the time and what I valued, was my time and money. If I went back to school to get a degree for a new job, I would have been using up my time and money plus I wanted to stay home with my children. Staying home with my children was another thing I valued. If I were to go to school, I would have been going against the two things I valued-time and money and staying home with my children. I needed a job quickly, so it was essential to know my priorities. I needed to get rid of what wasn’t essential and focus on what it was that I valued.
At the time, I didn’t know I would still be able to continue to model. There wasn’t even a community for which I could get support for transitioning to gray hair. It was a scary time. But when you know what’s valuable to you, it gives you clarity of mind. It gives you a certain power and strength to realize what is important and to stick to your values.
Our culture has so many distractions. There’s a lot of fluff in our world to veer us off course, so to speak. We can suffer from ‘shiny object’ syndrome. You might agree that time is very precious and valuable and fleeting. It’s even more essential to stay on track with what is important to you, otherwise you might spend so much more time doing something and at the end you realize you don’t even remember what it was you were doing. It didn’t bring value back to you or to anyone else.
When you begin to clarify what’s important to you, you begin to have more clarity of mind and you are more able to actualize your dreams and obtain your goals more quickly and easily. There are benefits from knowing what is necessary for your life, as far as what it is you value, and keeping it front and center.
It gave me the desire to go forward, even though I was stepping into my fear of losing my job. When I realized my values, and how extremely important they were to me, it gave me a certain inner strength to go forward, even though I didn’t have the support. I knew I was doing something that was essential to me. Lo and behold, it turned out great. I never knew that by letting go of my modeling career, I would be in Vogue magazine at 61 years old, interviewed, quoted, with my name next to my picture, not once but three times in one year. Phenomenal!
This brings me to tip number two. Be open. Relinquish what you think you are in control of. I thought I was in control of my modeling career by looking a certain way with dark hair. I let that go and it was really scary because I didn’t know what I was getting into or what would become of my career as a model. But then I realized I really didn’t have control over what it is my looks bring me but I did have control over what it is I want to feel. It was a false sense of who I thought I was that I was holding onto. It was fabricated in my own mind. Be open to new possibilities that you haven’t seen or heard or thought of yet. When you are, you put yourself in the right space to receive something you hadn’t even thought possible. You have to let go of something to get something. It’s interesting when you let go of something it gets replaced with something that’s better.
Tip number three is to trust. I suppose it’s very challenging for a lot people to trust because it’s not a concrete concept. It’s rather nebulous and hard to trust if you can’t see or hold it. On my own journey during my transition to gray hair and without support, I went inside and trusted my instincts which, I believe, never steer you wrong. When you combine trusting your inner voice with knowing what is essential and of value to you and being open to new possibilities, you’ll be prepared to go through any of life’s transition as easily as possible.
Transitions can be difficult and scary, uncomfortable and unfamiliar. It takes some guts to get yourself through them. Just remember what is valuable to you. Get rid of the fluff. Focus on what is essential. Be open to new possibilities in your life. Trust that they will come and that you will be cared for. Turn to people who can support you. You’re not alone. Feel that support, that love and trust that you are guided toward what to do next. That’s that inner voice I’m talking about that never misleads you.
When I decided to go gray and it started to grow in, I never felt so empowered. I never felt so capable or as authentic as then and those are the qualities which help you move forward and get you through turbulent times or though any transition. When you take those steps to empower yourself and make yourself feel like you are capable then you really do become capable and you are empowered. And that is what I wish for you.
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