TO BE SURE, this is a not-quite-yet-seen-before-back-to-school [ish] August. Whether you have kids in school, you are a student, or you’ve been out of school for a long time, the return to school often signals a change of seasons and rhythms. It beckons us to fresh starts … and maybe – like my boy, Micah, yesterday – a fresh haircut.
Within today’s note is a nudge to claim the vocation of a hairdresser (stick with me here … I’ll explain more below). This collective vocational nudge is particularly relevant and real in the midst of whatever is going on in your work, school, parenting, marriage, friendship … your everyday life.
There is much that is unknown, unstable, and complex in our world today. And yet, there is much that is rock solid and true, beckoning us all to look around and see where is the glimmer of goodness and deep security in life right now. Right here and right now.
I wonder, what simple tools do you wield that can be SHARED easily with people around you – something that is connected to your job, your passion, or a way of reaching out to those around you that is easy, natural, and currently part of your everyday life? Think about something for which you don’t need money, more training, or skills to be able to do. It’s something you just do, and it might be just as easy as breathing.
As you sit with and explore this query, I have a hunch that the following story will inspire you. It is a tale of a global movement that began with a pair of hair-cutting scissors. This account of Joshua Coombes is jaw-dropping in its simplicity and comPASSION. Our extraordinary brother Joshua lives and works in the UK and fundamentally believes that small acts of love greatly matter. One day, he gathered the tools most natural and familiar to him (a stool, scissors, comb, and a razor), walked out the door of his salon in London, and began offering free haircuts to homeless people on his streets.
Joshua speaks about the roots of this committed and inspired action:
Hairdressing is how I communicate with people, but anybody, no matter who you are, can do something for nothing, make a difference in your own way. The cool thing, this can be our response to some of the world’s problems. Our voice, our hands, our smile are one step away from restoring somebody’s hope in humanity.
I am persuaded that we all have tools to share with the world akin to those of Joshua’s hairdressing scissors that are simple and have the power to be a part of restoring hope in humanity. This is the stuff that adds ceaseless strength to the fabric of life – in all seasons and yes, in the midst of the COVID crisis that is mightily impacting our lives, this still matters and is more true than ever. This is the stuff of significance and belonging. It cultivates and reveals your unique purpose on the planet. … read more here (& get ready to uncover more of your unique-to-you “hairdressing” vocation!)
In the face of epic problems … start here and now.
Don’t be deterred, but be propelled
by the things
that seem bigger than you.
Don’t wait for someone else with more skills, more money,
more _____ (fill in the blank with the thoughts that stop you from acting), to do something.
Start where you are with what you have and make your way.
You can iterate, change, morph over time.
But starting is the key.
Your steps will lead to unplanned places. It is always so.
Get to stepping.
There is no stopping,
no limit to the possibilities available when we start and carry on, together.
(Excerpts from Soulfully Ablaze)
2 nudges for inspired ACTion to explore and fuel this notion of being a unique to you HAIRDRESSER
1 – enJOY the below mini PoP right now and explore what being a unique-to-you HAIRDRESSER. Or, immerse yourself in the full PoP (a free 10-minute reading/experience) that will encourage you to be still and surrender, to ponder and discern, and to engage and commit.
2 – WATCH this 10-minute PoP on being a HAIRDRESSER peruse the playlist this week and pick out a few other PoPs that intrigue you, or dive right in and commit to the whole 40-day video journey in which I guide you through 40 daily 10-minute PoPs. (Free on your favorite social media platform: Facebook | IGTV | YouTube)
Place of Pause
A MINI PoP on being a HAIRDRESSER.
(This is the third of five summer vocational nudges we began with BRIDGE-BUILDERS, WARRIORS, and EVERYDAY PHILANTHROPISTS. In all of these intense vocational callings, I have come to wholly believe that the robust rhythms of PoPs are crucial. Today, continue your HAIRDRESSER exploration here with a mini or full PoP shared from Soulfully Ablaze.
Helplessness and overwhelm.
Excitement and possibility.
Worry and anxiety.
Strategizing and thinking.
Set these and any other thoughts aside that are floating or bombarding.
Let them go.
Soften. Gently smile.
Inhale and exhale big and fully. Breathe.
Stay here and be.
PONDER. What tools do you have that you can pick up and share with ease and joy? What does it look like and who are you serving? Who are you working with … or are you on your own? This is such an important invitation, dear friend. It’s for you. Take it in and pay attention to what thoughts and ideas come to you within this story that connects to your story, your life, here and now.
ENGAGE. Hop online and explore the #DoSomethingForNothing campaign. Watch some of their stirring videos. Take one nugget that inspires you and do something about it today: explore, play, act. … full PoP
Before I wrap up…
Two things – both connected to this hairdresser vocational nudge. First, a bunch of y’all have asked for a health update (thanks for the love!), which seems to be slowly and generally improving – albeit in fits and starts. Somedays I wake up feeling better (woot woot!) than the day before, and other days, not quite as good. A lung test this week showed that my airways are opening and lungs are increasing in capacity (yahoo!). Amidst the discomfort and unknown, I find myself experiencing more quiet trust, peace, joy, and love than ever in my day to day. (Ahh – soooo grateFULL!)
Second, no doubt connected to my health journey and COVID’s impact to our world, I keep sensing that the hairdressers’ tools for me to wield are more distinctively different than ever before in this season. Next week, both of our kids go back to school – one kiddo’s school is offering remote learning from home and one is starting with in-person learning. We have no idea how this will look and feel for all and I have a deep desire and commitment to be spacious, flexible, and open to my part in their education and growth this year.
Annnddd – drumroll! – last week, I submitted my next book to my editor for its first major edit (yahoo!), which thrills me to the core. (I can’t wait to share it with you!) Truth be told, other than the book volley with my editor and a few carefully discerned Seeds projects, at least until the end of September, I’m clear that my path is to do a bit less and be still a bit more. I have some things to learn in the stillness of being.
I long for a few more moments to linger longer
– to exhale –
and to welcome to the hairdressers’ tools
– the ones which are mine to wield –
to be placed in my open hands.
Thank you for being a part of my journey.
It is my great honor to be a part of yours.
You are loved.
We belong to each other.
Let’s standTALL together and light up the world!
xo, -Sarah DT ❤️