Recently, I shaved my head to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care. It was a fun experience and I raised a lot of money for the cause.
If you missed it and would still like to donate, then please contact me or find me on the Macmillan website www.shaveorstyle.org.uk/shavers/ray-pawlett/.
Have you ever wondered though, why do monks shave their heads? Perhaps an odd question but a topical one for me at the moment! In many spiritual traditions there is a monastic rite for shaving heads either partially or completely.
In general, the monks shaved to show their commitment to holy life, renunciation of material values and rejection of vanity. What did it mean to me?
One thing that I wanted to achieve was a greater sense of empathy towards people who lose their hair through illness or treatment. I thought that if I knew how it felt to lose my hair then I would have a closer understanding of how they felt.
This was a big lesson! I had chosen to lose my hair and it was just the hair on my head – not my whole body as can sometimes happen. There was no way that just losing my hair would bring me closer to the fear that many people feel when they are told that they are likely to lose their hair through no choice of their own.
At least the exercise helped me to realise how naïve I had been with these thoughts and respect even more deeply those who do have to go through it.
I was though able to help people who were going through the sort of treatment that causes hair loss. One lady who I had never met before told me that she understood why I had done it and that it did make her feel less alone in her struggle. So the experience did bring me closer to sufferers in a way that I did not expect – as is often the way with life!
Perhaps this is what the monks meant by the rejection of vanity? After all, once we peer beyond the veils that are projected by ourselves and others we see things as they are. Vanity is just another of those veils. My previous assertion that merely shaving my head would help me empathise with people was in this sense a vanity.
One of the things that I noticed was that people did not recognise me in town. Sometimes even people who I have known for all of my life did not realise that it was me!
This was an interesting experience to say the least! As I grew up in Bourne and went to school in Bourne a lot of local people know me and suddenly I was anonymous. When I greeted people who had not recognised me, to see the surprise on their faces was fun for us all.
How did other people react? People were very pleased and congratulatory about the fact that I had done something for charity. Some people liked it and thought I should even keep it that way. I don’t think I will do though. In the summer, having short hair is very practical as long as you do not get burned but it is perhaps less so in the colder months.
Shaving my head has been a very worthwhile thing to do. Raising money for Macmillan made it worthwhile but I got a lot more than that from it.
Einstein once famously said that a definition of insanity was to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.
As a holistic therapist I frequently advise people on behaviour and habit modifications that can help to cause big shifts in their lives. It is easy though to fall into habits even if you are the therapist.
Doing something completely different every now and then can help to create subtle changes in our Energy and behaviour patterns that prevent that “stagnated” feeling that can come sometimes.
Go on – give it a try! If there is something that you fancy doing – stop waiting and do it! I doubt that you will regret it.
My base is at Wake House, North Street, Bourne but I can and do travel out to several clients. If you would like to find out more, please contact Ray Pawlett on 07413 620344 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.