Life has a way of teaching you things. Every experience, if you look for it–or in some cases, if you create it–has a story. Today’s lesson started as an accident, but became a defining moment of realization about how I have been doing everything in my life. It’s the reason why I ended up shampooing and deep conditioning my hair.
It was 109 degrees today and I had a steak I wanted to throw on the grill. “Let me go in the fridge and grab the meat,” I thought as I snatched the door open. In what seemed like a 300-word essay of thoughts, I saw my last three eggs, thought I should move them, decided against it because I’m so slick I can grab the tenderloin and not disturb the vulnerable cold chicken embryos, palmed my parchment wrapped parcel and knocked the eggs on the floor. I immediately verbally scourged myself.
I grabbed a bowl and tried to salvage what I could because, if the floor isn’t “that dirty”, as I lied to myself, I could fry them and eat them. One must save! “Waste not, want not,” I reasoned, reminiscing on this time last year when income was nonexistent and our borrowed shelf in the pantry where we temporarily resided was bare. My mother pleaded with me not to eat the eggs, claiming toe jam as the culprit of my absolute death if I went on with my plan to cook the eggs. I paused.
What could I do with cracked eggs? Thoughts of uses for eggs poured into my head: Fertilize a plant, egg wash for baking bread, breakfast food, conditioner for hair. Bingo! I found my solution since we don’t have house plants and mom’s toe jam pronouncement prevented me from using the damaged goods for food.
The Shampoo and Conditioning
I’ve never been a traditional natural hair girl, blogging and vlogging about the nuances of managing kinky hair without harsh chemicals. Yes, I produced natural hair events and blogged, but I rocked a shaved head at the time, eliminating any need for the routine and product obsession I saw in others. Five or more big chops, endless scissor happiness and 7 years of no relaxers and still am learning about how to manage my hair.
Recently, I observed that my hair did very well with Shea Moisture coconut cowashes and deep conditioners, stretching and wrapping it with teeshirts overnight. I’d made progress. Then, after years of product testing, I noticed that swapping out Motions hair lotion with Monoi oil completed my perfect recipe with Jane Carter Nourish and Shine and Hairobics Hair Oil.
Since I’d shampooed this morning, stretched my hair and wrapped it, it made sense to add the egg and the deep conditioner for some extra healing. I wet my hair, added my concoction and after rubbing it through, flat twisted the sections to allow my hair to continue to stretch as the mixture set in.
After about 20 minutes, I rinsed my hair and cowashed it again to make sure to get the egg out. I rinsed it clean and my hair felt great. I proceeded with a dime size of both the nourish and shine and a dollop of the Monoi oil. I finger combed and noticed something that made me stop and mentally outline this post.
I had one section of 3C hair that stared at me in desirable curl perfection, in a sea of heavenly spiraled 4B hair. Where did that come from? Like, after all these years, my hair has been the bane of my existence and now this managable hair wants to act like it’s always been there? Like although I know I had Rudy Huxtable braids and had thick hair that 1980’s relaxers and heavy-handed stylists burned out, you want to grow back and heal the relationship to what I had with my hair before the trauma? Like now you want to a fall and separate into Instagram worthy coils?
This amazement only continued when I decided that instead of using my jumbo wide toothed comb, I would use my Denman knock-off. I am the 30+ woman who would squirm and kick her braider because of tenderheadness. I am the little girl who has been fabled to have run home from the kitchen of the woman who did hair in the house on the corner at night alone to escape the death grips of the woman’s hand with a pressing comb. I am the girl who has permed, weaved or shaved her hair her most of her adult life to avoid dealing with the woes of hair combing.
This this time I brushed my hair and the hair glided through that baby like the basketball off of Steph Curry’s finger tips. I did an internal praise dance in my heart at what had transpired. Brushing my hair did not hurt!
I Got My Entire Life!
This hair epiphany wasn’t only an indication of me finding the right products and styling routine, it was proof that I got my life. Like Tamar Braxton, “She needs to get her life”-life-gotten. Like, I almost shouted and woke up my mom but I might have been slapped-gotten. Like, Cam Newton just proposed to me and we never had sex and I waited to get the ring and now we are the subject of everyone’s Christian-love-like-Ciara-a’nem memes-gotten. Like I just graduated from Howard University and I have an internship at BET but just had a meeting with the CEO about a job with a $20K sign-on bonus-gotten. My whole life is LIT.
I’m not overreacting, not even a little because if you understood what my life has always been and what it’s shaping up to be, I am very confident that this seemingly small feat is just proof that I’m finally understanding the flow of a happy and
abundant life. I’ll share a quick back story that I have battled depression the majority of my life. Even after experiencing business success and knowing what it means to be spiritually focused, I hadn’t grasped what happiness meant. In fact, it was evasive, even with money, accolades and the attention of admiring friends and family.
Things hit rock bottom one year ago when a financial reversal had me moving from pillar to post, with my health-challenged, aging mother. Like God always does, he came through, moving us into a home bigger and nicer than anywhere we’d ever lived and placing me at a dream job with ample pay to land us solidly where we needed to be. Just when I thought I could exhale, the company experienced a downturn and I was let go. The peace of God kept me together the first few days.
The Tenderheadedness of My Life
I’ve learned that Jehovah had never left me, even when I slept on the floor in a house filled with weed smoke in the heart of South LA with strange visitors coming in and out. Now, losing the job wasn’t the death of me. The quietness of not having anywhere to go every morning and the calm of not having to go out every day to avoid being in an uncomfortable, unpleasant living situation while working hard to generate income to pull me and mom out of that mess gave time to process the reality of what I’d been through in the previous months. Add to that, the dream job had quickly become a nightmare of micromanagement, stifling my creative ideas and draining me of energy and motivation. The calm after the storm brought on the winds of a concealed depression.
Only a few weeks after being let go, I’d landed two amazing clients in my business so money was not an overwhelming issue. However, completing my work and being present to deliver my best was becoming harder to do. When the dark feelings began to risk these wonderful relationships, I sought professional help.
The Deep Conditioning
I sobbed uncontrollably when talking to the girl managing the intake for mental health services. “I don’t want to go through this the rest of my life,” I wept. Understanding my concern and the trigger of lingering guilt about the job loss (I learned later that I was just the first of many let go, including key leadership staff), the social worker comforted me by sharing the experience of another woman who went through intensive therapy and was able to return to full-time employment. Her words led me to sign up for a six-month long group therapy program called Dialectical Behavior Therapy supported by individualized therapy and possibly treatment with medication.
I met the group facilitators that same week. They had smiles on their faces, almost like happy cherubs. It was refreshing. One man, had been through the therapy before and he acted as the big brother therapy tutor who helped ease any reservations people had about being there. I learned that many of the other group members weren’t “crazy people” but rather people out on disability from work or who had come from similar traumatic circumstances that brought them down from an otherwise ideal existence.
I later met a seraphim, my individualized therapist. Interestingly her name was Sera. This was a second career for her. She was a high powered East Coast executive who now was sitting before me doing psychotherapy and doling out career advice. She explained what happens in our minds and bodies when we experience prolonged trauma and assured me that with the pattern of unfortunate circumstance I’d experienced in my life that my reactions were normal but that I would indeed recover.
Fast forward, I’m feeling alive, more than I can recall ever feeling over a span of time. The tools that my
angels have given me has renewed my joy and productivity and has helped me move through any challenging days. I was given a nod of approval earlier today by Sera, that I had come a long way and was headed toward incredible success and happiness in my life.
She left me with this: “As we have this last appointment, I want to share with you the secret of life.” My butt cheeks clenched because I didn’t know if she was going to drop some mysterious cue-alien-music wisdom or give me a gem. She peered into my eyes and said, “Life is FOR you. Life is for you, Jasmine. It’s not against you. Everything in your life has blessings, even if the circumstances are bad. There is a blessing there and remember, life is for you.”
By repeating this, she was emphasizing that I could look forward to life behind something I can be hopeful and optimistic about, even moving through the extremely difficult times with a focus on the gifts life, and God, still provided me. The intense mental conditioning for a mindful, happy life has relaxed the hard to manage parts and led me to a smooth-as-whipped coconut oil outlook.
It’s all setting in. My oversized hand-me-down San Diego State t-shirt is wrapped securely around my head, allowing the creams and oils to do their thing, making tomorrow’s final primping to turn out perfect. I sit here allowing all of the lessons and blessings of my becoming settle in. Sure there will be a few strands that got bent the wrong way while drying, but nothing that can’t be edge controlled into place.
It has taken years of shaving off bad people and hiding behind the weaves of inauthenticity to get to a place where I can see the blessings of a life spiralling way up. I’m here for it, mindful of it and graciously wrapping myself in this phenomenal realization. And you know what? I’m going to let that keep soaking in.