What I Learned from No Shave November
It all started back in October when my husband decided to get a head start on growing a moustache for Movember. Don’t get me wrong, I love the way beards and ‘staches look on the hipsters in my neighborhood, I just didn’t want to kiss one on a daily basis. I’m not sure if he was trying to raise awareness for men’s cancers, or have an excuse to rock a ‘stache. Either way, two can play at this game. Or so I thought. On November first, I literally threw my razor out of the shower. (Then I picked it up and threw it in the garbage.) Little did I know that this month would teach me more about myself than growing a winter coat.
“It’s November in Michigan, no one is going to even notice if your legs and armpits are hairy!” This would be a valid argument, IF I didn’t love, practice and teach hot yoga–which means on a daily basis I kick-it in yoga capris and a tank top. The ultimate test was well under way…
Not shaving is easy. Seriously easy. My showers are sooooo fast. All I have to do is wash my hair and body. How easy is that? The hard part is rocking hairy pits like it ain’t no thing. Week two, I was self-conscious. I wore a tee shirt to yoga almost every day. What will people think? That I’m weird and hairy. Technically, I guess I am. But really, my hair has nothing to do with my essence, my passions, my loves in life. My true friends know that. Then, my husband knew how to get to me. “That’s cheating! No more long sleeves! You have to rock those hairy pits with your Lululemon tank tops.” Damn it. He was right.
Flying my freak flag high. Week 3, I finally let go. While my husband was getting mad compliments on his perfectly shaped ‘stache, I was interjecting “You should see my armpits!” No more tee shirts while I practiced yoga. Heck, I was energetically smiling, teaching yoga with my arms in the air! This might have been the first time I actually felt FREE in Warrior 1. FREEDOM! No big deal. It’s just hair. I was now sharing my experience of not shaving with my friends, co-workers and family. They were totally judging me, laughing and saying things like “That’s gross!” and “Lindsay, you’re so weird.” But I didn’t care. I knew deep down that what’s different does not have to be wrong. And who wants to live a life at the expense of others’ approval? Yuck. I am what I love. Not what/who loves me.
The power of staying. Like many things in life, staying (not reacting, changing, trying to fix or judge) is a powerful thing. The same goes for growing body hair. Throughout the month, especially in the first few weeks, I was like “Why am I doing this?” I was about the grab a razor and put the breaks on the whole thing. But I didn’t. I stayed. And learned so much. For one, by shaving my legs regularly, I missed out on the sensation of my leg hair underneath my jeans or soaking in a bubble bath. And I was totally proven wrong on the idea that hairy armpits are stinky. They aren’t. Actually, I think I’ve been less stinky this month. This also got me to thinking: maybe this hair I was born with is there for a reason? If not, at least now I’ve grown it out enough to get the armpit wax I’ve been wanting to try.
My husband is so happy. Not because of my hairiness–because of his. He has been dancing around the house with his arms in the air screaming “My moustache is awesome!” Smiling way more. Buying moustache wax! (It smells amazing). Wearing bow-ties. It’s adorbs. Also, kissing a ‘stache is super soft and tickly and awesome. And since I’m totally in love with the man, how can I be anything but supportive and just love the boy for his weirdness. He’s so into his ‘stache that I don’t think he’s noticed I haven’t shaved in 28 days.
Breaking the routine is fun. I’m a big believer of disrupting business as usual. This month got me thinking about how I shave almost daily, but don’t know why? It’s like a weird routine/tradition that really serves no purpose other than fitting in with the status quo. I’m left feeling humble, at peace with my body and inspired to challenge the routine, inspire change and ask why?