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Sunday, 27 February 2011

10 Years Locing, 10 Life Lessons Learned!

Braiding baby locs, several trims, combining locs, product junkie trials, different colour dye jobs, loc surgery successes (and tricky failures!) and freeforming freedom...
My locs 10 years on this year!

It's that time when I celebrate where I am.... and realise that time flies SO fast lol! 10 years of locing has taught me many lessons that extend to my whole life, not just on hair... here are 10 lessons from my own journey and experience of locing ;o)

~ Patience!

...This is the first thing most locers I've come across mention when you ask them what they have learnt about their journey through locdom.

Locs do their own thing! You can  help them by taking care of them well, nurturing them and keeping them healthy ...but ultimately, when the time is right, they will mature at their own speed - as each locers is different.

This extends to most good things that we embark on... and learning patience is about really trusting a process that we cannot always control fully! With patience, we learn that we can do our bit to the best of our ability but trusting Self is only one half of it... and the other half may be other forces outside of you (other people, opportunities, God, the Universe, Law of attraction... whatever it may be to you and so many multiple factors!) will complete it ...all when the time is right!

Nowadays, we live in a snap-click-finger world where things are increasingly expected to be done instantly. As we all know, locs don't happen that way. And neither does most things that have a lasting and deep outcome. This has been my version of a hard lesson lol!

~ Back to basics!

All good things are built on a solid foundation. That goes with good loc care. And going back to basics also means sticking to products/routines that really nurture your locs!

It's easy to get carried away with all of the wonderful products out there.... Try telling me to stick to just 5 products only during my first years of locing and I'd give you a screw face lol! I did love my products lol! There's always room for experimentation but there will come a time when you just know what really works for you!

What works for me: supporting indie businesses by buying their products, using all natural ingredients and keeping the whole loc care routine super simple. That has been my solid foundation for the last few years now.

Since locing, keeping things simple has been a rule for me... the rebel in me wants to fight the whole consumerist circus out there lol! The funny thing is the less I have, the more I actually get out of it.

This book has really been a starting point for the whole simple living frame of mind... How to Simplify Your Life: Seven Practical Steps to Letting Go of Your Burdens and Living a Happier Life

~ Stop wasting time with expectations and comparisons!

More than ever before, it's easy to log on and see endless amount of youtube videos and pics of natural hair and locs... much more than when I first started out!

It's a great thing to have so much info out there now but it can also lead to another side of expecting and comparing your journey with others... at worst, maybe even having serious loc envy which I have been guilty of! To me, envy is a signal that I lost trust in the concept that the Universe is truly abundant and that it brings/creates everything that we truly need. Envy reminds me that I am not appreciating or being grateful for everything around me! 

Your locs are unique. You may have loc twins out there who have the same hair texture etc, but at the end of the day your locs will be an expression of you! Isn't that such an amazing statement!

... It means we can now truly let go of having the anxieties and expectations that our locs *should* be mature by now, that our locs *don't look* like locer X, Y and Z's... that we *wished* our locs looked *more like* this or that person's... etc. Now it is possible to just let it go! And most importantly, to enjoy the experience of learning about your hair, your locs and how they mature.

It's easy to fall into the trap of doing this with so many other factors in our life... but just reminding Self that it's not about comparing to others, it's a step closer to being in the NOW moment of where we are and enjoying it - plus it will help you really appreciate others for what/who/where they are!

~ Work with what you have, don't waste time on what you don't!

So what is good about YOU and your locs? Allow your Self to enjoy listing the things that YOU love about your unique Self. Work with it and build great things!

There are always strong points that we each have, as well as things that we know we can work harder on. If you know you're good at ______ (fill in blank), then how can you nurture it and expand it? If you know ______(fill in blank) isn't your best point, don't waste time hating it - think of ways to improve it, get around it or how to use your strong points to conquer it!

~ Creativity conquers most obstacles!

I've said it a million times before... I am a lazy loc stylist! But I know that locs are just as versatile and easy to style as loose hair. Don't let anyone tell you that you will be limited in styling with locs... your creativity and practise will see to it that you'll find ways of getting around and creating styles that you love. You only need to get typing on youtube to see that lol!

Creativity creates opportunity to have fun with Self, re-discover things that you didn't know and explore!

~ Confidence breaks barriers!

... Who can resist a person who is so comfortable with their Self that they don't need to prove or "be" anything else??? I think just a genuine confident smile radiates this in a few seconds.

I mention this point because so many people have asked me how I feel about having locs for my job/interviews, for my relationships, for my friendships... for life situations in general... if having locs affected me or not.

OK, I won't lie to you and say that my locs haven't made others uncomfortable when they first meet me... I'm thinking of a small handful of past interview situations right now and a few personal meetups with people who have since become great friends. Yes, a few people may have looked nervous... unsure... hesitant... it's not everyday that some people meet others who have freeform locs lol! That's OK. Those reactions to me are not always because they think negatively of my locs.

But what made these reactions really change and turn around was when I started feeling truly comfy in my own skin with my locs... then situations became different where those people did relax after the first minute of speaking to me... 

Again, this can apply to any situation in life where being comfortable and confident in who you are does radiate and change situations. It may even be an advantage that you stand out!

In short, locs can be presented as being clean, tidy and professional in the workplace and any other life situation... don't let anyone make you feel less for it! Head up high, work hard, be happy with who you are and all will go well 

~ Changing other people's minds about loc stereotypes can only be done one way... Be a good example and live your life!

This leads on to this point very nicely. There are all kinds of loc stereotypes out there... not all of them are bad, mind you! But the one that admittedly does get me fuming is the one about being dirty... that still makes me cringe!!!

I learnt that the only way people really can change (or at least take a few seconds to re-think/re-evaluate/re-consider) their old negative attitudes is by seeing an example that proves how wrong they are!

There is a lot of ignorance out there, that goes for  everything! There are also a lot of people who may have never come across anyone with locs before... I have given up judging their reasons for why anyone wishes to put their attitudes towards my locs... Their problem/issue, not mine!

But by being an example of someone who strives to be peaceful, healthy, live life with positivity, working hard, who keeps locs clean, etc - I hope this contributes to fighting some of the old negatives out there...Whether it is in a direct or indirect way! Come to think about it, this is not even about other people or proving anything... it's all about doing MY life for me.

I have had people I know admit that they did change their mind about locs from knowing how I care for mine and being open to their thoughts. That did feel good and made me realise that anything that is negative in life and assumed by others can be defeated in a power-full way... by not letting their energy affect you or change the way you choose to live!

~ Your life, your responsibility, your choices ...not everyone will get it or care to understand it!

Let's face it... not everyone will like your locs. Why take it personal? Sometimes the people nearest to us may hurt us the most by not understanding our choices. But isn't that part of taking responsibility for our choices in life?

It's OK that you're not everyone's cuppa tea lol.

~ Re-discover your own inner beauty!

Every time we decide to do something new is a great opportunity to re-learn who we are and where we are going. Inner beauty is being in tune with all the adaptations and changes that we go through during the many stages in life.

I have always said that my loc stages have reflected me in many ways too... My baby stage was a time of pure excitement, learning new things, taking baby steps. My teenage stage was a time of rebellion inside too, not just on my head! I was questioning everything, who I wanted to be, where I wanted to go... some days I LOVED everything, others days were just plain rotten lol! Then the mature stage started seeing me feel truly *at home* with having locs... and my life. I made a few big choices that changed a lot of things and I now started getting to grips and seeing results!

~ Natural beauty/health extends far greater than natural hair!

As well as all the many natural pictures and products out there for hair, discovering the natural lifestyle has been the biggest happy/exploration point for me! I love leading a holistic lifestyle... it's important to me and it also puts food on the table (quite literally lol, I LOVE my job!)

...So, there you have it! Just my experiences and what I got out of the 10 lessons 


Chizzy D said...


Amira said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post :)

NESSessary said...

Love your post! I've always admired your locs and enjoy your blog! :)

drrph said...

Great post!!!!!