Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why Getting Your Hair Cut and Going to Spiritual Direction Have in Common

It's already the middle of September and I'm just now barely -- BARELY! -- getting back into the groove that is homeschooling, and being organized, and remembering that homeschooling and a clean house cannot co-exist at the same time. It takes a while to get back in the saddle as you know.

But as I'm crawling back up to optimal performance levels from a summer of differing routines and holidays, I've found that two things that I neglected over the summer have a lot more in common than I thought. Those two things are getting my hair cut and getting to spiritual direction. I know they seem on opposite universes but they are both pretty important to my overall well-being and mental health. They're two cornerstones of "self-care"(why do I hate using that term?) that I need to keep up with but over the course of the summer I just let them both slide.

First, my hair. I complained about it over the summer as it got frizzier and frizzer. It would be uncontrollably voluminous one day, flat as a pancake the next. By August no straight iron, hair dryer, or curling wand could make a dent in the ferocious mane. I was stuck with top knots and a variety of boring with a side of boring ponytails. And yet I was still questioning why my hair was so bad. I wanted my hair to still look good approximately four months after having it cut. I'm not super high maintenance, nor is my hair, but at the length it is right now my hair just won't look cute anymore after about 2 months post haircut. But still I didn't clue in really to the fact that because I wasn't really maintaining my hair and maybe that had something to do with the sorry state of my spilt ends.

The same thing has happened to making time for my bi-monthly spiritual direction appointment. Things would come up, my weeks never looked the same, babysitters were on vacation, I just didn't make the appointment for over four months. And yet over the summer I wondered why I kept coming up against the same issues of anxiety, the same inability to see which choices would be best to make, the same habits of anger that I wouldn't even think to pray about.

Just like my hair being unmanageable and full of split ends, I was seeing split ends in my prayer life. I wasn't making time for small moments of prayer. I felt unguided in prayer, I would just look for the easy top knot of prayer, go through the motions, and not bother going farther than that. It just wasn't working for me and suddenly it dawned on me that I hadn't visited my spiritual director in months and maybe that's why I was getting sidetracked and bogged down in my own head. What a concept! What an epiphany! These things that I think I can put off indefinitely have direct consequences that build and build until I'm really in the weeds when it comes to looking half decent, and having a functioning prayer life.

This isn't an epiphany to you, I know, but I thought I should spill the beans on how a really wonderful, busy, fun, memorable summer with the kids and living the happy-go-lucky, carefree, off-from-homeschooling summer made me lazy when it came to making time for myself. The hardest part is making the appointment and putting it on the calendar, and since I've done that with both it's amazing how much better my hair looks and how much easier it is to put a little time and effort into praying everyday.

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  1. Christy you are SO cute...and you remind me of Alexa. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. People in the online Catholic world are always mentioning spiritual direction/directors...how does one find a spiritual director? I'm assuming they're not referring to their priest, as our wonderful but overburdened priest wouldn't have time for that kind of work on a regular basis. I love the idea of a spiritual director!

    1. Hey, Karyn! I totally get that-I think sometimes, people forget how busy priests are, but you are so right-they are very overburdened many times!! Sometimes men and women in religious orders are spiritual directors, so if you have any local orders, you might want to check it out to see if that's a possibility. And you never know what you might find in your own parish or diocese--I went to college with a girl whose mom went through classes & formation & stuff to become a Catholic Spiritual Director as a lay person, so you might have someone in your diocese who does that! Maybe your diocesan office would know? Might be worth looking into. Good luck!

    2. We don't have any local orders (we're in Baptist land :) ). But I was wondering that....if there were actual classes/formation, not just someone saying they're qualified to provide spiritual direction! Perhaps my priest can tell me if someone in the parish is; thank you!

    3. Not a problem! Hope you're able to find someone!! I'm sure God will send you the right person at the right time :)

  3. This actually IS an epiphany to me. Thank you :)

  4. Christy, I love that analogy! So apt and fantastic! Haha, it's funny how you mention disliking the term "self-care." For the longest time, I thought of "self-care" as being a thing for high-maintenance and/or lazy people. But over the past couple years, I've really been finding that self-care is not only important, but pretty necessary (it's also very Lizzy Bennet, which I'm planning to address in the near future on my blog haha). Thanks for a great post and some excellent thoughts!

  5. Ha! The term "self-care" makes me twitchy too, but in reality I'm a big believer in it.

  6. I could really use both myself actually. Yikes!

  7. Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. its was really valuable. thanks a lot.


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