• I have to eat my words and they’re not all that pleasant tasting. I was getting all high and mighty, thinking that I knew what was best for the majority of women my age. As a women’s health and life coach I was promoting the notion that we should accept the aging process, wrinkles, gray hair and all, and find the beauty in our ever-evolving bodies and faces.

    And while I still feel that way, there are certain things where I have now had to erase that hard line. I tried letting my hair go gray. I started going gray in my late 30s and I figured that after all these years of coloring my hair, spending a crazy amount of money, and truthfully not being able to tell anyone what my natural hair color was if they asked, it was time to welcome the gray home.

    At first it looked like it was coming in a beautiful shimmery shade of silver. But it was actually pure white. The problem was that the hair on the back of my head was still a dark dirty blonde. It was as if I had two different heads of hair. Well, that just wouldn’t do. So I went to my hairdresser and his solution was to blend in some dark lowlights through the nearly all white front, giving it a more salt and peppery look. Ok, fine. It looked pretty good as I stepped out of the salon and glanced at my reflection in the storefront window. I felt this could work.

    But as the months went on I felt a lack of energy. It was as if my hair, now devoid of any color, had drained me of any color, too, and definitely aged me about 10 years or so. I now looked old, or at least my age, and I was feeling it as well. I had so wanted to pull off that silver fox thing like Emmy Lou Harris or Carmen Dell’Orefice, but I obviously didn’t have their coloring or their incredible high cheekbones. I also realized that my attempt at going natural, at accepting my God-given attributes, was still getting some heavy assist from my hairdresser.

    What kind of statement was I trying to make? That I was good with this aging thing? That I was just going with the flow, all Wabi Sabi and Zen about it, but in reality, being a fraud by actually paying my hairdresser the $120 to appear that way?

    I thought about why I began coloring my hair  years ago in the first place. When I got my first real highlights it wasn’t to look any younger or older, it was just because I could. I could be anything I wanted. A blonde, a redhead, or a brunette. It was a creative expression of how I wanted to be seen, so why would I not allow myself that same expression as an older woman? And really, it didn’t hurt anyone. There were no victims here. I didn’t change my name, which would have upset my mother, though I often fantasied about having some beautiful, mysterious name like Gabriella or India, instead of the plain and simple, Kim. And I didn’t cut into my skin and change the size or location of any of my features, which I still don’t prescribe too, but I guess it’s none of my business if you do.

    It seems as if we’ve been programed to respond to every life event with a certain emotion, feeling or expectation. We’ve been told to act our age, or dress our age, or that certain things aren’t age appropriate. If we deviate from that, then there is something wrong with us, and we are the first to judge. Women need to support each other and each other’s choices. Working women challenge stay-at-home women, mothers that breast feed challenge those that choose the bottle, and women who promote natural aging challenge those who believe in anti-aging. There is no one-way and it’s not our job to tell others which choice is the right choice.

    My point is this. Do what makes you feel best, what gives you the most energy, and makes you want to get up out of bed each day. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re in denial of our age if we do these things, because we’ve been doing them our entire lives. It’s just what we as human beings do. We try to look our best, which in turn makes us feel our best. Being who we are, or are true self, isn’t adhering to what society says we should be doing or how we should look as we reach a certain age. Being true to ourselves is living the life we have chosen to live.

    So whether you want to color your hair a vibrant shade of red, wear stripped yoga pants around town, or drive around in your convertible, singing Beyoncé’s, Single Ladies, at the top of your lungs, more power to you.  As long as that is the authentic you, don’t stop just because someone has told you it’s not age appropriate.

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    Article by: Kim Klein

    Kim is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Certified Feng Shui Practitioner whose specialty is combining the two modalities to help women achieve balance, rediscover their purpose and reignite their passion for living. She is the author of Damn, the Pusherman ~ Sugar, The Legal Drug that is Keeping you Sick and Fat, and Nine Degrees North, a young adult fiction novel about 6 teens growing up on Kwajalein, a Pacific Island US missile range in 1969. KimKleinHealthCoach.com

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