"Make passion your paycheck." - Unknown
After six months, I was finally able to get my hair cut. The last time I had a haircut was just before the holidays. I almost got it cut in February, but I thought I could wait one more month. But, then the pandemic hit, so I missed my chance.
Yesterday, I found myself melting into my stylist’s chair as she proceeded to take over an inch off the bottom. I’m not gonna lie; it felt good. It felt good not only to get my hair untangled, conditioned, and cut, but it also felt good to let go. As locks of my hair fell to the floor, I felt the tension that has built up in my shoulders over the past few months melt away. It also felt good to have another reason to leave my house other than to buy toilet paper at the grocery store.
While I sat there, I also noticed my stylist was more chatty than usual. She was always more of a listener than a talker when she worked. She is a consummate professional who is very focused on her artistry. But, yesterday was different; her energy was different. She was different. She showed genuine enthusiasm and gratitude to be back to work, where she could see her clients, and do what she loved doing most - hair styling. She was happy.
It’s not that she never showed enthusiasm, gratitude, or happiness before. It’s more that she felt stifled, stuck, and secluded for too long. As a person used to serving the public and connecting with people, being sheltered in place due to a pandemic made her feel imprisoned and punished. She wasn’t able to practice her passion and make people happy with her artistry.
We sometimes forget the purpose of work. When it comes to our work or our livelihood, most people are focused on the paycheck. Most people are just focused on being able to pay their bills. There is nothing wrong with that. But, for others who transformed their passions into their profession, not being able to work during the pandemic meant being without purpose. In other words, some people work to live, while others live to work. And, for Kassidy, cutting hair is not only her passion; it’s also her world.
Aloha is following your passions in life. Following your passions is a form of self-care. Self-care is doing anything that benefits your mind, body, or spirit with love, kindness, and compassion. Therefore, living your life with passion is an extension of self-love. It is self-love. Doing what you love - whether you are paid for it or not - is one way of showing yourself love and kindness because it makes you happy and feel alive.
While watching her work, I could see that Kassidy felt happier and more alive yesterday than she had in months. Even though she was safe and sound in her own home with her family, she was happier to be back on the cutting floor. There, in a small hair studio in Rancho Santa Fe, California, famously known for styling women on Opening Day of Del Mar Racetrack every year, Kassidy feels more at home and more at peace. Yes, she able to earn her own money, but, more importantly, she was able to get back to doing what she loved doing most - cutting and coloring hair and making people happy, like me.
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.