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Coming Clean

This month I am shaving off all my hair. Every last strand. Botak. Shiny bald. And while the weather has been a bit on the warm side, I’m not doing it to escape the heat. I’m joining a small group of women in support of the Children’s Cancer Foundation (don’t worry, I’ll be giving suggestions on how you can help too).

Since I’ve made this decision, there have been a lot of opinions about whether or not this is a wise choice. And I’ve been looking within myself to see how my mind is taking this action into account – so here are some ruminations on the link between my soon-to-be shorn head and the grey matter within.

Change as a Clean Start

While many people feel some apprehension about making major shifts in their life, we also can see change for one of it’s strengths – a time to turn things around, wipe the slate, start anew. However there is a caveat in this powerful point – it’s best to be clear to be clean. What does that mean? I’ve seen many people move from one country to another to ‘finish’ a relationship, or quit a job to ‘get their life together’ – and what I’ve found is that while they may be in a different situation, or with a different person, or have created a new ‘scene’, the issues that were in the earlier rendition seem to sneak out through the cracks at the worst possible times. I’ve looked at my reasons for doing this and haven’t found anything I’m ‘running from’ that would force me to the razor. Never having had a hairless moment, I think I’m pretty clear to start ‘clean’.

Putting it in Perspective (taking a step back)

As a human being I’ve had my share of out of proportion reactions – when something, viewed from the outside is relatively inconsequential, but is taken as greatly important to the person who’s experiencing the incident. We get caught up in our own little stories full or ‘musts’, ‘shoulds’, and ‘only if…thens’, which sometimes can have us chasing after fool’s gold in our ambitions, and has us lose sight of what life is all about – to be lived, loved and enjoyed. When I give blood, it’s easy – it is something I have, something I can replace, and while it is vital to my continued existence, the donation of some of it may mean the sustenance of life or death for someone else – so the needle prick seems somewhat less ‘major’ looking at it that way. Similarly, my hairless presence is a limited setback to me. When you look at the serious challenges that children with cancer (and their families) are going through, it feels almost embarrassing that I would worry about my vanity. Not that my head shaving will directly take away the suffering of another – but if I can raise awareness and funds that support the good work that is going on to help these kids, a few locks are a small price to pay.

Inspiring People, Creating Belonging the Virtuous Cycle

I met Jacky Bryant some time ago on one of our HypnoParenting courses. She is a naturally wonderful person who truly understands the power of the mind. She, wittingly or unwittingly, has tapped into the power of intention, the law of attraction, the great force of love, compassion, and selflessness that starts the upward climb of the virtuous cycle. What’s coming out of it – finding women to shave and raise funds, as well as starting the ball rolling for corporate support for the events coming up on the 18th and 19th (more information below) so that 100% of the funds can go to the Children’s Cancer Foundation, and more. She has set the intention to raise a quarter of a million for this group (that will build a bone marrow transplant room that’s desperately needed), and with her (and other’s) positive thoughts and belief, I’m sure it’s a goal that’s going to be reached. While Jacky isn’t a Singaporean, she has made this island her home (wherever you go there you are), her concern and her commitment. She, by instigating this event, not only benefits the CCF but also the participants and supporters. People crave to feel a part of something that surrounds them and is worthy of their energy. Instead of resigning to a ‘not from here’ attitude, she has created meaning and an opportunity for connection. And all those donating, volunteering and helping become part of that ever expanding circle for good. It does the heart and the mind  a whole lot of good as well.

It’s not just the thought that counts, it’s the action, too

I speak about thoughts and beliefs being the seeds that set actions and events in motion, however, there needs to be action taken for change to actually be realised. I could have heard the plea for shavees and just thought that it was a great idea, but it took a ‘yes, I’ll do it’ for me to move myself into a position to help make a difference. How many times have we sat as couch potatoes in life, watched it pass and then wondered ‘if I’d only gone out and done something’. Our thoughts and beliefs set our direction – which way we are facing (whether to support us or hinder us) – but action is the first step on that journey to life.

You know that I use the newsyletter forum predominantly as a platform for information and supporting self-actualization, but I’d be lying if I didn’t have an alternative motive this month – Jacky’s set the target and I’m acting on it to support these brave children and families dealing with cancer. This is your time for action, too.

Ok, so what can you do?

Donate. If you are outside Singapore, there is a website you can donate to electronically – all funds will go directly to the charity (I believe you can get a tax receipt for this but I’m not sure about international donations). WE heartily support corporation who are able to make a big difference in little lives. Look to www.kidsforlife.com.sg/shear_inspiration.htm to see the women (and me) shaving this month and for a link to the CCF site, or go directly to http://www.ccf.org.sg/sponsors_donors/how_to_help.html for details. For those in Singapore, you can donate online, but with the charges it means that CCF loses 4.5% in the transaction. Better yet is to write a crossed cheque to “Children’s Cancer Foundation” and send it to us at 35A Neil Road, S(088821) or to bring a cash donation to Grey Matter Network’s office (if you donate by credit card at our office, we’ll just absorb the charges for the charity too).

Get informed and share information. Go to these sites and find out more about children with cancer and what is being done to support them. www.ccf.org.sg or www.kidsforlife.com.sg/shear_inspiration.htm  Especially children should be informed so that the myths of cancer don’t spread any further than they have already. Some people still believe that you can ‘catch’ it from someone else. CCF has some great information brochure for kids of all ages – I’ve got some in the office or you can pass by the main office of the Foundation at 138 Bukit Timah Road (Tel: 6835 6465)

Come to an event. 

Hair Extravaganza
4pm –  6pm Fri 18th May 2007
Junction 8 Bishan Shopping Centre
Top of the 8, Level 3
Come join the party with a difference.  Kids, bring your parents, your friends and your classmates. Singapore Idol’s Daphne Khoo will be hosting an incredible, fun, music filled event with pony tail cutting and spray painting of hair.  Suitable hair (more than 10” pony tail length) will be collected for “Locks of Love”, a non profit organisation making wigs for children with hair loss.  All hair donors aged under 18 must have consent from an accompanying parent. Early bird participants will enjoy drinks, snacks and goodie bags

Shear Inspiration Party
7.30pm – 19th May 2007
Fluid Bar & Lounge, Far East Square, 44 – 45 Pekin Street
A fund raising party as Singapore has never seen before! Showcasing the shaving of 20 female heads with an charity auction to follow. Live web broadcast of the head shaving so that friends and family overseas can join in too (you need to donate to find out how to watch). Tickets are limited for the exclusive event, so contact me if you want to be in the ‘inner happenings’ of donators. Or come down and enjoy the event at the bar – $1 of every drink sold that night will also be donated to CCF.

Shave Your Head. If you are inspired to be part of the event coming up, please let us know – there may still be two places under the razor. If you are male, or need some time to think about it, there is the “Hair for Hope” event happening on July 1st – look to www.ccf.org.sg for more information.

All the best – especially to the wonderful women who are supporting this Shear Inspiration – have a great (and generous) May,

Jennifer

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