One promise I made to myself, after I got ill, was that I was going to live fearlessly. That I would live my life fully and with passion. That I would take chances and explore the land beyond my comfort zone. That I would show up and sit in the front row of my life.
Little did I know that one such opportunity would present itself so dramatically, not once but twice.
Living Fearlessly, Part I:
On March 21st of this year, we celebrated Navroz, the first full day of Spring. Idd-e-Navroz is a festival that is celebrated in many communities throughout the Middle East, Central and South Asia. As you know, in many cultures, spring is a sign of renewal. And so it is in our culture. Navroz “signifies a time of spiritual renewal and physical rejuvenation, as well as the spirit of gratitude for blessings and an outlook of hope and optimism towards the future.”
For Navroz this year, I took a chance and did something a little bit crazy, a little bit creative and a little bit out of my comfort zone. I got my bald head painted with henna! This is a service offered by a company called Henna Heals. This organization offers custom-created henna body art for people experiencing complete hair loss. They paint bellies of mothers-to-be, and henna services for special events. To read more about Henna Heals and their work with cancer patients, please click here.
I decided to do this on a whim because this is the last time (hopefully) I will have no hair. My hair is expected to grow back now that the chemo treatments are complete. The day started with Nagib shaving the little growth of hair off my head. I have never seen him so cautious and careful as he could not bear the thought of hurting me! Then, Tarquin Singh, a henna genius, came to my home and we collaborated on the design. I had to sit very still while she worked her magic. The whole process took just over 2 hours. As you can imagine, I was exhausted after this and needed to take a long nap. I guess for now I will live fearlessly — between naps!
The result was unbelievable. Not only did I turn heads everywhere I went, I felt beautiful. I felt renewed and rejuvenated. See a gallery of my pictures below. The brilliant photographer is Frances Darwin, the founder of Henna Heals. Thanks to Afsan, my hairdresser and make-up artist, for her encouragement and motivation.
Living Fearlessly, Part II:
Then, this week, something very special happened. Frances contacted me and asked if I would be willing to shave my head again and let Tarquin paint my head with henna. You see, they were contacted by CTV Toronto for Pauline Chan’s regular segment on the 6 o’clock news called “Lifetime”. Well, if you’re gonna put yourself out there, you may as well do it again, and put yourself way, way out there!
Click below for the result — a 2 minute segment that aired on CTV News on Wednesday, June 5th:
I have learnt that since we don’t live forever, what we can do is make today count and show up in life. Showing up takes courage. It means putting ourselves “out there” and that can be a scary thought. Get past scary and you will find the exhilaration of living fearlessly.
Love and light,