The Beginning of a New Era ~ Dread Removal Process

Greetings Beloved Hearts! I'm not sure if I should start at the beginning or the end of this process and journey! This past week I was guided to close one chapter and open a new. In 2015 I began a journey that would change my life entirely, it all started with some knotty hair and a new craft. 7 years ago I created my first dreadlock in my childhood room, at the same time I also began creating handwoven jewelry with stones and hemp. I was fresh out of high school and seeking change, adventure and experience. I knotted up my first dread, thinking I was just going to have just a couple underneath, but slowly and surely I continued to add more and more until there was just a small patch of un dreaded hair- so I finished what I started and had a fully dreaded head within a few months of starting. As my hairstyle evolved, I was creating more and more hemp wrapped jewels; it was in this time when my first small business and handmade shop 'KnotzNLocs' was born. The Knotz and the Locs seemed to be sidekicks; always uplifting one another and giving me purpose and passion through my pursuits. Who was the Knotz without the Locs? and Visa versa. For 7 years I embarked on a life changing and unforgettable journey that would take me on adventures that most people probably never knew were possible. I travelled all around the country, living out of my car, hitch hiking around the west coast, solo traveling and sleeping out of a hammock, living on islands, farming with people from across the globe, making life long connections, trying new foods, sharing space with magical humans, living in a 1971 Ford Econoline, journeying to nearly all of the United States best national parks, and taking my small business with me through it all. 7 years of sheer blessings poured down on me, showing me worlds upon worlds, and blowing my mind every step of the way.

Dreadlocks absorb energy like a sponge. They hold onto vibrations and frequencies, as well as dust, smoke and sand. That being said; my dreads soaked up a wildly magnificent chapter full of memories that I will remember for lifetimes to come. I evolved and grew so much through the past 7 years, and feel deeply in my heart that my dreadlocks have supported me through many of lifes moments; both bitter and sweet. These dreads carried a lot of energetic weight (not to mention physical weight!), they also carried a large part of my identity; which I began to understand more deeply in most recent days. As a business owner who specializes in crafting knotted and handwoven jewelry, I began to deeply identify with both my craft and my dreaded hair- and the two aspects together built an image for myself that everyone in my community near and far knew me as. For the entirety of my dread journey, I was deeply nourished and comforted by this identity and couldn't really imagine a life without my dreads; as they were a big source of who I thought I was at my core.

It wasn't until about a month ago where things started to change for me. KnotzNLocs- my full time job and greatest creative pursuit began to slow down at a level that truly shocked me. I was living as a full time creator for several years at this point; and I knew no other life aside from art and design. With business slowing and income subsiding; there were deep insecurities surfacing. Fear and panic began to creep in; and uncertainty about what my next steps were began to burrow in my subconscious and for the first time in my artistic pursuit; I was afraid to lose what I worked so hard to create. This process required my presence to grieve with deep reverence for the journey; I sat with myself and simply held space for my aching heart. I experienced years of radical fulfillment from the magic of my craft; on spiritual, mental, emotional and financial levels- my craft truly held me in the deepest of ways for so long- it was easy to get used to that level of abundance and bliss. As things began to slow down for KnotzNLocs; realistic questions regarding income began to penetrate my mind and I knew I was being asked to shift, evolve and open my heart to something new. This was a very painful reality to face considering I felt so deeply attached my my craft and the ways in which it held me after all of these years. I worried that if the universe asked for me to get a job and be okay with being uncomfortable - that I would no longer be a "successful artist". This feeling hit me deep, and I allowed myself to feel it all- even if it was an untrue concept in my mind. After a period of deep feeling and integration; I understood that just because times are tougher and things are slower- and just because I may have to pick up a part time job to make ends meet; that I am still an incredible and multifaceted artist and designer. I had to truly feel the weight and pain of that fear; to then realize that it's okay if my journey requires me to step into something new and mysterious. It's okay to feel fear and to be scared. It's okay to be uncertain and unsure.

With some time to integrate and process my emotions; I've come to recognize that I'm not giving up on my craft, but I am being asked to let go. To let go of my attachments for what i've built, to let go of fears around loss, to let go of the deep identity that was rooted in my craft. This release took honor, respect, and sincere gratitude. I speak into this because remember when I mentioned my dreads and my business were like sidekicks? Well after doing some digging around the topic of identity and attachments; I was sitting in meditation one evening when I received a direct download from my higher self/source/mystery that touched upon the concept of cutting my hair off. Immediately following this download I bursted into tears and sobbed. I cried and I cried and I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. After this deeply moving emotional experience I began to do the inner work and stay curious around why such vulnerability was sourcing from the potential of cutting my locs out. I identified how much I couple my art and my hair, and how the possibility of letting got of both of them seemed to destroy everything I thought I was. This concept both excited and terrified my inner folds. I continued to entertain this idea with an open heart and a clear mind; and through this; the calling to cut my hair became stronger and stronger. I became very interested in who I was outside of my craft and my hairstyle identity; and the curiosity lit a fire within me. At first; I was planning on cutting my hair out in the Autumn when the leafs fall and the season changes. Then after some mediation; that changed to my birthday which is late August, then the feeling to cut my hair became so strong that I couldn't hold back anymore.

It is often misunderstood that the only way to remove dreads is by shaving your head. And while that might be the easiest route to take; it is not the only one. In my early stages of contemplation; I was leaning towards cutting my hair very short because I didn't have much faith around actually being able to brush/comb out the dreads. I began to be curious around brushing them out and maybe being able to salvage some of the remaining hair. So there I was; about to embark on the journey of dread removal. I sat myself in front of my mirror with candles and my favorite Spotify playlist; and began. My removal tool of choice was a vintage silver fork; I know- very Little Mermaid of me. I chose this tool because quite honestly; it's all I had at the time and it was proving to be efficient. It was on the New Moon in Leo when I began the process, it took me around 2 days to fully remove all the knots and roughly averaged at about 11 hours total of time spent combing them all out. Prior to the removal I was doing oil treatments and deep conditionings to loosen up the knots so that I may remove them with greater ease. This helped significantly and the combing process wasn't as difficult as I once thought. I was deeply inspired by the natural flow and timing of this experience; Leo season offers us an energy that's bold, authoritative, and confident. Leo is a fire sign, and fire is the element of action, motion, and creation. Leo's energy tends to run hot and bright — happy to shine and perform. New moons are all about new intentions, new moves, open opportunity, and growth- and to cut my dreads off after 7 years on the new moon in Leo- lets just say this was very divinely timed!

All of my combed out hair was packed up in a linen cloth topped with dried herbs and mushrooms and tied up for closure. This pouch of my hair is in the process of being buried into the earth. Considering I have deep respect for my dread journey and all the places i've gone, moments i've experienced, and lessons i've learned; I couldn't simply discard all of my newly released hair. Cultivating a honorable ceremony and burial felt like an appropriate way for me to fully close this epic chapter. In the earth this journey will return, with love, blessings, inspiration and gratitude. The following Friday I had planned to sit in a Entheogen Mushroom ceremony & spiritual baptism with a group of women to fully create space for my grieving process and rebirth. Choosing to support myself through this ceremony was a key facet of my integration. I brought my packed up hair to place on the alter, and through this ceremonial experience; gave myself full permission to feel it all.

I can honestly say that releasing 7 years of dreads was one of the most emotionally impacting experience of my entire life. I felt and processed more big emotions this week than I have through my whole journey on earth. From fear to uncertainty, to bliss and excitement, to confusion and clarity, and grief and loss and so much more- I witnessed myself move through an incredible range of human feelings; and was deeply inspired by how I let "myself" go. In the midst of my Friday evening mushroom ceremony, I had the extraordinary opportunity to be fully seen, heard, and acknowledged through my process by a group of woman who truly honored me for all that I brought. I am deeply moved by the care, love, and support I received in this extremely potent chapter of my life. A few days after this ceremony, on August 1st; I made my appointment for my official haircut and moved forward with the process of release.

A mid summer shoulder length haircut was the perfect dose of medicine that my life called for. I feel lighter, brighter, and more beautiful and clear that I ever have. I feel bold, confident, open and ready for whatever else life offers to me. I listened to the innermost callings with alignment and authenticity. I looked within to inner-stand my attachments, my insecurities, and my identity at large and challenged each with a blazing passion for self discovery. I faced my fears, and hugged them thoroughly. I've come to recognize that my dreadlocks acted like a really awesome and unexpected guest that visited my home. They came with stories, wisdom, healing, experiences and so much fun. Their visit was nothing short of a miracle. With a deeply filled heart, I opened my door for their grand departure. Wiping my tears with a loving smile as they drifted away, the same way they drifted into my life.

And so the next chapter begins. And with it I am taking with me some incredible life lessons that will continue to support me through my days. I want to give you a huge shout out if you've made it this far in my blog post. Odds are if you're still here with me; you have followed along my journey for some time and witnessed this metamorphosis through my posting on social media. I want to offer my deepest thanks and most sincere gratitude for your admiration and loving support through this past chapter of my life. I truly lived life freely in every sense; and I am touched to have felt and continue to feel the depth of the love you share with me. It feels that i'm not just opening a new chapter, I'm starting a whole new book all together.

Oh and don't worry; I still plan on creating and weaving one of a kind crystalized talismans for the home and body. Stay tuned for the juicy magic that is currently brewing, I am only getting started!

Blessings and Gratitude ~ Mycelia Jane
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