I’m standing in a juice bar stocking up on fresh juice for my 3-day cleanse. Not only am I wearing my baggy house clothes, but I’m bald. And I’m a woman. And I look pretty bad.
There are three other people in the tiny shop, all waiting on their juice orders. I suddenly realize that they are in the position I’ve been in so many times before: The “Oh gosh, that poor person. Look at them. They must have cancer. Or some horrible disease. No wait, don’t stare.”
I grin at them. They look awkwardly away.
I’m surprised at myself. For one thing, I’ve realized for the first time in my life that not worrying about being pretty is awesomely liberating. I realize I don’t give a rat’s ass how I look.
It’s a funny feeling having no way to hide. I could wear a wig, but I just don’t care enough. It’s hot, I’m tired, and chemo is kicking my butt.
Everything is fully exposed: forehead wrinkles, saggy neck, heck even the shape of my skull.
Here I’ve spent 30 years with my long blonde flowing hair and pretty makeup, fully invested in how I show myself to the world. Now I look 10 years older, bald, pale, and parched.
My ability to control how I look to others has largely been taken away from me. I can’t shape how people see me to the degree I used to.
The next day, I get a text from my mom about some new bald photos of me that have made it onto Facebook. She assures me I don’t look that bad in person and that I must really be getting a big test having to do with stripping away all my ego.
I whimper in response, “So you think I really look that bad?”
I hesitate. I could untag myself in Facebook. Or I could suck it up and get over myself. And that’s exactly what I decide to do. I leave the awful photos up.
By the way, this email is not about vanity, or feeling good about yourself. It’s about control and identity: Who we are and what we expect life to give us as a result of how we control how others see us. Identity is our deeper layer. Think vanity on the outside, and identity on the inside.
Vanity is fueled by lack-thinking.
Self-worth is fueled by feeling good about yourself.
And identity is fueled by many things, including your comfort with yourself at the deepest level, your ability to shift and flow with your changing identity, and by letting go of your need to control others’ perceptions of you.
I discover that I’m tired of trying to control everyone’s perceptions of me and my identity. I don’t need to look any certain way to do my work, so why did I ever think I had to?
If you like me, if you get me, its because you hear my heart, and my ideas and teachings make sense. My bald head is irrelevant. My vanity is irrelevant.
And, if you know me, you know that I’m always looking for ways and places where I’m leaking my inner power. “Can I close that gap? Can I shut off that leak?” I constantly ask.
For me, my manifesting is fueled by my inner power and clarity. I create what I am. This is why the whole “being-bald-thing” has become so interesting for me.
I think about all my fellow Flowdreamers and M.E. Schoolers, many of whom who also suffer with the same need to get their bosses, family, and partner to want to see them in a certain way.
Our identity is on the line: “Here’s how I want you to see me,” we gush with every breath. “If you see me this way, then that’s how I’ll see myself.”
Do you know what happens next? We not only then end up trying to control our own lives, but we try to control how everyone else feels about us too.
Think about that sister-in-law whom you keep trying to get to like you. Not only do you have to do the right things, and be the right way, but I bet you have to present the right “look” as well. And by extension, your house has to present the right look, or your car or even your kids.
Think about how you want your clients or co-workers to perceive you. What clothes do you wear for them? How do you do up your face or hair for them?
Think of the hundreds of people whom you want to feel certain ways about you, and what you do to try to get them to see you how you want them to see you.
Think of the effort and worry you go through to “come across’ a certain way, with a certain look that fits in to your job or community.
Know what? It’s not working anyway. Some people will think you’re pretty, or handsome. No matter what you do, some people will think you’re ugly. Some people will think you’re smart. And some people will think you’re not so bright.
Some of your family will think you’re greedy or uncaring, and some will love you.
Some of your coworkers will think you’re overweight, and some will think you look perfect.
And this isn’t up to you. And that’s a good thing.
So why is this even important? What does this have to do with manifesting, or even Flow?
In Flowdreaming, I talk a lot about personal energy and power. Personal energy is like our battery. When we use up our power trying to control the perceptions of people around us, we end up draining our power instead of using it for better things, like creating and manifesting in ease and alignment.
Your identity is inside you. It should be strong and healthy. How people perceive you is outside you”¦it’s not your job to try to control that.
If you do, then you’re losing heaps of your precious emotional energy every day engaging in invisible tug of wars as you try to persuade the world around you to see you the way you need to be seen.
Being bald has changed my identity, for sure. And so do things like losing a leg, being in a wheelchair, going blind, coping with ongoing pain, aging, discovering your gender identity or orientation, coming home from war, downsizing from a big fancy house to a small apartment, becoming an empty nester, being divorced or widowed”¦thousands of things impact who you are in big and small ways all through your life.
What I want you to remember is to keep your power through them. Let go of controlling the world. Control yourself instead. Partner with your Flow. Work on your insides, and let the right stuff align to your outsides.
I’m going to help you do this right now. Up top, I posted one of those horrible photos of me. My husband has even cleverly Photoshopped a cool blue Mohawk onto it. (No I do not have a mohawk for real….but if I did…so what, right?!)
Now, how can this inspire YOU to let go of some need to have others see you a certain way?
Post your insights below. I’d love to read them. And inspire the rest of us!
I’m late to read this post – but you should TOTALLY get a blue mohawk – although I’d go for a more electric blue hue if I were you
Summer, i thought the mohawk was for real! And BTW, I couldn’t believe you were pulling it off! You may think I’m trying to be kind or being or PC but I’m actually just surprised about my response to your look. I think you look absolutely beautiful! Now, perhaps because what we get to see is YOU, the you we hear on your podcast, that voice we already fell in love with! It’s not important why, the fact is I have a completely contrasting opinion about how you look to the one you express in the blog. You think you look like you have cancer and people are feeling sorry for you, or that you just look like you don’t care. I, not knowing, you had cancer, would see you as a really ballsy young woman who is beautiful and confident enough that she can choose that look and not care that some people may react to her disfavorably. You look healthy and youthful and edgy. It’s just how I see it. Thank you for posting this blog. I know it’s been some time since you wrote it, but it’s one of those that will always resonate to those who have fallen victim to the world’s perception of them-or 98.99999 percent of the world’s population.
I just found you today on FaceBook – you came up in my feed. I listened to one of your podcasts this morning and sent it off to my daughter. We are working on a project together and your link went into our notes for referral.
Here I am later in the day researching your website and I find my way to this blog post. I want to tell you look younger in this picture! You beauty shines, for you, hair is optional. Sending healing your way. <3
Love this writing! If that is a bad bald picture we have different ideas of what is bad 🙂 I sometimes feel unattractive because of my age. Funny, even though you get older somehow inside you really don’t feel older. I feel old when others treat me, speak to me like I am old.
You look beautiful Summer! Hair is so overrated. I see the beautiful blue of your crystal clear eyes. I see a perfect complexion that can’t be lessened even by the absence of hair. I see a fiercely strong woman who is working to nurture and support her followers even during a challenging life event. I see love radiating from you.
Thank you for this message. I had a serious meltdown probably at the time you were writing this blog. My meltdown was about what you talked about, always trying to be what everyone else wants from you and never feeling good enough despite all efforts to please someone else. I lost so much emotional energy and it didn’t change one thing. I made a promise to myself to just accept me as I am because if I really look at me through eyes of truth, I am pretty damned incredible.
I see each and every cell in your body responding to the treatments that you are receiving. I see the Christ light shining even more brightly through you and that light shattering and splintering all that is not perfection in your body. Your messages of being in Flow have truly added to my wellbeing.
Rest, allow yourself to be still. Allow yourself to heal.
As for your mother pointing out that an unflattering picture was posted on Facebook. I say to her, if what you have to say is not going to add to your child’s healing, keep your mouth shut!
I have enjoyed you show over the years. I love the picture above.
I voluntarily shaved my head 2 years ago at the age of 43. I had had long hair since I was a child and I desperately needed a change in my life. The only person I consulted before I did it, was my boss. Working as a casual I wanted to make sure I would still have a job after doing the deed.
I asked a hairdresser friend of mine to shave my head. She was more nervous about the shave than I was. On the way home, I was rugged up and at the bus stop when I had a driver yell from his car, “Go back to your f*#@%ing commune!!”. The first few weeks I was terrified by others reactions. I even had a little old lady in a supermarket shy away from me and walk back into shelving. I don’t believe I look like a thug. I was hoping I had more of a look of a Tibetan nun.
Going back to work after Christmas and one week after the deed, was what I was worried about. I work in a sheltered workshop with people of various disabilities. They were shocked at first. They got used to it, but were bizarrely obsessed with it. One thing they all wanted to do was keep feeling my head. It got to the stage my boss had to mention at a meeting to stop touching my head.
Here in Australia, we raise money for people with cancer by getting sponsors then shaving our heads, or those a little less adventurous by colouring our hair. Many had asked if I had done it for that reason. Most just didn’t get I wanted a change.
It was so liberating. I didn’t have to worry about washing my hair all the time. I could go swimming at the local pool and not have to worry about the after effects of chlorine and split ends.
I also discovered how much our own identity is associated with our hair. I can’t tell you how many times I have had women say they couldn’t do it. The thing is it grows back. The only thing I can compare it to is going skinny dipping, but you come out of the water you get to put you clothes back on again.
I went to visit a friend in hospital, who was having treatment for lung cancer. A mutual friend was there. I did have a hat on and they new something was up. Both were shocked, but then the mutual friend turned around and said she wanted to get our friends together and the rest of them do the same to support our crook friend.
After a few weeks I stopped noticing other peoples reactions and just enjoyed the wind blowing on, and the feel of the stubble on my own head. I also got on with my life. Stuff what others thought, I stopped noticing. As I said, it was liberating. .
I also got the chance to do one thing I wanted to know. Does hair grow quicker if it is cut between the new and full moons? I still haven’t experimented enough to say yes, but I am still having it measured when I have it cut. Last time was back in January. This January it will happen again and maybe in a year’s time I will have an answer.
I will never grow my hair as long again. Maintenance it really isn’t worth the time or the money. The morning routine was also dramatically shortened My friends see me for me. If others choose to only see the lack of hair, they are not worth wasting my time on. Simple.
Hey there wild child, I Love it!
We should all experience what it feels like to cut loose in our life and know what it feels like to un-worry how people look at us superficially;)
Beauty is about what shines from the inside out. You are strength and you are certainly empowering it as well as hitting everyday with your mission. We are all humans, we have our days when we need to hide from the world and gather our energy, our strength, our recharge. And then there are the days where we conquer with ambition behind a little bit of fear that fuels our desire to keep on, in whatever that may mean to us.
A gryphon, taking all that may be in the “perspective” of negative and using it as a tool, an instrument to come back further and add to your Superwoman resume, along with adding all that is need to whatever inspiration is needed!
huh. i think you look GREAT!
we are always harshest on ourselves, right? i know that can happen for me.
and what FREEDOM you are creating for yourself .to just be. long blond hair, no hair, blue hair, whatever. your hair doesn’t make you who you are. such a level of self acceptance.
keep rockin’ it. keep rockin’ it all.
sending you blessings, light, and love. may your healing be full and complete.
you have filled my life with so many good things, good thoughts, words that have changed my entire way of thinking, and i loved talking to you once or twice as well- what a treat! I know you are in good hands and well cared for. i love this post. I was in a car accident about a year ago and have a brain injury. sometimes we have to learn to walk, talk, and think all over again just as if we were a new person. And wow, i really can’t be concerned about what someone thinks of my dark glasses or my herky jerky speech or any of that. its straight up heal-o- rama time, and being blessed with people who care is so good. I am sending the best kick ass angel i know to sit beside you Summer. you are and always will be beautiful. i first knew you just by your voice and your voice opened so many doorways to me, that your voice is your beautiful! I love you and Venus so much. Thank you for gracing us with your heart. S.
Dear Summer, You finally learned the lesson and 1st time in almost 10 years that I’ve heard your name on Hay House radio I can say: You look stunningly beautiful. Congrats 🙂
Blessings & greetings from Croatia, Ana Marija
I think you are beautiful. I think bald is beautiful on anyone, choice or not. That’s my opinion but I like your ” not pretty” pic better, it shows more of who you really are. I wear sweats and a hoodie almost always, could care less if I’m judged on my clothes. I learned a few years ago that the people I really want to attract are the people who find me beautiful when I am purely and honestly me. No makeup, no fuss, just exactly who I am. The confidence is greater when you feel sexy in a t-shirt, sweat pants and messy hair. Why not? So go ahead and own it, it’s who you are and that’s very beautiful. Natural beauty not “no more pretty.” I know its hard to go through change that you can’t control, take what you learn about suffering and let it fill you up in positive ways, this is what you can control.
You are stunning in this picture. A strong and sexy goddess.
Hi Summer, Perfectly said. Truly.
I hope people take what you are saying to heart. Think of the gifts that are missed by all of us when we aren’t open enough to see a person’s true essence.
The diseased shallow judgement people put on themselves and others is “life force draining”. A total poor use of our earth time. But as you said—-how liberating to get it!
Cheers to you for sharing your insight with everyone! You ARE beautiful! Keep on going! Wishing you continued healing and blessings,
Just because your outside doesn’t match the picture in your head that doesn’t mean you’re not pretty. Lately I’ve heard this from a lot of beautiful women in all different ages, stages, and places in life and I’ve been completely taken aback. You’re beautiful. And that photo is totally rad. All the best.
You look beautiful! Your smile is amazing.
tbh you look pretty gorgeous but then that’s not the point…as you always tell us it’s how you feeeel, which is much more radical! Thank you always for your amazing consciousness, your Summer-ness is such a gift to the world, you’re an inspiration, a light, a rare, truthful beautifully human treasure of a person – thanks for being yourself so beautifully, I’m sure we all agree on this…we love you!!! xxxx
You are my hero! Your blogs are funny, sweet, inspirational and always give me a new way to look at life. You are consistently planting seeds, Summer!
To be honest, I never really think about how you look. I know you as that sweet voice that taught me during our private sessions, that guided us through our group calls and that speaks to me each week through your podcasts. That’s the Summer I know and love. You can have no hair, hair flowing to the floor or a lovely purple mohawk….you’re still our dearest, loving spirit, Summer McStravick!
Summer you are beautiful. I struggle daily with issues concerning lack of self worth. I could never be as strong as you. I am afraid I will have to undergo something horrible so I will grow. You are amazing.
Summer you are radiant! <3 (even without the cool mohawk 🙂 Your beauty shines from within you and burst out with light and sparkles for all to see. That outside stuff, hair, make-up is just a part of the mask that we wear. I have worn wigs and weaves for years and as a model. I relied too much on giving people what I thought they wanted to see. But really – Who cares! I shouldn't. You shouldn't. I've learned that no matter what I look like on the outside, my beauty lives inside of me. Everyone has an opinion, and that's great for them. It's not my job to be concerned with it. I let go of that need for control, a big leap for self love and self acceptance. Hurray! You've taught me so much over the years and I love you dearly. Thank you. *~<3 Love & Healing~ <3 *
Summer, your hair was like a crown, a hat or a wig, but not necessary to make you beautiful. You are a natural beauty with or without enhancements, beautiful inside and out. Love and healing!
I think you look beautiful in that picture.
I love it!!! You GO with your bold and beautiful self!!! You radiate all that is gorgeous in every woman! I love you! Happy healing and happy shining your sparkly light for all to see life brighter! Xoxoxox Anzu
I can’t speak for others but I can speak for myself. My energies are totally wrapped in 2 specific anxieties: one regarding lack of reliability and dependability, a quality highly valued in the workplace where I’ve been let go for my tardiness/absences and with my mother (who, at one point, once didn’t want to speak orbe associated with me for over 3 months); the other is my physical appearance of to other people (which has long as followed me since ever since I became self-conscious of it when I was 11). Those two anxieties have stayed with me and have been severe enough to keep me home and from participating in my own life. I haven’t been officially diagnosed but I’m probably a text-book case of having body dysmorphic disorder. The sad thing is that even if people draw their perception of me or show pics of people who look closely like me to me, it only reinforces the self-perception that I have that I’m ugly. Some compared an anxiety attack much like going on a spending spree and spending a reserve of money you need to function and blowing it quickly, leaving you exhausted and depressed. Leading to the third, the perceptions going around mental illness.
I’m not writing this response for advice or for sympathy, but to commend you on your courage to not let your hang-ups prevent you from living your life as it has mine. Live Strong and maybe one day I will find the courage to do so too. – Myri
Summer, you look beautiful. I see you as beautiful because you eminate beauty from the inside. It doesn’t matter what your hair looks like,
so what if you have a bad hair day or week or month or year.
You still look beautiful because you eminate that beauty from inside to outside of you! Keep doing it! It inspires me.
Great blog, you make good points.
I think you look beautiful – good on you for helping so many during such a difficult time. Sending you much love xx
Sending you love and best wishes from Suffolk in the UK. Remember beauty is not just on the outside. It’s the beauty on the inside that counts. By the way I think you look great. Xxxxxxxxxxx
beautiful insights in your article. Regarding your cancer issue, don’t you know about the Truth about Cancer? I recommend watching you the documentary from Ty Bollinger:
I think, this documentary will open your eyes on this topic and will help you heal in accordance with your flowdreaming.
I only noticed a beautiful smile. And a brave woman who is setting a beautiful example.
Whoa, I posted yesterday, now read the article. I SEE what it’s about for you & it helped me alot to read the article. I’ve never even done external things to influence this. But the “tug-of-war” takes place internally more subtly anyway. HUGE realization for me. Thank you for opening my eyes to myself. <3 S.
You look beautiful! ?? When you are beautiful on the inside, it shines through to the outside.
Sorry… I don’t know where all those question marks came from! I didn’t submit it like that. ????
Bald is beautiful, and so are you!?????? You look pretty with or without hair. I think the point is not how we physically look to everyone else, but that we feel beautiful inside. And that’s what I see in you… A pretty woman!
Summer from what I can see you are gorgeous. It is not about the cover, but what is the book. You are so inspirational, vibrant and full of life. Bless you and your journey. You have enlightened me to many things.
Summer, I think of you as:
We would never see the stars without a moment of darkness! Your beauty is a seed within your soul which changes season by season…just like a flower. The flower never looks the same, yet, we accept it’s beauty year after year without noticing the differences. We love your colorful personality, creativity, exterior images of extraordinary beauty. We love all of who you are no matter what color your hair is, what style you give with flare, what simplistic prettiness you share in your smile.
Enjoy you and yours forever!
Hang in there puddy cat. You are loved. You are such a good writer. I look forward to anything you write. The photos are a must!!. ha!
I have encountered so many people in my life who become more beautiful (or ugly) as they reveal their souls/nature. Beauty truly does come from within, and people recognize it in others whether it is a feeling they give off, or because it is as if they have a angelic light around them. I think the beauty comes from a belief system that is deeply rooted in gratitude and an abundance mindset, which is something I strive everyday to focus my “flow” on! 🙂
Summer you are beautiful. This journey and the way you are growing and learning from it, makes you even more beautiful.
We are all learning from your learning from being vulnerable and being powerful. Of your learning on breaking apart and developing your integrity. Thank you for being such an inspiration.
I don’t normally post comments but I just wanted to tell you that you look beautiful! Beauty is within and if you are beautiful inside it will show outside regardless of how you wear your hair, what clothes you put on… Have an awesome day!
I guess I see things differently. Beauty to me, starts in the heart. A girl starstruck me with her beauty. She would get up, brush up and go. No make up, no frills, just her. If we went somewhere, she would get up from her chair and walk out to the car. None of the, wait let me check the mirror stuff.
As for your average “let me look in the mirror” before we go babe, not interested. She knows how I feel and who cares about the rest of the world?
Be who you are with all your heart,
You are STRONG , thats the zing you bring, in so many lives .. I havnt seen the photo yet due to bad network , But thats irrelevant .
You are visible love . Hope to see u someday and smile for no reason .
Summer, I have so much love for you. I feel like I’ve seen so many incarnations over the last decade or so and I’ve thought every single one of them is flawless. You look amazing. The mohawk rocks, too. Maybe you can consider this! 🙂 Thinking of you always. Sending love and hugs –
Who are we? It’s not our hair or our skin or our clothes. The essence of our God Selves (Goddess / God) is seen when we look into our eyes. The sparkle and the shine of our divinity is within. Just hard to remember when we all focus so much on the external. Our lives are short in the eternal. It’s still hard for me to NOT want the pretty picture. So when I am so focused on ME…I try to remember to look into another’s eyes and see only their beauty….and then it reminds me of mine. So dear God forgive me when I whine over the perceived losses in my life. This moment I am alive. This moment is all any of us ever have. Enjoy! Much love to you Summer and this special journey we are all sharing. Radiant is so much better than pretty.
As the Flamingos sang it, “I only have eyes for you…”
You are still BEAUTIFUL!
Bless you Summer for sharing your journey with is all. You are gorgeous inside and out!
OMG Summer, you look amazing. You have been such an inspiration to me for years and I wanted you to know that!
You just look like the ‘wild’ woman I imagine you to be! It takes a lot of moxie to not give a s@#t! Rock on, girl, you’ve got this!!!
You are BEAUTIFUL period. Your are loved for your love and honesty . Thank you for sharing, your sharing is a teaching. As I write I am tingling and when I tingle like this I know Spirit is with me and I know at a deep level that you will be fine. There are no lessons for you to learn, you are just having an amazing opportunity to teach us all . Thank you
It’s like that saying on the Internet. If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes, only then would you realize how special you are to me. You have touched and changed my life and probably so many of your other flowdreamers. You have empowered me and made it possible to take gentle control of my problems. Thank you. I only have seen a few pictures but have listened to you for over five years. I love my flowdreams and your podcast. I also have some of your Moms mojo’s. Thank you for teaching me how to guide my life
Nice pic Summer.. Sending love and light to you….
You are be-a-u-tiful inside and out!!! Gorgeous you are!!
Bald or not, I don’t see an ounce of ugliness there! All I see is a beautiful spirit shining right into everyone that looks at this picture of you!
Never mind what other people see. I’ve always believed that if you are true to yourself and love yourself inside, that also reflects on the outside as it clearly does with you!
Interestingly, I find that people who judge others by the way they look, judge themselves by the same criteria and therefore cannot see that how they see others is merely a reflection of their own fears and self-criticisms.
All the more reason to not give a #$%^ about how others perceive you! More power to you for being so strong while working through this part of your life’s journey! I send you love and appreciation for sharing your experience with us.
Summer, you are stronger, braver and more beautiful than you know. You are an inspiration to us all. Sending you healing thoughts and prayers…
It is always impossible to respond to such sincerity and openness, but one feels to try, even if to say only “thank you.”
Strength to strength!
Kiss your soul
clouse your eyes
wait for the song
wait for your song
the song of yours
the beautys dance
Sorry, I just saw this it is Photoshopped. Sorry about that. You look great with a Mohawk 🙂
I was expecting to see something way different then I read your email. You are far from looking awful. I looked at your picture and said wow she is so beautiful. Where is the awful because I do not see it at all. You still look gorgeous to me.
Summer you are absolutely beautiful. You are truly an inspiration!
You are gorgeous in every way!
I hope you’re watching Ty Bollinger’s series, The Truth About Cancer. It’s an amazing documentary and will give you a big boost of optimism and information and alternative thinking. I know you’re using all the arrows in your quiver… maybe you’ll find a few more.
Man, losing your hair could have been one of the best things you have done for us. No glorious mane to distract us from those intensive eyes and sparkling smile. We get to see more of YOU!!!
Pretty is not hair or makeup – it filters out past those elements. I’ve spent a lifetime surrounded by ‘beauty’ real and fake and still, it’s all in the smile and the eyes.
Now we get to see a whole new level of ‘pretty’. I think you are pretty damn awesome right there. P.S. Was a bit disappointed the mohawk wasn’t real. It’s a great colour on you 😉
Your out look is so inspiring, and we all need to learn to accept & love ourselves for who we are, just as you have said, and learn not to be so bothered by other people’s perceptions of us.
Take great care .
You still look really beautiful! It’s because you radiate from within.
Yay ! Seems like you’re FIGHTING – just reading the email & looking at the picture (not having read the whole article yet). Check out Rikka Zimmerman. Healed St.4 CA in ~4 mos. using LOVE & life-enhancing medical tools.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT FOR YOU ?!
Love to you, & celebration.
You look beyond pretty, your depth, humanity, wisdom and inner attractiveness shine through and come together to make you stunningly BEAUTIFUL!
Hang in there sister, you rock (with or without the Mohawk)!
You still look pretty! I like the new Indian hairdo
please please watch the truth about cancer its live tonight. i cant stop thinking about having to tell you this. maybe you have already but please watch the series.
all my love kimberly
PS you are beautiful!!!
Years ago, I ended up with a real bad haircut, I actually looked as it I had had chemo, bald patches on the side, i was unable to so do anything with it, other than wear a wig and really I wasn’t that vain either…I decided to affirm instead that I was not my hair, because I wasn’t. I figured that if I felt uncomfortable about it, I would draw more attention to it – the old adage ‘whatever we resist persists’…
Likewise when I went insolvent, I decided I was not my money, as to not make the experience shameful, because after all it was societies or cultural values that makes us judge ourselves. When we hold and affirm who we really are, none of it matters.
Our inner beauty and being shines on! Keep shining xx
Thank you for showing us how to take charge of our power and not to give it away. You are strong you are smart and yes you are still beautiful.
You are beautiful! Please try to love yourself. Forgive those that look at you with questionable eyes. Your body needs all the positive it can get.
Take care of yourself. Hugs and kisses!
If more non-bald people smiled like you, they’d look way more beautiful. It’s your smile, not your hair, that makes you beautiful. You are gorgeous.
You’re not even bald, Summer. I was expecting some horrible, sickly looking photo after the email I just read. You look great! A lot different than how I’m used to seeing you, but you look happy, energetic and like a bad-ass momma! Even if you were looking sickly and bald, I know your inner light would still have been shining, which is why I chose to click the link and see the photo. Keep on rockin’ 🙂
You look beautiful on the inside where it matters. And no, you don’t look that bad on the outside, either. I love the mohawk – it’s a good look for you.
Lots of Love
As another person pointed out, you have a beautiful face that is pretty with or without hair! I have made the same remarks about some women that I think are so beautiful that they would even be beautiful bald. You have an internal beauty that shines bright and you are actually one of those people that are pretty without hair! Flow dreaming is also something beautiful that you have brought to the world to help others. I see only beauty inside and out for you Summer.
For the record, you are freakin’ gorgeous and nothing, not baldness, not chemo, will ever take that away from you. Nothing, honey. And second, you should totally rock a blue mohawk because I think this picture is f**kin’ awesome!!! Perhaps when you have to go through that awkward hair growing in stage you finally will give yourself permission to try on all the fun and silly stuff that having ideal, golden, beautiful hair didn’t let you do. Just a thought. You are such an inspiration to me! Keep rockin’ it, Summer!! xoxo
You look younger (- in a Miley Cyrus kinda way )
As we say in the uk – well trendy ??
This too will pass and with your fabulous attitude and strength you’ll soon have your own hair back and I would go for a short trendy style – it really isn’t an ugly photo in the slightest X
Lots of love
Sincerely, you still look beautiful. Sending positive energy to you. I’m grateful for all you teach us about flow!
Here is one of my favorite Flowdream messages (can’t remember which Flowdream I borrowed it from):
“When people see me they recognize my beauty, they look right past anything I may have been self-conscious about, they only notice the beauty I radiate.”
This affirming phrase has given me much confidence over the years. Nearly every time I’ve said this to myself someone will offer me a sincere compliment within 24 hours. Sometimes those compliments don’t necessarily have anything to do with my outward appearance, but I recognize that people are responding to my energy or what I like to refer to as my gorgeousity.
There is no horribleness in this photo. I see a bright smile, soulful eyes, and an inner rockstar!
Actually the mohawk is cool Summer – I’d try that out when you’ve got hair again! I hope you feel the power of all the people holding space to support you.
You look beautiful. To me, you are glowing.
If you look gorgeous with a blue Mohawk, you can be confident in your beauty. I like the Mohawk…you may want to have some fun when your hair grows back.
Oh yeah, don’t be surprised if you end up as a curly haired ginger. Strange things can when hair grows back after chemo.
…and compliments to your husband on the great photoshopping! Hats off to him 🙂
Haha! Just started reading the other posts after I gave my comments and I think we are all in agreement…what no more pretty??!!! Get outta town! Beauty lives regardless.
Still seems ok. I’d still hit it, as they say.
First, I love the photo with your head partially shaved. The way you look should be totally irrelevant! It’s what is on the inside that really counts.
If someone wants to judge you by how you look on the outside, they have a lot to learn about people, in general.
The raggiest person could be or maybe has been, a very influential person at another time in life. Many wealthy “dress down” to go unnoticed.
If more people could get past their vanity, and look for the good in all, the world would be a much better place.
Bald is beautiful!! As are you.
Love & Hugs
Girlfriend, you look gorgeous!!!!!! I had no idea about your diagnosis, but just work it! I don’t know what you mean by “no more pretty”. The way you described how you saw yourself or felt you looked, I expected an aged bag. Girl! Get out of here. You look great and then some. Best wishes and blessings on your journey.
For a time I was homeless (not on the street but had no address). I had slept in my clothes, felt like a complete failure, was totally depressed, had not bathed or brushed my teeth or combed my hair (all very important things, I used to think). I met a friend on the street. She said “You look wonderful.” I thought she was crazy. All day people told me “You must be doing well. You obviously got up and took care of yourself and came out.” I realized, I think I learned it from my Mom, that I project an image and that is what people see. It doesn’t correspond one to one with physical things. You see my energy. I think I project ‘stylish’ as protection but at that time, I had left everything – job, man, home, everything that defined me and my energy might have been much more buoyand than my person. Now I was in a position to express my Self. We are beautiful. We don’t look beautiful. We are Beauty. I can See Beauty. Next trip to the coffee shop, some guy might try and pick you up.
Honestly, when I read your email I was expecting to see some horrible picture. But instead you look like a cute toddler, cherubic!
I wanted to ask you some time ago, what happened to your love for Opera singing? Maybe its time to belt out an aria!
Wishing you health, happiness and new artistic endeavours! E
Stop it you look beautiful, and the beauty coming from inside and it shows on you I wish you a quick recovery, and god bless you
I think you look stunning. Well maybe because I am bald myself and walk around without a wig (alopecia totalis) since i am 5-7 yrs old.
I learned in an early stage that I could choose to be with a wig or without a wig and I choose to be without one because, well … I am bald.
So to me it was a bit confronting to read the titel no more pretty because I dont think a head full of hair makes someone look pretty. Anyway,
Sending you lots of love , hugs and positive energy. Go rock this world again sweetie x
Summer, you just can’t help it! You’re still beautiful! The photo reminds me of a phrase I’ve heard guys say: “That girl would look good bald!” But I love your message. It reminds me of when I’m with family; I don’t have to worry how I look or even think much at all about how I’m coming across; I feel free and happier. I’m sending you loads and loads of love and healing. XXOOG
The photoshopped mohawk is pretty kick-ass. You are a beautiful being with or without hair, makeup and perfect wardrobe. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for your inner Virgo to accept, at first. Listen to India.Irie’s “I am not my hair”. I think she puts it best. Just consider it as your warrior look!
I have to tell you, this is a beautiful picture of you. I see beauty and a really powerful spirit. Love to you, you are amazing.
Your note brought tears to my eyes and I had to write to let you know that to me you are gorgeous inside and out.
Appreciate you and your amazing strength.
Big love and hugs to you
My goodness, Summer!!! If that is a horrible photo of you, most of us will never, ever post another picture of ourselves… You are still a radiant beauty with an inner light that shines through. Nothing will ever take that away. God bless you Summer, now and always.
Grazie Summer per il tuo coraggio. Grazie per non nasconderti. Oggi mi hai davvero insegnato una cosa importante. Oggi ti ho sentito come una sorella, scusa se lo dico. Ti auguro di trovare ogni benedizione che il tuo cuore desidera. Ti voglio bene. Grazie
Whaaaaat?!? Hey gaarl, you don’t look bad at all!
Cool is the word.
Summer, your true beauty radiates! Awesome pic of a beautiful, confident, inspiring woman!!
I felt the same when I went through my divorce and downsized living situation. Ultimately it made me happier and I found out I loved the perfect feeling life over the perfect looking life.
I enjoyed your thoughtful and thought-provoking post, but, ‘awful bald photo’?
Was expecting something at least slightly rough looking (like what Tyra Banks sets out to do), but I see a posed photo, styled hair, makeup….
Your beauty isn’t and wasn’t from the make up or the hair–it has to do with who you are and your absolute willingness to live life to its fullest, grow, expand and teach the rest of us from what you uncover.
I found it really freeing to enter my 50s and not worry so much about not having a flat stomach or weigh x pounds–I care about my weight but not half as much as my obsessed younger me…. and guess what? I’m THINNER than that obsessed younger me.
So I figure that you will get through this and you will look great after it’s over, and you will have shed a lot of the expectations of what you should look like and you will feel better for it. I just wish you weren’t learning all this through having had cancer and going through chemo.
Much love to you, Summer.
I just wanted to share that many many indigenous native and eastern traditions require the shaving of ones heads as a mandatory part of their initiation process. That the process of shedding the hair creates a newness and a blank template of energy that one can now impress upon….AND yes, it requires that we release controlling and adhering to standards of beauty that are temporal and culturally arbitrary. I commend you for your courage. You do not look bad, you look worked…the universe is working you and you are being refined like a rock that must be tousled and severely jolted in order to become the most refined diamond. Peace & Blessings <3
I get it! Why is it so important to know and control how people see us.
Will we miss opportunities? Not be accepted? Many questions are popping up for me. Great subject for discussion… thank you Summer. You are beautiful inside out.
You hit the spot.
(I’m confused here. No more pretty? I guess we all have our own ideas of what that word means.) It sounds like you have been very challenged by illness and treatments and it makes for a firey initiation into a new stage of life, “10 years older,… with sagging…wrinkled…”. You are still young and beautiful and pretty. What I hear this article saying is much more about your mother’s comments, and your own liberation from them. So many mothers suffer from Dysmorphia, and then as daughters we are constantly held within their impossible barometer. When I got closer to turning 40 my own mother made a comment about how it was so hard to be a woman at my “age.” I do not see life this way – and I do not regard my physical being or self worth the same way she does. I am happily free from her limitations, and when I hear her comments I feel a great sense of empathy and compassion for the conditions of bondage in which so much of the world holds girls and women. On top of that, when we feel lousy physically, it can really do a number on how our eyes see, and how our minds think. We need ADVOCATES for our mental, spiritual, and physical health. Family doesn’t always meet our needs. I like the blue mohawk, but you don’t need it. I wish you’d flaunt your bald beautifulness Here’s to this path and to all the people who are lifted by your courage and curiosity! Here’s to the exploration! Our bodies truly are our temples. Old age is a privilege. Letting go is the way to embracing the Love we are.
Thanks Summer, love your works.
You are a very brave and inspiring lady and your beauty shines through.
A timely reminder for me to go within. I loved your meditation on you are beautiful. (I think that was the title must look it out again. I did it before going out with a group of girl friends and they all noticed even although I did not put effort into the external. Namaste precious lady xxx
Summer, you look beautiful! I was expecting some horrible looking person I wouldn’t recognize. I don’t have cancer and have not gone through what you are, but I certainly identify with being free of worrying about how you look. We live in Ecuador most of the year, and the people here just don’t have the same “what happened to you?” looks when you don’t have any make up or haven’t combed your hair. Very liberating. Hang in there. The world needs you!
Wow Summer, you look gorgeous!!! You look like Charlize Theron in Mad Max!! Your features have been brought out even more!!! You look absolutely beautiful!!! What a babe you are!!!xoxoxo!!
You look Sassy & Sexy to Me ????
It’s funny how people see ugly and beautiful. I don’t think it’s possible for you to anything but beautiful. Just wait until you are actually ten years older. Then you may see actual wrinkles, and yet you’ll see how interesting and beautiful they are.
You don’t need it, Summer, but if it helps someone else, I found that when my sister-in-law was going through the same thing, I saw how bright and beautiful her eyes appeared. No more unfortunate hair styles and colors to try to distract from them.
Wow Summer!!! You look absolutely gorgeous!!! You look like Charlize Theron in Mad Max!! Wow, you are such a babe, and having a shaved head just brought out your gorgeous features even more!!! Stunning!!! Absolutely a knock out!!!:)
I think I wound up on your mailing list after purchasing an audio on flow dreaming a few years ago. I don’t follow your work and for all intents and purposes I probably should have unsubscribed from your mailing list. But, after reading your email today, I was glad I had not. Your message really resonated with me today.
It seems life is a journey of challenges and how they impact you is directly connected to how you engage them. I know that when I let go and let challenge swirl around me without trying to control the end and remember that though I cannot see the future that will come about from experiencing the challenge, I am moving toward MY destination (a place I have asked to go to).
I am not saying you asked for cancer, no one wants that, but I think you are moving toward a place you asked to go to before the cancer began. The challenge with the journey is that the experience can be so tough and overwhelming it is easy to get caught up in the experience and forget about where you asked to go before the journey started.
I do not know where your journey is taking you but like all of our journeys your heart and mind can rest with the knowledge that wherever you are headed is a place chosen by you. Though, I do not know much about you, it is likely you have chosen a great destination. So, here is to your next destination.
So inspiring, so beautiful, with or without hair! Thank you for you and the light you shine out into the world, your teachings have changed my life beyond recognition. Big love and healing to you Summer! xx
Summer… WOW ! Just look at you and that smile. Look into your eyes… all I see is BEAUTY…. Its what we see beyond …. not with the eyes, but through the eyes. LOVE and Warmth and BEAUTY
No more pretty turned into very beautiful. Thanks for sharing this post, very thought provoking.
haha! Summer you look amazing. Celebrities pay big money to get their hair looking exactly like yours. Very thought provoking post – thank you for sharing.
Just writing to say you look lovely I had breast cancer last year had double masectomy (cancer free yay) but your so right I used to worry how I looked how people precived me but you know I don’t care how people percive me anymore since then I have got 2 tattoos and a dermal I do what I want when I want now just got back from travelling around America I would not have done that before its like cancer made me wake big time it’s like I have no fear in me if I can tackle cancer head on I can tackle anything I feel like I’m free love and light always??
I was crying, dealing with a heath crisis, when I just read your powerful post. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It came at the perfect time for me.
You are beyond beautiful!
Summer you look beautiful!
Stay strong…sending healing energy your way!
You glow! It’s true, many of us stand apart and stare at those who are different. We learn to better ourselves as we observe your courage and acceptance. Thank you, your strength of character inspires us.
Who needs “pretty” when you’re bad ass gorgeous?
Thank you for the inspiring post Summer. (And the faux mohawk is stunning!)
OMG! – Summer, What do you mean no more pretty all I see is pretty. Your courage inspires me. The Mohawk looks cool even if it isn’t real. Love to you,
Bless you keep getting better.
I actually love the Mohawk even if it isn’t ” real “! Summer you remind me of what Wayne Dyer once said, that what people think of me is none of my business.
I have recently changed my hair, and I love it. Yet some mornings I wake up and momentarily forget what I now look like. Then the surprise of seeing the ” new” me. I have a picture in my minds eye of what I look like and it hasn’t adjusted yet. My self image has yet to catch up with the new reality. I see this reflected in the eyes of my friends when they see the ” new” me.” I didn’t recognize you!” They say ” you look so different ” if I look different what does that say about what’s going on inside. Perhaps the outside is a reflection of change and renewal on the inside.
Perhaps people love my hair, perhaps they don’t. I do know that it doesn’t define me, but at best it is a reflection of me. What’s important is how I feel about myself,not what anyone thinks of how they see me. After all that is what they are doing, seeing me through their own eyes. Only they know how that looks.
I may take a while to adjust to the new hair, but I’m actually really glad. This is shaking me out of my habitual patterns. It is pushing me beyond my usual boundaries. It is risky and unsafe maybe a little uncomfortable at times. It’s all part of stepping so far outside the box I can’t imagine life back in it.
Sometimes it’s good to get a little scared, it’s surprising what you learn about yourself. Xx
I think you look pretty with hair, no hair, blue mohawk and all! And that twinkle in your eyes never left at all. Keep it up girl! Hugs….
Summer… thank you for your bravery, your openness, your encouragement of others even when you’re going through something that must be incredibly difficult. Your soul beams through this photo, and I see nothing but beauty.
Rock on, girl!
Sending love and wholeness your way…
Thank you, Summer. You’re beautiful. I love this message; it speaks directly to an identity change I’m making right now. I left a job and a career that came with restrictions and self-imposed rules of how to act and live and what to buy, etc. in order to match the image of the job title. Releasing control of how I wanted to be perceived is a massive effort, but the freedom I’m finding to do new things–things I would’ve been unwilling or afraid to do because of other co-worker’s or neighbors perceptions of me–is such a joy. I feel like I can move and talk in new ways, even with the same people. This is a lesson that I’m trying to internalize for long term change.
Summer…. I’m proud of you! You look beautiful!!! I want to make sure you are aware of this fabulous documentary showing how many many people have healed from cancer!!! They take the big C away and put the power back where it belongs–in your hands!!!! https://go.thetruthaboutcancer.com/
I’m sending you two links but they both should take you the same place. Please watch the most anticipated event of the year right here for free. 131 doctors, scientists, and survivors share their secrets to preventing, treating and even beating cancer. It’s motivating, inspirational, empowering and perfect for a flow dreaming Sista like you!!!!! Heaven hi my darling!!!!! Blessings!!!!!!
Just last weekend I wouldn’t let my sister-in-law photograph me with my two brothers because I’m sensitive about being overweight. I know it shouldn’t be important, but that’s what I was worried about, ugly pictures appearing on Facebook! I see being overweight as a sign of failure, not eating right, exercising enough or visualizing effectively. All cardinal sins in the New Age world. I have the weird subconscious that materializes the opposite of what I want, so using CDs and meditations often backfire on me. Now I’ve gone gluten free and lost 13 lbs, but then stalled. Back on gluten to see if when I quit again I’ll lose another easy 10 lbs.
Anyway, enough about me. You look great, Summer. And you’re not bald, you’re rocking that Mohawk!
Oops – just noticed you said the Mohawk was photo-shopped. Anyway, you could carry that off if you wanted to, so I’m sure even bald you’re fabulous.
Summer, you are stunningly beautiful. Inside and out. As we are stripped of the external trappings of who we thought we were- or had to be- our divine truth is laid bare to the world and to ourselves. And this is simply exquisite. I witness you, Love. Thank you for sharing your soul with us every day. XO
Thank you for this, Summer. I’ve been grieving the break up of a relationship I thought I really wanted. (He broke up with me. Ouch!) I’ve been having a really hard time with it, joking about how I’m walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death 🙂 And I’ve been feeling really sorry for myself. This blog uplifted me enormously. Your courage, honesty, and naked truth authenticity, (going out in public bald), really inspire me. Makes me feel this- Let him go. On with LIFE!
Thank you for being your magnificent, gorgeous self, with or without hair, and for sharing it with us.
I just love you!
OMG – You look so kick-a$$ Summer! I love the look! And thank you for this humbling and beautiful reminder/insight. Love to you, always!
I thought the Mohawk was real, that’s cute. You look beautiful no matter what. Don’t worry about how you look, just get better. I have seen other bald women because it’s their choice. Very encouraging story, thanks
You look beautiful. Wisdom and emotional depth are gained through experience; and they are shining from your eyes. Beauty is not “skin deep” at all, it’s soul deep and you’ve got it. Like the song says, “keep on shining your light.” God bless!
My mother just died after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. She was more beautiful than ever without her hair, as dignified and gracious and feminine as one could hope to be. Godspeed for a full recovery. Karen
You are looking pretty Hotly Maverick to Me!
Look at that SMILE!
You should KNOW this about yourself! 😉