Behind the Chair: Conversations with my Hair Stylist

Monday, March 09, 2015

“Can you fix me?  I’ve got 90 minutes.”

For almost 20 years now, my family and I have been going to the same hair stylist, Pat.  And I must say I look forward to her inspirational stories behind the chair.  The life stories shared in her salon were so interesting that 10 years ago we drafted our book collaboration, "Behind the Chair."

However, my life was faced with tragedy and drama and as a result "Behind the Chair" was put on hold.

The conversations we had ranged from trivial to profound and covered an array of emotions: laughter, tears, joy, frustration and disappointments.

My monthly hair appointments were something I looked forward to. There were times I'd walk into her salon feeling awful and uninspired but after 90 minutes of getting my hair done, I'd leave feeling confident, loved and ready to rule the world - and it wasn't about my hair!

I’d whine about looking “ugly” (because I have issues) and in 10 minutes, she’d point out the “beautiful” in me.

Pat loves being a hair stylist. It was her dream since was a little girl. But one thing Pat doesn’t realize is that she’s also a therapist, a life coach, and a friend. She can sense if you need a hug, tough love, a nudge or quiet time.

(photo courtesy of

At my last hair appointment, I felt lost. I guessed it was because of the “almost empty nest” feeling. I have been a stay at home mom. That day, I was reassessing the next path of my life.

My son’s religious education coordinator happened to send an email that day with this quote,

“You are where God wants you to be at this very moment. Every experience is part of His Divine Plan.”

I believe there’s a reason for everything – although sometimes it’s painful to comprehend the why’s and difficult to navigate the how’s.

That afternoon, Pat told me a story of two individuals she lost that week. One was a 5 year old who battled brain cancer for 3 years. The other one was a 30 year-old who died from a drug overdose.

We then talked about how do you explain such tragedy to someone who doesn’t believe in God? How can you go through life not believing?
“When you stand next to God, the world grows dim,” Pat said.

“So we’re in the dark?” I asked with a confused look.

“No. When you’re standing next to Him, there’s this bright light so you don’t see sadness, the ugliness, the unfairness.”

“When you’re standing next to Him, the world grows dim,” Pat repeated.

 “Oh,” I nodded, “I get it. God brings out so much brightness in our lives that all the negative and ugly things just fade away.”

“Yes, that's it. " Pat replied. "You can petition the Lord and bring your prayer to Him, and the Holy Spirit will divinely work in all areas of your life.”

Pat added, “The Lord is all about peace. No matter what, you can find that peace. When we fight these battles by yourself you feel anxiety.”

I don't need to tell you how I felt when I left her salon.

I wonder what next month's topic will be.

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