The Purple Hair Effect

Aug 1, 2017


I have a paragraph on my life coaching page that says


“Women I’ve worked with talk about becoming ‘The New Me.’ They get outside more, they get in touch with the exquisite language of their bodies, they try meditating, and sometimes they dye their hair purple. Women I know who have traversed this path of alignment talk about feeling calm, free, light, courageous and empowered. They feel like they’ve stopped striving for the sake of striving, and they talk about feeling truly alive again.”

And I think I wrote it – at least the purple hair part – because one of the quirky side-effects of my own transition into alignment was the compulsion to dye my hair some crazy-ass colours.

What it represented was my untethering.


My unhooking from what a woman in her mid-thirties with a “day job” (not to mention the two kids, a minivan and a house in the ‘burbs) should look like.

As I navigated my own alignment, I was beginning to find an unbridled version of myself that would not only sport purple hair but would go skinny dipping or dance under a full moon, if I felt so inclined.

Purple hair represented a natural rebelliousness that arises in women who get in touch with a deep sense of alignment and authenticity: this devil-may-care, expectations-shucking wild woman who follows her intuition and Does The Thing, even when it’s scary.

And the funny thing is this:

the purple hair thing is not just a turn of phrase; not merely a cute metaphor.


Several times now I’ve met with or called clients who have giddily announced, “I dyed my hair purple!!!” – enough so that I’m beginning to think this is a thing.  

That sense of renewed vitality, purpose and a smattering of rebelliousness that comes with finally feeling truly aligned and authentic in your life is immensely freeing…

…and deserves to be acknowledged with physical proof of your courage and wildheartedness.

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!