The Lab of Misfits Hair Ritual is a beautiful, calming, empowering experience you can gift to another. Where your loved one will go through an inner adventure in expanding their perception, while you hold the context through emotional and physical touch.
The guided meditation is designed to help the person to whom you are gifting this meditation to help them go from A to not-A … to let go of an assumption or biases that has been blocking them. To step into uncertainty in order to expand their perception of self by imparting a feeling of courage, calm and clarity. It will also strengthen the connection between you.
What the ritual involves
The ritual lasts 19 minutes in total. During this time you will hear a guided meditation that will take you on an imaginary journey to explore the power of perception and how it related to courage. It is designed for two people - one who will give (giver) the experience to a loved one (the receiver).
You (the giver) should find a quiet space for the receiver to experience the meditation. Have them sit in a comfortable chair, with you standing behind it. Set up a way of listening to the guided meditation together. At certain points in the meditation, you will connect with your loved one through some reassuring and gentle touch to the head and shoulders, which will help them to embody the process.
We took around 30 people through the Hair Ritual. We measured them before and after and found that they had benefitted from a number of positive, measurable changes after the meditation. These included three things:
People 'felt better' about their identity:
When we experience uncertainty and trauma, we often see ourselves as ‘less than’, ‘failures’, and other perceptions that can lead to unkindness, fear and anger. We measured ‘self concept’ subconsciously by looking at reaction times to how people identify with different concepts.
- We found a significant increase in positive self concept (the good things you feel about yourself).
- Just as importantly, we found a significant decrease in negative self concept (the bad things you feel about yourself). We measured both of these things separately and subconsciously - by looking at reaction times to how people identify with different concepts.
Creativity is essential for thriving in uncertainty and overcoming trauma. It can be reliably measured in a number of ways. Two of these are convergent and divergent thinking. 'Convergent' is finding smart solutions to clearly defined problems; 'Divergent' is coming up with ideas and possibilities for loosely defined problems.
- We measured significantly higher divergent thinking after the meditation.
- We measured significantly higher convergent thinking after the meditation.
The first step from A to B is not B. The first step is to not-A. It's to let go of the meanings that your brain previously encoded for why it does what it does. But letting go can be scary, since it's to let go of what you thought to be true before, and maybe even the assumptions that previously defined you. Letting go requires courage.
- Our Hair Ritual resulted in a big increase in tolerance to risk measures when our subjects played a risk taking game.
HOW TO GET STARTED
When you click on the video link below, you will hear a voice guiding your loved one through their inner adventure. Within that time, there are 5 minutes where one only hears the sound of the sea.
You (the giver) will be prompted on the screen below to tell you what you need to do and when.
Practical and emotional prep – for the giver (you)
- It is essential that you intentionally set aside the time to be fully present with the recipient - no phones, dogs, kids or distractions - and that you create a lovely experience which will leave them feeling wonderful.
- Before you begin, ideally before they even enter the room, take 5 minutes to breathe, relax and get present. If you would like to do the meditation yourself, do! Otherwise, we recommend that you do whatever you need to let go of any stresses of the day and become present, aligning to the idea of being of service and holding the space for your loved one.
Practical and emotional prep – for the receiver (them)
- Welcome them and thank them for being a part of this!
- Let them know that they’ll have their eyes closed and be guided through a process while you stroke or play with their hair. Check you have their consent to touch them.
- Tell them there is a section early on where their posture is completely slumped over and let them know it’s going to last a couple of minutes – try it yourself so you get a sense of it. We suggest you flop completely, letting your whole upper body hunch over as far as possible. You can let them know that being a little uncomfortable is part of the process! However, do check if they have any medical reasons to modify the posture and if necessary, provide a cushion for their lap.
During the meditation
- Breathe with them – it helps to synchronize you and for you to get present too.
- Follow the instructions on the screen if you are not listening along – the prompts will appear to hold their head in the first half, just under 5 mins after the start.
- When the time comes to massage their head or stroke or brush their hair, the sound of the sea will play and it will last for 5 minutes.
- In the final five minutes, the prompts will appear to place your hands on their shoulders. Please be sensitive in how you place your hands – go slow and be gentle but firm. It’s about grounding the new way of seeing, so bear that in mind.
- Ask them: How was that? How are you?
- Make some space and time to talk – let them share as much or little as they want to.
- They might want to take notes after the experience to reflect later on what they’ve learned.
- Thank them in whatever way feels appropriate to you both.
If you enjoyed the Hair Ritual we'd welcome you to contribute to the Lab of Misfits. You can do this by clicking on the Donate button. Thank you!
PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE WITH ANYONE YOU THINK WOULD BENEFIT FROM EXPERIENCING EITHER GIVING OR RECEIVING THE HAIR RITUAL.