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Auburn Brown - The Path To Change

Identities are formed in many ways. A comment from a teacher when you're in 3rd grade, a mannerism picked up when you're 12, or an offhanded remark by a relative. Over the years those are the things that shape the way we perceive ourselves and present ourselves to the world.

In time, that image becomes "who we are." It's the veneer we cover ourselves with that other people use to identify us.

If you're happy with your life, that image is generally healthy and comfortable. But if you're among the millions of people who want to change themselves, that image can become a trap.

It often takes something radical to make us change.

What would you do if you could change yourself? If you could completely re-invent your life; what would your wear, where would you work, how would you look and where would you live? If you had to change everything about yourself, where would you start?

Awhile back I received a letter from a friend named Kathy Nedegaard, who inadvertently experienced just such a radical "image adjustment." I'd like to share her story with you here.


Auburn Brown.

Sounds like a name, doesn't it? "Hi! I'm Auburn Brown."

Auburn Brown.

That was the name on the box anyway.

When I was pregnant with Miranda, almost 15 years ago now, my hair turned gray. I'll never forget standing outside the Merced Mall in California, eating ice cream, trying to figure out what my father-in-law was staring at behind me. I kept turning around to look. Finally I asked him what was so interesting. He told me it was the amount of gray in my hair. I was in my twenties.

He dropped his ice cream on my mother-in-laws shoe. Served him right.

So, I started coloring my hair. There was no way I was going to go around looking like I was old enough to be my baby faced husband's mother. Besides, she didn't even have gray hair yet.

It's worked out well for years. Most people didn't even know.

Two of our three children have red hair. We are constantly asked who they get it from. When I color my hair a plain, medium brown, a bit of the red in my most base color shows itself, just enough to make it interesting. I like that. It adds dimension.

So, I decided to take it one step further. I decided to add just a touch of red to the brown so that people would quit asking and to add just a bit of drama to my style.

Auburn Brown.

They should have called it "Chocolate Covered Cherry." To be accurate, they should have called it "Cherry Covered Chocolate." My husband Randy's idea is simply "Christmas Red."

And now no one need guess whether or not I color my hair. There is nothing natural about this.

How bad is it? My teenage girls Lauren and Miranda adore it and tell me it is totally cool. Lauren squealed with delight when she saw it and screamed for Miranda to come running and see.

I'm up for it. What the heck! You only live once and, if you do it right, one life's all you need anyway.

So, I'd like to introduce the newest member of our family: Me.

Hi! My name is Auburn Brown.


Instead of running to a hairdresser and demanding her hair be "fixed", Kathy (Auburn Brown) embraced the change.

That's what I want you to do. Choose one thing in your life, something small that you've always wanted to change.

Now do it. Change it. And don't stop there. At the beginning of each month choose something else to change, improve or get a fresh start on. Start experiencing the world from a fresh perspective and turn yourself into that person you've always thought you could be!

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7/2/2006