My recent trip to my local hair salon endowed me with an entertaining concept.
Six months ago, I finally had the urge to invest time and money on revamping my appearance (not the permanent kind!). I changed my wardrobe and even attended make-up classes. On consulting my chart, I discovered that my first make-up class coincided with transiting Mars conjunct my Ascendant in Leo. So I expended energy on 'me', in particular, my appearance. I also spent a lot of my time exercising to tone up my body (the first house rules our physical body and appearance). With Mars in retrograde, the effect of my egocentric focus was prolonged (and currently still in effect).
Practice makes perfect. As a student, I focused my entire energy on my academic work, therefore, I was less than a novice when it came to beautifying myself. Being an all or none person, I decided to speed up my learning process by giving myself plenty of opportunity to practice by waking up an hour early every morning to put on make-up (this 'mask' is also a first house symbol!). My current work colleagues noticed the change and some of them disapproved of me wasting my time on 'painting' my mask. Instead, I was advised to spend that time in bed. 'Who are you trying to please anyway?'
'Me,' was my reply, come to think of it, that is also a first house concept! Not to mention very Leo too. I explained that I did not like what I saw in the mirror and besides, I just felt the urge to do it. It felt right. I have learned long ago to follow my heart.
I shared this with my hairstylist. The first thing he said to me was 'Don't let your environment influence you. Be the one to influence your environment.' He then shared a psychological experiment involving the placement of an expensive car in a deprived area of New York and in a more affluent residential area. The car was completely taken-apart in the former setting but was left unscathed in the latter. The psychologists then repeated the experiment by replacing the cars with a cracked window. The same outcome occurred in the former case, i.e. dismantlement of the vehicle. However, in the latter case, having a crack in one of its windows caused a different result - the car was disassembled as well. This simple experiment illustrates that one can influence one's surroundings. You can be that change. My hairstylist commented that instead of listening to my colleague and be affected by her advice, I should continue to do what I do and begin to notice changes in them instead. Thinking back though, I think they also played a part in changing me - I remember feeling like a rag initially, so perhaps I was affected by my environment after all?