Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

Shed Your Skin and Move on

Snakeskin doesn’t stretch. In order for a snake to grow, it must shed the outer layer of its skin several times over the course of its life. Till it dies, it never stops shedding and it never stops growing.

As women, we naturally want to follow similar cycles. We too want to shed our old skins, leave parts of ourselves behind, so that we may continue to grow into the women we know in our hearts we are meant to be.

You have probably felt the calling to shed your skin at some point in your life, whether you heeded it or not. You may have felt like the life that you were living was too small, not the life you would choose for yourself at all. Or maybe it was just one area that you had outgrown: a job, a relationship, or a city. Or perhaps you needed to leave behind some facet of yourself that was no longer serving you, a particular way of being, thinking, or showing up in the world.

The problem is that we get stuck. The old skin is a size that feels comfortable. We know how to be in that skin, but it keeps us small. We don’t trust that we will grow into our new skins. The idea of it feels too big and audacious. So we stay put and stunt our own development. We stop growing, and we start dying.

I have shed my skin several times in my life, and many times it has involved a drastic move (as in a physical move across the country). There is something about changing locations that allows me to molt more completely out of my old mold. I know when the time is coming; it manifests as a stirring beneath my flesh, a vibration in my fingertips, low-level anxiety in the pit of my stomach.

It is my authentic, wild voice calling to me, telling me it’s time to pick up and move on.

Sometimes her call comes at inopportune times, and I try to ignore it. “Things are fine as they are,” I tell her. “I am not ready yet.” “What about X, Y and Z? I can’t just leave those things behind!” I rationalize and make excuses.

But her timing is always impeccable, even if I don’t understand it. That deepest part of me knows that if I don’t answer her call I will be clamping down my vibrancy. My skin immediately begins to feel tighter. Constriction instead of expansion. The walls of my life close in and little by little pieces of my soul start to wither.

When I first began to notice this contraction, this shrinking of myself, I told myself that it was life, part of growing up and being a responsible adult. Keep the steady paycheck at the expense of living my purpose. Be realistic; don’t dream too big. If life hands you lemons, try to make lemonade. Now I know better.

Staying in your old skin is the opposite of life, the antithesis of living. It’s like wanting to keep a baby in the womb forever and never give birth to it. By holding on both the baby and the mother eventually perish. At a certain point we have to let go.

In order to embrace life and fully live it, we must surrender to the process of becoming over and over again. It’s not easy. It’s not always a straight line from A to B. It’s not about the destination; it’s about the process of getting there.

And the most magical part is that there is no “there”. Our becoming will never be finished. For when we finally feel that we have arrived, that we have figured it out, we begin again. Giving birth to ourselves anew like the snake that slithers out of its scales, our previous iterations leaving behind a soft residue in our tissues and our psyches and the lives of those close to us, in an endless cycle of regeneration.

 

 

 

I Really Hate Being Called This

I debated for a good while about writing this article, and then again about sharing it. I was feeling called to write it, but to be honest, I was afraid. It’s quite impassioned, personal, and strays from my usual tone. I worried, “Will I come across as too angry? What will people think?”

But one of my intentions in the coming year is to be more open and authentic, to stop worrying about needing anyone’s approval. I am a fiery and passionate person by nature. I once actually threw a shoe (…many years ago, mind you). I realized recently that I was not owning that part of myself; I had labeled it as bad, unspiritual, and definitely unfit for public disclosure. But that didn’t feel entirely true, like I was only telling part of the story, and it also felt stifling. Passion is a force that cannot be denied and there is the fierceness to my feminine self that I needed to honor.

I also share this because I want to show you that I am human, that I am working to accept my dark and my light parts, and all the messiness in between, in hopes that it may inspire you to do the same.

I don’t get called bad words very often, but there is one word that is directed at me fairly regularly that really ruffles my feathers. That word is NAÏVE.

The definition of naïve is “showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.”

I take offense to this, and here is why. Typically this word is used to imply that I somehow live in a utopian fantasy of love and light, and that I don’t understand the real world and our very real problems.

Let me clarify: I understand perfectly well. I feel the pain and hurt and anger and bewilderment and sense of powerlessness that comes with every new mass shooting in this country. I see with open eyes the atrocities of which mankind is capable, which seem to be escalating to new levels. Not only that, as a woman, I live it in my everyday life. I have to think twice about going for a walk after it is dark outside. There are so many things I would love to do solo – go camping, rent a house in the mountains, take a road trip – which I am terrified of doing because we live in a society where women are taught that we are not safe.

I get it. There is a lot of horrible shit going on in the world, and if we take a look at history, what do we see? Oh, more horrible shit.

Yet, despite all the evidence to the contrary, I make a conscious decision to continue to be optimistic about the future. I hold on to the unwavering belief that things can be better, that they will be better, regardless of what is going on in the external environment. I refuse to let my standards for humanity sink to the lowest common denominator and will continue to believe in the inherent goodness of people.

Does this make me naïve? Does it show a lack of wisdom or judgment? I’d like to think not.

As a coach, I deeply understand the power of belief to change our reality, in the present and in the future. If we cannot even see, or allow ourselves to entertain, something different and better than what we have now, how will we ever get there?

People may say it’s impossible, a dream world that doesn’t take into consideration the sinful and flawed nature of man. But the simple act of saying it is impossible makes it so.

Take for example, the four-minute mile. For years, runners tried to hit the benchmark of running a mile in under four minutes and failed. It happened so many times that people began believing that it was impossible for a human to run that fast. Along comes Roger Bannister in 1954 and breaks that record by running a mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. TWO MONTHS later, two runners in Vancouver both ran the mile in under four minutes.

The benchmark had remained untouched for years and in a matter of weeks was transcended again by not only one, but TWO runners. What could have changed in those weeks?

One thing: The runners’ BELIEF that a human being could indeed run a mile in under four minutes.

Since then the record has been broken many times over.

We often hear the adage “You have to see it to believe it,” but I think that’s backwards. You really have to believe it to see it.

That is why I choose to believe in a more peaceful, loving, and compassionate world. A world where we embrace our differences in culture, religion, and skin color for the beautifully rich tapestry that it weaves for us. I pledge to stand for that possibility and will continue to make decisions that I believe move us closer to that reality.

I wanted to share this with you because many of us who want to forge a new path for the world will at some point encounter resistance. That resistance may be external, or come from our own internal cynic. Resistance can be healthy; it forces us to question our ideas, to look at things from a more open and unbiased viewpoint. But in the end, each of us must trust ourselves enough to stand up for what we believe in and not back down or roll over to the cultural forces at large.

Thursday Thought Nugget: The Key to Unlocking Your Potential and Living a Life of Passion + Purpose

If you are missing this key component in your life and mindset, it is IMPOSSIBLE to unlock your true creative POTENTIAL, find your PASSION (or many passions!) and live with PURPOSE. Tune into this video to see if you are embodying this first, and crucial, P!

If you are ready to stop going through the motions and start making an impact in the world, click here to schedule your free Discovery Call today!