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Shedding Old Skin

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 | Filed Under Letting Go, Life Balance, Personal Growth

Over the last couple of months, I have been in the process of letting go of projects and responsibilities that tend to drain me, rather than feed me.  I have noticed that I have to do this at least once a year – like a snake or iguana who must shed old skin in order allow new, more vibrant skin to come to the surface.   For the reptile, this process is natural – but for us, the process usually requires intention and focus.

As I approached the summer, knowing that my daughter would not be in school and that my many projects would no longer receive the energy they needed, I began to look at what I could give up.  I created lists of all my endeavors and posted them on my office wall so I could visit them easily.  I am very visual, so this allowed me to change their place on the wall as I determined their importance to me.  I measured each project by value to my personal growth, financial health, pleasure and sustainability (due to my time limited work time for the summer).

During this process, I began to experience a feeling of resistance to letting some of these things so.    So I spent some time in self-inquiry and meditation about that.  Why did I need to hold on this project?  Why did I need to maintain control of that endeavor?  Why did it feel like a unwelcome loss?  What came up was I was that I had been allowing my identity to be attached to these endeavors.

It happens at an unconscious level.  Initially, each project that I accept allows me to use my skills in some way, and that feels good.  Then as I move through the project, I gain a sense of contribution, and that feels like community and connection.  Creating something of value feels empowering.  All feeling we hope for when we work our trade, yes?

So why do I find myself in this position once again each year?  Once again over extended and too many pots on the fire.  Scrambling for time to give each the energy it deserves.   What is at the bottom of this habit?  I have been practicing saying NO, so perhaps something deeper?  Am I padding myself with multiple skins to feel strong?  To feel protected?

Then I think how a tree sprouts hundreds of leaves each spring, and by summer it is lush and full.   And then its energy is spent and it is time to let go.  It allows all its leaves to fall into autumn.  And the tree does this naturally, year after year without fail.   Perhaps our shedding skin is just like the natural cycle of the seasons.  And with each season, there is new opportunity for shedding old skin, letting go of dried up leaves and perhaps even allowing dormancy to ponder what the heart desires to come into fruition.

In the meantime, I hold the awareness and know that as I the shed old skin(s), I make room for new energy to feed the projects that will
give me expansion, abundance and pleasure.

Defining You

Posted on January 23rd, 2011 | Filed Under Personal Growth
Being a woman is complicated!  So many messages – old and new – from media, society, parents, even those messages we carry at a cellular level from earlier generations are always swirling around us.  We are unconsciously receiving thousands of these messages daily, often hearing many of them as truths or at least, guidelines for appropriate ways of being in this world.
As the new year approaches, spend some time journaling about what defines you and why.  It might be time to let go of some old definitions that no longer serve you, or that may even keep you from growing into your fullest potential.   Letting go of old roles or titles that we have defined us for a time can be scary – I mean, who am I without this role?  This title?  This job?  This relationship?
Take your time!  You don’t have to evolve New Year’s Eve!  Just becoming aware of these definitions for what they are will make your more receptive to what is out there waiting for you!  Revisit your journal regularly, as things shift, you can nudge a little further.
Entering in to this new year with a willingness to be free of those limitations can open up a new world of possibilities.  Do you want to redefine certain roles in your life?  do you want to explore new ones?  Or do you want to completely reinvent yourself?
There is a lovely tradition on New Year’s Eve in a small town in Germany where every comes outside close to midnight, and stands on the sidewalk with their neighbors, and step off the sidewalk and into the street at the last stroke of midnight.  It represents new hope, new beginnings, new paths.  Step off the safely of old roles and step in to your potential.  Your fullest potential is just waiting for you!