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Shedding Old Skin

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 | Filed Under 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.

Replenishing Our Feminine Energies

Posted on March 17th, 2011 | Filed Under Featured, Life Balance, Personal Growth, Self Care

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.”

Barbara De Angelis

As women, we wear many hats.  Play many roles.  Woman ~ Wife ~ Mother ~ Daughter ~ Sister ~ Aunt ~ Friend.  And in each of  those roles, we give of ourselves.  We give love, support, compassion, empathy, passion, encouragement, sympathy… it is in our nature to give.  There is an exquisite and innate beauty in this giving of self, but within also lies great risk.  The risk comes when we do not know our boundaries, honor limits, or neglect to refill our vessels that can flow so generously.

The quote above from Barbara De Angelis captures perfectly what I have known for myself to be true.  I deeply need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to replenish.  As elemental as food and water for my wellbeing, I must have this time for self in order to maintain my ability to be in this world.  I have learned to honor this in myself.

There was a time, however that I compared myself to others who seemed to have this limitless energy – this ability to go on and on in thier giving, their living, thier doing.  And I thought myself inferior – unable to compete.  While I  beleive the quote states the truth for all women, there is an ebb and flow to it – as our energies move in and out like the waves of the ocean.  During one stage or moon of our life, we may feel our tides are full and immense.  While during another moon, we may feel our energies retreating, even shallow.  So, I have let go of comparing….and honor that each of us have the ability, and the responsibility, to check in with ourselves and discern when it is time to go inward.

This time of going inward, the Yin time – gives our mind, body and spirit the opportunity to connect, tune in and be.  This is where we connect with our inner wisdom, our intuition.  It is where our dreams blossom.  Where our authentic self resides.   This is where our power originates.  In this quiet, reflective place we remember who we are.

This shift towards self can be uncomfortable for some, intimidating for others; and to some even frightening to be left alone with thier thoughts spinning.  And to some, it will bring thoughts of selfishness to mind.  Afterall, as women we are taught to put ourselves last.

“Self care is not self-indulgence – it is self-preservations”  Renee Trudeau

Self care is essential.  It is the core nourishent of our mind, body and spirit that must some first in order to allow and empower all we wish  accomplish.  Self care is the foundation of how I begin the coaching process with my clients.  It is the sturdy rock from which they can joyfully and confidently dive into the ocean of thier dreams.