We get comfortable in our skin. Isn’t that what we are taught? To feel comfortable in our own skin?
But are we meant to wear that same skin for life?
We change. We transition. Sometimes willingly. Sometimes not so willingly.
Sometimes it’s Nature who calls us to change: adapting to the seasons. Other times it’s the seasons of our lives. We change rapidly in our youth: experts at shedding our skin.
We leap from infant to toddler to child to youth to teen to adult. It may not be easy but it is rather quick. Then we hang out in adult, busy with adult things (work, relationships, bills…). The skin-shedding becomes trickier, takes longer. We try to hang on to that feeling of comfort. In a skin that no longer fits.
We transition from single adult to coupled adult. Then parenthood. That’s a biggie. Then we transition with our children as they fly through each step and we try to keep up. We transition in midlife, finding ourselves, our creativity and service to the world.
We grow. And we outgrow our skin.
If we can somehow become aware of transition, of shedding layers of skin, like a snake. Do they know it’s about to happen? Do they facilitate the process?
If we could become aware and facilitate the process, perhaps transition would go more smoothly or at least we may let go of the old skin and acknowledge the new.
Knowing it’s time to shed the old
There’s a feeling that comes just before transition. There is an itchiness. The old skin begins to feel uncomfortable.
But don’t jump to scratch it. Don’t leap into a new skin. This is not the time to jump into a job or new relationship. You need to allow the old to go first. The new is already there underneath.
Take the time to notice the feeling, the itchiness, the uncomfortableness. Be aware of it. Slow down. Shedding takes time. Stay with this feeling. Honour the process.
Like the snake, go for a swim. Let water be your ally. Go to the ocean or a lake. Loosen the old through water.
Continue with Nature. Hike, walk mountain trails or meadows. Over rocks and around trees.
Let nature strip the old away. Nourish and nurture yourself at this time. Breathe, walk, rest, take regular massage.
Be present through this process and you will feel more alive in your new skin.