Monday, September 12, 2016



verb (used without object)
1. (of birds, insects, reptiles, etc.) to cast or shed the feathers, skin, or the like, that will be replaced by a new growth.

verb (used with object)
2. to cast or shed (feathers, skin, etc.) in the process of renewal.

I can remember, as a little girl growing up on the central coast of California, coming across shed snake skins as I would play with my sister in "the woods" by our house. The woods being bunches of eucalyptus trees and dirt roads for days. And then, in Virginia, finding dozens upon dozens of empty locust shells clinging to tree trunks. Both the snake skin and the locust shells looked like they should still have live creatures inside of them. Almost always seeming fully intact. I often wondered how the locust left the shell of his former self, attached to a tree, without busting right through and shattering the now too small body to bits. It seemed like some kind of magic. And that then leading me to imagine and question...

"Didn't it hurt?"
"Did the creature get injured breaking out? Like maybe it lost a limb, or even died
"Are they happier in their new skin? Are they healthier?"
"Will he/she have to shed again? I wonder how many times until he/she is all done growing?"

I don't have the best memory, but I really do remember those times so clearly. I was always struck by the heaviness of it. The left over body that wasn't needed anymore and the process of molting. When I was younger it seemed scary, painful, and ugly. I didn't focus so much on the life that followed the shedding of the old skin. I was too taken by the wreckage left behind, the memory of what was.

Of course there are other animals that go through similar processes of shedding, and or metamorphosing. Outgrowing themselves and becoming new. We even learn about some of it in school. Like when the teacher bring the chrysalis into class. And you get to learn about how this little creature came to life, and how it will transform right before your eyes in just a few weeks.

But we never are  really told about the times we will shed our old skin. About the transformations we will need to make as we outgrow ourselves. Especially females.
The feminine life cycle is nothing new. They were talking about this stuff back in 2700 BC, but somewhere along the way passing down the knowledge of these cycles kind of fell to the way side. The magic behind the transformations that women go through and the soulful reasons for them, basically got put aside. Maybe everyone got to busy to care or to think it really mattered. We'd all get through it one way or another. We would all grow and change and figure it out. What was the point of talking about it, embracing it, and supporting one another through it? Instead of learning about our own power of transformation, we learned about tampons, cramps, pregnancy, and becoming a mother. We learned how to do it all, take care of everyone, and exist on too little food, sleep and self care. 

Very few talk about it. It's like a skeleton in the closet of womanhood. At certain ages and stages, YOU will change. I am not talking about post baby body, getting grey hairs, or menopause. I am talking about who you are underneath all of that. You will come to a point in life when you will have to molt. No matter how hard you try to keep that skin on, because it's the skin you are used to, the skin you are comfortable in, it's coming off sister. 

Little pieces of skin starting noticeably coming away the year before I turned 40. I say noticeably, because I'm sure it started loosening, preparing for removal at about 38 years old. By the beginning of 39 it was uncomfortable. I started shifting around in my seat trying to scratch the itch. I started to get frustrated. I started to get hungry for something but didn't know what. Nothing was very satisfying, I wanted to run away and I needed more. Knocking on 40's door I was on fire. My skin was tooooo tight. I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to relent and let the molting begin or I was going to loose my mind. And so, I accepted that for the next, who knows how long, I would be leaving bits and pieces of dead skin behind as I moved through life. At this point, the pain of staying in that old skin was worse than letting transformation happen.

The thing I now know, at a month away from 41, is it is not a super fast process. It's not like you finally make up your mind to let it happen and you get to just rip off that too tight skin like an old band aide. I visualize it like this....starting at our feet (tail) the old skin starts pulling away and up. It gently starts moving away, releasing the new, tender, glistening and magical skin underneath, little by little. I don't know for sure, but I feel about 70% through the process give or take. I imagine my new, stronger but softer, sparkling skin is about to my heart. There the old skin is still trying to break away and finish moving it's way over my head.

So what happens while this molting is happening, besides the shedding of skin? Well, it seems to me that we shed so much more than our skin. We start releasing old beliefs that no longer serve us. We start letting go of past pain that we've been unknowingly holding on to. We begin to realize, we are not only meant to be some one's wife or some one's mother in this life. That may very well be part of our journey but that is not the end all be all of our story. We no longer really care about what others are thinking about us. The perceptions they hold of us our their own. Their judgments don't matter. All that matters is that we are being true to who we are. We suddenly begin to innately understand that we, if we would only care for ourselves, and heal ourselves, are powerful enough to heal the world. We have fire inside, transformative fire. We are magical.

So here I am, more than half way through all this shedding and changing, when a piece of old skin gets stuck. The skin doesn't want to pull away there. It tears the flesh around it and allows that skin to move on, but it is holding on tight. So I take some time, to sit (actually lay) in silence and just feel. I lay, and listen, and breathe, and wait. To my surprise a hurt from decades ago rears it's head. I'm not afraid of the memory just taken off guard. It's something I haven't thought about in so many years, at least not consciously. I do not immediately understand why the skin is stuck here, why it won't let go. I've forgiven, I've moved on. What is causing this gripping? It dawns on me that fear is holding that skin on. I'm afraid to expose that sore spot. The old skin was acting as protection, a natural scab, covering a deep wound. This is the part of molting that is tough. When you have to reach down, grab that piece of skin, and gently, but with some strength, pull it off, so you can complete your transformation.

I ask myself, "What am I meant to do with this? Is this meant only for me , for my healing? Or is this something that I can bring forth, to support other sisters in healing?" Ego adamantly dislikes the notion of sharing. Ego yells, "Why?? Why share? You don't need to tell all to be a source of light in the world. Nobody wants to hear about it. It's not going to do anyone any good. It's not going to support, or offer encouragement or healing. Shut this shit down, NOW!" Soul calmly and resolutely says "You've been reminded what you are here for. You know your truth. You know you are here to speak truth, bring light, and support the healing of the world. You know your power. You do not fear judgment. Share while you can."

So I take a deep deep breath, and I pull off the gripping skin. I feel shame, and sadness, and anxiety. I remember vividly that night. I was 16 years old. I was drunk. I was at a party. We were kissing. He pulled me into the bathroom. I said no. I didn't want to do this. He said I did, obviously. He said it didn't matter, no one would believe me anyway if I decided to tell them, after they saw us making out. I was pinned between the bathtub and the toilet. I remember the feel of the cold tile. I don't remember the act itself. I smacked him in the face after it was over, and then apologized for it. I gave him a ride home. I pulled up later to pick up my best friend, my soul sista. She knew immediately something had happened. I said nothing happened, I was fine. Then I "admitted" we had sex, no big deal, I was fine.

"I am fine" was my motto for the next many years. I turned off my feelings, lost respect for myself, drank, and slept with a few other people because my virginity was gone, and I was "used" so why did it matter. I didn't treat myself with respect, and didn't expect any from anyone else. I had anxiety attacks and didn't know why because "I was fine".

Years went by. I healed. I forgave. I really did. He apologized. I still see him. I care about him. He made a mistake. I hope he has forgiven himself. I don't take what happened lightly. I do believe people who commit hurtful acts against other people should be held accountable. I do believe in karma and know that we reap what we sow. I was young and scared. I truly thought no one would believe me. I truly convinced myself it wasn't that big of a deal, that it happened to girls like me all the time, and worst of all, that it was partly my fault. If you are reading this now, and have had a similar experience, please know, if you said no, anything other than nothing happening, is/was NOT your fault. No matter what happened up to that moment. No matter how much you drank or smoked. No matter what kind of clothes you were wearing. Please understand that deep in your soul.

I honestly didn't even know "it" was still there, hiding under the skin that was being shed. I realize now, that part of what I hadn't done, was forgive myself. Forgive myself for not treasuring the girl inside, for not loving myself and caring for myself. For not offering myself respect and support. I was the one that needed forgiveness. I needed to love myself again. If you are reading this, and have had a similar experience, please stop now and take a minute or an hour, to forgive and love yourself. To go back to that younger version of yourself and hold her and comfort her.

And so it is. I forgive myself. And I love myself. I am now free to allow the molting to continue. To finally let every piece of the skin that served me well to fall away. To finally allow every inch of my new, self loving, multicolored and textured, gleaming beautiful skin to be brought forth.

So my sisters, remember are a goddess and have the power of transformation deep inside of you. You will change. It might hurt a little. But you were made for this. To experience life, and to love yourself through it all. I know it's scary. It possibly even seems unnecessary. Why drudge up old stuff just to get to new stuff? Maybe you won't need to. Each of us has our own transformation process, our own experience. Why shed this skin? I like this skin. I have spent a lot of money on beauty products and sunscreen to protect this skin. But we are a soul (inside this skin and bones). We have a path, which inevitably includes growth. And as our ancestors knew, thousands of years before us, it will happen. Your evolution will happen. Maybe, if a few of us can share, and be forthcoming about our unique experience, we can offer a hand to hold, a speck of reassurance, a little knowledge that you, sweetheart, are not alone. And, you, sweetheart, are MAGIC.

With SO much love