I was lying on the floor last night attempting to engage in my personal yoga practice when I noticed two “daddy-long leg” spiders in the ceiling corner. I’d never seen two of these spiders share such close proximity and investigated further. Turns out, the spider was “molting,” or shedding its exoskeleton. And it made me think about the fact that we humans don’t go through such a process of molting, of leaving the smaller version of ourselves behind as we grow into a bigger form. Or DO we?!? We might not have the ability to leave our outer skeleton behind (mostly because actually we don’t HAVE exoskeletons in the first place), but we CAN do something similar.
We have the ability to identify and understand the “smaller” parts of ourselves, the metaphorical exoskeletons that keep us trapped in small places, places that we have outgrown. We all have beliefs that are outdated. Often times, I’ll describe our brains as operating systems. It’s like when Microsoft Windows came out in 1985. It was Windows 1.0. It was basic and did the things we needed it to do at that time. But at time passes and things develop naturally, it’s important to “update our processors”–otherwise they can become old or outdated. They stop serving us. What if we were trying to accomplish our daily tasks using Windows 1.0? Yikes! We can benefit from the same process as humans. We are not 3 or 4 years old (or 12, or 30, or so on) anymore…and so to operate at these age-specific mindsets probably wouldn’t serve us well. As we grow, it’s valuable to update our thoughts, beliefs, and our perspectives. It serves us to molt, or shed the ideas and beliefs that keep us trapped in our smaller selves. It serves us to update our processors…our lives can then run better, more smoothly, with less conflict and potentially more grace.
This can be done through introspection, reflection, mindfulness practices, therapy, journaling, and many other forms. What would you like to “molt” or shed this week?