Not too long ago I brushed a hand over Princess, my white/sorrel paint horse, and discovered a bunch of white hair stuck to my glove. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “it was starting,” Princess was shedding her winter coat.
Every few days I take a few moments to brush Princess out. The result is a carpet of hair on the ground, and usually a fine layer that covers me from head to toe. One day, as I was brushing myself off after grooming Princess the thought “shedding is messy business” kept running through my head. And in fact, shedding is messy business, whether its horse hair or letting go of things in life.
- limiting beliefs
- unrealistic expectations
- anything that no longer serves us
Sometimes when shedding these things, life seems to get messy before it gets better. Here are five key strategies to keep you moving forward in an empowered and conscientious way during this time.
Keep the end result in mind. In the midst of a really good shedding you might feel overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, or doubtful. These things can cloud your judgement and test your determination. If you find yourself in such a position, STOP. Then for a few moments allow yourself to travel forward in time, to the place where the shedding is complete and you are experiencing the results that you want to achieve. From this place feel, see, taste, smell and know the positive experience you're having now that the shedding is done.
- Know WHY you are shedding. Have a very clear, vivid, and succinct Why about the reasons you're going through this time of shedding and release. If the change you're experiencing gets a little rough in spots it's easy to start feeling sorry for yourself, or wonder why you are doing this at all. Keep your WHY statement nearby so you can read and reflect on it during these moments. Its common to find answers to questions, or realize the next step to take, when revisiting your Why.
- Stay in your power. Sometimes during change, the change itself seems to be bigger than you are, or in control of what is happening. When this occurs there has been a power shift, the change has taken your power. At this point you are no longer in the drivers seat, and it's time to take your power back. A quick way to start turning this around is to create two images in your minds eye. One image representing the change and one image of you. Allow the image of the change to shrink until it's a tiny small dot, and the image of you is very large next to it. This is you taking your power back from the change. Once your mind has experienced the visual, it believes it has happened. As you continue to work through the change keep this new image in mind. Repeat this exercise when needed.
- Go with the flow. There are times in the midst of a shedding that circumstances beyond your control will happen. Like the wind kicking up and blowing Princess' hair right in your face. Dust yourself off, laugh at it if you can, and keep on going. Refer back to your Why and do a personal power check to help put you back on track if needed.
- Allow for course corrections. As you work through the shedding and change, sometimes unexpected things happen and new opportunities or different ways of achieving the end result will appear. When this happens, revisit the end result you want to achieve and your Why. If the course correction supports these two things it might be the right thing to do. If the course correction detracts, deters, or points you back to where you've come from, side-step it and continue on your chosen path.
Shedding is messy business. Yet like Princess, when the shedding is over, you'll have a sleeker, lighter look, feel and experience in life.