Andra and I were woggling on Quisenberry recently when we encountered the largest snakeskin I had ever seen, easily 5 feet long and as wide as an empty paper towel roll. Ecdisys, or skin shedding, occurs when a snake has grown too large for its current skin, or to remove parasites that may have become attached to the old skin.
My first impulse was repulsion, as snakes are one of my deepest irrational fears. But the more I thought about that snakeskin, the more it seemed like the perfect wink from the Universe. Humans are constantly shedding their skin too. People who are 70 years of age have shed over 100 pounds of skin already in their lifetime!
But the more important shedding occurs in our hearts and minds. There are times in life when leaping toward an unknown becomes essential. What stops us is usually the fear of not reaching the other ledge, or dropping into the void. There is, of course, comfort in the familiar. But clinging to patterns or ideas that no longer serve our authentic selves keeps us in a tight, ill-fitting skin. People, jobs, and possessions that drain our energy are like those parasites on the snake skin and need to be sloughed. Life is a process of becoming. Change is the one constant in the world. It can be painful and frightening, but is so worth the risk.
Some times feel more turbulent and transient than others. I have been feeling vulnerable and scared. It is a time of big change for me. I’m starting an Advanced Teacher Training Program at the studio. I’ve booked my first two Corporate Continuing Education Workshops on Mindfulness for Real People and Yoga for Bodies That Don’t Seem To Bend (in other states, no less). I’m publishing a book! All of this necessitates me being away from the studio more, less available to my students and family. It opens me up to meeting strangers who may or may not love my particular teaching style. It leaves me feeling excited, nervous, and raw. It is something I want to do. But it also feels like something I have to do. That’s how I know it’s my Truth.
It is a time of transition for everyone. School has started, replacing carefree summer days with homework and after-school activities. The mornings have that chill that reminds us fall is right around the corner. What does change look like for you at this time? Does your life feel like it’s a size too small? If your bud version looks like fatigue, habit, and disappointment, what does the blossom version look like? What’s stopping you from making that leap into a larger existence? Spend some time in silence and the Universe will answer those questions.
Pho, Phabulous, Pho
Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup full of fresh and aromatic flavors. I could easily spend the rest of my life eating only vegetable korma, sushi, pho, and quinoa with avocado for every meal (including breakfast)! This version is an easy weekday meal that appeals to Izzie and my nephews (adopted from Taiwan). They call it “Slurpy Noodles”. Make it mild for the kids and garnish to spice it up.
8 oz rice noodles – pad thai style
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons ginger – minced
½ tablespoon chili garlic paste
8 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy or ponzu sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons hoisin
1 lb shrimp – raw
jalapeño slices (we cut up a spicy chili pepper we had left over from bison taco night)