Cycles of Shedding

At a certain point in our lives, those of us on a conscious living path realize that escaping things, or running away from them doesn’t really work. By “work” I mean it doesn’t truly free us from the negative experience or feelings that situation engendered. We will find ourselves in similar situations with different variables thinking, “how did I end up here again?”

It’s because just ending the relationship, or leaving the job, or moving isn’t a real solution (it’s a vata-pitta inspired tendency).

The real solution is to change ourselves. This starts with changing our choices–how you respond to situations, how you choose to view them and talk about them, where you choose to focus your attention, what situations you allow yourself to be in, what you choose to embody and therefore attract.

Here’s where a lot of us get stuck in unhealthy situations: “Shouldn’t I be able to be happy in any situation?”

Ideally, yes. But we are human, and we are easily triggered emotional beings by nature.  (One of my mentors once told me about 90% of human behavior is to avoid certain feeling states.) So making choices to support your external environment while you work on shifting your internal environment is paramount to supporting your change (e.g. not stocking the cabinet with cookies when you are trying to eat less cookies; not following your ex on instagram when you are trying to get over him/her).

So if you are in an unhealthy-for-you situation, I think we have to find the fine line between running away and staying in an imbalancing energetic environment expecting yourself to magically not be imbalanced. And that fine line is what I call a cycle of shedding.

There are rhythms in the universe that we can tap into to fortify both the shedding process and our own connection to nature.  Monthly, the waning moon (from the full moon to the dark/new moon) is a time to release emotional baggage, and simply stated, that which is no longer serving you. Yearly, the earth sheds during the winter; yet this is not the time for us to shed. Springtime, when we are supported by nature’s abundance and kapha’s peak, is the most balancing time for us to shed. Personally, I invoke the hypersensitivity of vata season to learn about what I want to release. Then I align myself with that choice in the beginning of the new year, and allow the shedding to take place in the early spring.

How do you shed something? Well, there are as many ways as there are energetic releases. You just have to a ritual that symbolizes the transition for you. That could be a fire ceremony, a cleanse, sweat lodge, or simply journaling.

With every death there is a birth. As I kill off the depleting relationship (really I’m killing off the pattern in myself that chooses to be depleted in relationships), I birth the me that chooses nurturing relationships. As something is shed, something new is inevitably picked up. I shed that old pattern of choosing depletion and birth the pattern of choosing nurturance.  Birth and death are always happening together.

How are you going to symbolize that energetic shift in practice–what’s your ritual?

To me, the ritual is the comprised set of tools that support you to release/ birth. What will support you in making this turn of the cycle? For example, if you want to exercise more (or shed inactivity), perhaps part of your ritual is to make a mix of inspiring music to get you up and at it in the morning. This does not have to be esoteric. It has to be about knowing yourself and your blocks, and attending to them.  Only you can know how to best support yourself through any shedding process. As transition, letting go, and death are all vata energetics, the support is key to not let these processes become imbalancing.

So, what did you notice over the last few months as no longer serving your greater good?

What will you birth in it’s place? Now is the right time of year to start feeling into what you’d like to release.

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