Sep 25, 2010

Weeding and Shedding Old Skin

I am trying to bring
my love of gardening to
the task of
     unearthing invasive weeds:
patterns and habits that choke my life

no longer effective
     no longer needed.

If humans were like reptiles,
shedding their skin,
     that old thing that limits them,
as they
grow in spirit

the world would be...
...perhaps not a 'better place'
but one I think
     I'd enjoy more.

If we never assumed we had 'matured'
'grown up'
     never assumed we were 'finished'

always believed there was growing yet to do

then what?

I don't want to stay the same.
The same limitations
the same behaviour
     causing all of the same old problems I've

visited so many times

If living life a certain way
led to results I didn't like

why would I carry on in the same way!

To break free from this fear
     the tie that binds me
requires change
a new approach
of course,
I haven't done before
     and so may be clumsy at
which may not lead to results I like
     right away.

But I owe it to myself
to give this new approach
the same honour I gave the old one - that one which didn't work.
     The honour of trying it repeatedly.

Perhaps, in time,
it will become
the new normal.

I'm calling on snake energy now
     Oh wonderful, sinuous friend
please help me wriggle out of my old skin
and find ways
to stay safe
     until the new one has become less tender.

very approachable garter snake, summer 2009

Sep 9, 2010

Fight, Flight... or Freeze?

Lately I've been feeling more and more frustrated with my reaction to *possible* conflict (my response to actual conflict is even worse).
I avoid conflict like the plague - silencing my true voice any time I feel that speaking honestly could lead to conflict.  The limbic system in my brain misinterprets almost any level of threat as life-threatening - even a mildly heated discussion about politics!
My response is to freeze up, shut down and withdraw inside myself.  So frustrating!  I really want to change this about myself.  Journalling about it led to this bit of writing:

I am not the caged animal who tries frantically to escape.
Who fights tooth and nail no matter the odds.
Who, determined, chews off their own leg
to be free of a trap.

I have no Fight or Flight.

I am the deer who freezes when the lion approaches.

I am the one who lies down and waits to die.



I found an excellent article about this here: