So many of you are feeling what I’m feeling right now. Vulnerable. Lost. Way out of our comfort zones. Stuck in fear. All of this and more. But what always helps me out of this morass is Mother Nature. In the spring of next year I’ll be publishing my newest version of Nature Teachers called Strength from Nature.
Today, I turned to one of my teachers, the Lobster. I hope you gain some growing, changing, new living perspective from this hearty marine crustacean that lives to get un-stuck when it’s at its most naked and fearful time. I bless this wondrous Nature Teacher for helping me find renewed strength to carry on in a world I barely understand right now. I hope it helps you as well…
“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.”
The lobster also has much to teach us about shedding the discomfort of our present condition in order to grow forward. Literally. Indeed, the only way this large marine crustacean is able to evolve into a larger and more mature aspect of itself is to use the stimulus of stress in order to squeeze out of its present rigid state of being—i.e. a shell that has become far too tight. The process happens throughout its lifetime and it’s not easy either, yet in order to live it must continually rid itself of what no longer fits it. Once its old shell becomes too constrictive that’s when it begins to transform.
It’s a struggle to claw out of that confining shell but the lobster instinctively knows that unless it leaves it behind it will be stuck in a small space that will ultimately cause it to suffocate and die. Unless it sheds its old layer, the healthier, stronger one beneath cannot expand.
This is the part I find so fascinating: While the lobster is changing “clothes” from too tight to just right hiding as best it can under a rocky place beneath the sea, that is the time when it’s most vulnerable to predators. Because during that transition from old to new, that is when it’s naked and its new shell hasn’t yet formed the protective covering hardening around it. And yet it courageously goes through the machinations of removing itself from its present constricting shell—risking its life in order to enable itself to be unencumbered and able to thrive once again.
Lesson from the Lobster
In order to fully transform out of our present condition of discomfort, whether that is a mental or physical state of being–the familiar feeling of being “stuck” in a rigid situation that no longer fits our needs—we need to shed what no longer suits us to be able to breathe, grow, stretch and thrive. If we don’t get out from under what is holding us back we could even suffocate and die from the stress and pain. Even if the change we inherently desire makes us feel naked in our new vulnerability, the reality is that continuous change is ultimately just what we need to face new perspectives and gather new strength and understanding.
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”