Spring is here! The tulips are blooming, the grass is growing, and the horses are shedding!
Seriously. There. Is. Hair. EVERYWHERE. Just so much hair.
Enough to, you guessed it, knit a scarf! Or maybe even crochet a whole blanket.
I honestly love shedding season. It is immensely gratifying to start the brushing process with a fuzzy, grungy horse and end with a sleek, clean goddess of a creature. So yeah. There’s the concrete appreciation of change. It’s like when your floors get really dirty before you have a chance to vacuum. After the vacuuming – the stark contrast of crisp, clean space. Magnificent.
I also love shedding season because it invites us to reflect on the metaphorical nature of shedding. Our horses are shedding because the coats they grew over the prior months – hair that helped them stay insulated and warm and cozy in the harshness of winter – no longer serve them well. In fact, were they to keep it, they’d have a miserable summer season.
And I just consider: How many of us have grown layers of insulation in prior life seasons? Created coats of self-protection to get through long, cold, miserable nights? Because things were hard or the world felt unsafe or everything we relied on disappeared in a flash?
And how many of us can say with certainty that these coats and layers are still precisely what we need in this present time of our lives?
*sheepishly lowers hand*
A handful of months ago, I was preparing for a big personal change. A change I was excited for! A change I had planned and dreamed and hoped for for quite some time! And yet… I was apprehensive. Uncertain of how it might ripple through my life. Because I was expecting that this ripple might show up in my professional spaces, I was talking through it with my supervisor. I shared about how ready and eager I was – and also how timid and trepidatious I felt. I have returned often to her words: “If you change, it’s because some part of you wanted or needed to.”
She was right, of course. I have noticed changes in myself. Changes I might not have undertaken if the situation did not require it. And they’re changes for the better. Some part of me DID want or need it – even if I couldn’t see it ahead of time.
And I think that’s the nature of shedding, too. We may not have all the foresight to understand how it will benefit us or if the temperature may dip again (like with a surprise April snowstorm?! WHAT?!), but we boldly undertake it because we need to. Because we want to. Because some wise part of us knows it will help us thrive.
The patterns and ways of being that carried us through prior challenges may have sustained us in those moments. They kept us alive. Kept us safe. But they don’t necessarily serve us well now. Not intrinsically. It’s valuable to examine them intentionally. To decide whether we’d like to keep these survival strategies in place or remove them to allow something else to glisten in the sunlight.
Pause for a moment and consider:
What survival strategies did you grow in your past? How did they keep you warm and alive? Are they still acting in genuinely protective and beneficial ways? Or are they suffocating and overheating you? What would it be like to begin the shedding process? What tools might you use? How might it feel to emerge refreshed for this next season of your life?
One of the things we love most at CHERIISH is helping folks uncover how their past shapes their present, what lessons they want to carry forward, which stories they’d like to re-write, and how they want to live a deeply beautiful and enriched life now.
If you’d like to join us for office, virtual, or equine-assisted therapy services, fill out our new client inquiry form here and someone will be in touch soon!