Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shedding our skins

New Years approaches and our thoughts turn to resolutions, to-do lists, and yes, diets. All of these themes can be boiled down to one topic: change. Even if 2008 was a good year, there are aspects we'd like to never do again or at least improve.

Change requires energy. Change requires discipline and resilience and fortitude. And change requires letting go of what is and reaching for what could be.

Nature knows about change. Season change requires a passing of the old before the new appears -- think of summer and its leafy trees passing into autumn and the bright foliage to winter where all is bare and covered with snow. Or as this quote points out:
It seems necessary to completely shed the
old skin before the new, brighter, stronger,
more beautiful one can emerge. . . . I never
thought I'd be getting a life lesson from a snake. --
Julie Ridge

What do you need to shed before you can succeed at change? Of course, if you notice a snake sheds a skin, but underneath is a brighter, newer copy of the same. Is 'shedding' a skin enough change or do we need to recreate the pattern and texture of our lives? It is a good time to look at:
  • Attitudes
  • Habits
  • Ignorance
  • People/Friends/Enemies
  • Time wasters
  • Accumulation
  • Baggage
  • Pain
  • Health
  • Thoughts
  • Joys
  • Sorrows
  • Disappointments
  • Accomplishments
Ask yourself why we have such a difficult time at making changes in our lives? When I think of change, I think of that law of physics about an object at rest stays at rest -- inertia is my biggest detriment to change. But then I read:
Since we live in a changing universe, why do people
oppose change? If a rock is in the way, the root of a tree
will change its direction. The dumbest animals try to adapt
themselves to changed conditions. Even a rat will change
its tactics to get a piece of cheese. --
Melvin B. Tolson
Rivers curve around to find the easiest course. Why do we always try to plow ahead regardless of easier ways to get where we're going? Maybe 2009 can be the year that we find our way around our problems and forge a new path to our goals, success, and a happier life.

Are there some specifics to be achieved in 2009?
  • Travel more?
  • Learn more?
  • Love more?
  • Care more?
  • Smile more?
  • Do more for others?
  • Share more?
  • Give more?
  • Meditate more?
What's the first step to change. What can we do today to help us succeed in 2009? Change one thing you do today.
  • Eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of a pastry.
  • Take a walk around the block before sitting down to watch television
  • Write a letter to someone you have neglected
  • Clean out one drawer -- and throw something away!
  • Hug your Mom, your Dad, your daughter, your son, your spouse -- for no reason
  • Smile at a stranger
  • Adopt a charity to support
  • Make a phone call to someone you've thought about recently
Maybe the secret to success in 2009 is simply doing one thing each day and at the end of the year you have 365 things accomplished. Rather than expecting to lose 100 pounds this year, expect to eat 100 healthy meals. Expect to take 100 walks. Sometimes baby steps are the best way to start a journey.

Remember that in this life we started out flat on our backs before we learned to crawl, and toddle and walk and then run.... Perhaps a few days flat on our back, seeing the sky -- stars and clouds -- and noticing the world around us, getting reacquainted with our environment. That's a good point at which to begin this journey.


Dawn Goldsmith said...

Well, hello Dawn Goldsmith!!

How lovely to hear from you. Yes, I have seen your name on Google many times and perhaps we have more in common than you think - in that I am a writer (previously editor of numerous magazines, now working in tv)... maybe there's something in the name!

Well, thank you for the connection and for your beautiful observations on the nature of change.

Happy New Year! Wishing wonderful things for you in 2009.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to post a comment to the 1/2/08 post, but could not find the function. I think you can pay tribute to your mother and "bloom where you are planted" by realizing that where ever you are, you are planting seeds from yourself. You can see all the wonders of the world and touch the lives of others in every single one of those places. Every life you touch is yet another petal on the most precious blossom given of yourself. Just my thoughts.

By the way, since you do so much for your readers I thought I would try and bring a smile to your face. Some say awards mean little, but when they come from the heart, hopefully they mean more. I recently accepted a Premio Dardos Award from Jane Kennedy Sutton ( I would like to offer this award to you.

You can find out more on my blog at

Happy new year.