How one word can spark your way forward


A couple of years ago, I came across a book called “SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life.”  SHED was the acronym for 4 steps that allow you to get unstuck from your stuff & move forward.  I don’t remember if I read the whole book or not.  I don’t even remember the specifics of the acronym, but that word stuck with me.

I know my first reaction when I think about shedding something is to picture what is left behind in the process.  The snake leaves it’s skin; crinkly, dry, worn.  The tree sheds bark.  What is left behind it is often something old, worn out, usually not very pretty; something to be discarded or swept away.

So, I could stop there, with the pile of stuff left behind, but that isn’t the end of what the word shed can represent.  Shedding has two sides & what comes after the letting go can be glorious!  The fresh skin, the beauty that appears, the lightness; that’s where I find the power of the word shed! 

I think of the dragonfly when I think of that word.  I chose the dragonfly as the symbol for my business because this amazing creature sheds it’s life led underwater for the chance to flash through the air with grace & poise.  Underwater, the dragonfly is hardly noticed, but when it surfaces, it can’t be missed.  It makes the most of it’s time, displaying it’s beauty & strength for everyone to see.

Letting go of clutter can feel like a rebirth.  It can create a shift in momentum & possibilities can find some room to enter your life.  The dragonfly is the reminder I use to shed the old & embrace the new.  I let go acknowledging what led me to this place, while courageously moving on.  

Your turn…

Here are some ways you can adopt the word shed into your life:

Shed the old behaviors & habits…

Shake them off as you continue to grow on this life journey.  One by one, let them fall along the path saying “I used to be a collector, a yo-yo dieter, an over-thinker, an over-spender, but now I am…”

Shed the unreasonable, outdated expectations…

Set them down with respect.  “Thank you, but no thank you- you may not cling to me when I know that way of thinking/behaving/moving no longer fits me.  It worked for a while, but not anymore.”

Shed the doubting thoughts…

Push them off with a brush of the hand.  Don’t spend a lot of time shedding these because they will reappear.  Just brush them off & move along.  When they come again, repeat.

Next Steps…

We shed during a time of growth.  It is a word for change.  It is a word that triggers images & reminders about the old & outgrown vs. the new & right.  I continue to look for words & images that fit with each step of this life journey.  Can you find a word that inspires you to look at life in a different way or keep you moving along?