We finally got back into some garden work over the Easter weekend, which was overdue as the plentiful rain and sunshine had turned it into a jungle. And, like any jungle, there are always some interesting and unexpected discoveries to be made.
Beautiful, exotic blooms, plants that appear even though they weren't put there by us, weeds of all shapes and sizes, fruit, fallen branches, many varieties of fungus and, in our case, a metre-long snake skin.
Whether you like them or not, snakes are amazing creatures.
We have a lot of them in our part of the world, some are benign, others definitely not and we have previously discovered a sleepy three-metre python waking from his hibernation place wrapped around our deck.
One of the things I find interesting about them is that they shed their skin and that got me thinking.
Recent events have had me reflecting on my life so far and all of the changes and evolutions I have been through on the way. We all experience that as we learn and adapt to suit the environment and I realised that, like a snake shedding its skin so that it can grow into a greater version of itself, we are essentially doing the same.
If you have ever been through a rapid shift in your life whether internally or externally triggered, you may know what I mean.
It brings about dynamic change and, as a result, it's as though our existing "skin", shell, persona, image or however you see it, no longer fits and we have to break through that and create a new one to accommodate the expansion of who we are. And for thousands of years in various cultures snakes have represented rebirth and transformation.
Given that Nick had a heart attack recently which temporarily took him from us (my longest two minutes ever) and shocked many who know him, it seemed totally appropriate that we found the snake skin.
We both see what happened to him as being something of a rebirth and anyone who has experienced a heart attack, or loves anyone who has, understands just how profound a transformation the person goes through.
All change feels uncomfortable to a certain extent, even the change we choose for ourselves, and sometimes it feels too hard to break out from where and who we are to move forward and yet it's worth it.
So, like the snake shedding its skin, accept the temporary discomfort and celebrate the fact that you are experiencing growth and transformation into a truer version of you.
Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: http://www.mindsaligned.com.au