For Personal Development, I Often Turn to Nature. “To shed your skin, every old skin, one by one and then walk away, unencumbered, into the morning.” — Tony Kushner
Personal development and spiders may seem like a strange contrast. Some people find spiders creepy. I think they are extremely fascinating. They rid my garden of potentially dangerous insects, create magnificent works of art, and look absolutely beautiful in the sunlight.
Most spiders tend to live one or two years. They live in a variety of habitats. Definitely predators, finding and capturing prey.
In addition to reducing local disease-carrying insects, they also provide us with medical benefits. Did you know spider venom is used in neurological research and may prevent permanent brain damage in stroke victims.? The silk produced by spiders is used in many optical devices including laboratory instruments. There is a place in this world for spiders!
How will this topic relate to your personal development? This is a post about shedding your old life (or skin), not sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, and moving onward and upward, like this beautiful spider. To shed the old exoskeleton, the spider has to bust out from the inside. It increases its heart rate to pump a lot of hemolymph (the spider’s blood) from the abdomen into the cephalothorax. The pressure expands the cephalothorax, which pushes on the old exoskeleton until it cracks. The spider flexes its muscles until the old exoskeleton falls away. What can we learn from this process?
- The spider cannot grow unless it sheds its hard exterior exoskeleton. The spider has to have the desire to grow and push outward from the inside. If you want to grow, to change, to expand your knowledge and become the person you were meant to be, you have to work, use your whole heart and sole to push from the inside, work at it! There will be pressure. This will be a process. It will take time, desire, perseverance, and persistence.
- Did you know a spider does most of its growing immediately after shedding its old exoskeleton? This is when the spider is highly flexible. Shedding your “old skin” isn’t easy. And, it may hurt a little! But, in the end, you will have made a change for the better. Be stronger, wiser, and have a new look! One of confidence!
- It will take a bit of time for the new exoskeleton to harden and protect the spider. At first, you may feel strange. But, you will adjust to your new skin and will feel quite comfortable in it!
About a week later, I checked up on her (her web is under the eave of my house) and she is larger, her coloring has changed, and she was just wrapping up her lunch. Look at this photo and the changes I’ve noted. Was shedding her skin painful? I will never know. I do know it took a bit of effort to wriggle out of her old skin. Was the change worth it? I think so; and I’ll bet she does too!
There is a great deal we can learn by observing nature. Nature is ancient. It has devised ways to evolve, survive, and be so diverse!
My desire is that if you were a “spider hater” when you started reading this post, maybe now you can at least respect their place in the world.
I chose this video as this is a very close relative of my spider. See the grace and beauty set to J.S. Bach’s “Air” music.
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