Shed Your Old Skin (Music)

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Quick summary: This is a song that I wrote in 2008 about the need to change… fundamentally. I was in a time of extremely heavy stress do mostly to my job placement working with children who had (and often still were) experiencing unthinkable trauma. After a period of time of intense burnout/vicarious trauma I started mindfully looking to the world for metaphorical guidance. This Song is about trusting the symbolic (and perhaps subjective) meaning of occurrences that happen before you. The idea that life presents us with symbols that we can decipher for our directional benefit is common in most religions, but perhaps it still sounds strange to hear that one might actually listen to such messages… Carl Jung offered the western word a change to engage in such practices.

Verse 1:One day while hiking a came upon a a rattle snake that had recently been run over by a mountain bike… it lay coiled on the path filled with unreleased anger begging to pour its aggression from its body into any organism that passed within striking range. The snake was hurt and unable to let itself rest… I sat by it contemplating the symbolism till it softened – uncoiled and moved to the bushes to begin recovery. The message was simple and profound… without rest you can not grow… sometimes you need to shed your old skin to grow towards your potential… In my case I needed to shed an operating system which was no longer helpful to me.

verse 2: I was at a popular place in Lyon’s Colorado and I chose to stand in between the aggressive controlling behavior of a man towards his woman… I stood in a place of deep empathy as I could see that the man was frightened and the shadow of his past was controlling his behavior. As I stood before him in a place of attempted usefulness he headbutted my face. Other males were ready to physically attack this individual for his treatment of the woman, but I stood obdurately using my soothing abilities to attempt to non-violently resolve the incident. As I walked outside and sat in a car a fox walked up and starred at me from the parking lot. To me the fox always comes to share the same message – “look at yourself, you are missing something that you need to attend to.” The reflection was that I was more wiling to take care of a stranger than myself… and the incident was a symbol of poor boundaries concerning the protection of my own health. As I reflected further I saw multitudes of incidences that followed the same theme.

Verse 3: The most profound verse and still one of the most profound occurrences in my life occurred at a lake that I frequently used to run around. I was lost in my thoughts and a hawk landed on the path 10 feet in front of me… this is truly unusual for two reason: proximity to a human and landing in the open on a trail. The Halk staredat me with courage and popped to flight only to tactfully drop claws first on his prey. The movement was sure and graceful… the message was clear = you can’t just wait around for your destiny to happen – sometimes you need to go and get it.

Shed your old Skin

Broken down and beaten the snake tried to shed his skin

But he kept on getting messages that without it he’d not live

No longer could he grow… his old skin constricted

If you ain’t done it yet go on and do it

If you ain’t done it yet go on and do it

_

Shed your old skin

_

So I’m sitting in a car unaware of my black eye

And I’m pondering the hopelessness of this path that I held so tight

A fox crossed on the night of a grown man still an infant

If you ain’t done it yet go on and do it

Sometime we need to heal the child that we were…

(you ain’t done it yet go on and do it)

_

Finally while I was running I was aloof to my obvious needs

and a hawk landed on the path in front of me

well he popped to flight with thoughtless grace

and killed a fucking rabbit

Get moving on your way you ain’t found it so go get it

Get moving on your way you ain’t found it so go get it

_

Well I see that you’re uncomfortable and you want something to change

But if you don’t start the motion no one else is going to heal that pain

_

Shed your old skin

Get moving on your way you ain’t found it so go get it

 

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

William Hambleton Bishop

William Hambleton Bishop is a practicing therapist in Steamboat Springs Colorado.


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