On Turtles, necklaces, and life.

cropped turtle

It has been a long, long time since I posted to this page. . . It is time again.

Every morning I reach for a gemstone pendant necklace to put on for the day. My signature pendant is a large quartz crystal with smaller stone chips wired around it, but sometimes I switch things up and wear something else. This morning I considered one necklace with particular meaning to me.

Ten years ago I was dating a man that was very self aware, had studied psychology, and had a reasonable understanding  the Enneagrams personality types. If you are not familiar with Enneagrams I invite you to investigate this.  This man’s Enneagram fit him almost perfectly. He explained to me that whenever he was confronted with a difficult question, situation, or decision, he would withdraw into his shell for a few weeks to think and ponder over it. After a few weeks he was usually ready to talk about the issue. We began to call this process “turtling”.

At first I thought this was a pretty good idea. We often need time to think things through before we act on them.  However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this method can also become a way to avoid facing life head on.  The turtle can’t move when she is  in her shell. She is withdrawn, closed up, and stuck in one place.   As long as we are turtling, we really aren’t getting anything accomplished either. Turtling or withdrawing is another tool we use to procrastinate; to put off the inevitable.

I am one of the best procrastinators I know. Seriously, I can put something off for the longest time, even forever if I want to. But in 2009, after my training as a life coach, I began to see how withdrawing or turtling up was preventing me from evolving into the person was meant to be. Right then and there I decided  to be big rather than small, to show up, and face whatever came my way head on. I decided I would no longer rely on my turtle shell as a place to hide.

My life coaching teacher tells us that 24 hrs is long enough to withdraw. You can do all of the screaming, crying and feeling bad that you want to in that time period. After that, it is time to get back out and deal with whatever life has brought for you.  This goes for anything from losing a job,  home, phone, purse, a relationship break-up, friend, even death. You have 24 hours to wail and moan, then you are done. It is time to move on and deal with life again.

Not long after I finished my life coaching program, I found a carved bone turtle pendant that had been gifted to me a couple of years earlier.  I used it to make a necklace that would remind me not to be a turtle. This necklace became my go to necklace for at least a year or more.  I still wear it some but not as much as I used to. The necklace helped me develop new ways of thinking and being,  by reminding me that the turtle never gets anything done when she sits in her shell.

Don’t be a turtle. Grow up and get a grip.  Learn to face life head on.


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