Inspired by change, challenge and creativity

Shedding My Bark


“Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind.

Their leaves are telling secrets.

Their bark sings songs of olden days as it grows around the trunks.

And their roots give names to all things.

Their language has been lost.

But not the gestures.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration




A week ago, I wrote about finding the balance between the masculine and feminine sides of me.  Of embracing my feminine side more, and how it has served me well as I stay in touch with this softer me.



And I am reminded of this deeper, dreamier side as I gaze at my garden in early spring.  The trees stripped bare.  These tall, stalwart soldiers seem to be standing guard.  Strong, straight and unyielding, at times, to even the strongest winds.



But if I look closer, I see that trees cannot survive if they are unbending, and too stiff.  If
DSCN4123they cannot be flexible, they break under the wild winds, and heavy bitter snow.  It is their ability to remain loose and shed their bark, that makes them stronger.



And like a tree, I grow from Mother Earth with strong roots reaching deep down into the enriching soil.  Creating a strong foundation to draw from in time of need.  To allow layer upon layer of bark to grow as it is needed for protection.  And when that bark is no longer needed, it is stripped away letting the next layer grow to accommodate the growth in me.



Recently, I found I needed to throw off the bark that had been protecting me for so long.  It felt as if it were strangling me, not allowing for the changes coming.  A need was growing to let go of what was no longer serving me.  And allow this new strength, I was finding in the softer side of me, to begin to grow.



DSCN3640I had been asked to testify at a hearing regarding work issues.  I had been gone for over a year, and wanted no reminders of my old work experiences.  Of reliving the stress.  But without a choice, I was forced to make the 2 hour trip twice.



I had forgotten so much of my job, in such a short time, which was telling.  I was hiding from much of this excruciatingly stressful time.  When I worked for a bully in a toxic atmosphere.  It felt almost surreal to recount the work….the sometimes humiliating treatment of my superior.



And if that wasn’t enough, I had to endure the ridiculous, overbearing and intimidating questioning by one lawyer in particular.  Not for any real purpose, but to try to rattle me, and waste time in order to have time to prepare for subsequent testimony by others.  To say it was a total waste of my time would not be correct.  Hopefully my testimony would help others.  And I know it helped me.



As I went through the experience, I found I could draw upon my foundational strength, still flowing deep in my roots.  DSCN6904And I kept my head about me.  Not drawn into the aggressive, assertive, tense me of old.  But now a calmer, cooler head prevailed.  And when it was done, a release was felt through out my mind and body.



I was able to shed the bark of the past.  No longer having to use the strategies of old.  I could feel an evolution unfolding inside of me as I followed my intuitive side.  A swelling of new growth, bending and yielding as the winds of this situation blew about me.  And I knew at once I was home in this new place.  This new Yin of me.  And when I returned home, it was time to get busy, and start my journey along this new passage….to the softer side of me….feeling stronger than ever.



Have you experienced a shedding of your outer bark?  What new lessons are you learning?







Special Note:  The pictures here are of old, 80 foot trees growing in my garden.  The stump at the beginning of the post is of an ash tree that suddenly fell in the garden one day.  It had become too brittle to yield to the prevailing winds.  I thought it perfectly summed up the post.




I leave you with a few additional words on trees.  I welcome you to download this photo and share it.


All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

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  1. March 24, 2016    

    I am sorry that you had to go through that experience, and so very glad that you left lighter, freer and more grounded in what matters. Not to the world, but to YOU.

    • March 24, 2016    

      Hugs right back at you Soosie! It was my lesson to learn and I am a better person for it….I am stronger, and feel that chapter is finally closed. I can move on, and start the new chapter waiting for me now…thank you for your unending support!

  2. March 24, 2016    

    I am in utter awe. Truly. First for your courage and wisdom and second because it’s like we’re living in parallel universes! Really powerful confirmation of the intuition and information I’ve been receiving. Thank you, Donna. ♥

    • March 24, 2016    

      Oh Hannah big hugs to you! I am so amazed at this….and I think there are many on the same path as us!

      • March 24, 2016    

        Hugs back and I agree! 🙂 It’s exciting really!

  3. March 24, 2016    

    How wonderful that you were able to turn this potentially awful experience into something positive — revisiting your past stresses and then letting go of them and helping others as you do so. Kudos!

    • March 25, 2016    

      Thanks Jean…it was a turning point for me!

  4. March 25, 2016    

    What an inspiring, wonderful quote and meaningful post, my darling Donna !
    Thank you once again for sharing all this wonder, my sweetest friend, blessed be !

    May your Easter be Happy as ever, I wish it to you with all my heart !
    With sincere gratitude


    • March 25, 2016    

      Oh sweet Dany thank you…and my your Easter be truly blessed!

  5. March 26, 2016    

    O wow Donna I feel very proud of you today. Even the small bit you describe made me shiver. No one should be put in such a position and I’m just thrilled for you that you have shed that bark of protection and can sing your creativity in every possible way, free as a bird. (And I love that strength YAY!!! Go for it!!) x

    • March 26, 2016    

      Oh much love and loads of hugs to you, my dear Catherine, for your beautiful words of support and inspiration to keep going! Thanks so much!

  6. March 28, 2016    

    You have such an amazing way of verbalizing life. Thank you. So happy that you were able to shed this old layer and begin anew! You go girl!

    • March 28, 2016    

      Oh how kind of you to say so Robin….your enthusiastic encouragement is most appreciated!

  7. April 10, 2016    

    Donna, I love this post I love the clarity that shedding your bark has given you in what must have been a dreadful situation. I love the tree analogy, so strong. You are awesome!
    My last post I was off on a yoga retreat, you would have been a perfect participant!
    Have a great week
    Wren x

    • April 10, 2016    

      Thank you Wren! I would have loved participating I am sure!

  8. May 5, 2016    

    How feisty to come thru that experience, both the living of it, and the repeated memory of it, unbroken and stronger!

    On Eagle’s Wings

Favorite Quote This Week:

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” ~ Aristotle


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