A Turtle's Journey, and what we can learn from it
One of the reasons that I love going to Costa Rica in the Fall is the opportunity to witness the turtles hatching at Ostional Beach, a protected wildlife refuge for the Olive Ridley Turtles.
The baby turtles have quite a challenge ahead of them when they hatch. First, they have to climb out of the hole in which their mama buried the eggs. Next, they have a long and dangerous walk across the beach to get to the ocean. On this journey, they are at risk of getting flipped over or thrown off track by things in their path like driftwood or footprints from people, or worse – of getting picked off by a nearby predator.
I witnessed the quickening pace of the baby turtles as they reached the wet sand with their goal of the ocean in sight. Yet the struggle was far from over. A wave would come in and send the poor turtle tumbling back, sometimes leaving them upside down. I watched as some turtles rested for a moment, while others pushed on – determined to make it past the waves into the water. There’s no doubt that turtles have a rough start to life.
As I watched the turtles' journey unfold last year while on retreat at Blue Spirit, I noted how symbolic it was of life transitions. Sometimes when we are moving through a major life event, we might feel like we take three steps (or tumbles) back for every step forward. We might lose our way, or even experience a setback so challenging that we need to take a moment to rest, reset or get our bearings before we can move forward. We may move sideways for a bit until we find the strength to go on.
All of those things are ok, and are part of the process of change. By facing the setbacks, we develop new
skill sets, gain wisdom, and build strength and resilience. Eventually, we realize we’ve reached it – our new way of being (for the turtle – the ocean). However, there are always new challenges to face. Even in the relative safety of the ocean, there are new threats that the turtle may not even know about yet. The same goes for us. There are always new challenges lurking around the corner.
Life is full of unexpected turns and turmoil, but that’s all part of the journey. Our struggles make us who we are, and by consistently picking ourselves up, we learn what’s at our core that makes us tick – we evolve, grow and mature.
If you are a experiencing a setback, schedule a free consultation with us to learn if we can help you over the hurdle to keep you moving forward towards your goals.