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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Be Like The Turtle

Historian and writer, Bill Copeland is said to have given the following advice:

"Try to be like the turtle - at ease is your own shell."

Bill was also the author of several books (Ashes to the Vistula, and the Secret People's Trilogy) and poems which include a collection of Holocost Poems including the following titles that are particularly moving:

The Ravine

Nothing To Fear

Wiggling Earth


Bill held a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Georgia but did not begin writing until a decade before his death. He suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery - it was at that time that his writing began. He was recognized by the National Writer's Association and in 2008 was nominated by the Georgia Writer's Association for the Georgia Author of the Year Award. Bill passed away October 10th 2010 after an extended illness.

Now that we know a bit about the man who we credit for the quote, let's look at the quote itself.

Does the shell represent our home? our mind? our body? What is it causing us to feel uneasy? For the teenage girl who is uncomfortable with her changing body and developing breasts, her metaphorical shell is her body and she should try to be comfortable in it. For the middle aged man who goes from work to the bar and spends no time at home, his metaphorical shell is his home and he should try to be comfortable in it. With these examples, there might be small changes that can be made to help feel more at ease in the "shell". The girl can practice more positive self talk, the man could remove the pictures of his ex wife that are making him sad ... just as a few examples.

What happens when the shell is our mind ad we aren't comfortable in it? When our thoughts are negative, cruel, or we see no hope for our future? Of course, if that is the case, we should try to be like the turtle. We should try to be at ease in our own shell. I'm not sure how we would do that - so I turn to the turtle as my example. If I were a turtle, some of the following would hold true:

----Turtles have a hard shell for protection
----Turtles can hide their head in their shell when attacked
----Turtles have existed for around 215 million years
----Turtles have been known to weigh over 1,000 pounds
----Sea Turtles have special glands to remove salt from the water they drink
----Turtles are notoriously slow movers

How can I use this information to enrich my own life? Let's take them in order...

----I need to make sure I'm adequately protected by surrounding myself by people that truly care about me. I need to choose my friends wisely.

----I need to protect myself from negativity by letting those thoughts to in one ear and out the other - I'll hang onto the positive and hide from the negative.

----I need to take pride in my age and not be ashamed of it - the experience is priceless!

----I need to embrace my weight and as long as I am healthy, take pride in my curves!

----I need to watch the salt!

----I need to slow down - if I keep moving so fast I'm going to miss things!

Wow! All this from a fun quote! I hope this quote and it's lessons bring you as much joy as they have brought me! I am grateful that I began writing before any health issues, and I am going to try to be more turtle like moving forward!

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and may your turtle shell be shinny and strong! ~Crystal

1 comment:

  1. I love the depth of this post! I think you did a great job of showing us what a shell can be like and that we each have a unique shell to think about!

    Oh, and turtles are cute.