The Turtle Story
Many years ago, one of my mentors told me a story about “the little box turtle” that has since inspired my life, my values, and my practice. My mentor was the master of the metaphor and brilliant story teller. I have said for years that I should have written down and categorized his stories as a life handbook. During one of our coaching sessions, he proclaimed that his totem animal was the turtle.
“Turtles represent growth and change”.
In the 1970’s and 80’s, little palm-sized “box” turtles were a common childhood pet as the turtles were a relatively low maintenance pet, they lived forever, and were inexpensive. Turtles lived a very long life, and it was not uncommon, after a number of years, for those previous pets, to be turned into the wild.
So here is the interesting part:
Those little turtles will stay that palm size, their entire life as long as they were kept in their tiny bowl and cared for. However, if you move them to a larger terrarium, no matter the age, they will grow to meet the size of their area. They will always grow to the size in which their environment allows them to thrive. Even years later, should you decide to let your turtle out into the wild, your turtle will again grow.
However once the turtle leaves the nest to explore the pond, it can never go back to their original home. You see, a larger turtle, one who has experienced the world and grew, can no longer thrive in that tiny environment and eventually, the turtle will die.
The moral of the story is:
- Take Risks.
- Comfort zones are wonderful places, but nothing grows there.
- In order to grow, you must leave your comfort zone and allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and afraid.
- Keep Moving Forward.
- Once your mind has grown, falling back into old habits is toxic.
- There are always growing pains but they are worth it.
- Bravery is not the absence of fear, it is moving forward despite it.
- The only failure is not trying.
The House of Harmony is a pond for turtles to congregate. Turtles are survivors. Having shared common experiences of abuse, loss, and trauma, our view of the world is different. Our common thread is a strong belief in Tolerance, Personal Growth, Advocacy, Education, and Inclusion. We also share a mutual feeling of responsibility to pass on the life skills and lessons we have learned from others and through our own experiences.
We hope our blog will become a valuable resource for information, education and entertainment to those who are part of or curious about our turtle community.
Dr. Harmony a.k.a. Mama Turtle and the Turtles