Lessons from a Hermit Crab

Recently I’ve been experiencing sweeping energetic shifts.  In my last article, I talked about the power of saying my name out loud and the feeling I experienced when I claimed my name and stepped into my sovereignty.  But I’m experiencing other emotions as well, the less glamorous side of growth, if you will, yet still perfect.  When we choose to step out of the haven we’ve known—even if it was once perfectly aligned-and start to up-level, I can be scary.  It feels vulnerable. It feels like a grieving process, releasing the old version of ourselves.  My egoic mind tells me to run back to the safety of what I know. “You’re doing fine,” she says. “Why rock the boat?”  But it’s unavoidable. Something has to give.  My Soul is longing to expand.

I used to spend my summers on the beaches of Long Island. The hermit crabs fascinated me.  They were relatively small, the larger ones no bigger than my thumb.  Every now and then I would have the good fortune of watching a hermit crab look for a new home. In case you didn’t know, hermit crabs don’t have their own shells. They make their homes in the empty shells of mollusks who have died or were eaten.

Sometimes the hermit crab finds a shell she loves, but it’s already occupied. At this point she has 2 choices: pass it over, or fight for it.  I’ve seen both scenarios play out.  Either way, she has to leave the safety of her current home in order to claim the new one.  This is a dangerous time for our hermit crab friend because there are predators everywhere just waiting to pounce on an easy meal.  She risks it anyway. Why? Because she knows she’s outgrown her former home. It’s uncomfortable and there’s no more room to grow. She is propelled to find something better, something that fits.

The plight of the hermit crab helped me to better identify my own feelings of confusion and sadness.  Hadn’t I worked hard on my business?  Didn’t it feel perfectly aligned at one time?  It did.  But now, it doesn’t.  It doesn’t because I have evolved and changed.  Just because I’m evolving doesn’t mean that what I did in the past wasn’t authentic and true. It was at the time.  But it no longer fits.  It’s time to find a new place in this world.

So here I am, once again feeling vulnerable as I move from point A to point B, unsure of what the future holds, yet knowing there is no choice but to move.  Something else is calling.

As I take the first steps out of my old, restrictive shell, I exhale deeply because, now, there is room to breathe.  I’m shedding the old to make room for the new.  In this unknown newness, I begin to feel the expansion and the infinite possibilities, all the while being propelled towards a shiny new version of myself.


Carol Campos
Carol Campos
Like many, I struggled for years wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I had been working in the corporate world for over 20 years, most recently in a leadership role with a Fortune 5 company. Although I was consistently recognized and promoted throughout my career, I somehow knew that I was meant to do something different. I felt stuck in a life that didn’t fit, yet I had created it. What was my purpose? I had no idea. Finally, I left my corporate job and made the leap into the unknown. After doing months of self-discovery work (actually, play!), reconnecting to my higher wisdom, and re-remembering who I was at my core, I realized I didn’t have to fix myself. I also realized that I didn’t have to worry about “finding my purpose.” What I found was that I’m multi-passionate and didn’t want to be boxed into one thing. I didn’t HAVE to be boxed into one thing. I started a podcast and a blog where I explored the human experience—including my own beautiful, messy, but perfect road. This blog later became my column on BizCatalyst 360°. I became a mentor and a wayshower for others. I became a consultant to help improve company culture and improve client relationships. These are things I couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. But as often is the case, the Universe had an even bigger plan for me than I had for myself. My Soul knew what I would be doing long before I did, and I’m grateful that I followed the Divine map that was laid out before me! I love traveling, exploring new cultures, being in nature, and helping people on their own paths. I hold a B.A. in Communications from Hofstra University. I live in Massachusetts with my rambunctious and hilarious cats, Petey, and Emmett.

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  1. Synchronicity! Our priest had us saying our names, deep inside, reaching out to God, this morning.

    Thanks for sharing your insights as valuable lessons from nature Carol.

    Indeed, growth means the old is no longer a fit.

    Continuous improvement leads to delightful adjustments – – and extremely vulnerable moments all along the way.