The Butterfly

Musings on Change & Transformation

Writer R.H. Heinlein called butterflies “self-propelled flowers.” And that is precisely what Super SPELer Wendy Moody captured in the brilliant photography of this post.

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Have you heard the one about the caterpillar who looks up at the butterfly & exclaims, "They’ll never get me up on one of those contraptions"?

 

Unknown

It seems as though life continually challenges us to grow, expand and evolve. How ironic that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change.

Making any significant change takes courage and hope. (An understatement if there ever was one.)

 

 

"Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same

outweighs the pain of change."

 

Authur Burt

 

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And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was

more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

 

Anais Nin

When Nature Pulls a Fast One

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

 

Anais Nin

 

This is

your

life.

Savor it.

Caterpillars don’t just up and sprout wings one day. The butterfly’s daring escape from the cocoon is a difficult & perilous process.

 

The first thing that happens is a total meltdown. (Sound familiar?) The caterpillar literally dissolves. If you ever cut open the chrysalis (that spider-webby looking stuff) like I did as a kid, you’ll find nothing but liquid. (Trippy, isn't?)

 

 

 

"You must give up the life you had planned in order to have

 the life that is waiting for you."

 

Joseph Campbell

 

 

 

If anyone “assists” the butterfly by cutting open the cocoon, the creature will die. In fact, the longer it struggles to be free, the stronger & longer it lives.

 

Although the metamorphosis process is dark and dangerous, it’s here where we can discover our true selves.

 

Who we really are, how we really feel & what we really want. Not who we think we should be and feel or what we’ve been told to or conditioned to want.

 

It’s here where we can get a clearer sense of our purpose and passion for life. And make our lives a deeply personal reflection of what matters most to us.

 

Since the purpose of change is to shape us into who we were born to be, why is it that our first instinct is to protect ourselves, live sheltered and safe below our divine potential?

 

It’s seems natural to cling to what we’re afraid of losing, even when what we’re clinging to makes us unhappy.  To stick with what we already know but don't necessarily want. To fear stepping out of our comfort zones that ironically, are not all that comfortable.

 

We struggle. And remain asleep in order to resist the forces of change.

 

We ignore the restlessness, the dissatisfaction, the nagging nudge to forge a new path. Tolerating , denying or repressing  our emotion keeps unwanted situations rigidly stuck in place. We wrongly conclude that we are powerless.

 

We strike bargains with our longings & desires. Some day when ____________.  And in the meantime,  we settle for becoming voyeurs of the kinds of experiences that our own souls are yearning to have.

 

Oftentimes physical ailments & symptoms serve as a wake-up call, alerting us of our need to change.

 

 

"Listen with love to your body’s messages."

 

Louise Hay

 

 

 

It seems all-too-human for us to have moments of clarity,  to remember what’s important, then over time, forget again.

 

The change itself isn’t the problem — it’s fighting and fearing the process.

 

When we fear the change tugging at our souls, we are temporarily blinded to the goodness of God and the abundance of life.

 

And to our God-given creative power within.

 

We resist because change often feels like a crisis. It may mean making tough choices, shifting a cherished belief system, leaving a comfort zone, switching careers, or losing something (or someone) we love or the things that once defined us.

 

It might involve being misunderstood by people you love. Or letting go of  toxic relationships. It isn’t easy to disturb the status quo. To be done with suffering fools (as you bless them on their way).

 

But if we don’t, we drain. We dim. We die, a little every day.

 

Brutal honesty with ourselves is the only way to discover what holds us back. As we lovingly confront our own role in the paralysis, we pay attention to what’s not working in our lives and adjust our beliefs, actions, and focus accordingly. Illusion & self-deception fall away and naked truth emerges.

 

We begin to honor the demands of our soul. To identify and articulate our wants and needs. (Gasp!)

 

We stop selling ourselves short & playing small. Neither one will land us our dreams,  nor, in the end, earn us love. Nor keep others from being jealous. Sometimes we court bigger dreams than others are comfortable with.  (End of sentence preposition alert!)

 

Because we are no longer who we once were, but not yet who we are becoming, it’s a perfect time for reconstructing what we believe is possible for our lives. For letting our imaginations sow their wild oats. To see ourselves living fully with passion, and meaning and profound satisfaction.

 

As a (wo)man thinks, so is (s)he.

 

 

 

Imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time.

 

 Debbie Millman

 

 

 

No more negating the longings of your spirit. Open up to trust the joy and pain of change.

 

 

 

You are meant to have an amazing life.

Close your eyes, just for a moment, and let that in.

 

 

 

Fear and self-doubt come with the territory, but in the immortal words of the brilliant philosopher Elmer Fudd,  Be bwave, widdoe wabbit.

 

 

 

"Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear."

 

George Addair

 

 

 

Way down deep, you’re braver & stronger than you think. Take yourself into your own heart. Be gentle and kind and patient. Keep trying on your new wings until they fit. Until you fly.

 

You are not alone on this journey. Join the other path-forgers, brave souls & kindred spirits who are intentionally becoming “good” at embracing the discomfort and uncertainty of change & turbo-charging their evolution by practicing, however imperfectly:

 

 

Choosing growth over fear.

Replacing fear of change with curiosity.

Seeing the wonder and opportunity in quarter-life, mid-life, or three-quarter life crises.

 

 

 

"It’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be… I hope

you live a life you’re proud of.  If you find that you’re not, I hope you have

 the strength to start all over again."

 

 F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

 

 

Granting yourself permission to want what you want.

(Trusting that your deepest desires are divine impulses.)

 

Taking back your power.

(Retrieving what was never really lost.)

 

Viewing loss or endings as opportunities for something new, something better.

 

Clarifying what truly matters to you & living in pursuit of your highest aspirations.

Living a life fueled by your marrow, your true core.

 

 

Drawing the line.

Taking the leap.

Making the call, writing the story.

Letting your genius fly.

Doing what makes you come alive.

 

 

If not now, then when? If not you, then who?

No matter what happens next, you’ll be richer for it. I promise.

*****

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