What do you picture when you think of a butterfly?
Do you see the translucent wings, the graceful way it rides the breeze like a champion surfer, the delicate form as it appears to float effortlessly in the air.
Do you ever think about what it was like before its transformation? Or what the process was like?
Clearly, this ethereal creature didn’t “wake up like that”.
Now think of a caterpillar....creepy, multi-limbed, furry, worm-like creatures. In my mind, there’s nothing beautiful about them; in fact, they make me cringe.
Where are you on your journey of transformation? Have you thought about that? What dreams or goals have you just barely begun to tackle? Have you even gotten that far? We are all one decision away from completely transforming our lives into something beyond our wildest dreams.
It takes work.
It takes commitment.
It takes patience, faith...
But most of all, it takes time.
That in-between time can be tricky because you can feel stuck in this state forever. You’re too close to see the process as it’s evolving. You have no perspective. You might want to give up.....don’t!
After the caterpillar is hatched from its egg, its sole purpose is consumption. That’s right....no diets here (LOL). It needs to consume enough fuel to carry itself through the next stage of transformation. Once it’s in the chrysalis, there’s no running out for more food....once that baby’s sealed up, that’s it!
That’s where the real work begins. The caterpillar has pretty much eaten itself into a food coma and builds a protective cocoon around itself so it can digest all the food it’s consumed.
From the outside, it may not look like much is happening, but inside there is a major transformation taking place: the caterpillar is going through a metamorphosis. The old is dying to make way for the new.
Several years ago, I experienced a betrayal. At the time, I didn’t realize the internal traumatic effects this had, but recently, I’ve gained some clarity around how this betrayal affected me.
Around the same time, I started gaining weight. I was eating to make myself feel better, I was eating to console myself, I was eating to avoid my feelings----just like I used alcohol before I got sober.
One of the many, many gifts that sobriety has given me is self-awareness.
So, I made the connection pretty quickly, but the addiction to the sugary treats was strong.
Over time, I gained a bunch of weight & even though I tried different methods to lose it (diets, exercise, cleanses), the extra pounds wouldn’t budge.
My self esteem plummeted.
I pulled out the old “everything’s ok” mask I used to wear and felt my connection to myself start to slip away. It was like I was living a dual life again--showing up at my day job, teaching a few yoga classes, acting as if everything was OK.
Meanwhile, my inner dialogue sounded something like this:
Who do you think you are?
You’re a fraud!
Who’s gonna want to hire a yoga teacher who looks like YOU?
Who would want to you as a coach?
You’re a joke!
But recently, I had an epiphany.
The weight I gained was MY cocoon?
- What if I had to go through this process so that I would be able to do the deep inner work of my own transformation?
- What if the last few years have been necessary so that I can emerge from this “cocoon” stage as the strong, beautiful butterfly I was born to become.
- What if I needed every second of that time in the cocoon so I would be strong enough to soar?
One of the most interesting things I’ve learned about the metamorphosis process is that the timing has to be precise. If a butterfly leaves the cocoon before its wings are fully formed, it won’t be able to sustain itself & will probably die. So, even after all that time in the cocoon, the final steps can make or break the end result.
Note to self: don’t rush the process & honor the divine timing of transformation
You are on your own journey, your own path of transformation.
Don’t compare yours to what someone else’s appears to be.
You have no idea what’s going on in their cocoon...remember, from the outside, it doesn’t appear like much is happening.
Do the work.
Respect the process.