Friday, June 13, 2014

(Anti)-Slavery Campaign and the Butterfly Metaphor

The metaphor of the butterfly for transformation is profound:

1. The caterpillar that is kind banal looking becomes the beautiful, radiant butterfly.

2. Before the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it prepares its cocoon as though it were dying. What the caterpillar thinks is the end of its life is really the beginning.

3. The caterpillar knows intuitively and in alignment with nature when it is time to start spinning its bed to sleep in.  You do not see other caterpillars walking over, tapping them on the shoulder saying, "it is time," "you are ready." It is intuitive. Change is intuitive. So many people are waiting for permission to go for their dreams.  Someone to validate them, tell them they could do it. However, the path is clearest when the knowing is intuitive and irrespective of what others are say.

4. The caterpillar sheds its old skin, which forms the chrysalis cocoon and goes inward for a few days (for some of us mammals this could be weeks, months or years).

5. The caterpillar does not go inside the cocoon and unzip its caterpillar suit for a butterfly suit. He becomes a big puddle of liquid that some affectionately refer to as a digestive soup. This liquid chooses parts of the caterpillar to hold onto and kills of the rest. It then creates new butterfly tissue.

6. The butterfly then has to fight, and fight hard, to get himself out of the chrysalis. Moreover, if someone tries to help the butterfly out, it dies. It is the process of working to get out that gives it the strength and development time that it needs to actually survive. What a powerful metaphor!

7. Then the butterfly is ready to learn to walk, and then fly.

Where are you in your life? Are you a butterfly, soaring, enjoying your elegant manifestation? Are you a caterpillar getting the message that it is time to transition–time to do something different?  Are you lying in a puddle of what once was you and what may be the future you? Are you sitting around and waiting for someone to give you permission or affirmation of your next step on your path? Are you looking at what would need to happen to take to get you out of your shell and coding it “hard work” which makes you disinclined to act on it? Alternatively, are you seeing the obstacles as learning experiences–pathways to your own inner strength and mastery?

Rachel Lavern