Have you ever watched the life cycle of a butterfly up close? It’s pretty amazing to watch.
My daughter, Harmony, was gifted a butterfly garden from her Grandad a couple of months ago and we really enjoyed watching the caterpillars transform.
Watching the transformation got me thinking about our own human transformations in life. Life isn’t stagnant, things are always changing.
When the caterpillars were in their tub, they went about their days eating, spinning silk and taking everything in. They also shed their exoskeletons five times. When we are starting something new we take our time gathering up information, eating, spinning thoughts around our head and shedding our own limiting beliefs.
Then the caterpillars climb to the top of the cup and pupate (become chrysalides). The chrysalides take around two weeks before they move to the next stage. During this time the caterpillar parts inside each chrysalis are re-arranging themselves. They are forming the tissues, cells and organs of a butterfly.
This stage prompted me to reflect on my own inner transformations. When starting something new in life there is a lot of inner work that happens. From pushing through your fears and letting go of limiting beliefs to learning the information and skills required for that new opportunity. From the outside it doesn’t look like much is happening but there is a whole lot of things going on within that people can’t see.
Just before something big happens, when I’m near the end I often experience a complete withdrawal. I need some time to just be. There is nothing I want to do, I loose motivation and I can get really down for a day or two. The inner work that I have been doing has taken a lot out of me and all I want to do is retreat and rest. To the outside it can look like I have become depressed but it’s not that at all. It’s part of my transformation cycle, I need that retreat.
Just like when the chrysalis hardens and turns black. I honestly thought they had died. The cocoons looked like they had shrunk and there was no movement. I even told my daughter that I didn’t think they were going to survive. But then I read that this is a clue that the butterflies were preparing to emerge.
Then like magic the butterfly bursts through tiny holes in the chrysalis and climbs out the split. It happens so fast that if you blink you might miss it. Then the beautiful butterfly slowly explores its habitat. We really enjoyed watching our butterflies and feeding them for a few days.
Then we got to set them free. Two butterflies flew straight off ready for their new life of freedom. The other two took their time, playing with myself and Harmony before they slowly flew off.
After I retreat, I feel refreshed and energized but it takes me a couple of days to get back to full swing. When I do, I feel like anything is possible and no obstacle will be too big. Just like the butterfly I spread my wings and fly!