The Butterfly Effect
Monarch butterflies are abundant in Maui during the winter months. To watch them flutter against a blue sky, or see them rest on red hibiscus flowers is a delight for the eyes. The best part about them being here, is they don't leave. The Monarchs on Maui are born on the island as caterpillars. They find milkweed to build their cocoons, and...poof...out come these gorgeous orange-winged creatures that don't migrate. That gives us the ability to appreciate their remarkable lifecycle, and it is what inspired the following meditation, published in Om Yoga and Lifestyle magazine this month.
Change can be terrifying. It is fear that keeps most people stuck in situations that no longer serve them. When what is familiar becomes uninspiring, we know it’s time to make a change, but many won’t do it. Life transformations give us a chance to spread our wings and see the world from a renewed perspective, but transformation takes courage, patience, and faith in the unknown.
If you have a calling that requires you to unbundle yourself from your safety net and make a change in life, the following meditation is for you.
First, set your intention to follow through with the desired changes you’d like to see happen for yourself. Visualize taking your journey to completion; crawling through the challenges you face today, spending some necessary time in retreat, and then taking your flight into the unknown. Breathe deeply, get comfortable, and let this imagery practice guide you through a successful transformation.
Now, take a few moments to ponder the life of a butterfly. We know it starts its life as a caterpillar. To be able to go from a crawl to flight and become the beautiful butterfly it is, it has to reinvent itself. To do so, it retreats from the world inside a safe cocoon. This is where many of us get stuck; we prefer the comfort of our safe haven over the fear of the unknown.
Inside the cocoon, the caterpillar begins to transform its cellular organization by eating itself from the inside out and becoming a gooey mess of cells called imaginal cells. These cells have the capacity to change into anything. After some time in a cocoon, the goo births wings that allow it to break out of its cozy home. Now, it no longer crawls, but flutters freely across a big blue sky, gaining a lofty perspective. That’s amazing!
If we wish to make a change, we certainly don’t need to eat ourselves alive. But we must have the courage to retreat and let the magic of transformation take place, then be brave enough to step outside of our comfort zone.
Like the caterpillar, let your old self melt. Spend some time in quiet reflection as you rebuild yourself inside the safe harbor of your mental cocoon. Allow the cells of your imagination to transform your thoughts, attitudes, and outlook on life. Go from a crawl to a flutter and enjoy the flight.