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Caterpillar, Cocoon, or Butterfly?

This analogy of choosing between being a caterpillar, cocoon, or butterfly is, in fact, not a nebulous thing — it is a choice we get to make every day of our lives.

How can this be? You may ask that question honestly.

The answer is actually quite simple:

The caterpillar is interested in just crawling along, eating, and doing its thing. How many times have you looked at your life and felt that way? Too much to do and not enough time to do it, as a rule. Each one of us faces the struggles presented by daily life. The boss just reset your deadline, necessitating the need for you to work overtime or at home in order to get it done. Forget attending the daughter’s play tonight, or taking your son to soccer practice. A job is a job in today’s marketplace, no matter whether you like it or not. You sing these same old songs to yourself, day after day, night after night. Whatever vicissitudes happen in a day seem to keep recurring. It changes very little. Can you see the caterpillar now?

The cocoon represents a big change is coming, whether you want it or not, like it or not. Perhaps a relationship is ending. Perhaps a sudden accident has taken a dear one from you, or perhaps you have endured one, causing a physical disability which will take time, effort, and rehabilitation to achieve a modicum of what once was taken for granted. We usually react in anger, taking even more precious energy and wasting it. The cocoon is a time for reflection about what needs to change, contemplating ways to achieve it, and gathering resources to carry you forward into what comes next.

The butterfly is a true metamorphosis. It is becoming who we are meant to be. It is a time of freedom, joy, and looking forward with zest.

We can look back on the past, take from it those lessons which will help us to blossom, and let the rest go.

That is not an easy lesson. If you take a pencil and place it in your palm, gripping it tightly. Ask someone to remove it as you tenaciously cling to it. The likely response is that you get to keep that pencil. You then open your palm, revealing the pencil, and the other person picks it up easily. Letting go is just that easy and that hard, depending on your point of view.

It is up to each one of us to choose to remain a caterpillar, enter the cocoon of change, and emerge as the butterfly into new expressions of life. We might be each one of these stages in different areas of our life. It is up to you to contemplate them, seeking a new way to live your life in lieu of crawling along in the same old way, day after day.

What will your choice be?

God’s blessing upon your journey!

Colorful Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Yellow Caterpillar

Caterpillar

From Cocoon into Butterflies

From Cocoons into Butterflies

Beautiful Butterfly Each one unique! Blue Morph

Butterflies, each one unique!

Talk the Talk OR Walk the Walk?

You have probably heard this phrase for many years: Are you going to TALK the TALK, or WALK the WALK?

It has been used to explain the difference between someone who wants book knowledge so they can seem erudite and able to TALK the TALK, but when it comes to actually living what they have learned, they do not want to WALK the WALK, or make it personal by applying it to their own lives. One example would be someone who can talk about food, but is unable to fry an egg or make a meal. Until you pick up a cookbook or a recipe, nothing works — it is as meaningless as having a menu on a raft in the ocean, but no food at all. How about one who uses all the right personal growth words, yet still lives as though none of it applies to that person? We hear the words, yet the music that should accompany them never happens. It is obvious that two different things are happening here: WORDS vs. ACTIONS.

I once had an advanced math teacher who was the professor of his division. He could talk the principles and be very exacting in his English, but he could not convey the essence of what he was teaching to most of his students. I ended up in the Math Lab to find the teacher who could help me understand the principles of the problems. It was useless to me unless I could apply the knowledge I was attempting to acquire.

Have you ever been talking with someone, and they are speaking words that are English, yet they do not communicate at all in such a way that you can understand it? You can hear the words, but they do not make any sense to you. It might as well be a foreign language for all the good it does.

These are just a few ways of how we can get caught up in the sound of our own voice, yet never check to see if we are actually being heard and understood by our audience. (Forget Active Listening Principles as they are fast becoming a lost art.)

Personally, I have met people who can talk Religion in many forms, Protestants of many kinds, Catholics, metaphysics, New Thought, etc. They love the sounds of their own voices so much that they never consider whether or not they are actually communicating. They are reiterating some creed or dogma as though it was the only way to Heaven. Never mind that many others differ on just exactly how that will happen. Never mind that each person has their own definitions and points of reference. Just keep hitting your audience over the head with your words, hoping some of it will sink in so they can come to your point of view (whether or not it is good for them). TALK, TALK, TALK!

I have attended many workshops, sought after many teachers of varied personal growth subjects, done symposiums, heard lots of lectures from people of note, and spent a small fortune in doing so. I say to you that it is all for naught unless one actually USES whatever it is he/she hears with the best of one’s understanding — put the words into your heart and mind. Act from that new wisdom that is created when the head and the heart meet. The product of that meeting will influence you the rest of your days.  WALK the WALK!

If you hear a great sermon on Sunday coming from the pulpit, think about it long after the church doors close. Do not just go on your merry way and do as you please. Make a list of the ways that you can apply those good words to your life, and then do it.  WALK the WALK!

Ernest Holmes, the Founder of Science of Mind, stated that you can only fly as high as your roots grow into the ground. In other words, your mind can fly up to the ether, but your feet have to stay on the earth. You cannot over-reach in your zest and enthusiasm but must stay grounded in utilizing what you have learned in your every-day life. You have to realize where you are, and take the steps to grow into whatever else you are attempting to achieve. If you are a Caterpillar, you will have to go through the Cocoon stage before you can become that beautiful Butterfly! Take each step, one at a time, in the direction you need to go. WALK the WALK!

You are the captain of your ship, whether you want to be or not. You sail your ship as no one else can. If you TALK the TALK but do not WALK the WALK, you are rudderless in your journey. Is that something you want to do? Doubt it. You never get anywhere when you do that. That is usually accompanied by feelings of being out of control of your life and hopelessness, wondering if anything will ever get better. ANSWER: Nope, not till you change your attitude.

Read your books, go to the workshops, take the lessons, and listen to wisdom in any form. Just know that you are the only one who can make a difference in your life, and no one can do it for you. You cannot send your valet to the gym and gain muscle strength thereby. You have to do it yourself. It is no different in learning new ways to interact with your world, respond to others, and live a more fulfilling life. That is why you get on your computer, looking for good words, or read books, etc.

PERSONALIZE whatever it is you are seeking by looking for ways to use it in your day-to-day living. You can TALK a good game, but can you WALK it?

Life comes to us every day in many forms, some good and some not-so-good. How you react to what is happening will determine how you live your life and how it will unfold before you.

If you are a SEEKER, be a FINDER as well. When you find something that rings your chimes, USE IT to the best of your ability and understanding. It will change your choices, which will change your life permanently for the better.

The ball is in your court: Do you want to TALK the TALK, or WALK the WALK?

Caterpillar Stage

Caterpillar Stage

Cocoon Stage

Cocoon Stage

Butterfly Stage

Butterfly Stage

Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis is defined as, “Change of form, shape, structure, or substance; transformation; a marked or complete change of character, appearance, condition, etc.”

This happens during Autumn of every year. I revel in the sight of leaves drifting down from the trees and the changing of their colors.

It reminds me that I need to examine my own life to see what is not serving me very well so I can let it go. Amazingly, there is always something to find. Life does it to us, serving up a cup of sad memories, should have’s, shouldn’t have’s, wish I had, wish I hadn’t…you name it. That includes lack of forgiveness for myself and others. We hang onto the memories, both good and bad.By hanging onto the memories, we also hang onto the emotions. In most cases, that gives us more grief than the original occurrence of whatever happened. As usual, it is the bad stuff we hang onto the tightest. We wonder: Why am I so bummed out? Depressed? Sad? Angry?

Like a caterpillar that spins its cocoon so it can morph into a butterfly, we need to examine our attitudes, emotions, thoughts, etc. We cannot become who were meant to be as long as we continue to hang onto whatever is holding us back.

I tell myself that this is a time to accept changes and let go, peacefully and without frustration or gnashing of teeth. It is like putting a leaf into a stream and watch it float away with the current, releasing it.

Life is a journey, not a destination. I would rather enjoy the journey, wouldn’t you?

It is very difficult to enjoy something when you carry so much baggage with you, isn’t it?

Oak Autumn Leaves

Oak Autumn Leaves

Reflection of Autumn Leaves

Reflection of Autumn Leaves

Magnificent Autumn Leaves - Colorado

Magnificent Autumn Leaves – Colorado

Colorful Caterpillar

Colorful Caterpillar

Blue Morph Butterfly

Blue Morph Butterfly

Yellow Swallowtail on Dianthus (Sweet William)

Yellow Swallowtail on Dianthus (Sweet William)

Thoughts and Feelings

I often ask myself, “What do I choose to be today: bud, blossom, or withered stem?

The thoughts and feelings I dwell on will determine my choice:

The bud is my tomorrow…

The withered stem is my yesterday…

The blossom is NOW — this moment.

The choices I make today will determine what buds are made tomorrow.

Out of the cocoon of my yesterdays

comes what is happening today.

Today, I can choose once again to be reborn

into a new sense of awareness.

Again, I ask myself, “What will I choose?”

 

What do you want to choose?

Would you rather cling to those withered stems,

refusing to let go because of some worth you attached to them?

Could they ever again produce a bud or blossom?

Not likely.

Remember the good those stems once brought to you,

and choose to begin today to look for buds and blossoms.

They are all around you, if you but look.

They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes.

Widen your horizons and focus!

DSC_0576

 

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