I want to tell you a story about butterfly soup. We all know that butterflies start out as caterpillars. They wrap themselves in a silk cocoon before emerging as a beautiful, winged creature.
But did you know that inside of the cocoon, the caterpillar completely digests itself?
Before it can undergo this complete transformation, the creature must turn into a melted goo of nutritive enzymes.
The cellular data to construct the butterfly that the caterpillar was born with is all there. In that way, it maintains an integral sense of self. But in every other respect, it's just ooze.
Okay, this is a really fascinating story in and of itself but you get it, I'm telling it to you for a reason. Because it's also a really great metaphor.
Last week I felt like butterfly soup.
I was constantly on the verge of tears. Breaking down at the slightest thing. Often hysterical. Totally on edge. Really irritable. A little bit ill. Emotionally, I was little more than ooze.
Sometimes life races ahead at a mile a minute. You've spent weeks, months, or even years laying the groundwork and all of a sudden the transformation is underway. Things that were once only dreams are coming to fruition. Everything you've been working for is so close you can almost taste it.
For me this looks like stepping into a new chapter with the love of my life. Barrelling ahead with new business and creative endeavours. Shaking off old fears and limiting beliefs to fully step into my bliss.
Your changes and transformations might look completely different than mine. But just like the caterpillar, you might have to become butterfly soup first. It's part of the process. It's the breakdown before the breakthrough. The storm before the rainbow. The dark before dawn.
It's easy to berate yourself for feeling this way. It might seem like just as everything is beginning to fall into place, the last thing you should be doing is falling apart. You insist that you should be feeling grateful or even joyous, but you don't. And that's okay!
If you were to slit open a cocoon midway through its metamorphosis, that butterfly soup would ooze out everywhere. The cocoon is a protective shell keeping everything together so that this radical transformation can occur.
When your life is changing in profound ways - when you're changing - don't forget to create that cocoon for yourself. Spend more time by yourself. Write in your journal. Get back to your meditation practice. Walk in nature. Eat grounding foods. Take long baths. Move your body to music. Lie in the dark. Talk to someone about how you're feeling. Say no. Take a break. Stay home.
You'll know how long you need. You'll feel the shift inside of you. And just like the butterfly you'll start beating your wings, slowly at first and then stronger and stronger until the cocoon can no longer contain you. And what a beautiful moment that will be!
But you don't have to push yourself there. Acknowledge the soupy mess as part of your transformation. Wrap yourself up in a cocoon of love, and trust the process. Everything you've ever done, been, and felt is combining to allow the new you to burst forth. Give yourself the time you need.
Wrapping you up in love,
Photograph by Tim Walker Photography.