Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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Reaching new heights


butterfly dream catcherI feel like I’ve been at the top of my game!  Other than the fact that I am literally shrinking, life is good; kids are awesome; new job is going great; I start school in the fall; making progress on my running and actually achieving goals that I’ve set.  I’ve had nothing to complain about, until my subconscious started playing games with me!

My dream world has become a place that is not user-friendly.  I know that when dealing with loss, everyone heals at their own pace and that is the healthy way to do it. Measuring your progress using someone else’s ruler is never good.  Trying to figure out why I’m experiencing this now, after all this time is driving me a little nuts.  I’ve learned how my mind and emotions react to certain situations or circumstances, and I’ve had a pretty good handle on that…until I sleep.

How cool would it be if we could control what we dream about?  First off it would be really hard to get up in the morning if we could manifest our dreams, but secondly it may hamper what our brains are trying to do for us in a recovery phase.  There is no way I want to actually think about the scenario’s that my mind is creating while I sleep; so why are they being produced?

The dreams center around a big fear from my past,  but intermingled with life as if they fit. Pictures are clear; faces are well known, and I awake with a familiar knot in my gut.   I don’t know what the trigger is, they all have a consistent theme, which leads me to believe that I need to work out what that issue is.  It might be time to dig deeper than I have ever gone before and pull out whatever splinter is still left in my wound.

Removing a splinter at times can be difficult, especially those that you feel but cannot see.  I know it’s there because my dreams tell me so, but in my conscious state I don’t see it.  Removing it will take a steady hand, focus, patience and being OK with a little sting.  I’m not going to say that I’ve lost a step in my healing progress, because I haven’t.  This is just another facet of it that I didn’t know existed.

The good news is that it is happening when I feel like I can accomplish anything!  All except for the shrinking thing but that, unfortunately, is out of my control.  So for now I’m small and mighty, ready to tackle anything that comes my way.

Are your dreams messing with your reality?  Please comment.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

6/22/17

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Accepting Transformation….Conclusion


IMG_1511 (2)I thought I knew everything about butterflies, that is, until I spent a few days with my painted ladies.  The day before their release I was able to observe and learn a lot from their behavior.

Did you know:  once in the chrysalis the caterpillar will shake to ward off predators.  (Similar to a human in a time of crisis or despair)

Did you know:  a butterfly can carry 40 times its weight.  (The weight of a difficult situation can equally be as heavy)

Did you know:  a butterfly sleeps with its eyes open.  (Someone going through a difficult time may have difficulty sleeping)

Did you know:  a butterfly will not be active when its body temperature is too cold.  (In times of emotional distress, a person may become less active or withdrawn)

Did you know:  a butterfly will tremble in order to warm itself for becoming active.  (Trying to get yourself motivated when you are feeling down may require a gentle push)

Releasing my new friends depended on the outside temperature, and because of a few colder days I was able to spend more time with them than I had originally planned.  Having that time to watch them closely and study what was happening was a treat for me!  I will admit though, panic did set in a couple of times when activity level had decreased.  I had no idea they literally could not move if their body temperature went below a certain point.

When in a grumpy mood or feeling down, our happy endorphin’s are reduced, thus altering our activity.  I remember many days and nights being confined to my bed feeling like I could not move. 

Before I knew it the day had come and it was time to release and let them go.  I placed them in a sunny spot in the house for a few hours so they would have ample time to warm up and get enough food to make the journey.

The park was beautiful and full of people enjoying the lovely day.  I walked to a quiet space and sat with them on a park bench for a few minutes.  I needed to get up the courage to unzip and let them free.  So many thoughts were going through my mind.  How would I know if they would survive the night?  Would they separate or find each other once out in the world?  Would they be able to find food? Were they strong enough to fly?

Ironically, 7 years ago those same questions were going through my mind on a different level.  Would I have the courage to unzip and change my environment?  There were times I wondered if I would survive the moments.  Would I have new relationships? Would I be able to sustain myself? Was I strong enough to fly?

I didn’t focus on these thoughts for too long, I took in a deep breath and opened the top of the habitat.  The larger butterfly was the first one out  and flew off before I could even get a photo.  The second one though had a little struggle.  It was the smaller of the two and the one which hatched at the bottom of the aviary.  I helped her out on my finger where she sat for several minutes.  I looked around to make sure we were alone, no one needed to see me have a heart to heart with a butterfly!  IMG_1541 (2)

I let her know that she was beautiful and strong, and her life was just beginning.  I thanked her for the time she spent with me, though brief, it meant the world to me.   After our chat I walked her over to a plant leaf and set her upon it.  Within seconds she had flown off.  I like to think our chat gave her the courage to open her wings and fly. Just as many in my life have given me the words I needed to muster up the courage for some of life’s struggles.

It seems little miss butterfly sure had a lot more to teach me.  It is even more clear to me now how much in common we have during times of transformation.  Change doesn’t have to be negative even if the situation it came from was difficult.  Try to embrace it and enjoy the flight of the butterfly.

Courageous Butterfly 4/19/17

Kimberly


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Accepting Transformation Part 1


orangebutterflyI have had an amazing butterfly experience!  As I mentioned previously, I was able to bring home two caterpillars in the hopes of being able to be part of their transformation. I am happy to report that I was able to observe every stage, and at times I felt myself going through every change right along with them.

Exciting times when a girl gets to bring home a couple of caterpillars, and the moment I carried them through the door was the beginning of a whole new set of experiences. Little did I know, it was also the beginning of a new set of emotions as well.

It took just two days before they headed to the top of the cup and attached themselves to the lid.  It is in this spot where they would hunker down and prepare for the inevitable. Because they were in such a confined space, they really didn’t have much of a choice as to where they could go and safely transform.  Being able to hatch and release butterflies in homes or schools is something that has been going on a for a while, but it still didn’t change the fact, their environment as they knew it, had forever been changed.

I had no idea how that one movement of the caterpillars would remind me of what I experienced at the beginning of my trial.  I too was forced to hunker down in a confined space . It was not my choice; my emotions and peace of mind were not safe;  and the environment as I knew it, was about to be forever changed.

Just two days after the chrysalis was completely formed I was able to remove the lid and chrysalis2hang it in the hatching habitat.  During this process one of the chrysalis’ came loose and fell to the bottom.  I immediately reached for my instructions to find out what to do.  The instructions were to gently scoop it up with a spoon and place it on a paper towel.  It said most likely the butterfly would still be able to hatch without any damage.  Needless to say, worry was setting in.

Once I really thought about what the caterpillar may be going through, I was brought back to a moment when I was curled up in a ball in the corner of my kitchen, hoping I would come out of my experience without any damage.  

chrysalis1Once in the chrysalis the caterpillars will hatch within 7-10 days, and I made sure to keep an accurate count.  I was even able to set up a butterfly web cam so I wouldn’t miss a trick!  Guess what? I missed two tricks!  The first butterfly emerged prior to the camera being set up, this was the one at the bottom of the habitat.  I was so happy to see it had survived, that it eased my disappointment in not witnessing it.  Knowing the second one was just a day behind I stayed close by the web cam.  Just as a little kid knows when you are watching, this butterfly took a 7 minute window in the 30 minutes I had been away from the camera to come into our world.  Luckily for me the web cam took photos of movement and I was able to view it after the fact.

Excitement mounted high for me, knowing I was going to sleep that night with butterflies in my room and in the same moment, sadness set in knowing they would soon be released.  I knew all along that would be the outcome, but a part of me wanted to hang onto them forever if I could.

For a very long time I wanted to hold on to the feelings I had for my ex.  I felt sadness knowing that someday those feelings would no longer exist and a part of me wanted to cling to them.  The sane part of me knew that releasing the energy surrounding these feelings was the best thing I could do in order to heal.  Instead of holding on, I was able to finally release and let it go just as I would have to with the butterflies.

When I wrote Out of The Chrysalis; Free to Fly I thought I had fully experienced the similarities of the caterpillar during transformation.  The witness of this metamorphosis, has shown me that my book was just the beginning of fully understanding, not only the caterpillars experience, but also my own.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of the butterflies journey in my next post Accepting Transformation part 2.

Have you been able to see similarities in life situations? Please share in the comments.

Courageous Butterfly 4/27/17

Kimberly

 

 

 

 


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The Fire Inside Me


runningTomorrow I run!  My first 5K of the season and third all time.  I’m no Forrest Gump but I will do my best.  The path is unknown I will have to look for the route markers and stay the course.  I will need to delve deep into my energy reserves, focus on my breathing, concentrate on my surroundings, and eventually cross the finish line.   If you close your  eyes and repeat the italicized text,  I promise you can apply that to any life experience.

Being emotional in public can be awkward but when I run no one really notices.  Could be the wind or the sun in my eyes.  So why do I cry when I run?  I asked myself that same question the first time my purple shoes hit the pavement.  I answered the question as I crossed the finish line.

   Accomplishment

Reaching a goal no matter how small can be food enough to fill your soul for a lifetime.  Nearly 8 years go I had a fire lit inside me and at the time I had no idea where it was going to take me.  I did not know that it was meant to prepare me for the struggle ahead.  I didn’t have a plotted route, or even a clue of what I was about to face.  Reflecting on it now, I am certain the opportunity that was placed in my hands and lit the fire, was the gift of strength.   Something I had not yet possessed.

I have two caterpillars in little cups beginning to shed into the chrysalis.  Every day I watch their activity and I don’t have to wonder what that struggle feels like, because the human struggle is the same.  The caterpillar does not know that The path is unknown and will have to look for the route markers and stay the course;  will need to delve deep into energy reserves, focus on breathing, concentrate on surroundings, and eventually cross the finish line into complete transformation.chrysalis-wide

After the struggle, accomplishment will become its focus.  The beauty it represents will be appreciated by many and its inner light will shine bright!

I won’t be completely transformed when I cross the finish line tomorrow.  I still have many more runs to complete, each one adding fuel to my fire.

Can you compare a struggle to that of a caterpillar?  Please share in comments.

Shine your light bright!

Courageous Butterfly

Kimberly

4/8/17

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Have a Good Everything


inner_beauty-465605b712594973d3f6403d22684f66We’ve had our Happy New Year, and have embarked on the journey of 2017.  I had an email conversation today with someone who was thankful they had not yet made any mistakes in the new year, and I responded with the cover up for my last mistake of 2016.

In January we all strive to be our best, make an attempt to meet our goals and focus on the resolutions we’ve made.  We make this a very important start to our year, but what if what we need is just a simple phrase?  We spend all our efforts planning what we want to happen in the upcoming year and hopeful we will reach our goals and be happy.  Is it possible that just a few words can accomplish this task?

I’ve been inspired by a phrase whispered to me and I think her words will forever be with me, as simple as it was.  While walking down a hall, I said good night to someone and her response was ” have a good everything” .  It literally stopped me in my tracks.

You can’t get any better than that phrase.  There is no room for negativity, it is weeping positive.  I decided to try it out today and the response was ” thank you for putting a smile on my face”.  It actually worked!

2017 is a really big year for me.  Last year of my spousal support which leads to the first year of taking care of myself financially.   I will be joyful in knowing that it has finally come to a close, at times it was a thorn in my side.

I began 2017 with a spiritual retreat  as I have the past couple of years and this time felt different.  I wasn’t as upset and I could focus on why I was there.  I felt strength, comfort, and pride.  Pride was a word I never thought I could even speak since it all unfolded.  But I have it.  I have pride in the fact that I was not bitter, I never bashed or spoke ill of my life events.  Instead I harnessed the power of prayer, love and spirituality to become who I am today.

Part of my 2017 is to glean.  Last night I went through a box  and inside I found a letter which I wrote to myself 1/23/2011 as part of a renewal.  It’s not the first time I’ve read it but it was different. The bulk of the letter was no longer significant, then I got to the last sentence and it really hit me “take the tools that God has given you, stay on this path and you will find peace”.

How did the ME in 2011 know that the ME in 2017 was going to need to read that? And how did the lady know that her words “have a good everything” would touch me as they did?

It really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I am almost done! It may sound silly but my alimony has put a strain on me, I want to be free of that relationship and I’m almost there.  I have just enough time to pay debt, save for a condo and take my mom on a once of a lifetime vacation.  I think I have planned the year out pretty well!

While I’m doing it I will be counting my blessings walking in God’s grace and focusing on having a good everything.

Did you feel harnessed by your divorce? please share.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

1/12/17

 


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2017 Walk Up and Finish


new-year_resolutions_listI’m still trying to accomplish what I wanted for 2016 and now it is time to make another list, it seemed a bit overwhelming to me.  Looking back on my year, I lost weight, and then gained some back.  I saved some money, then spent more.  Most times life enjoyed me, and I was just along for the ride.

 

According to many sites on the internet, the top five 2016 New Year’s resolutions are:

  1. Enjoy life to the fullest 2. Live a healthier lifestyle 3. Lose weight  4. Spend more time with family and friends  5. Save more, spend less

Sounds easy enough, but tomorrow, most of us will realize we may have only carried out one or two of them.  With a  little help from family, friends and champagne we will make our list for 2017 with every intention of carrying it out.

A friend of mine sent me an idea for New Year’s Eve.  Fill a jar with 10 goals, good things you want to have happen.  In exactly one year, empty it, and see what was achieved.  My response was “OK, but I might be really pissed off in a year!”

This being the last working day of the year, I was focused on getting my mind prepared for my work day, going through my schedule step by step and only paying attention to my thoughts and the traffic.  I had about 10 minutes left on my drive when I finally relaxed my thinking enough to hear what was on the radio.  The traffic report was finally in my favor and I felt myself smile because I was NOT going to be late to work today!  I noticed a light snow begin to come down, the wind slightly increased and then a song came on and I found myself suddenly relaxed.

Have you ever heard a poem, or words from a book or movie that just feel like they are reaching into your soul and squeezing it?  The lyrics I heard this morning were like a whisper to my heart in such a way that tears were immediate.

I could attach a part of my life to each one, some good  and some bad and I felt relieved. I was comforted in the fact knowing that I get to re-set my clock this weekend.  I feel secure enough to be proud of what I have accomplished this year and at the same time courageous enough to reach for more in the coming year.

Today’s timing could not be more perfect, with the new year on the horizon, it was almost like being hit by a lightening bolt; and it brought insight to my thoughts about this past year.  Was I on track? Yes I was on MY track.  I was just where I needed to be.  I may not have accomplished every goal but I did reach some that were never set in the first place.

If I look at the top 5 again I would answer this way:

1.  Enjoy life to the fullest? Yes, I took a trip out-of-state to spend time with a woman whom I never met but who meant the world to me.
2. Live a healthier lifestyle? Yes, I joined a gym hired a personal trainer and not only ran my first 5K but two of them!
3. Lose weight? Yes, even though I put some back on, I still lost enough to motivate me to continue.
4. Spend more time with family and friends?  Yes, I was blessed to have spent three weeks with a cousin from Australia that I had never met, and I have re-kindled a friendship from my childhood.
5. Save more, spend less? Well, if making a budget and sharing expenses counts as saving then yes! As far as spending less….go back to #1 enjoying life to the fullest.breast-cancer-5k-2

What I initially thought were setbacks,this year were just nudges in a different direction bringing me closer to my best life.  For me this song is my 2017 walk up song, you know like when a baseball player is going to bat, or a runner crossing the finish line.

I will share the song with you in the hopes that it will also reach someone out there who may be looking for their song to close out 2016 and welcome 2017 with open arms.

The song is called “One Step Away” by Casting Crowns.  The verse that really called to me is below.  (click and it will take you to the entire song)

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Come now, and take up your new name
Your best life up ahead now
You’re one step away

Have a Blessed and Happy New Year!!!  Got your song ready? please share in the comments

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

12/30/16

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Purple Brave!


Purple, the color between red and blue.  Light purple or lavender is soothing both for the sense of sight and smell, where dark purple can be less appealing.  Purple can signify power, and embody wealth.  Purple can come in the form of a heart given to a hero; a soft flower; and a mean black eye or bruise.  Being a part of the color red, which is a hot color, and then the calming blue makes purple very important.  It is the place that can capture every bad and every good feeling, emotion, memory, fear, strength, defeat, and accomplishment.  Today, I am harnessing my PURPLE!

IMG_1587 (1)My purple came through when I had a “moment” while on the treadmill. It took all I had to fight back tears, there was no way I could have a breakdown in a gym.  I was not on an episode of the biggest loser!

Let’s rewind just a moment, prior to that workout I had stopped to purchase appropriate footwear.  After trying on several pairs I ended up with purple shoes.  Its been a very long time since I was into purple and I was a little worried they looked like kids shoes, but they fit so off to the gym I went.

I was set to push myself and see what I had in me. Armed with all the accessories I needed, water, ear buds, music, couch to 5K app, and my new shoes.  I felt determined and as the warm up began, I even gave myself a little pep-talk.

The workout was going great!  I was following the prompts on the app and I remained focused.  I could feel myself getting to a point when I was going to have to dig my heels in and push through.  I began to feel a little uneasy, it was harder to breathe and all of a sudden I felt transported back in time.  I saw myself standing in front of a mirror and not liking the reflection.  I had flashbacks of opening presents that contained fitness videos and meal replacement shakes. I was being asked to say “moo” rather than “cheese” while having my photo taken.  My self-assurance was being depleted with each step.  I wanted to slump off the machine and just call it a day.  I was in the midst of a PTSD flashback.

During this time I was brought back to the last time I was working this hard and it was just before my divorce.  I had participated in an infomercial. My goal was to get skinny for my husband, feel better for my family and improve my overall health.  I accomplished more in a 12 week span that I ever thought I would.  I ran, I hiked, I swam, I exercised through injuries and I succeeded.  I was at the top of my game! I was fit, I felt powerful, and for the first time in my life I had confidence.  Fast forward two weeks…my life is forever changed, my self-esteem tossed out the window, my confidence buried under a very heavy rock.

Mind you I’m re-living all of these memories and emotions in just a ten minute span. Alternating walking with running, trying not to cry and wondering where do I go from here?  At this point is when I looked down and saw my purple shoes in motion, I knew I had to change my focus and I thought to myself, why in the world did I buy purple shoes?

I pumped up the music and decided to finish what I had started.  Watching my purple shoes I felt excitement in knowing what I will feel like when I reach my end goal. I was reminded how I felt after I hiked the mountain.  I needed to channel the feelings I had in that moment standing at the top looking down at where I had come from and realizing what that accomplishment meant to me.  It’s a place I had been before, except this time I have a different motive, ME!  I can only imagine how I will feel  when I celebrate this triumph knowing that I am its end result.

infomercial

Wearing Purple 7 years ago….not a coincidence.  

During this process I will bring my red and blue together and I will delight in creating the purple within me.  I will allow myself to be encouraged, spiritually nourished, motivated and fully engulfed by my new signature color!  I will be PURPLE BRAVE!

Do you have a similar story of pushing yourself and wading through the mud on your journey?  Please share.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

8/27/16

 

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