Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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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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Normal, except for:


test resultsResults are good, everything checks out except for the following:  There are trivial amounts of an abnormality and the source is unknown. You may go about your normal daily activities.

Would you find this helpful on your healing journey or do you see it as a way to hide an underlying reason for what you are suffering with?

When I was in the midst of my divorce I tried very hard to make sure my life looked normal.  I did a lot of pretending, some saw through it but other’s did not.  As I look back now, I think if I had just let things ride out naturally without hiding my actual feelings I may have made my healing process a lot easier.

Instead I chose to make it look like my life was normal knowing inside that there was an “except for” clause attached to it.  Unfortunately, I let that feeling of normalcy be a guide to making some poor decisions.  I was living as if the results were 100% what I wanted them to be, when in reality that was far from the truth.

So, am I behind in my healing journey because of that,  or am I that much further ahead for recognizing it?  When I think back to what I can apply it to I am reminded of a series of questions and answers.

Q:  How are you holding up?        A:  I’m great, thank you for being concerned.

Q:  You look like your handling things very well are you ok?  A:  Ya, it get’s better every day.

Q:  Your so strong, how do you do it?         A:  I have God at my side.

I could go on but will stop at those that were asked the most.  The important thing is what all of these have in common.  Every question resulted in a normal answer, one that seemed like everything was in control.  However, each answer neglected to give the details about the “except for” that I felt with every part of my being.  Same questions but honest answers: results

A:  I’m great except that I feel like my life is a mess, and I’m not sure how I will come out of all of this.

A:  Every day is a constant struggle I need all the help I can get to make it through my day.

A:  I need the prayers of everyone I know to make sure I survive this.

The first set of answers were all warm and fuzzy right?  Sugar coating makes us feel better and we appear to be strong to those who are watching us survive our tragedy.  But are we just hampering our healing and the ability to move on if we are not being honest with how we are actually feeling?  Healing from anything can be a very long process and we all do it in our own time.  Nothing is cut and dry especially when it comes to getting “normal” results.

My advice to you is, if you want a 100% normal result, put in the effort to achieve it. Be honest not only with yourself but with those around you and let them carry you on whatever part of your journey they are meant to be on.  It will be worth it.

If you can relate to acting normal but living with the “except for’s” please share your stories.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 6/13/16

 

 

 

 


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Flipping Time


IMG_0753 (2)I received  a gift this week, it was small but meaningful. Given to me by someone who knows nothing about me only the fact that I have an obsessive collection.   It could be annoying to others which makes me smile just a little.   It holds purpose and keeps me on track.  I felt special to have been the person to whom it was offered.  Have you guessed it yet?

I will end your suspense, it was a clock.  But not just an ordinary clock it is in the shape of a butterfly.  Made of plastic, the clock mechanism came out which left the butterfly totally empty.  An empty butterfly is not a pretty sight in my eyes.  In fact when I first realized the clock came out of the shell I thought I had broken it, but the clock kept ticking so I knew it was still working.  I was reminded of myself,  I was broken, but kept ticking long enough to keep myself working to prepare for my flip.

So here I am, having survived several what would be anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and at the same time I have invited new friends, and relationships. I have met some very wonderful people who needed me just as much as I needed them.  I have held the hands of some who needed me and others have held mine.

Some can flip a house and others can flip a soul.  Both are flipping “time”.  I’ve been there and have witnessed lives being changed.  I have seen a crossover between faithless and the faithful when a man visits his mom for the first time at her grave in over ten years.  I have felt the love of a son to his parents when being introduced at their grave sight.

Both of those instances stopped time for me.  I found purpose and meaning  where my IMG_0754 (1)life was at that moment. I had flipped time and I was making a difference.  Everything happens for a reason, I will always believe that.

So let’s flip some time my way, I am about to embark on another journey.  Making a move back to the area where I grew up.  It will take some adjusting but I am confident that I will find myself pretty close to where I left off.

A young, vibrant woman holding on for love, true to herself, ready for adventure, and for the “one” to give her the ultimate flip!

Courageous Butterfly

6/1/16

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Your life on a radar screen


radar-41443_960_720.pngToday’s forecast is clear with a minimal chance of precipitation.  The temperature is 70 but with the wind chill may feel like 40.  I suggest a light jacket and an umbrella just to be safe.  There is a small craft warning until your storm blows over.  Take all necessary precautions while traveling to ensure your safety.

Sounds like a weather warning doesn’t it? What if in fact it was a “life event” warning? We have all participated in bad weather drills at one point in our lives.  Stooping down with hands overhead in a windowless hallway pretending there was a storm approaching.  Some finding the drills to be pointless and unnecessary, while other’s are totally focused on learning how to overcome what could possibly be a life changing event.

I didn’t expect my storm.  I will admit I had some warning, but it wasn’t clear to me at the time.  The alarm that sounded was not loud enough for me to hear.  I had no time to take cover, to place my hands over my head to protect myself from the shattering glass.  I was not given access to the blip on my radar screen.

I wonder how different my life would be if I had been given access to see that storm coming.  How would I have reacted to the weather fluctuation in my marriage if I had seen it for what it was?  More importantly, could I have reacted?  In that moment was I strong enough to have proceeded in a positive way?

Our fearless weather forecasters don’t always get it right just as we are not privy to our future, that is part of the magic of being alive!  We count on them to give us a heads up on the approaching storms, but they can’t always predict them all.

Our life storms are no different.  Surviving a loss also means being able to adjust to our surroundings and deal with the fallout of any destruction our weather pattern may cause.

We have to remember that though a storm may bring destruction, loss,  devastation, and worry, re-birth is just around the corner.

A man walking through the water with the waves parted.

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So, what would your radar screen look like?  Would you have cloudy with a chance of rain? Sunny skies but low temps? Windy and warm? Cool and Calm? Storms approaching with the possibility of moving forward?

My map is looking pretty active, I will embrace and accept what lies ahead.  I invite you to share yours.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

5/19/16

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