Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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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  (In times of emotional distress, a person may become less active or withdrawn)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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Free to Love


I’m going to go out of the box on this one. I need you to use your imagination and have an open mind.

“Take a moment and think about what happens if you take a broken heart and mend it with a caterpillar in the center.

Now I want you to add gentle swirls coming off the caterpillar and filing the heart. These will represent your struggles, losses and fears.

Take a moment and really look at the image, notice the strength of your swirls, and focus on the center of your heart. Those hurts and broken dreams are what has made you whole again. By allowing yourself to feel the pain and bring it to the surface, you have begun to heal your heart.”

I’ve attended a women’s retreat this weekend most of which was silent. The past 30 hours or so have been filled with many soul searching moments but most of all I have figured out that I have come full circle since beginning my journey four years ago.

The pivotal moment came for me today while prayer walking outdoors on a beautiful sacred campus. After walking I took a pen to paper and began to draw what I was feeling. Not in words but in an image. Before I knew it I had filled my heart with the love and passion of the butterfly. It was at this moment that I was ready to fully give it all up, let it go and make my heart free to love again.

Saying it felt amazing is an understatement!! Especially when I got a good look at my drawing, it really made sense to me.

My heart now has wings and is free to fly. I trust there are bigger and better things ahead and I am now fully open to experience them.

If you can I highly recommend a short quiet time, actual silence and just be with your thoughts. Then when you ready, take a pencil to paper and let it go. You may be amazed by what you have created!!!

I welcome your thoughts. Have you doodled your feelings?

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/7/15

2015/03/img_5251.jpg


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Patience As Your Armour


hope tool boxJust when you think things are getting better, it happens AGAIN!  Of course, we know that is what life is all about.  The ups, the downs, the happy as well as sad.  I had spent an entire year preparing for something that was to have taken place last weekend, but I was struck down with the flu virus.  And not just the 24 hour or even 4 day flu, it was the 7 day tied to the couch illness.  One week from receiving my flu shot of course.  But the flu is not the purpose for this post today, it is learning that when we are fighting a foe, patience isn’t always the easiest.

Often during my divorce there were times when I was being referred to as “a patient woman”.  It wasn’t just from one person, I was hearing this phrase over and over again from various people in my life.  Each of those people serving a different purpose and all having totally different experiences with me than the other.  I would almost laugh out loud every time I heard that title because I never felt it.  Other than just on one occasion, I could not see what they were,  as far as having one shred of patience coming through me.  I felt quite the opposite.

The phrase was even uttered to me as early as the first meeting with my attorney, way before I began my quest to become a butterfly.  Now I can see how it goes hand in hand with the patience our friend the caterpillar has to cling to in order to make its ultimate transformation.  So, this time around I decided to hold my focus on being patient, not just with the virus, but also letting go of the fact that maybe I was not supposed to accomplish the task I had been preparing for, just yet anyway.  If I am patient and content with the way things turned out, I am confident my day will come and if not then I know there are bigger and better things ahead.  I could have pouted this entire week, that would not have produced anything.  I spent my days doing things I usually don’t have time for and because of that I know that I want to make time for them in my life.  Being tolerant this week has given me a chance to grow within myself, as if I were in a cocoon.

patience-quotes-2Many of the outcomes of my divorce were surprises to me and not what I had expected or anticipated, just at this past weekend.  However, the divorce produced new life, new change and a chance to grow and strengthen, as well as this past weekend.  I’m seeing a pattern here.  Both of these instances were successes in my life and should not be seen as anything less.   This time I could see it quicker and more clearly because I knew what to look for.

As far as I am concerned, I was given another chance to hone in on those “skills”, strengthen my Armour so to speak.  I will choose not to focus on what I may have missed out on because the happenstance produced a gift, one that I may not have received had I not spent that year preparing.   Instead I will treasure the chance I had, the way I have grown out of the struggle, and the wisdom to know that my Armour is still in tact.

I look at this as Step 1 on my new journey; taking the time to discover the hidden gifts that I am carrying with me, that were all a result of my challenge.  I look forward to seeing what is next and what other life techniques will be unearthed.

Have you found a new skill or one that you thought was lost since enduring your change?  Please comment.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

10/11/14

Related links/blogs

Patience……

I Can’t Wait

Practicing Patience and Positivity

 


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Between You and Me


women_support-1I have come to a realization that the healing process is more complex than I ever thought it was.  Every speed bump that I encounter along my transformation is just a reminder how fragile we can be during this process.  Between you and me, sometimes life just seems like chapters of goodbyes.

An important part of my transformation process is an annulment.  My divorce has been final for two years but there is a part of me that needs to reconcile that part of my life with God.  I’ve known that the process can be very lengthy and somewhat challenging.  For me, completing the initial paper work was not as hard as I thought it was going to be, partly because I have already been writing my story through this blog.  Even though several months have passed since I mailed in the petition , I hadn’t forgotten about it, however it wasn’t constantly on my mind either.

This past week I received a letter stating the process had officially begun and I would be contacted if further information was needed.  When I saw the envelope I knew what was inside and at first I felt happiness.  I was eager to open it up and see what it said knowing that this would soon end another chapter of the pain I had gone through.  The emotion that I was waiting for never came, instead I was immediately thrown into tears.  Just like I discussed in my last two posts, I was reminded of an emotion that left a very big wound.  Opening that envelope and seeing his name on the paper with mine left my mind in a tail spin.  emotional-divorce-300x265

I felt anger, sadness, heart-break, and loss.  Then I was upset with myself because again I thought I was comfortable enough with my divorce that I could handle being reminded of the marriage in this way.  I reached out to a friend who has been through the annulment process and he quickly reminded me that divorce is actually the death of a marriage, and I will never forget.  These emotions will come back off and on and when least expected.    Between you and me, I’m not sure I”m ready for a lifetime of never forgetting.

Because this is something that is very important to me, I will face these emotions  head on and with as much strength as I can muster up.   I know that it is another step in the healing process. I am still mourning my marriage as I would any other death, I just didn’t realize it until now.  I think the hardest part for me will be having the courage to face the tears.  Ya, that’s crazy coming from courageous butterfly I know.  In the beginning it was easy for me to cry, not sure if that makes any sense, crying is crying.  But it is different now because I’ve gone through the death.  It is a closed case, so the tears now are pure emotions, not related to my present life or my future, they are strictly tears of the past.  Between you and me, tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it. –Albert Smith.

When mourning the death of a loved one you are constantly saying goodbye and this is no different.  Each time you view a photograph or have a memory you are reminded of the life you spent with that person, and will be forced to say goodbye over and over again.  I thought I had said my goodbyes in the courtroom two years ago, I had no idea that it would be a lifetime of goodbyes.  Though this is a major goodbye, it won’t be the last.  There will be many situations in life that force us to say goodbye. Whether it be a job, a friend, a lover, a pet, or family member.  Between you and me, Goodbye’s are not easy.

So what does all of this mean at this point in my journey?  As far as I can tell it means that I have to be prepared for emotions that I thought I had already processed.  I will encounter situations that may bring up some old emotional memories and remind me of my scars.  I have to continue to seek advice from other’s who have been on this journey before me, listen to their kind words and learn from their experiences.  Between you and me, this is why I’m sharing with you now.

I hope that the thoughts, feelings and experiences on my survival will encourage other’s going through a similar circumstance to learn to grow from each emotion, memory, feeling and tear.  I am still learning and have a lot more ahead of me.  Within my chrysalis I am growing stronger and when it is time I will emerge the butterfly I am meant to be.  Between you and me, I will embrace it.

Do you have a similar story, can you offer any advice on how to embrace the goodbye?  Respond in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

1/27/13

Related blogs/links

Here Comes Goodbye, Rascal Flatts

Saying Goodbye, Wonder Blogs

With Every Goodbye You Learn, Luna Starla’s Dreamy Stories

Marriage-Divorce-Annulment by Catholic Answers Live

 

 

 


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A bigger life….The Butterfly Life


Did you ever wonder what would happen if the storm you were living in suddenly began to subside?  Our storms of life have to eventually come to an end just as the recent “Perfect Storm” did.  It came in with a vengeance, ripping apart homes, cars, leaving people stranded and without power. In the blink of an eye it left a path of destruction and was gone.  I think a lot of us can compare our personal struggles with that very storm.

Some were prepared and other’s decided against fleeing their homes; forecasts were predicting what was to come, however other’s chose not to head the warning.   The storm left a definite path of destruction and  some scars that will take time to heal.  That is no different from what I went through in  MY storm.  I can continue comparing the destructive path of that storm with the destruction that my divorce left, OR I can focus on the strength and courage I gained while riding out the storm and where it has gotten me today.

I guarantee you that anyone who was in the eye of the recent weather will someday tell their story of strength, courage, and will to live.  It is very easy to lose sight of those things when you are living through or grieving over something terrible that happened.  It is usually not clear to those suffering that during the phases of grieving they are really growing and beginning their transformation.  I’ve seen signs along they way that I was healing but at times I still lacked the confidence that I was truly on a path toward my future.  Recently I was asked where I am in my grieving process and I had to stop and think.  I was surprised at how long it took me to reach an answer.  When I finally got it and spoke it out loud I did it with a smile on my face.  Sounds odd I know, but it showed me how strong I really have become.    At this point in my process I am in the “snap my fingers Hell No phase”! The “why did that person think they could do that to me?” phase.  I felt as strong as ever when I answered that question, along with feelings of hope that I am that much closer to having the wound healed.

It’s amazing, all I needed was one simple question to make me see the path I am currently on, the path to my future.  Just as the caterpillar when it breaks free from the cocoon realizes that it is on its way to a bigger life, the butterfly life.  I like to think that I am just beginning my butterfly life.  I can honestly say for the first time in a long time that I am HAPPY.  I can see possibilities ahead.  I know life is not perfect and I”m sure I will come up against a few rain showers here and there, but I’ve survived the “Perfect Storm”, I can survive anything after that.

I am ready to discover all of the capabilities that my new path has to offer.  I know what it feels like to be in the eye of the storm and cling to hope.  I also know what it feels like when the storm takes a horrible turn.  If I am faced with a storm again I will always chose hope rather than focusing on how bad the storm can get.  It is the hope that has gotten me where I am today.

Do you have a story of hope you can share?  Respond in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 11/1/12

Related photos:

Storm Survivor

Related Blogs:

Surviving the Perfect Storm

The Storms of Life

 

 


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Hello I, it’s nice to meet Me


Confused?  Don’t worry.  If it sounds like I am introducing myself to yours truly then you are reading it correctly.  Recently I have been forced into an unwelcome situation…having more time to spend alone than with others.  Have you ever prepared to meet someone new and you felt nervous and anxious?  Would it be strange if I told you that’s how I felt this past weekend when I re-met me?

I thought that my journey to re-discover myself had begun pretty quickly after the divorce. I found a job that makes me happy.  I have made new friends, bonded ties with family, and started making plans for the future.  As far as  I knew I was on the road to becoming the new me.   I had no idea that it would take the passing of our family dog to realize I had not yet begun that stage in recovery and healing.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed that I still have a lot of learning to do when it comes to knowing who I am.   I”m still not comfortable in my own skin so to speak.  I have and always will be someone who thrives being around other’s.  I have never had to learn how to just be with me, until now.

I’ve mentioned the stages a butterfly goes through in previous posts, and perhaps the most important is near the end of the time in the chrysalis.  Imagine for a moment that you are the caterpillar and you feel the changes happening not only to your body but to your soul.  I actually tried this and I was filled at first with sadness.  When I reached the end of the imagery the emotions had over taken me,  but I felt excited and happy to know that I can be OK coming out of the cocoon alone.  If I continue to grow my soul I can be completely healed and renewed.

     Close your eyes, take a slow deep breath, exhale, and reach your arms around your body as if giving yourself a hug and hold tightly.  You are  now in your cocoon.  It’s dark, lonely, and you have no idea how long you will be inside.  The cocoon is small and there is only room enough for you.  Your first feeling is fear because your life as a caterpillar was lived with many others, and this is the first time you’ve truly been alone.   Take another slow deep breath, and as you exhale, the hold the chrysalis has on you begins to lessen.  You spend your days alone with your thoughts, no other sounds, it’s just  you.  This continues for some time and each day get’s a little easier.  You are getting to know yourself.  You have finally taken time to soul search, to think about your hopes, dreams and ambitions, and for the first time YOU are in control of those things.  When you realize this you take another deep breath, with the exhale, you feel the chrysalis lessen even more.  During this time you notice the changes being made.  You are getting more comfortable with the new form that is emerging within yourself.  Feelings of happiness overtake you because you know that if you continue to grow not only on the outside, but within yourself, soon you will be set free to fly.  

The past couple of years have been painful to get through, but for some reason the last two weeks have felt just as painful.  A loss is a loss no matter if it’s a spouse, parent, lover,  friend, or pet.  It took another loss in my life to kind of give me a wake up call.  I’ve never taken the time to sit with myself and say “Hello”.  When my divorce was final I jumped into life with both feet.  The water was deep and I kept on treading.  I now realize that it’s time to head for shallow waters, breathe and relax.

Just like the caterpillar, I still have growing to do and I’m thankful that I know it.  I have so much more to learn about myself and I am looking forward to the discovery.  A little nervous to finally get to know the person I have grown into, but excited to see what the future holds for me, myself and I.

I’d love to know your thought’s if you try the guided imagery I have created.  Share your experience in the comments section below.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

10/8/12

Related media:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_eBRwn8G40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SroSvgN_q_8

Related blogs:

The Eyes Behind The Mask

The Butterfly’s Lesson


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Embracing Loneliness


Grayson 1998-2012

 

When I first thought of writing on this topic I had originally titled it Accepting Loneliness.  When I went to sleep last night I was fearful for the coming morning.  It would be the first morning I woke up completely alone since my divorce.  The past 19 months my mornings, evenings and nights have all been spent with mans best friend and early Tuesday morning he went to heaven.

I woke up an hour before my alarm and realized my entire morning routine is now changed.  I was frozen and did not know how I was going to get up and start my day.  I thought about just spending the day in bed and as that thought was crossing my mind my body said differently, I jumped up with a leg cramp.  I was now forced out of bed!

Since the sun was shining I decided to take myself for a walk.  Sneakers went on, I pod ready to go, headphones in.  I set out at first feeling pretty sad but as I walked I realized that I had completed step one to creating a new morning routine.  I did something to get my day started and it was a positive thing.   It gave me time to clear my thoughts and focus on my schedule for the day, all while allowing myself time to listen to my favorite tunes.

Clarity was slowly seeping in and I realized that I have a choice to either accept the feelings of being alone or embrace them.  If I only accept them I”m really not making any positive changes for myself.  My world is now changed whether I like it or not.  The better thing to do would be to embrace it.

I’m content with the fact that today will be rough for me, but I got through the hardest part.  Over the next week or so I can set my routines how I want them.  I am in control of deciding what I will now do with my extra time and I am choosing to spend it being happy in my loneliness.  I figure I”ll play around with a few different changes and see what fits best into my schedule.  I really enjoyed the walk today and when winter hits I have access to an indoor center right across the way.  My morning routine is now set!  

I’m sure I will have waves of sadness, fear, and reluctance along the way, but those are all common feelings when a change is occurring.  Life is all about thriving through change sometimes they are happy changes, and sometimes they are filled with loss, pain and grief.  As I’ve said before in previous blogs, the latter are the ones that we grow through.  Just like the caterpillar  (yes I’m using the reference again!) who grows in her chrysalis, change makes us stronger!

Be all you can be in your loneliness, embrace who you are and live happy!  How have you embraced loneliness or change?  Reply in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

9/19/12