Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


2 Comments

Memories Triggered


chrysalisSpring is upon us and that means caterpillars everywhere are on the verge of becoming a newer version of themselves. With much time spent in the chrysalis, letting go of the past and preparing for a great adventure.  Over the past 7 years, I have been doing the same thing and life has led me to many wonderful adventures of late.  Recently however, I had a “moment” that I would like to share with you! It came suddenly and completely took me by surprise!

In January of 2013, I wrote a post on PTSD and Divorce. Over the past few years, I have not suffered any of those mentioned PTSD experiences, and have felt pretty well renewed.  I have some wounds that will always be present in my mind, but for the most part, I am a new and improved person who just happened to have survived a divorce.  Towards the end of that post, I mentioned that as part of my healing journey, I was at war with my memories.  Through the restorative process, I have surrendered my memories and processed much of what I needed too, or so I thought. Apparently, my mind had other plans and decided to wage war once again.

The trigger was a song that happened to come on while I was watching television. The song immediately infuriated me.  I began yelling out and having an argument with the person singing.  I wanted to know what gave the artist the right to create such a song and sing it as if it were the best thing ever written.  I found myself having a very one-sided conversation and becoming angrier at every word.

The next day I was speaking to a friend about my “moment”. All of a sudden, I heard words coming out of my mouth that were not there the night before.  I was actually explaining why that song was such a trigger.  I quickly realized that what was happening in the lyrics was something that I wished I had done during my period of doubts.  That piece was a rendition of my life but with scenes that never played out due to my fears and uncertainty.  Situations that I did not allow myself to be a part of because I did not want to believe they were true.  These impetuous feelings were hurtful to me, but this time I was the one causing the pain.

I know we cannot go back and say “what if”, but I really wanted to ask myself that question. The more I thought about it; my answer was that the outcome would probably not have been any different.  In fact, it may have been worse.  I trusted in my perception during those times, and I chose a way to react that was secure for me.

This unexpected moment was a very valuable lesson. It has showed me that deep down this was an unresolved issue, having nothing to do with my ex, it was all me!  Will there be more? I have no clue, but at least now, I know how to identify it and process it.  I do know that when it happens again, I will let the music play, soak in the lyrics and glide with the rhythm.

butterfly musicWhat I think is important to pass along here, is do not shut yourself out! These “moments” will appear without warning and can be frightening to face head on.  I faced mine by accident the following day and I am grateful for the experience and now the knowledge.  When you get to this point in your journey, remember this as an important step in the healing process.  Trust in God, and listen to what you have to say.  Do not be afraid to be angry with yourself but also remember to be just as forgiving!

Do you have an experience of a “moment” you would like to share? Please comment.

Blessings, Kimberly / Courageous Butterfly

Related Topics/Posts

Does PTSD after divorce exist? You better believe it!

Letting Go of Regret

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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


4 Comments

She’s Back!


2009 After an opportunity to change was given to me

2009 After an opportunity to change was given to me

Ok, before you get too excited, the pic is old, it was taken in 2009 after I had been given a wonderful gift to complete a transformation.  The reason I am using it today is because it exudes how I am feeling.  It’s been said that one can lose themselves during a marriage, a bad relationship or a highly demanding job, did you know you can also lose yourself during a loss?  I never knew what an amazing gift a change in surroundings could be.  The term being freed from a prison is a definite understatement for me, not only was I shackled to my environment but my soul was lost within those walls.

I’ve been out of there for about two weeks and it’s been amazing!  I am no longer dreading coming home and I smile each time I pull into the drive.  It is such a beautiful feeling to know that I have been given a second chance at becoming renewed.  I feel lighter just knowing that I am no longer carrying the stress of the house around with me and sometimes I find myself grateful that I did have to spend some time there because  had I not, I would not be seeing the gift I have today.

This morning I woke up feeling like Kimberly.  That may seem strange but I haven’t felt her around me for a very long time.  Many years ago I would spend my Sunday’s making homemade sauce and meatballs, well I cannot tell you the last time that actually happened.  Guess what…today was the day!  I went to the store this morning and totally veered from my list and found myself tossing cans in the cart, almost running to each and every ingredient that I was going to need.  After arriving HOME, I turned up the music put on my dancing shoes (bare feet) and dug in.  I found myself taking time, savouring every stir of the spoon as I watched the sauce and herbs blending with each other.  The familiar smells, brought a peace to my heart and I became lost in the moment.  After a quick taste I felt safe, secure, and happy.  This was something that had gotten lost and tossed aside with my grief. Even though it is something simple, it brought an enormous amount of joy to my soul.inner_beauty-465605b712594973d3f6403d22684f66

I am content in knowing that things may not be perfect nothing ever is, but I have been given a great blessing, a chance to change.  Many of us do not see the chance to change as an opportunity, it is often seen as something bad and we go running in fear.  I wonder if the caterpillar sees her time in the cocoon as a gift of change and does not see it as just a circumstance beyond her control.  I’m going to guess that the beauty within her is a sign that she appreciated her chance, clung to it and emerges as the most beautiful version of her new self.

Have you been given a second chance at becoming you again?  Please share.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

9/7/14

Related blogs/topics

Blessings, Laura Story

Seeking The Real You Within

Wherever

Paramount Reflection

Thats Where You Need To Go

 


Leave a comment

Extra, Extra, Read all about it…..the eBook is PUBLISHED!!!


It’s done!, It’s Done!, It’s DONE!!!!

After two years of writing, while living through it, I finally have the eBook completed and published.  I have to say it is an amazing feeling and I certainly understand why it takes so long for books to be complete.  This is just a simple 30 page eBook and it took me almost the entire day  just to upload it to the publishing site.  A print version will be available very soon for those of use non-computer savvy people.

I need to give some shout out’s here, first to my editor…Christopher Woodside I can’t begin to express my gratitude for all the work you did on this project, not only with the editing but also with getting me through some really rough times.   Asking you to edit the book seemed  logical to me because you saw me through each and every word on those pages.  I will be forever grateful.

Second goes out to Tracie Louise Photography for providing the cover pic at a very reasonable price two years ago when this project was just a glimmer in my eyes.

Next I need to thank David Hall Page for your generous, fabulous, sweet yet comical forward.  You are also someone who has gotten me through some “crap” as you put it and it means a lot to me to have you part of this project.

Finally but not in the least my family, friends, and spiritual advisors…you all know who you are!  But if you want to see your name in print I’ll throw out a few, here goes:  Michelle, Susan, Chuck. Rachel, my lovely children, Mom, Daddy, Michael, Phyllis, Elizabeth, and my awesome co-workers.

So without further ado I proudly announce

eBook Version:

Out Of The Chrysalis:  Free To Fly  (click link for purchasing information)

Out of the Chrysalis : Free to Fly

Paper back print version:

Out Of The Chrysalis: Free To Fly (click link for purchasing information)

Out of the Chrysalis : Free to Fly

 


3 Comments

Prepare for Change


photo (27) It’s official!  The butterflies are hung, I am home.  Change is good, when your prepared.  Life is amazing, unpredictable, chaotic, stressful, and full of surprises and it’s one of the reason’s I haven’t written in a while!  I never thought that something I was dreading, and nervous about could actually be a positive thing in my life.  As I write this tonight, I am sitting in a place where I never imagined I’d be, let alone be ok with it.  It’s funny how life works.  I have owned a home since 2002 and never set foot inside until two years ago, and just recently I moved in to make it MY home.

The past couple of months leading up to the move were filled with doubt and most of all fear.  I have learned to trust my intuition so it wasn’t the decision I was doubting, it was whether or not I was strong enough to handle living with it.  This change was the right one for me  financially and for my family.  We were quite cramped in my two bedroom condo, teenagers look like giants in that space!  I knew I was doing it for the right reasons, I just wasn’t so sure I could handle the emotional side of it.  The house brought back some very painful memories of my divorce and I had been anticipating a lot of tears once I moved in.

I had even planned to sit and write an award-winning blog post on that night.   I just knew the words would fall off my fingertips along with the tears down my cheek.  I kept telling myself… “for tonight, just cry”.  (I’d been listening to a lot of Mandisa, link below) Well to my surprise I did not shed any tears that first night or any night since!  In preparing for this move I made sure that every room had my touch, things that needed to be removed were removed, items that needed to be changed were changed, and the house is now all ME.

I have learned that no matter how scary change may be, preparation is the key.  I know things would have been a lot different that night if I had not made changes prior to moving in, but because I did I was able to do it without any emotional scars.  We all know that you can get through things a lot easier in life if we are prepared, it also holds true with our emotions.

I’ve become very close friends with my emotions over the past few years and I knew in my heart, mind and soul what I needed to get me through this, I just didn’t think it would actually work!  As I settle in I’m finding out that I am going to be ok here and I”m reminded so much of what the caterpillar must feel like once it enters the chrysalis and realizes it’s going to be there for a while.  I’m in mine right now, it is in this place where I will grow the strongest I have ever been.  I know this because it took all the courage I could muster up just to move in.  I faced it, I did it and I conquered.

I’m here now to learn more about who I am and to grow.  As I get to know the different rooms in the home I become changed, empowered and strong.  It may sound funny but I think the house and I needed each other.  In a sense I am healing the home one little improvement at a time, and in return it is healing my heart by showing me just how strong I really am and in a way it is loving me back.  Where the butterflies land….is home.photo (28)

Be a strong caterpillar, don’t fear change embrace it! Have you conquered change?  Comment below.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

5/4/13

Related Links/Blogs

Under the Tuscan Sun

Just Cry, Mandisa

The Winds of Change, Forever Poetic

When it Changes, Thoughts from Hazel

 

 

 

 


6 Comments

don’t panic


dream-butterflyThe caterpillar has just realized that she is trapped in her cocoon until she is ready and strong enough to fly on her own.  What do you think is going through her  mind?  I’d like to think she is calm, relaxed, and reflecting on what her future will be like once she is transformed.  Perhaps she closes her eyes and in a calm voice whispers to herself, “don’t panic”.

They are only two little words, 8 letters in total but when I speak them or hear them there is no calm in my voice.  Recently after a Chinese dinner I opened a fortune cookie.  I’m usually very excited to see what lies ahead, but this time when I read those two little words my pulse began to race.  All I could think of was why?  Why should I not panic?  What do I have coming that I will want to or need to panic, and how long to these Chinese fortunes last?

Life is full of bumps along the road and hills to climb and panicking through them will only make it harder to survive.  I thought about the past few years and wondered if there were any situations where I did panic, and I was able to think of a few.  When I look back on them now I can see that being in a panic mode did not really help me to resolve anything.  Then I looked even further back into my marriage, to an incident that if I would have processed it correctly, I would have seen what was happening then, instead of six years later.

When we panic we over-anticipate things which can make it look to us like we are over reacting.  That is what happened to me.  Instead of calmly looking at the situation one piece of evidence at a time and focusing on the facts and what I was seeing, I panicked.  I went into a OMG mode and I missed clues,  over looked facts, and ultimately that led me blindly into the false explanation that I would soon accept as truth.  Those emotions can cause you to look at things irrationally and at times you may even become fearful and hysterical.  I had immediately imagined the worst but because I was in that rushed surge of emotions, I convinced myself that I was wrong.  The emotions that panicking brought out of me were crazy, therefore I discounted it all.  Since then I have learned to trust my gut feelings and I know now that if I want to really hear them and feel them I have to go through difficult situations in a calm manner.

I can’t go back and change that moment but I can certainly learn from it.  I can let that moment go and make sure that in the future I pause before reacting.  Storms come and go in our lives just like in the weather.  At times we get a warning and other times they just drop out of the sky.  It is important that we have our emergency response system working properly.  At the first sign of trouble, or when the first dark cloud rolls in….pause….take a deep breath and whisper “don’t panic”, I’ve got this.  Then try to focus on the facts and what you need to do in order to grow, change, or move forward out of the storm.  Learn what ever life lessons are coming from it, accept any changes, and take pride in knowing that you have survived it.  As the storm passes, spread your wings and soar!z_p18-The-butterfly

I do not even want to imagine how many dizzy butterflies there would be if every caterpillar went into a OMG panic mode when they emerged from their cocoon.  Don’t be a dizzy butterfly….take a deep breath….close your eyes…..and whisper “don’t panic”.

Have you panicked and it altered your reasoning?  Please share in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/17/13

Related Links/Blogs

Need You Now, Plumb

Word to the Wise, Poetic Journey

Day 7-13 Flying In and Out of Control, The Presence Project

Panic, Tiny Moon Girl

Across the Bored


1 Comment

Surrender…And Seek The Blessings


UPDATE:  Two days after writing this post I was lucky enough to attend a Laura Story Concert.  I was a little apprehensive about going because after all it was Valentines Day!  But I sucked it up and went anyway.  I’d like to share the video I took of Laura performing the song Blessings, which I referenced in this blog post. (click link below)  Close your eyes, listen to the words then pay close attention around the 4:47 minute mark…..The song ends yet she still has a little more to say.  Listen to her words and then look at the title of this post again!  It’s truly AMAZING!  That was a very big God moment for me, it was in that moment that I knew he is aware of what is going on in my life!  Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/v7K3K97XEcM

 

“The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transformed into peace. Anything you accept fully will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” – Eckhart Tolle

When I read that quote I could picture the caterpillar in the cocoon at her weakest moment, afraid, unsure and unaware of her potential if she would just take a deep breath and surrender.  Sounds easy right?  How many times have we told ourselves to stop and take a deep breath, then move forward.  Probably too many to count.  This week I had the chance to wave my flag and surrender.

flowers_surrender_124110I’ve noticed that while we see the beautiful butterfly, the product of all the hard work, we rarely see the caterpillar.  I visited a butterfly garden this summer and the focus was on the butterflies flying around the exhibit, but I was entranced with the caterpillars in their cocoons.  The time spent in the chrysalis is the toughest part of the transformation.  I would guess that there would be confusion, pain,  worry and fear.  Sounding familiar?  They are too me.  Those are exactly the feelings I dealt with while surviving my divorce, or as I like to think of it, the beginning of my time spent in the chrysalis.

I was forced to make many tough and painful decisions during that time and one of them is still with me today.  It is one that I had been regretting for the last year, that has caused not only emotional pain but some financial hardship as well.  I knew that I could not continue to beat myself up about it and I had resolved that it was the right thing to do at the time.  I had become satisfied with the fact that it was now in my past.  I was living with it and thought that I was at peace.  Due to some unforeseen circumstances in my near future,   I have come to a part on my journey where I need to make yet another important decision that will create change.  Initially all I could feel was anxiety, so much of my life the last few years has all been about unwelcome change. That terrified me and I know I did not take the time I should have to come to the decision I had, even though I know it is the right one.  I had been praying for guidance and for a specific resolution that did not come.   I questioned the reasons why I was still facing the outcome of my decision.  I often felt myself wanting to question my faith, unsure of the possible lesson God was trying to teach me.  Then with the help of a song that had gotten me through  many sleepless nights, I was reminded that my blessings may come from raindrops, my healing from tears, and if I stay strong, this too I will conquer, for this trial may be my mercy in disguise.  Laura Story, Blessings.   Listening to that song, and really thinking about its meaning, helped to ease my anxiety. It also gave me the chance to take a deep breath and surrender the situation to God.  I realized I could no longer control any outcome whether it be the one I wanted or not and lucky for me I was about to get many unplanned hours to really think about it.  Just like the caterpillar…

Just a few days after announcing my decision, I was struck down with the “nursing home flu”, which meant a 7 day quarantine.  The first few days I really didn’t spend much time in deep thought but as I began to feel better and wander around my place I had the opportunity to take some inventory.  I had found several files on my laptop that were left over from my divorce, notes I had written in times of sadness, and items from my marriage that I really didn’t  need to be holding onto.  I started to realize that I should use the downtime to fully surrender to the changes I had gone through, purge them and let myself go, in hopes that someday I can become the butterfly I am destined to be.

I spent many hours hitting the delete button, wiping the tears as I went along, feeling relief as the files were disappearing from my sight.  When I got too emotional and wanting to give up,  I tried to imagine myself as the caterpillar shedding a little bit of her fuzz as she transformed inside the chrysalis.   After a while I felt exhilarated.   I chose that moment to really sit and think about the decision I had made earlier in the week, making sure that it was truly something I could handle.  I came to the conclusion that YES I can handle it.  It may not be something that I hoped would happen or something that I planned for, in fact it’s quite the opposite.  Was my divorce something I planned or hoped for? No, but I have come out of it changed, transformed, re-born and strong!  This decision was no different and it will give me the same opportunities for growth.  I can see the progress I have made and I know I am stronger, because this change,  this place I will be going to, is the same spot where just a few years ago I became the strongest version of myself I had ever been.  you-are-free-to-fly_thumb

Today, after being locked up and alone for nearly a week I can say that I am strong enough to handle this new change and I can see good in it.  The positives far outweigh the negatives and with a little elbow grease, perseverance  love and determination, I will come out on top in the end.  Perhaps what is most important, is that with this surrender I no longer have the worry about making the initial decision in the first  place.  In surrendering, I have found peace.

If the caterpillar never surrendered and if there was no change, there would never be a butterfly.  Take the opportunity when it is thrown at you to wave your white flag, surrender to your feelings, doubts, fears and move forward on your journey with faith, hope and love.

Have you had your chance to surrender? Leave a comment.  (link is left of the post title)

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 2/11/13

Related Links/Blogs

I’ve Stood On The Edge Long Enough

Being Bel, The Art Of Surrender

Goddess In The Belly, Surrender