Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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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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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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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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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

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The Gloves Are Off….Healing In The Moment


glvoesOk, here goes nothing!  Those were my thoughts this afternoon as she headed to my way.  At first I thought I was dreaming.
Sitting in my car in the driveway of what was once my marital home to pick up the kids and I saw her through the window.  I froze at first not sure how to handle this.  The last time we said one word to each other it was….well, actually it was very civilized.  But that’s a story for my next book.  Anyway, there I was not knowing what I should do and the little voice inside me said, “Kimberly, open the window and keep your hands safely on the wheel, make sure your foot is off the gas and the car is in park”.  Any unintentional accident needed to be avoided.

She had a reasonable question concerning one of my kids .  I knew I had to answer, I took in a breath and answered as cool and calmly as I could making sure I had a nice friendly smile on my face.   I was having an exceptionally good hair day, was dressed for a family party so I think I was looking pretty darn good.  With a small but noticeable flip of my freshly styled summer blonde hair I gave her the answer she was looking for.  We continued to chat as if we were the best of friends, (not really but a stranger would not have known any different) and I’m sure her stomach was churning just as much as mine was.

While departing the driveway I had a feeling of liberation.  It was like in that short maybe three-minute conversation something in me changed.  I had survived that meeting and very glad that I had been seated safely in my car, because if I had been standing and actually felt my quivering legs it would have been a totally different experience.

What I have learned from today is that maybe I am actually healing as far as my feelings for her are concerned.  Three years ago I would not have been able to look her in the eyes and carry on a polite conversation.  Today I over came that!  I faced my fear took off the gloves that were holding on to the uncertainty, pain, and bitterness and in that moment I set them aside.  Will they always be off?  Well only time will tell I suppose.growth

I drove off with all my kids in tow with a feeling of happiness that has been a long time coming.  I felt as if I had just climbed the highest mountain, stuck my flag in the ground, held my arms up to the sky and smiled in the sunlight.

What I want to share with you through all of this is that healing can occur when you LEAST expect it.  And my friends, for me that experience was amazing!  Keep your eyes and ears open for your moment, don’t worry about when it will happen or if it will happen, like I said this one came out of nowhere for me.  Just try not to run from it.  Suppress the initial flight reaction. (I wont’ lie it was there for me but I’m no race car driver, so burning rubber out of the driveway would have been way too obvious.)  Take control of the moment when you are facing it and enjoy its reward!

Has anyone else experienced a liberating healing moment?  Please share.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

7/6/14

 

 


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Falling Into Place


Tough Decisions Ahead Road SignRemember that age-old question that we were all asked when upon high school graduation and even during some job interviews?  “Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20, 25…years?”  I totally answered mine wrong, if we were graded on that I would’ve flunked out!  Thank goodness those hopes and aspirations are not written in stone, therefore we can change them any time we want!  But when we are forced to change them, that’s when it get’s tricky.

At this point in my life I am supposed to be happily married enjoying the last of the teen years with my children, and getting ready to prepare for empty nest syndrome. I am clearly not where I planned to be!  During my divorce I often found myself in the “crystal ball” moment.  Saying things like ” if only I could see what was coming”.  I think we all feel that sometimes, if we could see the path ahead we may make our decisions differently.

Those of us that are divorced, or have lost someone near to us never imagined we would be where we are today and coping with it takes patience, perseverance, hope, faith, strength, and most of all courage.  There have been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make over the past two and a half years and not knowing if I was making them correctly was very stressful.  I had no idea how one decision would lead to another, and so on.

In the heat of the moment right on divorce day, I made a decision that has caused, stress, financial strain and fear; surprisingly lately happiness.   Had I been asked that same question again after the divorce I still would have gotten it wrong!  Survivors of loss most often fear change for the rest of their lives because the change we faced was so painful for us; the change that came from my decision was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do since the divorce.

Tonight a little light was shined on my path and I am now finally starting to see that even though I would never have thought this is where I would be, things are actually starting to fall into place.  Perhaps I am on the path that I am supposed to be on.  Ironically, I had been pathlightworking on a literal path just yesterday right in the place that I thought I’d never be.  Here I am and I’m a survivor!  I didn’t know it was happening but I have embraced this very difficult change, faced it head on and I am rocking it!   It is becoming clear that just because I thought I made the wrong decision, doesn’t make it wrong.  It may just mean that the purpose I thought it was supposed to fill in my life was not what I envisioned.

I am where I am today because that is right where I am meant to be, and I will have many more decisions in the future that are connected with this big one.

If there is one tip I can pass along on this subject, it is to trust yourself, even if you think you are making the wrong decision it may actually be the right one down the line.  And also realize that you never know who you are going to need in your life or how you are going to need them.  Keep those that love you close by you so that when you are in a low moment or are ready to celebrate the happy ones they will be there to share in them with you.

Tonight I can see that my initial decision was so  hard  for me to make because deep down I must have known that it would impact my life for a very long time.

Is there a decision you made during your struggle, that will be connected to the next?  Please share.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

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