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.


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



Related Topics/posts

Love With Your Life, Hollyn









Learning how to listen

a quiet moment in Hawaii 2011

a quiet moment in Hawaii 2011

I can remember when I was little and my mom or dad would always ask in an angry tone “don’t you listen?” or “why aren’t you listening to me?” Well I’ve been asking myself that exact question for the last few years.  My divorce recovery has not always gone the best, there have been good and bad days but for the most part I can say I am proud of where I am right now.  Except for just one thing…I still do not know how to listen.

I am referring to listening to my inner self, thoughts, questions and fears.  During these last few years I have found much difficulty in trusting myself to make decisions even the simple ones.  I have sought out advice from everyone I am in contact with on pretty much all aspects of my life and I still find myself in limbo.  I have heard over and over again what a patient woman I am yet I cannot seem to find the patience within my own being.

When I counseled last she recommended to me that there really wasn’t a need for me to come back, that took me by surprise and kind of upset me.  Then she asked what I had hoped to gain from our sessions and I couldn’t answer.  Why was I really there?  She said that it looks to her like I am feeling stuck.  I quickly agreed.  At this point in my life I had hoped that I would be on a clear path yet I am still trudging through some mud and jumping over puddles.

Today, I watched Soul Surfer, it is a VERY inspirational movie about a young girl who loses her arm in a shark attack.  This young person overcame every obstacle set in her way and she realized her dream of becoming a professional surfer.  There was one scene in the movie that caught my attention along with my heart.  I think it fits almost every situation that deals with loss and the message I took from it is that you just have to be patient and listen.

I am going to try my best to focus every day on just listening to my body, mind, and heart and then live my day accordingly.  At the same time making sure that what I am doing is guiding me towards my future, whatever that may be.  The lines below are from the scene I referenced.  You can also click here to view the clip.

If you can offer suggestions on learning to listen to your inner self please share!!! I would love to hear what you have to say!


Courageous Butterfly


Bethany Hamilton:

Go ahead, tell me how everything’s going to be okay.

Tom Hamilton:

Yea that’s me Mr. jump-right-in-and-fix-it, maybe I should just keep my mouth shut for once.

Bethany Hamilton:

I’m done, aren’t I? I can’t even paddle out to the line up passed the big waves. I don’t understand, what happened to… I can do all things. Why? Why did this happen? Why did I have to lose everything?

Tom Hamilton:

You didn’t lose everything Bethany, not even close. That shark didn’t kill you, you’re here, you’re alive, you have your family.

Bethany Hamilton:

But what am I suppose to do now?

Tom Hamilton:

I don’t know…

Bethany Hamilton:

Then how am I suppose to know?

Tom Hamilton:

When the times right you’ll know. You just have to listen.

Bethany Hamilton:

Listen for what?

Tom Hamilton:

For whatever comes next.



A Path To Contentment

waterfallcrisp A place you thought was your ending; your landing strip could possibly be your starting point; your ready–set–go!  How do you find contentment when your mind is full of doubt, fear, and concern that you are making the right choices.  I’ve been on a few bumpy and frightening paths but this one could be the most frustrating of them all.

With the last few years behind me I have a craving for contentment.  I long to have a day where I am completely relaxed and at ease with where I am, what I”m doing and where my future is heading.  I’ve been wondering lately if that is a possibility at this stage in the game.  Here I am in my 40’s trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, getting settled in yet another new residence, and looking  for my soul mate, the person I am meant to walk the earth with.

There will always be little  reminders of what I had that will pop up and  never go away,  as each day passes they will be distant memories that will always be with me; they are  part of my soul and I would not trade them for the world.  They remind me of an early time when my life was being fulfilled with being a wife and mother, and it is that feeling that I am hoping I am on a path to find.  We don’t know what lies ahead and that keeps life awfully exciting.  As I sit here tonight I never dreamed this is where I would find myself, so full of doubt and fear and a need to feel fulfilled again.  Just when I think I may be on the correct path, a wind comes and tries to carry me in another direction.  Not knowing if I am supposed to follow it or if it is meant to carry me another way is terrifying.  I tend to immediately go the direction the wind is blowing me, but then I am hit with an uneasy feeling that I was not supposed to do that.

“Being content with your own decision-making is by far one of the most complicated virtues one can possess.”

The feeling of being at ease and genuine feelings of gladness seem like dimmed stars that I am trying to reach and make bright again.  I am walking a path toward them in hopes I will be able to reach up and illuminate them by filling my heart, mind and soul with peace.  It would be really nice if God gave us path markers so we knew that we were going the right way.  I guess when the feelings of fear and sadness creep in, it may be time to change directions.  However, what if we are supposed to conquer those feelings in order to be made stronger for the path that lies ahead?

I certainly can attest to the fact that going through trials makes you stronger and sometimes we are supposed to go through them.  I just hoped that my quest for contentment would be a little easier.    Some days are great and I’m excited to be able to start again, make new dreams, and go where the wind blows.  Other days there are only one set of footprints in the sand, because God is carrying me.  I know he is with me tonight as I write this in hopes of helping others, only a moment ago my son handed me a treasure he found in the attic of my new home….a pin of Our Mother Mary, with the words,  Child of Mary.  We are not alone!  We have our angels right along with us if not to guide us then to provide comfort along the way.


Somewhere on my path is a beautiful day with the stars as bright as can be, butterflies surrounding a crisp blue waterfall and I will take a moment to be still and know.  There will come a day when I am content with who I am and where I am,  until then I will be content in knowing that God has me right where he wants me and that Serenity awaits……..


How do you know when your content?  Please share in the comments.


Courageous Butterfly

Related blogs/links

Be Still, The Fray

It is Well Within My Soul

Living in the Tension of Uncertainty, Pay Attention

Just Give Me a Sec, Ramblings of Samantha


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Road Trip!

road_tripsIt’s time for a road trip! I am now ready to look at life through the windshield, no longer looking in the rear view mirror, and this time I am traveling light!

No more carrying around unnecessary suitcases that were once filled with doubt, regret, failure, defeat, and pain.   I have one bag that will hold, love, laughter, joy, faith, hope, confidence, strength and determination.  Now, I know life is not going to be perfect and I will hit a few speed bumps along the way, and there is room in my bag for those events; however, they will only be passing by and not invited to stay.

Two years ago today I reluctantly began a new journey.  I was sad, confused, hurt, and defeated.  Anticipating how I may be feeling about it all, I did not sleep well last night.  I was afraid of waking up today and having those feelings back just because it was an anniversary.  I am PROUD to say that I survived and kept it a completely tear free day.  Instead of focusing on what I went through and why today was going to be so hard, I focused on what is ahead; yet to come; surprises that await me; new beginnings; fun; excitement; love; hope; and dreams.

I spent the day being thankful that I am where I am after the struggle I endured.  I’m thankful for the lesson’s I learned, and even thankful for the tears I cried.  It was within those tears that I was healing.  I’m thankful that I was given the chance to begin again, find out who I am and what I’m all about.  I still have my moments, fears, and also discovering some scars that were left behind, as I wrote about in my last post.  But I’m ok with that, it’s part of the healing and transformation that I am making.  Even though I’m still 4 ft 11″, I feel like I have grown through this experience.  Today I stand on my tip toes and embrace the new me!

Loss is horrible, but when you can see what you have learned from the process…it’s AMAZING!  The most important value I have learned so far is not to live in the past.  Keep your eyes forward.  Only you are behind the wheel of your life, you make the choice to keep moving forward, or to detour back to the past.  Maintaining a steady cruise seems like the best way to travel.  Speeding through can bring feelings of fear or doubt.  When this happens, take a deep breath, reflect and make sure it’s the path you want to be on.broken-road

My windshield is looking pretty awesome right now.   The road I’ve been traveling on has led me to some pretty fantastic places, and brought wonderful people into my life.  It’s not all going to be sunny skies, there will be days when I’m driving through a storm but now I know I will make it through.  My broken road has been replaced, the top is down, the wind is blowing through my hair and I am on my way to a new beginning!

Do you feel your on the path toward healing?  Please share in the comments section below.


Courageous Butterfly


Related Links/Blogs

Broken Road, Rascal Flatts

Vision Keeper – Moving Forward

To Walk Far, Carry Less

Moving Forward!


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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.


Courageous Butterfly 11/1/12

Related photos:

Storm Survivor

Related Blogs:

Surviving the Perfect Storm

The Storms of Life




Live in the Present Moment

Life is defined by a series of “moments” and we experience them in three different stages past, present and future.  Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day activities and stress of life and we are not living like we should be.  Especially in times of a struggle we tend to focus on what we did wrong in our past or try to focus on how our future is going to be changed.  I for one have been there and it is now that I”m realizing I should have taken more time in the present moment when I was going through that difficult time.  The brunt of my struggle took almost two years and during that long period of time I was focused on the past and the future and ignoring the present.

Past:  There are obviously some good times to re-live the past like when looking through photographs or going over memories with loved ones.  You need to be able to know the difference between re-living the past and living in the past.  If you are living in the past it can cause negative effects.  For example at one point I found myself going over things in my head wondering how had I missed the signs?  I spent countless hours over the past few years trying to figure out where things had gone wrong.  Guess what?  It didn’t change the outcome, it didn’t change the fact that I was going through what I was going through.  All it did was cause me more stress and grief.  I should have been paying more attention to the way I was feeling in the present moment and just maybe my healing would have been a little bit easier had I chose to face it as it was happening instead of dwelling on the past.

Future:  We all have plans for our future and looking forward to and planning for them is very healthy and will be very beneficial.  However, being in a present moment of struggle and focusing on the unknowing of the future is a totally different scenario.  Toward the end of my divorce is when I was stuck in this mode.  As the final date drew closer it became very scary and upsetting for me.  For starter’s I had never lived alone my entire life and living away from my family was something I truly did not think I would be able to handle.    As I look back tonight I wish I had chosen not to worry about the future so much, it is a work in progress but is turning out to be ok.

Present:  The little bit of research I did on this subject says that people who live in the present are the happiest and extremely successful people live in the present moment.    My opinion is that it is hard to live in the present moment, however it is worth it! It is something I constantly have to remind myself to do, but when I do I am very happy and I am finding myself to be successful in my new job and my new surroundings.  I am living each day when I wake up not at 8pm the night before  or worrying about what the next day will hold.   When I am truly living in the present I feel like the little green guy in this picture.  Imagine how happy you would feel if you lived like that every day!

I cannot get back the time I spent dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, but I can spend my time day-to-day living in the present moment and experiencing life as it should be experienced.   Treasure every moment, feel the pain even when it is hard to do, feel the joy, share tears and all of the wonderful experiences that life has to offer.

Here are just a few tips on how I take the time to live in the present moment.  If I find I am slipping back to my painful past or worrying on what tomorrow holds I find a quiet place to sit and just do some breathing exercises.  Even if it’s just five minutes it brings me back to the present and the now.  There are several websites that offer lists and tips on being in the present moment I recommend any of those that speak of mindfulness.  Being mindful is something that if we practice daily becomes very easy and it’s just a matter of stopping to remind yourself that you are living for today not for yesterday or tomorrow.

Have you ever looked back on a time in your life when you wished you had lived in the present moment?  Please respond with your experience.


Courageous Butterfly