Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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Hello World…let’s fly


“Hello world!  I know I have been away for quite some time; life has taken me to places both familiar and unknown”, said the butterfly.   ©KA    

flyLast week during a conversation, it came up that the caterpillar does not know that a struggle is coming, or that it will be transformed into something more beautiful than it once was.  Many of us do not know the storms that lie ahead or how we will be changed because of them.  The difference between our struggle and that of the caterpillar, is the fact that we remember most of what we’ve gone through.  Some say, the butterfly, once it emerges only has memory of its time just before entering the chrysalis.  I can’t decide which is better, remembering every moment of the struggle, or just the very end.

Studies completed on the brain of a caterpillar and that of a butterfly have shown that some memory can be retained after metamorphosis if it was created in the later stages of caterpillar life.  Those studies involve smells with a shock to the caterpillar and when the same scent is offered to the butterfly, it avoided those scents proposing that it remembered the shock.

What if we applied this to a traumatic life event?  It takes me back to times through my healing process where situations or events would bring out feelings of fear and remind me of moments that were hurtful for me.  Even though it is hard to remember what we have gone through, I think we also can learn a lot of lessons through that pain.  I wonder if the butterfly is missing out on some of that since it doesn’t remember most of it’s life as the caterpillar.  Or…is that a blessing in disguise?  I suppose it depends on the situation and how each of us responds to our own healing environment.

The caterpillar could not prepare for what was about to happen, and many times we do not see or anticipate the circumstance that will be forever life changing for us.  When the storm hits were are just thrown in with no clue of how or when we will come out of it.  The caterpillar has to shed its skin in order to enter the cocoon and then it completely turns to mush before being restored to its new version.  We’ve all been reduced to mush at some point during our trial, and then our own metamorphosis occurs.  Taking us from broken to beautiful.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years focusing on the transformation and never really considered what it would feel like to be the butterfly…until now.

The struggle in the chrysalis is a real one and we all go through it differently.  Some caterpillars are inside for months, some weeks, some even a year over winter.  Life changing events do not happen overnight and it is important to know that the changes cannot be rushed.  However, it is critical that the focus be on allowing life to take you through the experiences that will ultimately form your wings and allow you to fly.

For the first time, in a long time I can actually say that I am the fully transformed butterfly.  I’ve closed my eyes and I can see myself emerging.  Taking my first breath of fresh clean air was the most magnificent feeling!  It was cool and crisp, it was filled with joy, and a feeling of love in my heart.  The scents that triggered my shock are now insignificant to my future.   I can honestly say “my wings are ready.”

I stumbled upon a song recently and these words really spoke to me, I hope they are encouraging for you on your healing journey.  “ You won’t forget the heavy steps you took to let it go, but close your eyes count to 10 and hold your breath and fly.”

Can you see your future as a butterfly?  Please share in the comments.

Many Blessings,  Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

Related Topics/Blogs

Do Caterpillars know the’ll become butterflies?

Do Butterflies Remember Being Caterpillars?

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Reaching new heights


butterfly dream catcherI feel like I’ve been at the top of my game!  Other than the fact that I am literally shrinking, life is good; kids are awesome; new job is going great; I start school in the fall; making progress on my running and actually achieving goals that I’ve set.  I’ve had nothing to complain about, until my subconscious started playing games with me!

My dream world has become a place that is not user-friendly.  I know that when dealing with loss, everyone heals at their own pace and that is the healthy way to do it. Measuring your progress using someone else’s ruler is never good.  Trying to figure out why I’m experiencing this now, after all this time is driving me a little nuts.  I’ve learned how my mind and emotions react to certain situations or circumstances, and I’ve had a pretty good handle on that…until I sleep.

How cool would it be if we could control what we dream about?  First off it would be really hard to get up in the morning if we could manifest our dreams, but secondly it may hamper what our brains are trying to do for us in a recovery phase.  There is no way I want to actually think about the scenario’s that my mind is creating while I sleep; so why are they being produced?

The dreams center around a big fear from my past,  but intermingled with life as if they fit. Pictures are clear; faces are well known, and I awake with a familiar knot in my gut.   I don’t know what the trigger is, they all have a consistent theme, which leads me to believe that I need to work out what that issue is.  It might be time to dig deeper than I have ever gone before and pull out whatever splinter is still left in my wound.

Removing a splinter at times can be difficult, especially those that you feel but cannot see.  I know it’s there because my dreams tell me so, but in my conscious state I don’t see it.  Removing it will take a steady hand, focus, patience and being OK with a little sting.  I’m not going to say that I’ve lost a step in my healing progress, because I haven’t.  This is just another facet of it that I didn’t know existed.

The good news is that it is happening when I feel like I can accomplish anything!  All except for the shrinking thing but that, unfortunately, is out of my control.  So for now I’m small and mighty, ready to tackle anything that comes my way.

Are your dreams messing with your reality?  Please comment.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

6/22/17

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Casting Crowns – Oh My Soul

Grief and loss 6 steps on the path to healing


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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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Fly with Grace, Peace and Hope


flygirlI was all set to call it a night, I leaned over to turn off the light and my body paused.  I looked at the lamp and was reminded that I still carry pieces of my past with me.  As I embark on yet another move, I am determined to let go of these items that have lingered in places where they really didn’t need to be.

Take for instance the lamp…which I made from a wine bottle…that was given to me by my ex.  I have moved three times since my divorce and apparently this lamp has made the trip.  Why is it still at my bedside?

I sat down at my vanity earlier today to begin to clean out the drawers and found an old wallet.  I pulled out old business cards and in the middle I found a photo probably 15 years old or more of the two of us on a New Year’s Eve…why is this photo still in this wallet?

I shopped at the grocery store today and gave the cashier my phone number for my rewards card…she repeated the name and it is still registered under my married name, why?

I received mail this week that was addressed to Mr. and Mrs…. why?  The company who sent it clearly knows that I am divorced.

I am in a place in my life where I am making positive changes, and for the first time I feel like they are changes that God wants me to make.  Things are moving smoothly and in a positive direction.  So then why am I getting all of these little reminders of my marriage?

It’s been five years and yet every time I make a literal move I find more mementos of our life together. I thought for sure I had done a formal cleanse but items still seem to surface.  This move has to be it…I no longer want to find these items that carry so much weight.  I like to think that I am at peace with my circumstance.   Truthfully I am, until that moment that I’m not.

fly freeYou can’t forget life and you can’t undo what’s been done.  What you can do is learn, grow and survive.  I know in the coming weeks as I continue to pack I will most likely stumble across more things that I thought I had let go of.  I will put on my wings and FINALLY set the items free.  Lightening the load will make it much easier for me to move both physically and emotionally.

Soon, I will return to the area where I grew up,  without the restraints of where I have been. Fueled with the power given to me by my children, friendships, experiences, and all of my scars, I will be at peace.  I will be ready for yet another transformation to become the best butterfly I can be! Fly with grace, confidence and hope.

Have you flown? Have you let it all go? Are you at peace?   Please share in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

5/12/16

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Number 5….


okThis week will mark the five year anniversary of my divorce.  Needless to say my emotions are all over the place. December is a tough month, we would have been married 25 years and then toss in Christmas.  Divorced and married in the same month does not bode well in the healing process.

Today I decided to look into that magical number five. At this point I feel like it should all be water under the bridge but for me this number year seems to be the hardest, and I need to know why.

In our society we like to celebrate things by year, birthdays, anniversaries, jobs, etc and for some reason we make the 5 or 10 year moments mean more than the rest.  20, 25, 30 to 50 are celebrated benchmarks.

Being on the cusp of my five year divorce anniversary is not fun, and I’m not quite sure how I want to handle it.  Why is this year different from any other year? Why does it seem to stand out more? Will I go through this every five years? and what is with the number 5?  So I googled it:

The number 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is ‘grace upon grace’ (John 1:16). The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with others humans.

Five is the number of balance.

Five symbolizes man, health and love.number 5

Marriage

It combines the female number two with the male number three. Five is the number of marriage.

 

SO, are my feelings warranted?  Heck Yes!  5 is God’s grace and also the number of marriage.   I’m living in God’s grace but also grieving the number 5.

If you can shed light on this magical number please respond.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

 

 

 


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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

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Soul Mates?


caterpillarbutterlfy I want to start off with a question…why are so many of us consumed with finding our “soul mate”?

I have only been divorced for four years which to some may seem like a really long time but to those of us who have been living it, it seems like just yesterday we were in the court room making the final arrangements.  It is hard enough to deal with the reasons for why your marriage or relationship has ended but then pile on top of that looking for someone new, as far as I’m concerned that is a recipe for an atomic bomb!

If we ask Google what a soul mate is Wikipedia says this:  A soul mate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity.    Simple enough, but psych central says:  “A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake,” author Elizabeth Gilbert said. “But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.”

Then there are the energy feeling resources that say : “Soul mate” is sometimes used to designate someone with whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, friendship, love, intimacy, sexuality, and/or compatibility. Soul mates can have various types of relationships, which do not always include romantic love. They can be close friends, co-workers, a teacher, anyone who influences your life one way or another. They play the emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental, games of third dimension with you. They can affect relationships in a positive or negative way depending on the emotional issues of the people concerned.

And last but not least Google Images (image copyright of google images).  soul mates

So how do you know?  I was tucked snugly into bed when this post jumped out of my brain and started to take shape on this page.  There is something to this that I need to get to the bottom of and I need your help!

Here we are, all suffering from a loss and we are trying so hard to move on.  Whether it be divorce, death, or separation we are all in this together.  The definitions that I cited are confusing to me how can the most important person you will ever meet not be meant for forever?  Or how can your soul mate not include romantic love?  I always understood the definition of soul mates to mean life long partner, which you would think would mean in all aspects of your life and not in a negative way.

So does this mean when we meet our “soul mate” and choose to or are forced to let them go then we are moving on to our next dimension?    But the bigger question is can one person have more thane one soul mate?    So I googled it and there is a lot!  Here is just one quote: “The bond shared with each soul mate is truly exceptional. Humans are the most complex beings, and each soul mate complements a different aspect of us. We find comfort in having someone who can understand and relate to us. ”

I also found that a “soul mate” can be someone communicating to you from other life times, so maybe its the people in my dreams.

Here’s what I’m thinking…. there is no real answer until you know it when you have it.

For some of us grieving our loss we had it and it is now gone, according to google and other research options it is possible that you will find it again or maybe it’s been there all along and you just didn’t know it, in which case, just hang out, sit tight and let God or the Universe do it’s thing!  As far as I’m concerned, I”m pretty sure the caterpillar wasn’t concerned with finding a “soul mate” while making its transformation to a butterfly, because it was it’s own and to me that is a blessing!

I’d welcome your thoughts.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 1/27/15

The truth about soul mates

Definition of soul mate