Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within

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Life happens; It is what it is; sorry for your luck; that’s too bad; you deserve better.

hope-butterfly-jane-coenenThese are just a sampling of phrases we may hear throughout and after any trial, and I’ve realized that very few and far between are phrases like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel; God is good; have faith; focus on love; listen to your heart; you’ve got this!

It is a natural tendency that when we vent, we attract a negative response.  And let’s face it, we have all vented! I don’t think it is a bad thing, as long as it is kept in context, and once it is vented, it is then released.  However, during a trial, I think what we need to hear are phrases of HOPE, the latter will just bring us down.

So my plea is for those of you who are hearers of those venting.   Lift them up! Praise them! Put yourself in their hearts feeling where they are and react accordingly.  Think about what response you would want to hear if you were the one facing the life change.  Let’s remember to remind them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that God is in fact Good.  You are loved and you will love; listening to your heart will reap many rewards and with God all things are possible.

I’ve suffered and I have found my light.  It was an extremely rough road with a lot of speed bumps and setbacks, but here I stand alive, well and blessed.  My message to you is to stay grounded in everything you believe in.  Live with HOPE in your future, dance every morning, be still with the clouds in the afternoon and gaze upon the stars at night.

We are all meant to walk the earth with someone at our side, whether for a reason, a season or a lifetime, our job is to be prepared for the walk.   For some it may be a little jaunt, for other’s a jog; it could be a hike and for many others a mountain climb. dance1

My wish for you is to enjoy the journey when it arrives, no matter how long or how hard your climb, it is well worth it.  Keep your focus, stay true to who you are, do not be afraid to love with an open heart; HOPE will find you and within it, you will find your rest.

Do you have a HOPE story to share, please respond in the comments.

Courageous Butterfly



Related topics

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Unshakable Hope






Be Weird With Me…I DARE YOU!

weirdI started off my day today being called weird, I found that to be odd.  I know, as most of you probably do, that I may have a little touch of crazy within me, but I never anticipated being called weird.

The holidays are just around the corner and many of us who have faced a loss can struggle with missing  tradition, family moments, and having that someone special to share it all with.  Well, would you think me weird or crazy if I told you that what I seem to be missing most is something that I never really had?  Yes it sounds strange, but I have a feeling it happens more often than not.

OK, now here is where it get’s really goofy.  I miss words…..yes I said words.   A writer who misses words, go figure.  In my mind they are not just letters formed together that sound good; yet they will seem simple to anyone who isn’t me.  During my marriage, my ex and I had totally different schedules, he worked and I was a Domestic Goddess, or Household Engineer.  His schedule was more specific than mine and he needed to be up very early most mornings.  I on the other hand, arose a bit later and by the time I was getting up, he had already left for work.  I cannot begin to count the times I would hope that we could awake together and there were even days when I planned to be up when he was, but he was an early riser and always seemed to beat me to the punch.

I never in a million years thought that I would long for the moment when I could awake, look over at the person I loved and say “Good Morning”.  Sure, I’ve said that phrase many times before to a lot of people, but for me in the context of arising in the morning and looking right into the eyes of my love, it takes on an entirely different meaning.

I would like to cite an example of how that phrase could take on an emotion or notion.  Bless his heart, Robin Williams is very well-known for the movie Good Morning Vietnam.  It’s a comedy, it’s somewhat fictional, and we all laugh when we watch it.  I’d like to ask, have you ever taken a moment to think about how some of the soldiers would have felt when they heard that phrase every morning during his broadcast?  They were all away from family, they were longing to be home, to see, feel and touch their loved ones.  To me that phrase was their hope.  When they heard it each dawn, it was another moment that they had survived and took them one day closer to the end of their tour.

So here is why I was called weird today.  Ready?  Well I attach a romantic emotion to the phrase “Good Morning” as well as “Good Night”.  I’d like to say I’m saving it for that special person or the special moment when I am blessed to look over as I awake and be able to mutter those two simple little words.   I refuse to use them loosely out of politeness because they mean so much more to me, and if I’m weird because of it then that’s OK to.  good-morning-9218

Here is your homework, think of something, it can be words, items, colors, music, anything just pick a noun, but one that is important to you but may seem weird to someone else.  Then share it here and show all of us out there how one simple, strange, weird, or odd thing means the world to you….. I DARE YOU to be weird with me. 🙂


Courageous Butterfly


Related blogs/links

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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.


Courageous Butterfly


Related links/blogs


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Will YOU be YOUR Valentine?

be mineKiss Me – Hug Me – Be Mine – These are probably the most popular Valentine phrases that we have been forced to look at since Christmas ended.  I took a look back at my posts, and I am honestly surprised that I have not yet talked about the holiday that singles dread the most…..Valentines Day.  The only logical explanation I can come up with is that I was not ready to even think about going on a date for that particular holiday.  So why now?

I still don’t think I am “ready” but it is something that has been weighing on my mind recently.  I even went so far as to arrange a date!  Yep a real Valentines Day date….then I cancelled it.  What in the world am I afraid of?  That is the question of the year and unfortunately I do not have that answer.  Here I was with someone who actually wanted to go on a date with me on that special day, even though I kept saying that it was not “technically” going to be a date…just friends who happen to be going out on the most romantic night of the year, my inner self knew it was a date and that is what scared me.

Since the divorce I cannot look at a happy couple without first getting jealous, then getting angry.   Why can’t I be happy for them?  This year I have no one to blame but myself.  I let my inner fears get the best of me.

Last year however, I was a very brave soul and took myself out and it turned out to be the most amazing date of my new life!  I started out by going shopping the week before and bought an entire new outfit.  Were talking a shirt, skirt, high-heeled boots, jewelry, purse..the whole deal, just as if I were going on a date with an actual person.  I was going to attend a concert alone on that special night and I never felt more ready.  Until I got in the car and headed out.

I almost turned around and went home.  I was panicked!  I was going to a romantic concert alone on Valentine’s Day!  There would be couples surrounding me everywhere I turned, have I gone mad?  Sure enough when I walked in, the pink, red and white heart-shaped balloons made me want to throw up and they were everywhere, tied to every chair, hanging from the ceiling, and surrounding each doorway.  I was in romance hell.  But I was there and since I did not want to waste all the money I had spent, I decided to suck it up and at least try to enjoy myself.  I chose a table near the stage so that I could concentrate on why I was there in the first place, to sit and enjoy the music.  That night ended up being so much fun!  I met a lovely couple who took me under their wing for the entire evening and they were even trying to play match maker half way through the night.  I was surviving not being a couple on a night when usually only couples go out.  Most importantly, I was having FUN being there with myself.  I have to say I really know how to woo me.  I had dinner, I was dancing in the isle, I was singing out loud and I was smiling, not just a little smile…. the biggest!

After that night ended I remember going home and calling mom, I couldn’t wait to fill her in on how perfect the night was and I had made a comment to her I”ll never forget  “this Valentine’s night is going to be very hard to top”.  I had done it, I did everything I wanted and I had survived.

So what is wrong with me this year?  I guess I thought I needed to have a date because that is just what normal people do, so I went ahead and scheduled one.  I’m still not sure why I couldn’t keep it, something in me is saying I”m not quite ready for that yet.  Of course I want to have a partner some day, and I want to be able to go out on romantic dates with someone special.  I just don’t think this year is my time.  smile

Unfortunately I”m getting a late start on planning a date for myself and by myself at this point, but there is still time.   I have this entire week to plan something.  What would you like to do for yourself on this romantic day?  Some fun suggestions may be, a concert, a movie, dinner out at your favorite place, somewhere you always wanted to go.  Or even something as simple as buying yourself flowers, and candy.  Get up, get out, get dressed in your best and woo yourself better than you’ve ever been wooed before.  I don’t know if I will be able to top last year but I sure am going to try.  It’s important at this stage in the game to be able to go out and have fun by yourself, before you’ll be comfortable letting someone else in on the fun.

Have you wooed yourself?  Please share in the comment’s.


Courageous Butterfly


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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!



“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)


Courageous Butterfly 2/11/13

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Unplanned Opportunities

Plan:  a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something

We all have them.  We’ve spent countless hours determining the order they should go.  Some have spent thousands of dollars just to get themselves to a point in which they can carry them out.  What is the reaction when our plans are interrupted?  Those of us who have faced the loss of a relationship know all to well the answer to that question.  We tend to shut down.

When plans are interrupted, not by our choice, it can make one a little cranky!  The trick is to try to respond to life’s pause with love.  It is not easy to see the good in the midst of the bad, but trust me it is there.  At first it will seem like life as you knew it is gone. Only because life has changed the plans for you.  Adapting to change is one of the hardest things anyone can go through.  I’ve heard that the fear of “change” is one of the things people fear the most.  It beats out heights, spiders, plane crashes, and even skydiving.

Believe me it is easy to let yourself slip into the why’s and what if’s when dealing with loss.  Imagine how different life would be if instead we rose to the height of creativity when facing shattered plans.   Using creativity as fuel to propel yourself forward in life can bring so many opportunities.   A journal, for example, is a very creative way to begin to heal.  Other’s have found solace in crafts, cooking, and photography.  There are several celebrities who rose to great heights because they overcame  shattered plans and flourished in their adversity.  Just to name a few, Oprah, J.K. Rowling, Vincent Van Gogh, Bethany Hamilton, and Michael Jordan.   Each of them had gone through and survived a loss which made them who they are today.

Famous our not, we can all react in a way that will help us to achieve our version of greatness.  It is important that we do not become afraid of making new plans and doing our best to carry them out.  But we also have to remember that even though we have our plans, God has his too.   I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of thinking I was in complete control of what I had been planning.  There are several outside influences that will dictate how our plans are carried out.  My marriage for instance was not just in my hands but also in the hands of my ex.  We cannot always count on the fact that what we have plotted out to happen will go exactly the way we want it.

So we have to train ourselves to react to life’s interruptions.  I have begun to train myself with faith, hope and love.  Having faith within to be able to rise to the challenge.  The hope that the new proposal for life will see itself through.  Loving to the point of throwing self-doubt out the window.  If we can face each unplanned opportunity with these three attributes I am confident our new life will be full of wonderful surprises!

How have you faced an unplanned opportunity?  Please share.


Courageous Butterfly



Love Is…….

There are so many different ways to finish the thought Love Is…. and today I heard a song that really filled in those blanks for me.  This is probably one of the topics where I could sit and blog for hours on so many different points.  Tonight I just want to focus on how I felt when I heard some of the lyrics.   (You will find a link to the song at the bottom of this post.)

Sometimes love will make you cry.   Recently, my journey has brought on an unpleasant challenge.  Surprisingly  the first thing I struggled with was the fact that I still wanted to go to my ex for comfort.  Here I am after all of the time, heartache, disappointment, resentment, and pain still wanting to share important life changing moments with him.  I have had to share some instances with him that concerned the kids, but this time was different, because it concerned only me.  To tell you the truth I really didn’t know what I wanted or needed from him, it was just the fact that I was so used to sharing important things with him for so long. I was not ready to break that cycle; until now.  When I heard the lyrics “Sometimes love will make you cry” I knew that it is time to move past that urge of calling on him in a crisis.  This is something that I didn’t know still needed work and realizing it was step one. I will always carry some kind of love in my heart for the person I spent half of my life with.  Learning how to put that love behind me is step two.

Love will change your life.  This spoke to me on so many different levels.  There are so many forms of love that can change your life.  For instance the fact that I love my job!  I never thought I would end up where I am.  I am so grateful and blessed to have all of the people who were brought into my life because of it. Love won’t leave you empty.  The love from my church and Sister’s In Christ.  I cannot even begin to describe how my faith has blossomed because of the love I receive from all of those special people.  These instances all involved Love and they in fact have changed my life.

Love can heal you if you let it inside.  My absolute favorite lyric!   So many people are afraid to let love back in once they have gone through a heart-break.  I did not think it would be something that I would willingly do.  I say willing because it is definitely something that I wanted; but would I be able to let it happen?  Even letting in strong friendships was a scary thought for me because I also lost my best friend in the divorce.  Luckily, I did not struggle with my decision for very long.  I have begun to allow some of those feelings happen for me again.  It has been extremely healing for me.  Scary – yes!  but the amount of happiness that feeling like that again has brought into my life, far outweighs anything that is scary about it.

Remember, love’s not easy….but it’s worth it.  Worth it, as are most things in life that are not easy.  As survivors we have to love ourselves enough to allow those feelings back into our lives.  It will take confidence to be willing to allow it to happen.  Imagine the caterpillar in the chrysalis finally realizing that she/he is worth it; the chrysalis breaks and she/he is free to fly.  We can have that same experience and how beautiful it is!

Love can hear you, I know love will heal you….. Are you allowing Love back into your life?  Please share.



Courageous Butterfly