Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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  (In times of emotional distress, a person may become less active or withdrawn)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


Leave a comment

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

 

 

 

 


2 Comments

2017 Walk Up and Finish


new-year_resolutions_listI’m still trying to accomplish what I wanted for 2016 and now it is time to make another list, it seemed a bit overwhelming to me.  Looking back on my year, I lost weight, and then gained some back.  I saved some money, then spent more.  Most times life enjoyed me, and I was just along for the ride.

 

According to many sites on the internet, the top five 2016 New Year’s resolutions are:

  1. Enjoy life to the fullest 2. Live a healthier lifestyle 3. Lose weight  4. Spend more time with family and friends  5. Save more, spend less

Sounds easy enough, but tomorrow, most of us will realize we may have only carried out one or two of them.  With a  little help from family, friends and champagne we will make our list for 2017 with every intention of carrying it out.

A friend of mine sent me an idea for New Year’s Eve.  Fill a jar with 10 goals, good things you want to have happen.  In exactly one year, empty it, and see what was achieved.  My response was “OK, but I might be really pissed off in a year!”

This being the last working day of the year, I was focused on getting my mind prepared for my work day, going through my schedule step by step and only paying attention to my thoughts and the traffic.  I had about 10 minutes left on my drive when I finally relaxed my thinking enough to hear what was on the radio.  The traffic report was finally in my favor and I felt myself smile because I was NOT going to be late to work today!  I noticed a light snow begin to come down, the wind slightly increased and then a song came on and I found myself suddenly relaxed.

Have you ever heard a poem, or words from a book or movie that just feel like they are reaching into your soul and squeezing it?  The lyrics I heard this morning were like a whisper to my heart in such a way that tears were immediate.

I could attach a part of my life to each one, some good  and some bad and I felt relieved. I was comforted in the fact knowing that I get to re-set my clock this weekend.  I feel secure enough to be proud of what I have accomplished this year and at the same time courageous enough to reach for more in the coming year.

Today’s timing could not be more perfect, with the new year on the horizon, it was almost like being hit by a lightening bolt; and it brought insight to my thoughts about this past year.  Was I on track? Yes I was on MY track.  I was just where I needed to be.  I may not have accomplished every goal but I did reach some that were never set in the first place.

If I look at the top 5 again I would answer this way:

1.  Enjoy life to the fullest? Yes, I took a trip out-of-state to spend time with a woman whom I never met but who meant the world to me.
2. Live a healthier lifestyle? Yes, I joined a gym hired a personal trainer and not only ran my first 5K but two of them!
3. Lose weight? Yes, even though I put some back on, I still lost enough to motivate me to continue.
4. Spend more time with family and friends?  Yes, I was blessed to have spent three weeks with a cousin from Australia that I had never met, and I have re-kindled a friendship from my childhood.
5. Save more, spend less? Well, if making a budget and sharing expenses counts as saving then yes! As far as spending less….go back to #1 enjoying life to the fullest.breast-cancer-5k-2

What I initially thought were setbacks,this year were just nudges in a different direction bringing me closer to my best life.  For me this song is my 2017 walk up song, you know like when a baseball player is going to bat, or a runner crossing the finish line.

I will share the song with you in the hopes that it will also reach someone out there who may be looking for their song to close out 2016 and welcome 2017 with open arms.

The song is called “One Step Away” by Casting Crowns.  The verse that really called to me is below.  (click and it will take you to the entire song)

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Come now, and take up your new name
Your best life up ahead now
You’re one step away

Have a Blessed and Happy New Year!!!  Got your song ready? please share in the comments

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

12/30/16

Related posts/topics

New Year’s Resolutions

4 Travel Resolutions That You Must Make in 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

 


Leave a comment

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

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Flipping Time


IMG_0753 (2)I received  a gift this week, it was small but meaningful. Given to me by someone who knows nothing about me only the fact that I have an obsessive collection.   It could be annoying to others which makes me smile just a little.   It holds purpose and keeps me on track.  I felt special to have been the person to whom it was offered.  Have you guessed it yet?

I will end your suspense, it was a clock.  But not just an ordinary clock it is in the shape of a butterfly.  Made of plastic, the clock mechanism came out which left the butterfly totally empty.  An empty butterfly is not a pretty sight in my eyes.  In fact when I first realized the clock came out of the shell I thought I had broken it, but the clock kept ticking so I knew it was still working.  I was reminded of myself,  I was broken, but kept ticking long enough to keep myself working to prepare for my flip.

So here I am, having survived several what would be anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and at the same time I have invited new friends, and relationships. I have met some very wonderful people who needed me just as much as I needed them.  I have held the hands of some who needed me and others have held mine.

Some can flip a house and others can flip a soul.  Both are flipping “time”.  I’ve been there and have witnessed lives being changed.  I have seen a crossover between faithless and the faithful when a man visits his mom for the first time at her grave in over ten years.  I have felt the love of a son to his parents when being introduced at their grave sight.

Both of those instances stopped time for me.  I found purpose and meaning  where my IMG_0754 (1)life was at that moment. I had flipped time and I was making a difference.  Everything happens for a reason, I will always believe that.

So let’s flip some time my way, I am about to embark on another journey.  Making a move back to the area where I grew up.  It will take some adjusting but I am confident that I will find myself pretty close to where I left off.

A young, vibrant woman holding on for love, true to herself, ready for adventure, and for the “one” to give her the ultimate flip!

Courageous Butterfly

6/1/16

Related topics/posts

Just be held

 

 

 

 

 


2 Comments

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.

.

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

Related topics/posts

Trust In You, Lauren Daigle

 

 

 

 

 

 


2 Comments

My Empty Suitcase


suitcase1September 5, 2013 may have been a normal day for most, for me it was life changing.  It was a typical day after work, I came home checked the blog and was ready to respond to the comments, never expecting what I was seeing on the screen.

Someone was hurting and  reaching out.  I wanted to jump through the computer and find her, hold her, cry with her and help her. For a brief moment I was paralyzed and did not know what to do, but my emotions took over and I was on the case!

Sometimes sharing feelings or reaching out for help can be looked at in a negative way.  Unfortunately there are people out there who don’t want to hear it or think that we are just complaining to get attention.  But what about those of us who are deeply hurting, on their wit’s end and just needing a place to share their feelings.  When I read her comment I could’ve just moved on to the next one and let it go, heck it was a click on my page. But that would have defeated my purpose of this blog, to help and embrace those going through the pain of loss.  So I did the most logical thing and called the police!  The poor “old” man who answered the phone replied to me with “what’s a blog?” . At that moment I knew that this was all going to be up to me.

Once I was able to make contact, and make sure she was OK and had a friend on the way to be with her I sat silently and just shivered.  I was proud of myself for sticking with it and making sure that this stranger was going to be alright, but at the same time wondering if anyone would have done the same for me, and that is what keeps this blog going.

Compassion, is one of the most important virtues one can possess.  Listening, sharing, looking into the eyes of someone who is hurting can mean the world to them.

suitcaseSo, at this point your wondering why my suitcase is empty….well in just a couple of days I will finally be meeting this woman who has changed me.  She has given me purpose with my blog. She has given me the confidence to continue writing in hopes that I am helping anyone else out there who may be reading.

We have shared a lot of the same hurts over the past few years as our circumstances were similar.  But I want to arrive with my suitcase empty and ready for her to not only share her world, her friendship and love, but to fill my bag with her strength, courage and hope so that I can return home and thrive on the bond that was grown out of sharing our stories and our openness to be there for each other, even though we had not met.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

4/5/16