Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within

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Waiting Patiently…Seriously?!

waitingThis has to be one of the most confusing phrases I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a lot!. During my life trial, I was told repeatedly what a patient woman I was.   Here is the question, how can you be waiting patiently, or even patiently waiting, if you are in fact engaged in the act of waiting?

Waiting:   The action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.    Antonym:  Go, Act, Do

 Patiently:   In a way that shows tolerance of delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.    Antonym: Hostile, impatient, agitated

When we wait, it is often because we need or want something to happen and sometimes not by choice. I would guess that if we are waiting for something that we have chosen, like an upcoming vacation or something of that nature, then yes, maybe we could be patient about it.  However, what about when we are waiting for the light at the end of a tunnel, or for a hardship to end?  How in those times, can we practice patience?  Think about the last time you were waiting at a red light that seemed to go on forever, were you feeling agitated, or did you hear the sounds of chirping birds?  Being in the act of waiting, I think, automatically makes for an impatient environment.

Looking back on the times when I was waiting and feeling agitated or annoyed, those are the times when people told me what a patient woman I was, when in fact I was the opposite. Either I did a good job of hiding my frustration, or that phrase is just one that will forever be misused.

There are so many situations in life that call for us to wait and perhaps we should be spending that time in a state of patience, but for most, it becomes an anxious state. In these intolerant circumstances, our pulse rises, our palms sweat, we become irritable and highly emotional, none of which are good for our soul or daily living.  These types of reactions can make us ugly, turning us into a not so friendly, unattractive version of ourselves and can be detrimental to our future.

Let us try to put this misused phrase into practice. Have you ever seen an ugly butterfly?  It may surprise you, but I have seen a few!  These particular butterflies have tattered wings and I often wondered if they were weakened in the chrysalis or just a little beat up from life.  I assume it is the latter, but what if they are “ugly” due to the way they waited in the chrysalis.  I do not know what the caterpillar goes through emotionally or mentally, if anything at all.  What I do know is that they are forced to wait, and not by choice.

Let us think about what it might feel like to wait in the chrysalis. If the caterpillar were “waiting patiently”, I would imagine the environment as being dark but warm; lonely but quiet; constricted but free.   perfect peaceIn the dark, it senses the warmth provided by its surrounding cover easing it gently into a calmness.  When it is lonely, the intimacy provides a beautiful quiet, and in the small space, it knows that hanging on just a bit longer, will lead to ultimate freedom.  What I think this all means is that the patient part of waiting is a choice.

I say, it is worth a try! Next time you are stuck in traffic or on the verge of a panic because something has not happened yet, practice being a caterpillar just for a moment and let the stillness take you to new heights!

Do you have tips on how to “wait patiently”? Please share in the comments.

Kimberly, Courageous Butterfly

Related Topics

The Waiting, Jamie Grace

Do you think the caterpillar is afraid to turn into a butterfly? Bob Regnerus

Waiting Is Hard

Waiting for a reason



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.


Courageous Butterfly 1/27/15

The truth about soul mates

Definition of soul mate


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Calm, Cool, and Almost Collected

calmSince my last post dealt with realizing the amount of physical pain that can come along with stress,  I had better follow-up with talking about the stillness that can come following acceptance.

It was not easy for me to grab onto the diagnosis of stress induced nerve damage, it’s not something that is frequently talked about and I had never really heard of it before.  I figured I had two options, shut up and deal with it or argue.  Since I have been searching for three years for the cause of my symptoms I decided I will just shut up and deal, starting with some positive life changes.

I sat down to make a list of things that I thought would help to alleviate some of the stress, but these had to be things that I could actually control.  Of course I would love to say, erase all debt and make me pain free…There! done! stress gone.   That list is the pretend list cause those things are out of my control.  Yes I can work on my lowering my debt but erasing it all is a complete fantasy.  I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with a long list of things to start with so I wrote just a couple and within a weeks time I have been able to make those changes.  The first was to get extra rest.  I decided to make a cut off time every night where I would sit down, decompress and relax.  I would do this with enough time before I actually went up to bed so that once I was ready to sleep, the thoughts of my day would be done and my mind would be able to rest.  I ended up sleeping 12 hours two nights in a row!  I changed my schedule only slightly, doing some of my weekend morning things in the evening, so that if my body wanted to sleep in I would not be missing anything I needed to do.

The second item was to work on changing my thoughts when they drifted to a place that would cause me anxiety.  This meant any anxious thought that popped into my head at any time.  I knew this would be more difficult than the first item would be and would take more effort on my part.  With comments from my counselor we agreed that when these moments came I needed to first take a deep breath to settle myself, then figure out what caused the thoughts.  What was I doing in that moment that prompted it?  Once I have that information, decide is this something I need to be doing, if not then it would be the last time, but if it is then what do I need to do in order to complete that task without raising my stress level?   So far so good that part is going to take some training but I am confident that I learn to master it.rest

All in all I would say I had a productive week and completed my first step to learning how to alleviate stress that is in my life and/or caused by life.  We will never be totally free of stress and I can attest to the fact that traumatic events will cause stress to linger a lot longer than we ever thought possible.  Learning how to cope so that it does not get to the point of causing us physical harm is vital to our wellbeing.

Do you have any suggestions on being calm, cool and collected when surviving stress?  Please share.


Courageous Butterfly


Related blogs/links

Oceans, Hillsong United

Anxiety, A Life Less Physical

Stress Management (AKA the silent Killer), Real Living

Limits And Stress, QuirkyJuice


Does PTSD after divorce exist? You better believe it!

ptsd1I can chalk today up to a really bad day, or a valuable lesson learned.  It’s been two years since D-day and I like to think that I’m healing at a somewhat normal pace.  I’ve been able to move on in all aspects of my life, little things that used to bother me don’t anymore, I’m good with being in the same room as my ex and I even faced forgiveness head on and chose it!  So why am I now, at this point, experiencing  post traumatic stress symptoms?

The term is most recognized for people who have gone through war, seen very traumatic events, and suffered great loss during that time.  I do not want to even try to compare what I went through against what a war veteran has experienced.  What I can do is talk about similarities.  We do not often hear of PTSD following an emotional or social event it’s usually something that was very abusive.  Well, I was very surprised when I began looking for information on this topic to find so many links to articles relating to post divorce PTSD.  

Divorce will bring about traumatic events that leave us scarred in the same way as a person who has survived combat.  In fact, most divorces share similar types of  combat, war, traumatic events and end up the same way….with a loss.  In a previous post I wrote about finding battle scars, and trying to differentiate between the two can be confusing.  When I found the scar, it was only because someone pointed it out to me.  I was surprised but dealt with it and moved on from it with a sense of accomplishment!  This time was different.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m learning to listen to my intuition, although lately, I am getting a little annoyed when she calls!  Reluctantly, I took her call,  and it was just as I thought.  Prior to that event though, is when the PTSD showed its ugly head.   When I started to wonder about the situation, the emotions I felt were something I had felt before, and they were not welcome emotions.   I immediately tried to put it off to the side and pay no attention to it, but she kept on calling! I thought maybe I was over reacting.   When I finally took a moment to think about what I was feeling and why, I was brought back to that day.  My heart raced, face went white, and hands were shaky. I was feeling every emotion, uncertainty, insecurity, and most of all fear; it was all too familiar.  

I was brought back to my trauma similarly as a war veteran who hears a loud noise.  Even though the situation was different and in no way related to my marriage or why it ended, I was going through the same feelings all over again.  It scared the crap out of me and I began to go through a list of questions.  Does this mean I’m not as far along in my healing process as I thought I was?  Will this happen again?  Does this happen to others?  How can I stop this from happening?

I don’t have all the answers just yet. What I do know and can trust is my intuition and I promised her I would continue to take her calls no matter how bad they will be.  As far as my healing process, I do think I am where I thought I was, otherwise I wouldn’t recognize what I’m feeling.  I will encounter speed bumps along the way some big some small, this one was a big one maybe the next will be a little smaller.  Will this happen again?  YES, if I am to continue to heal properly I have to go through every emotion, every failure, and every triumph.  Does this happen to others?  YES ( links to articles below), unfortunately I am not the only one but we can all learn from each other.  How can I stop this from happening?  I can’t, which is a good thing.  It means that I will continue to move forward no matter what scars, or traumatic memories I have and I will grow stronger as each one rears its ugly head.  Now is my chance to fight against each scar or traumatic stress symptom, and continue to fight until I am free from each one.  When I least expect it, that day will come.  intition

It’s almost as if the last two years have been preparing me for a new battle.  I am now at war with memories, feelings, emotions and circumstances that at some time in my life will become familiar again.  Being able to recognize, trust and battle them will be what leads me to ultimate healing and happiness.

I’m not sure if I really learned a lesson or if it’s that I learned more about what I went through and how it may affect me in the future.  What I did learn is a good thing, I’m not numb to feelings, I have not been ruined by my divorce, trusting in myself and allowing myself to feel things again is an amazing feeling!

I”d love to hear from other’s who have also suffered PTSD symptoms after divorce.  Do you have a similar experience to share?  Please respond in the comments.


Courageous Butterfly


Related Links/ Blogs

Is your high conflict divorce causing PTSD?

I have PTSD after my divorce

It’s ok not to be ok





Life Happens….

I want to start off this post with a heart-felt apology.  I am so sorry that it has been so long since my last post.  I feel like I have disappointed my readers, followers and friends who check on a regular basis to read what I have to say.  It has not been from a lack of interest that is for sure, I have been caught up in the happenings of life.  Not only have I let you down but I have also broken the number one rule of blogging, post regularly!  One other order of business before we get to today’s topic.  The eBook is still happening, though it’s a slower process than I had first anticipated. Who knew it would be so complicated to self publish your own online book?  I will continue to keep you updated on the progress, and I thank you for your patience.

Life and stress all seem to continue no matter what we are dealing with emotionally.  I have found this out most recently.  I like to think of it as Life Happens, instead of the more popular Shit Happens. (pardon my french)  Wouldn’t it be nice if when dealing with emotional stress, grief, loss, and worry we were placed into a quiet space until those troubles resolved themselves?  I’ve pictured my setting many times.  The room would be cream and soft blue with pale yellow window coverings.  It would look over a brook complete with a waterfall.  I’d spend mornings on the veranda with herbal tea, a rocking chair and a soft blanket draped across my lap reading an inspirational novel.  Afternoon walks along the brook would serve to be relaxing and bring calm to my spirit.  My day would end with a light massage, red wine, smells of lavender and honey, while sounds of the ocean play until I drift off to sleep.

Hello….Hello…..Back to reality!!!!!  In the real world we have to learn how to function in our daily lives along with the emotional issues we carry with us.  Our lives do not have a hold button and reality is not the scene I described earlier.  Figuring out how to get through our day and live with our stress is not an easy task.  For starters you need to acknowledge what it is that is causing it.  Once you have your finger on the trigger, then putting a plan in place will be easier.  

For me recently my stress triggers have been my health issues, weight gain, finances, and sale of a property (or lack of sale).   Some of those I have no control over, my job is to work on the ones that I do.  I have begun to implement a plan and all I can do is take one day at a time and focus on the important aspects of each day as it happens.  Looking behind or into the future will only add more stress to the pot.  The key is to remember to live life looking through the windshield, see only what is right in front of you at the present moment.

After you acknowledge what your triggers are and you have your plan in action the next and probably most important step is to just let life continue to happen.  Try not to live in the past, live in the moment of each day.  Try by saying an affirmation everyday when you get out of bed.  Some examples are :  I choose to see each obstacle as an opportunity to grow; I choose to be happy; I approve of myself; I am proud of myself; I light the world with my smile.  Just today I found a perfect song for daily affirmations, it helped to inspire this topic.  It’s called Good Morning by Mandisa.  I will attach the link at the bottom of the post.   The daily affirmations will become a habit once you start doing them.  It may be easier for you to leave reminders around the house.  Write one on a mirror, leave one on the fridge, in your car, etc.

So to review, we know life happens and unfortunately we cannot retreat to our happy place until what we are going through is over.  In order to move through life and the situation in a positive manner it is important to first find your stress trigger, secondly chart out a plan of action to live each day while dealing with the stress, and lastly remind yourself with daily affirmations that you will get through it.  Also, you can find a way to bring yourself to your happy place.  I have found a wonderful tool called guided imagery and I pick recordings or scripts that describe the happy setting that I see in my mind.  I listen to it at night in order to calm myself for sleep and it has really been helpful.  Simply Google Guided Imagery and a plethora of information will be at your fingertips.

My plan is to listen to this song every day before I even step out of bed!  What are your tips for daily affirmations?  Respond in the comments.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4Sj6TmSG4w&feature=related


Courageous Butterfly



The calm before the storm

In nature we know that the calm before the storm is when the trees become still, the birds are quiet and the colors in the sky become ominous.   I have to say that the animals are very lucky that they know how to see that calm and can then prepare for the storm.  The bad news for us humans is that we don’t notice that calm until we are in the midst of our storm.

Not to long ago I wrote a post about how important it is to try to see the beauty that  is hidden within your storm and the fact that once you make it through you will be better for it; you will grow stronger through that trial.  So how can we sense that we are in a calm before the storm?  Some people may say “my life is going too well something bad is going to happen”.  Or the famous “it’s too good to be true, so something bad must come of it”.  The truth is we don’t see that we were in the calm until the storm happens.  Just tonight I had a close friend say “I hope this storm passes quick I have been pretty stress free for a few weeks”.  We don’t have a doppler system for the storms of life so how do we embrace our calm if we are seeing it only when the storm hits?

I’m sure you can think back to a really good day or a time when you thought to yourself “wow things are going really well for me”.  We need to pay attention to those moments and take inventory on how we are feeling.  Pay attention to your outlook on life, energy level and overall happiness.  Then, be in tune to the impact those feelings are having on you in that moment.  Maybe they are causing you to be successful in a project you are working on or maybe they just helped you brighten someone’s day.  No matter how large or small the success is make sure you note it!  Place these feelings and moments of happiness and success in your emergency storm bag because they will become your tools for survival.

I love this pic! She has her tool in hand!

You’ve taken inventory on your best day you have those feelings and moments in your mind and all of a sudden your sky opens and your storm hits.  Stress is being piled on you from every angle.  Be it work, a relationship, kids or anything that can cause you stress, it’s all hitting you at once.  What do you do?  You reach out for your tools.  You remember how you felt when things were going well in your life and you focus on those feelings and ask yourself  “what do I need to do in order to feel like that again?”  If you take just a moment to look back you will quickly realize you would much rather have the feelings of happiness and success rather than the feelings the stress is causing you to have.  Now I know you can’t just close your eyes and make your problems disappear.  It would be awesome but  it’s not going to happen.  You will still have to deal with whatever the issue is but use your tools while you are dealing with it. Remind yourself that you are strong enough to find a solution to your problem and release the stress.  Encourage yourself to work through whatever it is and get yourself back to the feelings you had when you were in your calm. We can’t know how long our storm will last but we can use our tools to help bring us out and back to our calm.

The last couple of years have been a pretty big storm but I did have some good days thrown in there.  I will now look back on those days and pull the tools out of my emergency bag whenever a storm hits.

Would anyone like to offer any suggestions to my blog reader’s on how you were successful in working through a stressful time, we could all use helpful tips!  (respond in the comments)


Courageous Butterfly