Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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  (In times of emotional distress, a person may become less active or withdrawn)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


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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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Sometimes You Just Need A Little Outside Help


friends

I’m in control; I’ve got this; This is my problem; I will handle this on my own; It’s no body’s business; No one will understand; I can’t ask for help…

In a perfect world we can handle our lives on our own.  We can be in control and ready to face what lies ahead, but in reality we can all use an extra hand.  Can we ask for it? Can we admit when we need it and can we take it when it is given to us?

Lately, I’ve witnessed others in my life who need the help, but don’t necessarily want to ask for it, even being frustrated that they need it.  My feeling is, take it when it is given to you.  It may be hard and you may at times feel helpless but that is when you should let those who love you swoop in and take over.

Those three stages I mentioned, I’ve been in and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.  I asked for it, I’ve admitted when I needed help and I’ve taken it when it was graciously given to me.  Sometimes it was easy, other times extremely hard but knowing that someone out there is waiting an willing to offer you the hand I find very comforting.

In my trial (divorce) that comfort wasn’t always in the form I needed. My friends and family were very helpful but biased, I searched for an outlet where no one knew me nor I them and I couldn’t find it.  I needed an escape a safe place to share my feelings.  That is when this blog was born.

I wanted to connect with others who were feeling exactly what I was.  To share my grief and listen to those going through similar circumstances, all in the hope that we could support each other.

Today I am not only proud but extremely thankful to have shared with, talked with, and cried with those of you who have followed my posts.  And I am elated that in less than two weeks I will finally be meeting my girl!

The day I saw her comment I felt so many emotions, I knew I needed to do something, I needed to find her, talk to her, and do what I could to let her know I felt exactly as she did.  No one is ever alone, there is someone out there going through what you are and feeling the same.  God never meant for any of us to walk this world alone he has gently placed each of us in others lives.

I’m so thankful and blessed for the life he has given me even with the bumps and valleys I had to walk through.  I know I am who he meant me to be and I wouldn’t be here without all the people in my life.  Without you…I would be nothing.  Thank You!

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

3/27/16

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Dumpster Diving


dumpster divingLeaving my marital home was difficult for me.  Having to say goodbye to the good memories that lived under the roof and moving forward to forget the bad.  In order to avoid awkwardness, I planned it so that I was the only one home when the movers arrived.  I like to think that I maintained  composure in front of the three strangers that stood before me.  But the way I was feeling inside was not composed at all.

It’s been 5 years so why am I looking back on that blip in time?  When I left that day I was sure that I was good with saying goodbye to the house, but recently I noticed a very large dumpster in the driveway, at that time it wasn’t really full but when I saw it something in my body changed.  I felt nervous, anxious, sad, and fearful.

As I drove away I decided just to let it go and I was good with that until the next week when I arrived again and the dumpster was overflowing with objects.  It was all I could do to sit in the car and not leap out to see if I had left anything behind that may be in that rusty, dirty box.  I found myself thinking…my  marriage is in that dumpster.

I know that may sound completely crazy because my marriage ended 5 years ago, and I was good about making sure I had all I wanted when I left.  So why then did this affect me so much?

Maybe it’s not about the items, I think it’s more than that.  I dove deep down into my thoughts, taking inventory of exactly how I was feeling.  I noted how my heart rate soared, my hands got clammy, and I needed to fight the urge to jump in.  Then it came to me, the trash I saw in the dumpster is just symbolism for the memories that were being held in that space, and to think that they have been removed is what is upsetting.

Are those moments gone forever?  Stains on carpets that tell a funny story or holes in the wall that will bring back a laugh.  I know the memories of those things will never leave me, even though the little story tellers are gone. I guess I assumed they would be housed there always.

I’m kind of glad that all of this affected me in the way that it has because it really makes one take stock of your surroundings.  Treasure what is important to you even if it is a strip of wallpaper that you save and frame because when you look at it you are reminded of happy times.

I’m creating newness in my current space and will remember to hang on to those little things that help hold those memories close to me.

Have you had a rough time leaving behind memories?  Please share.

Courageous Butterfly 1/31/16

Kimberly

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Delete, Delete, Delete!!!!


Cupid-datingIf you have been feverishly looking for the post that was titled Swimming in the wrong end of the dating pool, I’m sorry to tell you it has sank like the Titanic. A first has happened…I wrote a horrible blog post and actually deleted it from my site!  I was very scatterbrained, and all over the place.  There were so many thoughts getting jumbled in my head that night, nothing came out on the page the way I wanted it to.  So…. I hit DELETE!

How nice would it be if we could actually hit a delete button when life itself gets jumbled and nothing goes right?  We have all wished for a do-over…a what if moment…a magic button that would make it all ok.  The good news is, we can!  We are blessed to wake up every day with a fresh start, a new day to make many many more mistakes or seize the day and make it what we want it to be!

sparkly poolSo, back to the original post.  A friend of mine recently told me that I was swimming in the wrong end of the dating pool.  Let’s take a short pause here and interject some humor if you will.  Imagine a pool with crystal blue water and it goes as deep as the sea.  The sun should be shining, but the day is presenting with a soft light rain.  The air is slightly warm and there is a mild breeze.  The water is perfect, warm and soothing.  Life is great, happiness is overflowing and then it hits…….I can’t swim!!!

Legs are flailing around as fast as they can, arms are trying to paddle to stay afloat.  Panic is setting in, breathing becomes heavy, fear is taking over the body. That…my friends is what swimming in the dating pool feels like!

Now who is to say which end is the correct end to be swimming in? Or in my case treading gently.  I have always stayed in the shallow end of life.  The safe zone I guess you can call it.  Regularly avoiding conflict, constantly pleasing everyone.  Lately though, I am feeling confident and secure in who I am and what I want my future to hold for me.  I’m learning to swim through life without wearing a vest, and that is a very scary thing, though necessary.

It is necessary because swimming with a life preserver on is extremely difficult.  All you are really doing is floating and not getting anywhere.  I’m ready to swim and maybe even jump off that high dive.  It is time to surf! Grab a board and go for it! I think my balance is strong enough to carry me to where I want to be.

Dating is a scary thing, especially at a later age.  I really want to embrace it, enjoy it, and pursue it, rather than deleting it.

Have you dated post divorce? Would love to hear your story.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

10/24/15


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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.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

10/11/14

Related links/blogs

Patience……

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Practicing Patience and Positivity

 


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Looking Ahead With Hope


Today summer ends and a new season begins to take shape, some of us are ready, some are not.  Looking up at the darker fall clouds I am reminded of how sometimes changing seasons in our lives can be just as cold and dark as changing weather.

There was a comment left on yesterday’s post Imagine Your Change that spurred the energy for this post.  It spoke about finding the joy in moving on and how sometimes that can be extremely difficult.  There were several times in the last four years that I tried to or thought I had actually moved on from what had happened to me and that I was going to be able to put it behind me and be happy.  I’m sure I even had a few posts that reflected those feelings at the time, but the reality is I may never actually totally put it behind me.   My marriage was half of my life, and it included many pivotal and defining moments that has helped to make me who I am.  I also know that in order to put some of that pain aside and heal from it there has to be forgiveness in your heart, not just on your lips.

Finding peace in your grief can be done but will actually be something that you have to practice, pray on, and really want.  I have found that all the negative thoughts and moments of heavy sadness and grief were not very productive, but the nights where I started to look ahead and focus on positive changes in my life brought some comfort.  So how do we forgive?  That’s a question only you can answer.  It will depend on how open your mind is and how ready you are to move forward and most important is to remember that forgiving doesn’t mean we forget, it means we simply acknowledge where we are in our life now and accept the challenge of this next life transition.  Not every transition in our lives will be what we want, all we can do is deal with it the best way we know how.hope

So find something that gives you joy, for me it’s Butterflies of course and hold it close to your heart.  When you find you are having a bad day or just need something to get you through a difficult moment cling to it, focus on it and let that person, object, scent, place, or insect guide you on your path for that day and your new tomorrow.

Can you welcome your season change and look ahead with hope?  Please comment.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

9/22/14

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