As we move through the dog days of summer and I begin to sense that fall is right around the corner, I am reminded that we are approaching a time of transition. The weather will soon begin to cool down, another school year will begin, the leaves will start the process of revealing their glorious display of colors, and before we know it we will have chosen our next President.
Life is always changing, but there are certain periods when that change seems more apparent, as if moving at a quicker pace. My oldest daughter is getting ready to make her first big move away from home, relocating from the east coast of Virginia all the way to the west coast of Oregon. She’s been through several periods of change in her short 26 years, but this feels to me like it has the potential to be one of those “summer to fall” kind of changes.
Accelerated periods of transition can at times be exciting, and other times be challenging and anxiety producing. Or both. They often involve a letting go of the comfortable and the familiar in order to make space for what is awaiting. It is not unusual to stand at the edge of the abyss, afraid to take that leap into the unknown.
I recently saw a video about the morphing of a caterpillar to the chrysalis that will hold its journey of transformation. Now, the caterpillar to butterfly metaphor is a very familiar one, used to describe the beauty and mystery of our own personal transformation. I have always known that inside the chrysalis the caterpillar somehow dissolves and reforms into a butterfly, but what I didn’t know was that the chrysalis is not formed around the caterpillar. The caterpillar actually sheds its skin to reveal the chrysalis.
The container that will hold the transformation process comes from within, rather than without.
If times of transition brings up anxiety and fear of the unknown, it can be helpful to remember the caterpillar’s journey to become a butterfly. Before he even begins the dissolution of his being to become something new, he sheds his skin to reveal that what is inside is already prepared to navigate every aspect of the miraculous transition.
Everything needed for our journey is already inside us, and all we have to do is trust the process, and participate in the miracle.
Do you have a sense that there is an upcoming transition in your life? Is something calling you to release the old and embrace the next chapter of your story? How do you feel about that?
Outer change happens because something within us is ready, and already prepared to help us give birth to wings that will enable us to fly. If that outer change feels rocky, painful, and full of obstacles, its a good idea to reach out for support, not because we don’t have what it takes, but because we are designed to flourish in mutuality. Although a paradox, it is true that we both have everything we need, and we benefit from the support of others who can celebrate and help us launch into the next evolution of ourselves.
In support and celebration of my beloved daughter, I’m excited to be traveling with her on the first leg of her journey west. I will ride with her to Albuquerque, and then watch as she spreads her wings and flies away. And the funny thing is, I sense that I may get as much out of the road trip as she will. Because life’s like that. At every turn, the opportunity for growth and change.
So stay tuned, and I’ll share my discoveries from the road! Sign up to follow my blog here.
And check out this short video as the caterpillar sheds his skin and reveals the chrysalis within!
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This is a a beautiful message Beth and you’ve deepened the familiar metaphor of the caterpillar/butterfly for me. Thank you for sharing! Enjoy your travel west!
Thanks so much, Laurie! It really deepened the caterpillar metaphor for me as well!
I love this post!
Thanks, Caroline! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!