Chrysalis: Emergence At Hand
This is the first in a series of life lesson stories that illustrate the powerful and invigorating TURNAROUNDS that we are all capable of creating for ourselves, in the sacred circle of our words, reflection, and inquiry.
Have you been on a journey of personal growth, spiritual development, and profound transformation for awhile now? Maybe you feel like something just isn’t happening; it’s incomplete; OR you feel like you should be there already? Maybe you’re tired because you feel like you have been on this journey your entire life. “There has to be a better and simpler way,” you think to yourself.
Like you, I feel as though I have been journeying long and often alone. It’s been a precious voyage of inner discovery. And it has seemed like things have been “so close.” It’s like the mathematical asymptote: The line approaching the curve and never arriving.
A Puddle of Ineffectiveness
One day, I confided to my coach, Alan Hickman, that I felt exactly like a little puddle of ineffectiveness that wasn’t going anywhere. Thanks to Alan’s deep listening, reflecting, and training in inquiry, he stood with me in the sacred circle to turn it around.
First, I owned that, “Yes. It’s true. I’m right now in a space of being not very effective.” Deeper inquiry told me a different story from what I’d been judging myself about and beating myself up for.
(You know, the old riff of “I’m stuck. What’s wrong with me and why can’t I move?” And I’m sure you’re familiar with the “WHY AM I NOT THERE YET????!!!!” conversation.)
The Caterpillar Turnaround
The metaphor that arose in our discussion was the caterpillar. It had felt for so long like I was melting down from the inside, and I didn’t know who I was or what I was about. Everything seemed to be shifting and changing.
Then the Ah-Ha. Suddenly I realized that I was indeed looking at the inside of the chrysalis.
Here’s what I could now see: By loving and embracing the stuckness, the ineffectiveness, the right-where-I-am-ness, I was able to acknowledge myself for exactly where I am — like the butterfly looking out from inside the chrysalis. Observing myself with love and compassion, I can see that I am right where I am supposed to be.
Butterfly on my Ankle
A few weeks after my conversation with Alan, this chrysalis narrative continued, as I continued to “notice what I notice.” As I practiced Qi Gong meditation in the garden on two separate days, a butterfly landed gently on my ankle. That was my signal to share this narrative. The butterfly wings are flapping to strengthen themselves for emerging from the chrysalis and getting ready to fly.
(Interestingly enough, I also observe that my drops of essences from Jane Bell, called synchronistically enough, “Emergence,” are nearly complete.)
The Message from Ovo
Another message reaffirmed my understanding. A visit to Cirque Du Soleil’s brilliant “Ovo” show, provided the image of the chrysalis in an aerial interlude. Pressing against the sheer fabric, the butterfly finally emerged high in the air, flapping its (her?) gossamer wings.
Affirming Our Shared Emergence
These words too emerged. “Share this story and this image. For many are in the chrysalis and can use a guide, the powerful validation that where they are is just where they are meant to be. Help them to understand they are seeing from inside the chrysalis, and that their time of emergence is at hand.”
And so, for midlife, best-half-of-life creators of all kinds, global transformers of consciousness, messengers, change agents, thought leaders, awakeners, authors, and healers: I send greetings and encouragement from the chrysalis.
I’m with you when I say I know you are longing to step into your potential, to create transformative projects, businesses, creations, books, messages, ventures. I know you’ve been feeling for a long time stuck, stalled, scared, not good enough, or like you should be there already. Maybe you feel like you are trying to push the river to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN.
Emergence — Not Emergency
Allow yourself in this moment to relax. Know that you are enough as you are; and you are where you’re meant to be. Allow yourself to just BE in the soup of transformation. Be willing to flap your wings to strengthen them for your own emergence. (Try practicing in this safe space by bringing your story from your chrysalis into this community of comments.)
Shift the DNA of Your Experience
What has been most surprising for me in this turnaround is that by embracing the stuck, stalled, scared puddle of ineffectiveness, I’ve literally changed my patterns and shifted the cellular experience of myself.
It starts with an honest acceptance of, and even surrender to, exactly where you are right now. Realizing and embracing that you are still taking shape — you, your project, your creation, all together inside the chrysalis — creates a powerful self-recognition. More powerful still is to embrace your whole seemingly stuck self — completely free from judgment, and with love, appreciation, and gratitude.
And so you can. It’s the best prayer and meditation ever.