At the beginning of lock down I ordered my daughter a butterfly garden, a few weeks later we received our caterpillars and it has been such an interesting experience watching the process of transformation. It made me see how this process mirrors the times many of us are finding ourselves in right now.
First of all the caterpillar stage, small and cute to start with, after a while there were too many for their size in each pot and with the smell of the caterpillar poo they got banished to another room. Eventually each caterpillar became a chrysalis and we were able to move them to their new clean habitat, but to my surprise each caterpillar left part of its old self behind, still in its original form.
Then for around a week we had a period of immense stillness, whilst all those changes are going on within its little cocoon. This is where I feel many of us are right now, cocooned in our homes, undergoing this process of transformation. For some there may be little to see as yet, but parts of our old selves may have fallen away. It may be as simple as the fear of doing an online catch up with friends or even an online meeting with a client. Whilst many of us grew up in a time where this kind of communication wasn’t even possible, we have watched children grow with access to these tools and worried that it would disadvantage them in the future if they were spending too much time online and video chatting. Little did we know that these were just the kind of skills we would need to embrace ourselves, letting go of some inhibition and vanity, and as if ‘being seen by others’ wasn’t a big enough challenge, often with these virtual meetings we are now having to ‘see ourselves’ and for many that has been or is another greater challenge.
Over the weekend the butterflies started to emerge and I have to admit the process the change has been a little gruesome to watch, but still with alternating periods of stillness and activity as they try to move the blood out into their wings.
Yesterday the weather was fairly still, dry and sunny and we attempted to let the butterflies out into the world, it took quite a while to coax them out of their little world and many spent quite a while just sitting on our hands or on the grass as they prepared to fly away. Thankfully none got eaten or squished by Lily our border collie and it was a lovely experience. Four of the ten butterflies weren't ready to go on the next part of their journey, so we popped them back in the butterfly garden and will try again today.
I will forever be grateful for the perspective they have given me. I feel comforted by the knowledge that in the journey of transformation things do get a little messy and that is OK, and that in transformation we may leave parts of our old selves behind and that is also OK. But perhaps most importantly of all that moments of stillness are perhaps vital for the most radical changes of all.
For me I was enjoying long walks with Lily the dog at the start of lockdown, but it seems like I wasn't being still enough when 3 weeks ago I badly sprained my ankle, which meant I have had to be even stiller and in that time I have completely re-designed and transformed the Gentle Release website, which I know will be a massive resource and support for both our practitioners and clients. Now that is done I'm going to follow the lead of the butterflies and take some still time just for me!
As Gentle Release Practitioners we have also been going through a time of transformation and many have experimented giving one to one guided treatments over the phone, pushing past our once firm boundaries has offered even greater understanding and it has been such a blessing to re-connect with clients and support them with their ongoing health issues or their journeys of transformation at this time.
Inspired by the butterflies I have created a guided meditation to support transformation and also to help you plant seeds for the future. If you would like to take the time to be still, undergo some positive transformation for yourself, let go of things that are no longer serving you and then plant some seeds about who, where and what you want to be in the future then you may wish to purchase the 30 minute track for £7. To support the butterflies 50% of money raised from this will be donated to the Butterfly Conservation Charity https://butterfly-conservation.org/.