31 Jul August: the Dance of Transformation
The metamorphosis of the butterfly and its transformation from crawling, to goo, into flight is the quintessential symbol of rebirth and change. We all have a wealth of experience in each of these phases yet our culture seems to only celebrate the end product, without due reverence for necessity of the other less glamorous steps. Over the past 5 years or so, I have felt a deep connection to the goo phase, where the caterpillar dissolves and the chrysalis holds tight the unravelling within. Where trust is paramount and patience necessary.
In 2015 I left the spiritual community that had been a major part of my life for the past 7 years. It was an incredible group of fellow seekers and lovers of healing work that got me through the first wild and tender years of motherhood and helped give my life meaning. I learned tools to ground my body and lift my spirit to places I never imagined. I ate up the teachings like a hungry caterpillar growing fat and strong off of practices that healed my heart. I travelled to places inside of me that were ruptured and bleeding, that needed care and forgiveness, so that I could show up as fully as I could to my life and my new responsibility as a mother. Like many empathic/ highly sensitive people in the world, I work extra hard to get out of bed when depression weighs on me and show up everyday to practices of self love and care to function when anxiety strings up my body and lights it up with a heightened sense of danger.
I could somewhat manage these ups and downs before I became a mother, my destructive habits notwithstanding. Yet I couldn’t have survived early motherhood with out support. And I found a great deal of it in the healing this community offered.
Funny thing though about healing, about returning to your own inner authority and self trust. It will take you in a direction you never thought you would go. In other words, the work works!Leaving this group after seven years and a great investment of time and money was one of those times. As I had given so much my heart and soul to that work, leaving my friends and teachers felt impossible, yet, over time, for various reasons that no longer aligned with my core values, it became impossible for me to stay.
I became like that caterpillar whose instinct said, “There is more to you and your life than this.” The voice was quiet at first and increased its volume over about a year. Eventually, I knew without a doubt my time was up even though every fibre in me was terrified to go. My body simply wouldn’t let me stay. Maybe you have felt this way before, leaving a job, or your church or a marriage. Maybe you grew out of the friend group you have had since you were little or left an abusive relationship. The pull of these tribal relationships and feeling of belonging is so primal, yet we know that to thrive and be true to who we are we must honour the authentic voice that calls us forward no matter what the cost.
The next five years were a mix of heartbreaking loss, complete disorientation and PTSD. Yet I felt the glimmer of a new found freedom. I threw myself into work that I now had the time and energy for, I spent holiday time with my family, I began to shift my relationship with finances but most of all, I grieved and waited. I turned into goo and told myself that I could take as long as I needed in that dissolved sense of self. The me that had formed though those 7 years had to evolve. I discovered I had healed enough to lovingly see myself through that dark night of the soul.
It was the first time in my life that I recall giving myself the space to just BE.
My story may not be your story but I don’t think that I am alone in how utterly engulfing this time of change has been. My story is just the way these energies on earth worked my life, but no living thing is left out of the dance of transformation.
August is here to signal that our goo phase is complete, we are being called to pull our brilliant gleaming bodies out of the chrysalis and into the sun. The world that we last saw with our caterpillar eyes is still there, but WE are different. We no longer have to crawl close to the ground, we can fly.
Personally, in my new form, I am feeling a bit awkward and clumsy. And that’s OK.
Everything is new, and that can be a bit overwhelming. Our caterpillar friends may see us and try and pull us back down to the ground because they don’t understand where we’ve been and what is drawing us forward. Luckily, we have the ability to pull from the deep source of wisdom and power we’ve carefully cultivated over time to leap into the air and be carried by the dynamic energy of our spirit.
We are entering a new phase. We must Trust that the path our heart has been pointing us down all of these years is leading us to a more fully realized expression of our shared humanity, and that can only be a good thing.
Can you look up, see how far you have come, and celebrate? Can you tell the difference between those who support your new wings and those who are pulling you down? Can you trust yourself to fly?
We are indeed the ones we have been waiting for, and the gift of being who we truly are is what we were born to receive.
Sending so much love and reverence to your new wings,
- note* Leaving a spiritual community or cult can be very difficult and distressing, even more so because there is so much stigma and fear of repercussion from the communities, survivors rarely come forward. I have over the years compiled a list of resources that have helped me to understand what I was going through, and heal. I know that the #metoo movement has destabilized many of these communities and if you or someone you know is going through this. Please know that you are not alone. I am happy to share resources upon request. Be kind to yourselves and each other.