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I have always been amazed by the beauty of the butterfly. The flutter so gracefully, purposeful and with passion. It truly just leaves me speechless when I can watch one dance across air with what looks like no effort yet we know for it to be so effortless looking it takes effort, time, talent, and well... just downright purpose.
Caterpillars however, do not amaze me so much. I mean I know that when I see them, I know what the fruit is going to be, yet the beginning phase seems so uninspiring. The dance of the butterfly inspires me. Until.... last week.
See this summer has been different for me and it wasn't until Tuesday did I really understand why. I have spent a season building myself up into a cocoon. Last year as I began a budding writer and self publisher I was the caterpillar slowly making my way to the perfect spot to enter into the cocoon phase. I would feast, and move. Feast. and Move. Over the previous weekend I had let loose a bit and I think it was because I have been in such a cocoon phase that the newly developed wings were beginning to get cramped a bit. Silly me though I was ready to break out of the cocoon so that I could stretch and open my wings.
NOPE! Not so fast! I am still in that cocoon phase where I am still developing. See, there is a road of dedication, work, and perseverance that takes place on the way between the caterpillar and the butterfly flight. I have been putting in countless hours making sure I have new regular content, and believe me that is something I desire to do more and more every day. I LOVE finding ways to put thoughts into words are captivating yet picture painting.
It wasn't until Tuesday that I even realized that I was in this "phase" of my life or really what it meant. See, when a caterpillar crawls up and creates this cocoon around itself it is for one good reason. Protection!
Protection from the world, from the elements of nature, and to protect it's transformation. You might ask why it would need to protect the transformation but let me tell you if one of the most beautiful and amazing creatures in this world has to protect itself in the midst of the transformation you better learn to do the same in yours. See in the cocoon the caterpillar is doing what it can from being destroyed by those whom might not understand it, or want to feed upon the ups and downs. Much like you I.
You might have a dance of your own to do ~ but instead of having people (or even yourself ~ especially yourself) cheer you on as you break that last piece of the cocoon off and you stretch your wings out to fully embrace the beauty of what is about to happen you hear a lot of negative chatter, even have a fear of being smooshed, eaten alive or simply lost in the whole transition.
Being LOST in the whole transition is what more people do who have dreams and goals but never achieve them. Why? Because they do not stay in that cocoon phase of protection long enough. Each cocoon just as each butterfly is unique. I cannot tell you what your cocoon phase will or should look like but after feeling what I felt I know that I am trying to break out too soon.
In the cocoon phase you can expect:
1. To find out who your real support team is and who is just sitting on the sidelines waiting to either dissect you piece by piece or devour you whole.
2. Clarity in discovering the vision that you are longing for and what really matters with the outcome.
3. Courage to break through the hardness of setbacks, and to face the harsh light ahead.
4. Strength to understand that sometimes we must simply just be still and we should not always desire to stretch until we are truly ready.
5. Time is of the essence. YES you work on that dream/goal but you allow the time it takes to come to fruition. You do not rush the process. It could result in a broken wing which could lead to a premature death (of the goal).
6. It's hard!
7. It's lonely at times!
8. Perseverance isn't learned by things happening quickly, in perfect order.
9. Have a clear vision, do the work, and trust the process.
10. Know that the dance at the end will be just as beautiful as it should have been, AND when the dance is over... start the whole process again! Do not stop at living a "once dance" life! Dance often!