The Grit and Grace of Transformation
Today, I released the seventh and final monarch butterfly from a group of caterpillars I raised inside, keeping them safe and healthy for a release to the wild. We won't get into details here, but monarchs face declining natural habitats and food sources that are challenging their ability to thrive in the wild. Raising caterpillars into adults can help to stack the odds in their favor a bit.
For me, raising monarchs is also always an inspiration. If these tiny and delicate creatures can change through such demanding circumstances, how can we face our own transformations with more grace and courage?
A monarch caterpillar will shed its skin five times and pupate into a chrysalis (an amazing feat in itself as you can see in the video!) where it transforms from caterpillar into butterfly over the course of 7-10 days. The entire process takes about a month -- one month in the life of a creature who lives an average total of three months (excepting fourth generation monarchs who migrate and overwinter in Mexico).
How many times are we impatient with our own process of transformation? How often do we feel frustrated, the proverbial kids in the back of the car asking, "Are we there yet?". How often do we look for ways to shortcut, skip ahead or hurry the hell up to get our desired result?
It is the transformation process itself that gives us the muscle to stand, balanced in our new reality. Without walking through all of the phases of change and fully inhabiting each one, we end up with under-developed wings, unable to soar to the heights we're meant to reach.
Real change, honest transformation, takes courage. It takes a level of commitment and persistence that forces us to look within, to break away from destructive patterns, to change our way of thinking.
What can you commit to today within yourself to courageously pursue your dreams? What grit can you develop in order to experience the grace of transformation?