It’s Monday morning, 6:00am. I wake up and instantly feel a sense of doom…the Monday morning blues…a slight feeling of despair washes over me. But it’s not quite the same feeling I used to get when facing a new work week, it’s almost like the opposite side of the same coin.
It doesn’t escapes me when I wake up these days, a feeling that I “should” be getting ready for work: going through my morning routine, figuring out what to wear, packing my lunch, making sure I grab my laptop, notebooks, paperwork, and anything else that I dutifully carry with me to and from the office…then head off to join the ranks of the commuter world. It’s been indelibly programmed into me.
But I’m not heading off to work. In fact, I’m not heading anywhere…is how it feels. I wrestle those feelings of angst. I’m still in the early stages of my business and trying to establish myself. I’m not yet successful in any endeavor: as a life coach, a Reiki practitioner, I’m halfway through writing my book. I have all these “great” ideas on paper, but I often wonder what the heck I’m doing, where I’m going with all of this…I have trouble seeing the forest for the trees. At some point, something’s gotta give.
Then I pick up my phone, check my emails, and scroll through social media. I see a post that hits the spot and turns me around. It goes something like this, “I’m in this uncomfortable stage in my life where the old me is gone, but the new me isn’t fully born yet. I’m in the midst of transformation.”
That’s it! I’m just in the process of transforming. It put everything into perspective. I have left the old me behind and the new me is still emerging.
My life coach teacher and author, Martha Beck, talks about the change cycle as it relates to the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Initially, there is a catalyst. It can be any internal or external circumstance, a fortunate or unfortunate event, that provokes change. Then there are four phases as follows:
Square 1, Death and Rebirth: The caterpillar as it knows itself dies. It forms a chrysalis and digests itself, basically turning into caterpillar soup. This is the start of change, when you break down and you must let go of the old.
Square 2, Dreaming and Scheming: There are a few groups of cells in the soup left intact, called imago cells, or imaginal discs. They are programmed to create the eyes, body, wings, legs, etc., and they use this protein-rich soup around them for fuel. This is when life as you know it is no longer the same and you must look inside yourself for inspiration for the new you. You’re envisioning a new life and making plans.
Square 3, The Hero’s Saga: The butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, but the wings are small and wet. The butterfly must pump fluids from the abdomen to the wings, causing them to expand, then the wings must dry. The butterfly proceeds to flap its wings, strengthening its flight muscles. This is when you’ve gained enough strength to go out there and set your plans in motion. This takes work, it never goes exactly the way you planned, but you keep plugging away.
Square 4, The Promised Land: This is when the butterfly is fully formed and ready to fly! You have arrived. Now it’s time to be you, the NEW YOU.
I’m going through Square 3 right now, trying things out. It’s not always a straight line from square to square. I often find myself jumping back into Square 1, dissolving myself a little more, then picking up the pieces and dreaming of the next step that I want to put into action.
I have a vision of what I want to do, who I want to be, but it’s not always crystal clear. I’m uncovering the REAL me hidden underneath years of conditioning and adapting to what life has thrown at me. For literally decades, I have been in search of something more. I take two steps forward, but then this exact feeling of fear comes over me, this uncertainty, and I retreat one step back. I retreat back to the familiar, the safe, the comfortable. Back to my comfort zone. But familiarity breeds contempt, and I’m back out there stirring things up again. And now I feel like I’m at a point of no return, and that in itself is scary.
Our desire for something more can often be a catalyst, bringing up a natural inner deconstruction. Whether it’s your soul’s calling or checking off your bucket list, there will be transformation. Sometimes it happens in the accomplishment of it, and sometimes transformation needs to happen first.
Unlike the butterfly, we often have a choice. We can choose to transform or we can choose to remain a caterpillar. Even when something traumatic happens, we work our way through it…but we have a choice: do we want to come out the other side the better or worse for it?
Transforming entails letting go of something no longer necessary (fears, limiting beliefs, toxic relationships or environments, bad habits)…things that no longer serve us to make room for the new. And the bigger the transformation, the more that you have to leave the old you behind. Transformation is not supposed to be easy or comfortable, but if something’s not working, let it go.
Challenge for the week: Where in your life are you transforming?
Where in your life do you feel change happening? Sometimes it’s not even a big event. You may be in Square 4 in most areas, but there’s one thing that isn’t quite working, or you just want a little more out of life. Maybe change isn’t happening, but it needs to.
Figure out what phase you are in, then here are some tips for each phase:
Square 1: Hit the pause button if you can. Give yourself time to grieve, to process whatever is going on in your life. Figure out what needs to go. Know that it’s okay to feel the way you feel and that this too shall pass.
Square 2: Know that you don’t have to have all the answers. When you relax into the unknown, you will get messages and internal promptings. This is the time to have fun with imagining a new vision of how things can be.
Square 3: Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. This is where the rubber meets the road, when you need to put yourself out there. Like a baby learning to walk, you will fall down. You’ll have to go back to the drawing board over and over, but go easy on yourself. Take it one step at a time. Keep your eye on the prize.
Square 4: Live it up! Be grateful for your blessings and remember to give yourself a pat on the back.
Have a great week! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.