Into the Chrysalis You Go…
Hello beautiful soul 🙂
It’s been awhile since I’ve sent out a newsletter, since April to be precise! Where does the time go? I didn’t intend to take such a break and yet it’s been quite useful.
I started the beginnings of newsletters multiple times, but never managed to actually finish or send them. I was traveling a bit in both April and May – to Boulder to visit a delightful soul friend and then to St. John in the Virgin Islands for a vacation with the hubs – and the break from the usual day to day routines made it increasingly hard to get back into the…usual day to day routines.
When the last Yin & Mindfulness session ended around the end of May, I decided I’d just fully embrace the slowness and take off the next month from teaching classes and writing newsletters and the general *doing* part of having a business.
The more I allowed myself to sink into the slowness and the stillness, the more I realized that it was just what I needed. I’ve been in a place of wanting to make a change with the business but not knowing exactly what that change needed to look like.
And sometimes the only way to figure out what’s next…is to stop doing what you’re currently doing.
So, into the Chrysalis you go.
The Chrysalis is a phase in our lives that ushers us into our next Becoming. Unlike the butterfly or moth, we might experience this more than once in our lifetimes as we continuously evolve. About six years ago I entered a very major Chrysalis phase when dealing with complications and surgeries from Crohn’s disease that really forced me to stop and reassess. On the other side of it, I birthed this business. But we have to allow the time and space for the Chrysalis to occur.
Otherwise we remain stuck in Caterpillar Land forever.
This covid time in our lives has been somewhat of an enforced Chrysalis phase, forcing us to stop with the usual and engage with the…unusual. For many, I’ve seen conscious choices and new ways of being and doing emerge from this time and that is exciting!
I think for a while, we all just hoped that the Chrysalis phase could end and we could somehow go back to being caterpillars, safe in the routines and roles we understood, safe in our smallness, even if it meant that we would never experience having wings.
But I hope that most of us are realizing that it was just the fear talking, wanting to keep us small, and that we are instead on a wondrous path of evolution.
Our world is going through many changes right now – we are in the process of some intense energetic shifts. We have the opportunity to evolve into an entirely new way of living and relating. But sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. Sometimes we have to face and sit with pain in service to the process of Becoming.
Transformation on a worldwide scale is going to take thousands – millions! – of souls having the courage to enter their Chrysalis, face their biggest fears, their shadow selves, their past, and emerge into the light on the other side.
If you’re here on Earth right now it’s because your soul chose to be here at this time. Far from masochistic, your soul didn’t come here just to put you through pain and difficulty, it came for growth and evolution!
A soul on Earth always has this opportunity for personal growth and evolution, but rarely does it occur in such a widespread and collective fashion. ALL of us on Earth are going through the same challenges, at the same time, hoping to learn many of the same lessons. This is an opportunity not just for personal growth and evolution but for growth and evolution of the entire PLANET, our entire way of being.
And yet there is SO much fear circulating around us now, I know that it’s so, so hard to ignore it. And in some cases the fear is actually good, pushing us to examine our own deepest fears: facing our mortality; our fear of death; our disconnection from spirit; the resulting emptiness and meaninglessness of our lives; the helplessness and disempowerment around our health and our bodies; plus whatever individual trauma our souls have experienced in this or past incarnations – ALL of this is up for examination and healing right now.
And as you might imagine, facing that much fear can feel overwhelming. And the process can be painful.
When there is a perceived threat to our safety, or when we perceive really anything at all as stressful from the minor to the extreme, our body responds with a physiological reaction entering the fight, flight or freeze mode.
In response to this fear around us and the personal fears we must examine, some will feel their fight or flight instincts kick on and will try to disconnect from the pain or skip the process of transformation all together by doubling down on safety, control, or rightness. I can fight this. I can avoid this. I can control this (and control others). But whenever we become obsessed with controlling an outcome, we will always sacrifice our inner peace.
Some will feel their freeze instinct triggered more predominantly and become overwhelmed by the pain — basically frozen in mid-transformation as the fear simply paralyzes and disconnects from the usual inner wisdom. I am afraid. I am stuck. I don’t know how to move forward. But when we allow fear to be louder than our quiet inner knowing within, we will always lose our way.
Many may have hung their hopes on the promise of a magic cure that would eradicate the fear. Whether you chose to receive the vaccine or not is a personal decision for your body and your soul. And instead of judging each other for these choices, perhaps a more interesting question might be – and how are your levels of fear?
Did you hope the magical cure would also be the antidote to your fear? And yet for many, the fear remains embedded in our cells, reminding us that there is, in fact, no vaccine for fear.
How can we allow ourselves to experience the process of transformation that desperately needs to occur within ourselves – complete with the pain in service of healing and becoming – without getting completely lost and swallowed up inside the fear?
Take a moment to check in right now, and ask yourself: Do I feel burdened by a nagging, all-pervasive, or even subtle sense of fear?
Remember, fear wears many masks. It might show up as anxiety or trepidation, but it tends also to live at the root of anger, judgment, hostility, resentment, aggression, insecurity, pain, guilt, jealousy, rage, shame, bitterness, frustration, hate, rudeness, dishonesty, pride, indifference.
And when the world is being presented to us as some sort of mad daily choice between life and death, we can find even the most well-intentioned of us becoming consumed in fear.
But when we’re rooted in fear it’s hard to let love in, and LOVE is a necessary vehicle for these big transformations to occur. When we’re rooted in Love, we can still allow the fear to exist around us – and it will always exist. We can decide to see our fear and do our work with it consciously, but we don’t have to let it become the core of our being.
Love and Fear are magnetically connected to each other; we’re never going to be entirely without one or the other. Brene Brown offers such a good example of this – when we love someone so much that we realize that we’re also terrified of something taking them from us. Feeling deep love while gazing at your child or lover in bed while simultaneously the fear of them dying enters your brain. You try to push it away: Am I crazy, who thinks of that?, you wonder. Not crazy. Love and Fear.
But if the answer was YES to the question above: ‘Do I feel burdened by a nagging, all-pervasive, or even subtle sense of fear?‘ know that you don’t have to stay stuck in that place permanently. And that at any given moment you have the opportunity to consciously tweak the way you’re feeling on the spectrum between Love and Fear — so that you can take this unique moment in time to enter the Chrysalis and allow the necessary transformations to occur.
Caterpillar Land may feel great in its familiarity and comforts – but it’s also limiting, heavy, and not meant to last. Even the caterpillar dares to dream a bigger dream and trusts that there’s much more to come.
Working with Our Fear:
1. Spend time in Nature –
How often do you really stop and tune into the world around you? Not the *busyness* around you, not the to-do lists and the damn phone. But the natural world around you. Take a sensory break and allow yourself to become aware and fully conscious of your five senses. Find a place outside in nature, take off your shoes if you can, and begin to walk slowly and mindfully (seated works well too!), breathing deeply as you ask yourself the following five questions: What am I seeing? What am I hearing? What do I smell? What am I touching? What do I taste (maybe a delicious and soothing cup of tea to accompany your practice)?
Nature has the amazing dual-ability to help us feel grounded here on the Earth, while also allowing us to feel connected to the sacred, the spiritual, the divine.
“For many generations we have been led to believe that the divine is somewhere ‘out there,’ but in fact we will – with some focus and engagement – find it ‘right here.’” -Christa Mackinnon, Psychologist & Shamanic Practitioner
2. Allow time & space for the Chrysalis Phase –
It may sound counter-intuitive, but instead of trying to duct-tape together an aspect of your life that desperately wants to fall apart, let it fall apart – so that it can come back together in a new, wiser way that serves your highest self. Like we said before, sometimes the only way to figure out what’s next…is to stop doing what you’re currently doing. It’s ok to take a pause to re-assess. It’s ok if an aspect of your life happens to be a complete shitshow at the moment.
When a caterpillar enters the chrysalis it becomes a liquid soupy mess before eventually becoming the stunning butterfly or moth.
Allow your old self the time and space to wrestle with your fears, to examine your shadow, to feel everything “good” or “bad” – to transform. Allow yourself to TRUST the knowing in your Soul that this is not all there is, and to trust that the pain of Becoming is in service to a more beautiful you, and in service to a new and brighter world.
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” -Lao Tzu
3. Turn off the News –
What, did you really think I was going to miss an opportunity to say that? 😉 But seriously, this is about making healing choices for your nervous system. We are not wired to take in such a constant stream of stressful information designed to illicit our fear response. Not only is watching the news an atomic bomb to our nervous system, it’s also generally a one-sided view of the world. If you want to consciously seek out opposing viewpoints on an issue, go for it. Talk to people, use the internet, seek out various sources – and most importantly be discerning. Keep an open mind about everything you think you know.
If you do your fear check-in and discover that you are feeling a nagging, all-pervasive, or even subtle sense of fear, know, too, that this is perfectly normal for the media-bombarded world we live in! Remember the quote by Krishnamurti:
“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” -Krishnamurti
As in, we’ve become so ass-backwards that we basically have to numb, anesthetize, or disconnect to feel ok. Listen beautiful soul, if you’re feeling anxious, depressed, frustrated or crazy in this world, YOU’RE the normal one. Hang in there, trust that change is coming, turn off the news, and return to Step #1!
As you move through these steps to consciously work with your fear, know that you’ll be creating a vacuum for more love to enter. And remember, LOVE wears many masks; it can be expressed towards ourselves or others as openness, kindness, compassion, intimacy, willingness, ease, connection, respect, understanding, support, trust, passion, joy, gratitude, peace, serenity, hope.
Not to be mistaken, it isn’t just lightness and positivity, it’s also at the heart of the grief and sorrow we feel – for we can only grieve for that which we have loved. Grief is an amazingly powerful tool of healing, transformation, and becoming – so allow yourself to feel it fully and completely with no shame or guilt (shame and guilt grow out of fear!).
Then after consciously making these shifts, pause again to check in and ask yourself the following:
Do I still feel a nagging, all-pervasive, or even subtle sense of fear? If so, spend a little more time with the steps above.
Do I feel connected to a LOVE big enough to dream us into a new and brighter future? If so, journey on brave warrior!