Reading by Liz Helgesen (Download file)
Chrysalises both inspire and baffle me. The thought that a caterpillar can crawl into a sac made of its own body and dissolve its form and come out as a butterfly is a cliched image of transformation, but holy crap. Stop for a moment and really think about that. Does the caterpillar know this is going to happen? If it does that shows some tremendous trust. If it doesn't, then that shows some incredible courage. It just hangs out there, isolating itself from the rest of the world and changing in ways it can never understand.
Does a caterpillar see a butterfly and go "that will be me one day?"
So yes, we are all heading into our chrysalises. We have all climbed into our cocoons and are waiting for the imaginal discs to come into play and elongate and grow into our new ways of being. We might be here for a long time, and learn some things. We are entering an interregnum that will be as big a challenge as any that humanity has faced.
Have some empathy for the caterpillar who creates its chrysalis and becomes a pupa. It may believe that this is now how things are, and meanwhile, at an unconscious level, the imaginal discs are swirling about in its corporeal soup, with a different idea about what it is to become.
Inside the chrysalis, your ideas about yourself dissolve and life itself takes over. Watch for the small signals, watch for what happens at the edges. Amplify the acts of kindness and possibility that you see in your community and your personal life. Document and grow the new practices you discover be they helpfulness, attention, curiosity, or competence. Stifle the urge to seek cortisol hits from triggering events and social media that make you angry, or the outrage merchants that still crave a hold on your consciousness. Instead, cocoon yourself and study your imagination.
Into the goo, friends.
Excerpted from here.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the metaphor of the caterpillar and the chrysalis in your life? Can you share an experience of a time you were a pupa in your chrysalis while life was evolving you into something beautiful that you could not imagine? What helps you dissolve your ideas about yourself and enjoy the experience of life itself growing you?