Around the world we view the butterfly as representing endurance, hope and change. Symbolizing the courage to embrace the transformation to make life better.

Change is an interesting word filled with so much meaning that becomes overwhelming to understand and therefore we often avoid challenging it.  We have all heard or uttered this sentence “why do I need to change; I am who I am”. These words create a stance of self acceptance and avoid the need to challenge ourselves.  Change is often rooted in our minds with a negative impression, but like the caterpillar, change can mean something far more beautiful and freer.

With change, comes endurance.  The tenacity needed to get from where we started to our desired outcome can feel very exhausting, overwhelming, and frustrating, even when we are excited about the finish line.

Like the caterpillar who goes through a strenuous 9–14 day journey in their chrysalis, it is going to take most of us a tremendous amount of emotional and mindful willpower to accomplish this spiritual goal.  The goal of evolving into the best version of ourselves.

At first, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all its tissues. If you were to cut open the chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. 

Once a caterpillar has disintegrated all its tissues except for the imaginal discs, those discs use the protein-rich soup all around them to fuel the rapid cell division required to form the wings, antennae, legs, eyes and all the other features of an adult butterfly.

Something new is reborn.  Like any metamorphosis, the process is extensive and not usually easy.

A miracle of nature!

Life can present us with many challenges.  Some challenges tend to “just find us” in situations we did not see coming or even expected.  However, most challenges arise based on the series of decisions we have made along the way.  The key is believing that life is not happening to us, but it is happening for us.  Challenges make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes them meaningful.  I have always expressed a belief that life is filled with both blessings and lessons. 

Blessings can come to us like a lightning bolt of pleasant emotions or through a winding road that leads us to the most beautiful of places that we would have never otherwise experienced or seen.  These moments bring heartfelt joy, like the first signs of spring after a frigid winter, seeing the sun waiting to give us a warm embrace.

Lessons are our biggest and most impactful gifts in life.  They help us learn and grow.  Wisdom will come to us in the unlikeliest of sources and remember, failure is not defeat if you see it as a win in learning from the experience. 

Whether change is needed, wanted, or directed, it is important to trust that change is part of our soulful journey.  It takes a tremendous amount of courage and persistence, but I promise you, we are all strong enough.

As the butterfly emerges in its final stage, it appears to be stuck in its lengthy struggles to break free. This process can go on for hours, even a couple days.  

This stage in the process of their rebirth is of the utmost importance. It allows the fluids to travel through their body into their wings in preparation for flight.

The translation in this transformation is- our struggles help to develop our strengths and resilience.  It is important to tackle struggles on our own and not always depend on others because then what we learn from the experience will stick with us. Its small continuous moments of self praise- to say: “yes, I did my best and I’m proud of what I have gained from it”. It is sensing the richness in all areas of one’s life.  It becomes not so much about what you did but whom you have become and whom you have helped along the way as well.

At this stage in our life experience, and it can come far sooner for some than for others, we grasp the art of fulfillment.

Fulfillment is a tricky topic, one that is most often overlooked and rarely understood.  Something that we all want to feel but many of us are not sure how to attain it.  We are often left with one lingering question in our minds, and that is the wonder of when and how we will feel the ultimate happiness in our lives.

I am certain we have all said to ourselves, something similar to…” I will be happy when I find love”, “I will be happy when I get that new car I want”, “I will be happy when I have X amount of money in my bank account”, or “I will finally be happy when I retire”.

Fulfillment is one of the most powerful components to anything we do.  Fulfillment makes what we achieved, have purpose. It is an art, not a science as it comes strictly from a connection between the heart and mind combined.

The science of achievement is often mistaken for fulfillment.  Let me explain the difference.

Setting a goal and achieving it is more of a science, you could even say a formula that if you follow certain true tested patterns, you will be successful.  These are skills that if taught, can be applied.

However, feeling fulfilled is a decision, it is deciding to be grateful no matter what happens.  It is letting life happen and finding happiness or gratitude by being part of or watching life happen. Hence the word art because it truly is an art if we are fortunate enough to form it.

For example, when you go on vacation, do you have the ability to enjoy that space and just relax?  Do you soak up the beauty around you and find happiness in that state without having to get up at 6am and start a productive day?  Can you be at your child’s soccer game and enjoy the breeze from the outside and smile by hearing the laughter and cheering of the children and parents around you in that exact moment? 

There is no amount of money that can create true happiness.  If you have millions of dollars in the bank and all the love in the world and yet your nature is to be angry and frustrated, your life will be angry and frustrating.

There is a simple saying that I find so impactful, which is- “Change your state of mind and you will change your life.”

From a fuzzy crawling creature to a unique newness of intricate design, we too can create a new beauty and spread our wings to take flight, seeing life from a new perspective.

We have a choice!

-Leslie Carrafiello