Category Archives: chrysalis

Wings of change

Opening the door to greater possibility for ourselves and the people we influence and care for feels like a weight-lifting session at times. With surrender, it can flow into us like a dream, like a poem. We invite our possibility in, forget that we have left the door open and are surprised when it is there.


Julia and I were listening to NPR’s Radio Lab on Saturday and they turned us onto something we didn’t  know about caterpillars turning into butterflies, namely that the caterpillar has its wings and antenna rolled up and tucked away in its body before it makes the cocoon.  If you were to peel layers away in the back of the caterpillar, you would see them.  When it makes the cocoon it places the wings inside the wall and then proceeds to break down.  It essentially becomes a primordial soup with it’s DNA floating around inside until it transforms and extracts the wings and antenna to complete its new form.

We found this fascinating, especially when we considered all the change that occurred this week.  Not only was the confederate flag taken down in South Carolina and Health care upheld but Marriage Equality was proclaimed for all in America. This is a serious shift in our humanity.  For some it may feel like our society is breaking down but like the caterpillar, we have been growing our beauty all along, it has just been tucked away. I am holding onto the picture of us emerging as a society that can transform and fly above prejudice, so that we can value one another above our monetary concerns.

May we recognize our intrinsic worth even in the midst of feeling like primordial goop.

Jonah Maccabee and saying yes to the butterfly process

This weekend we were privileged to be a part of the Jonah Maccabee concert, which our friends put on annually in honor of their son who died six years ago.  It is a celebration that raises money to send campers to summer camps for parents who cannot afford it. We were asked to not only share the bill with our friend Billy Jonas but to learn each other’s songs and perform them together.  
It was a journey to pull it off but we were fortunate enough to get to work with a bass player who works on Broadway and an incredibly talented and tasteful violin player.  Billy Jonas is hard-wired into the heart of the universe and his music and ours come from the same desire to celebrate the beauty in every path that leads to love. 
It was interesting to see myself resist the work we were putting into this show and worry that it wouldn’t come together. Despite all of my concerns, everything fell into place. 
While we were playing, I kept pulling back and realizing what a gift we had been granted. We played as a unified whole and were fully present.  It was a full house and was certainly one of the best shows we have been a part of. Nearly everyone we talked to afterwards told us how moving the night was. 
Yesterday, we heard a talk by Dr. Rima Bonario.
She talked about how when the caterpillar goes into chysalis it starts forming imaginal cells that have the butterfly code in them. The caterpillar’s immune system actually tries to kill these cells off, it resists change and its own evolution but eventually these cells become too numerous to fight off and the process takes place.
I found this significant, noticing my own resistance to the process at times.
Here are five steps she suggested for our individual evolutionary process: 
1. Accept where you are.  Resistance makes persistence.  Bless everything in your life.
2.Become aware of the stories/lies you are believing. What keeps you stuck? What are the things you say to yourself like, “That’s what you get.” or “That’s life.”  What have we settled for? We can change the stress and dis-ease. Be honest about whether you want to heal and be successful or if you would rather stay stuck to  reap the benefits of sympathy and pity assistance from others. Am I ready to be done with this?
3.Compassion for ourselves.  No matter what is going on, be kind to yourself.  (She recommended this book: What to say when you talk to yourself- Shad Helmstetter)                   Being insulting to ourselves is not motivating.  What do I need? Self love? Safety?  Give it to yourself. 
4. Shift your focus to the truth. Pivot and see the truth. (I am a butterfly in training.)  What is right about you? She referenced a text study on Positive Psychology called Strength psychologywhich focuses on our strengths so we can lead with them, rather than reinforcing our negative traits and weaknesses. Step forward with strength.
5. Practice and proove the butterfly reality to yourself.  Begin to convince yourself.  Practice whatever your freeing truth is. Be commited. String together butterfly moments. How many of these moments will you create today, this week?
  Rima E. Bonario, Th.D., is an author, workshop leader and transformative relationship mentor who is passionate about accelerating personal, professional and plane…
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Here’s to gaining and maintaining the light