Hello, I am a caterpillar.
I’ve spent my whole life living in the same tree. I’ve eaten the same food over and over again. Crawled over the same branch habitually. But today something feels different. Today, I want to go over to that shaded tree. I need to be in that tree. I’ve never been there before but something is pulling me there. Here I go …
Transformation is one of those popular buzz words that appears in the majority of self help articles and bIogs these days. Everyone seems to want a transformation. We’ve read the headlines:
- Magical Weight Loss Transformation
- Transform your Life in 10 Easy Steps
- Transforming from Powerless to Powerful
But is transformation something that happens naturally or can we facilitate change?
Unlike you and I, the caterpillar has no choice in transformation. She was programmed or born to transform. She relies on her instinct to build a cocoon and is unaware what that she will emerge with a new life as a butterfly. Author Jonathan Wells compares the caterpillars instincts to our own,
“In our case, instinct is not usually enough to bring about a complete life transformation. Fortunately we have something more than instinct. Unlike that caterpillar, we have freedom of choice. We also have the ability to comprehend that more is possible. Even if we have never lived the life we truly desire, we still recognize that such a life is possible.”
Recognizing that a better life for ourselves is possible, can be a blessing or a curse. If you’re someone yearning for change and transformation, you may be jealous of the caterpillar’s ease.
When we are developing typically, there are times in our lives when transformation is inevitable. Those milestones parents brag about, the first timers like crawling, walking, speaking. We seemingly are transformed overnight from a crawler to a walker. But what happens after we’ve reached these milestones and our instincts still yearn for more? Unlike the caterpillar we desire transformation but can’t seem to make it happen.
Why is it so difficult for many of us to change? Habits, fear, laziness?
Let’s look at the caterpillar. In order for her transformation to occur she needs the desire, the right environment and hard work. Without knowing why, the caterpillar desired to wander away from all she knew. She found a safe spot conducive to her building a cocoon. She went to work building her cocoon.
Most of us have the desire part down. We know what we want: to loose ten pounds, gain enough confidence to ask that guy out, start that novel we’ve always wanted to write, quit smoking.
Some of us have the environment piece down. We know that having our fridge stocked with Twinkies is not contributing to our weight loss transformation. We know that being surrounded by negative people putting us down, is not helping boost our confidence.
Where most of us get stuck is the hard work part. We don’t want to take the time and energy to build the cocoon. Isn’t there someone we can hire to do that? Can’t we just read this book on transformation and then at the final chapter, KAPOW, we’ll be transformed?
As much as the headlines would like us to believe, there is no magic pill for transformation. We don’t wake up one day 20 pounds lighter or are suddenly filled with the confidence to go after what we want. Transformation takes time, and focused hard work to get the results we want. Therefore, transformation is not a one time moment, but a practice.
So, when you feel like giving up, when you don’t think it matters, think of me, working hard on my cocoon. And eventually you’ll emerge as a butterfly. Transformation will be inevitable.
“Transformation literally means going beyond your form.” Wayne Dyer