If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation. ~ Lao Tzu
When we are a spectator of this daytime dreamy-winged creature, we are astounded on every occasion by its effervescent beauty, exquisite patterns, and animated movement. Similar to the evolution of humankind, while in the cocoon it lay still and subdued, but later emerges more graceful, more powerful, and more beautiful than before. And similar to how it carries pollen from flower to flower in an effort to serve the ecosystem, wise men spread their wisdom and knowledge from person to person to help them grow. This cryptic-colored transformative life form is the butterfly.
September is a unique time of year. It is a period of climate change, high anxieties, enthusiastic developments, and the closing of the third quarter. It is also a time of effective expression, devoted reflection, and self-transformation. The progress of the months and seasons allow us opportunities to shift our energy in ways that are authentic, creative, and powerful. A shift takes place in our patterns of thought and perception and we are able to realize that life is but a timeless quest for sustainable self-improvement.
I glow whenever I see a butterfly, and this month, I have been noticing them more than usual. Fluttering their wings at a speed of up to 12 miles per hour, conceivably, butterflies are found on every continent on the planet. Butterflies represent many things in different parts of the world. In some traditions, they are symbolic of love, wisdom and knowledge. In other cultures, they may represent apprehension and even death; but most of all, butterflies are the personification of transformation and change. Their peaceful and illustrative metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly is somehow symbolic to our continual cycles of life. The presentations and patterns of butterflies are similar to that of how we produce, evolve, and liberate ourselves in the world. Reality itself provides us with an array of symbols with abundance of meaning. Throughout these transitions, we find linkages from self to world, world-to-world, and self to others. The wisest people of our times advise us that we exist in a state of constant change.
The butterflies’ life, as is ours – is one of great transformation. Its impressive process of metamorphosis teaches us to accept change without resistance. Without fail, self-transformation unfolds in multiple inter-weavings of cycles of change and at many levels. Some transitions occur through intention or grace, egotism or altruism, abrupt or gradual. Come what may, we continuously bear witness to many of these basic life-changing events through marriage and divorce, accidents and illness, deaths and births; and they are inescapable.
The most profound and important process of our comprehension begins only when we give up old patterns that no longer serve us and stop resisting the natural change of life. We must RELEASE. To reflect further, we can perceive our own transformation of consciousness as a mere alteration of time and space. We become fearful when the space around us seems unfamiliar and when time seems to pass at a different rate. We recognize that we are in a process of change, perhaps with an unpredictable outcome, and therefore plunge forward and contest it with every fiber in our being. Like the unique metamorphosis each butterfly uncovers, we know that our outcome will be different – but we do not know how.
For everyone, the butterfly symbolizes different things, if anything at all. On my upper right arm is positioned a butterfly tattoo. I am periodically asked for its’ meaning. For me, it signifies peace, freedom of the mind, grace, and personal growth. I have come to understand that the earthly vessel has flaws – but the spiritual soul is perfect. We were made in the likeness of God. Beautifully exposed like the butterfly and wonderfully made – and that is what should be celebrated and embraced. The patterns of reflection I see when I see butterflies, come to remind me that my late, great father [who transitioned on International Peace Day, September 1980] is standing by, granting me grace, support, and serenity.
The month of September comes to bestow more peace of mind, more freedom, and a need for self-transformation. Learn to be gentle with yourself and others through your process of transformation, and as you look at life, remember to look at it through the lens with gratitude.
As we prepare to approach a new season, it may be a good time to rediscover passions, renew commitments, change perspectives, motions – and milestones. Like the budding caterpillar, you now need a NEW set of wings. If you stay in your self-imposed cocoon, you will never spread those wings. Allow September to take you on a renewed spiritual journey and in doing so, take heart from the signs and signals you are starting to see. Like the magnificence of the butterfly, they are as genuine as they are encouraging.
Love and Light for your Tuesday.
Reference commentary June 19, 2012: The Power of Positive Transformation/September 14, 2010: All There Is/March 27, 2012: Come on, Get higher!
We celebrate and say farewell to one of our gentle “butterflies” – Michael Clarke Duncan [1957 -2012] Rest in Peace