Animal Spirit Guidance
June K. Brown
Stages of Life
Where do you want to be 10 years from now? 20 years? What about today, are you where you want to be?
These are the questions often asked by self-help gurus, teachers and mentors. I find these questions to be a little frustrating because I have so many ideas and thoughts about who I want to be when I grow up. Yes, even at the age of 42, I feel like a little kid pondering this essay question given to me by my third grade teacher.
I used to live my life one day at a time, rolling with the punches. Now that I have been studying books like The Success Principles by Jack Canfield and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, I found that I really needed to step up to the plate and get on with my life. It was time for me to come out of the safety of my cocoon. I did this by taking some control of a new business and giving back some control of a business that needed repair.
Adults aren’t the only people that go through this. My 13 year old son seems to be in a place of emerging from his cocoon. Chase has a reading disability and for the past 4 years he has been able to rely on a few good teachers at his school to guide him. These teachers taught him everything he needed to know to read better and comprehend what he read. He was given unlimited time on testing and was allowed to present verbal book reports, rather than written. Over the course of those years my son went from the ‘egg stage’ (Help! I can’t do this alone!) to the ‘larva stage’ (Wow! Can I really do this?) to the ‘cocoon stage’ (Look at what I can accomplish on my own!) to this year’s big emergence from the cocoon to the Butterfly. My son will be practically on his own this coming school year. He has proven that he can handle life on his own and it’s up to him to keep himself straight. I have seen his cocoon splitting open this summer, his butterfly-self ready to emerge.
This awakening to my son’s transformation came to me last month when my family and I took a vacation to Key West. After walking around the streets of that amazing old town, we decided to get out of the heat and visit the Butterfly Garden on Duval Street. A large blue and black butterfly came straight for my son and landed on his shoulder. She stayed there the entire time he walked around. I stood back and watched my son explore this world and interact with the butterflies and birds that were fortunate enough take residence there. Every once in awhile he would look over at his shoulder where the butterfly had perched and speak softly to her, wanting to touch her soft wings but knowing that he shouldn’t. I watched him show an immense amount of respect for these small creatures, while taking in their beauty and fragile nature.
I thought to myself, ’Wow, look at him. He seems so grown up. He’s definitely changed… transformed.’
My son now has a great deal of confidence in himself. Just four years ago he was afraid to speak his mind or read in front of his class. For him life seemed to be an impossible maze that he was sure he’d never be able to navigate. Now here he is, in all his glory, with a butterfly on his shoulder, trying to get a finch to perch on his finger, stepping carefully around the butterflies on the ground.
What stage of life are you at? Are you where you want to be?
Butterfly represents transformation through stages of life. You can apply this to new businesses, projects or personal development.
The egg stage: This is the beginning of life or the first glimmer of a new business, project or idea. When you are in the egg stage you are in thinking mode: new, undeveloped.
The larva stage: This is the nurturing of your new life, business, project or idea. You will need to make decisions so that your idea can come into reality.
The cocoon stage: This is the development of everything. You are encompassed and safe. You‘ll need write down your plan, contact people who will be able to help you get your idea off the ground (a banker, a partner, a family member). Now you wait.
The birth stage: Ahhh! You have emerged from the cocoon. All the work you did earlier has paid off. The loan for your new business, project or idea has come through and you are opening your doors. You are fully developed, beautiful, ready to fly… Now you can go lay more eggs and expand on what you have created. You have gone through this process before, you can do it again, and again, and again!
If Butterfly has flown into your life, you are bound for a great transformation. Think about what’s going on in your life to decide what stage you are currently in and how to proceed to the next.