Most of us have heard the metaphor about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly; and how we, as humans, as spiritual beings, etc… can transform or be transformed. But I learned a little something more today about that process, that adds so much to the metaphor. When a caterpillar is still developing in its egg (before it ever even becomes a fully developed caterpillar), it grows “imaginal discs” (groups of highly developed cells) – one for each of the body parts it will need to become an adult butterfly. Later, when it digests itself in its cocoon, those imaginal discs do not get digested, but remain and fuel the process of the butterfly’s development and emergence. This is exactly how we humans are. As infants, we come into the world with “imaginal” discs, traits, characteristics, or whatever else you want to call them. Those cells (parts of us) wait for the right circumstances, environment, and encouragement to turn us into moldable form. Then these “imaginal” parts of us can do their jobs. It is then that those traits can fuel our transformational process and be fully revealed and blossom. I love that they are called “imaginal”. I love that we can dream big. That, in the course of our lives, we can go from looking and feeling one way, to something completely different. (I see it everyday.) I love that life looks at us and imagines all whom we can be. The research also tells us that, when we imagine something – a waterfall, ocean wave, etc.., the same neurons get activated that would do so if we were actually standing in front of a waterfall or ocean wave. So, today I will take some time to dream my “imaginal” self. I will envision myself in the biggest, most expansive way possible. I will imagine myself as I am to become. And I will be the butterfly.
Just finished a biography about Dr. Seuss, and this is a dedication to Theodore Seuss Geisel. We all have a snuckle to cherish and share. Some snuckles are brown, some orange, and some with flair. “My snuckle belongs to me” we say. And it does, it does! Enjoy it with much fun and with glee. Your snuckle has color and texture and bounce. Your snuckle is one that is not easily snuffed out. Some folks will try to temper your snuckle. They’ll cover and hide it and tell you it’s wrong. They seem they don’t want your snuckle along. But there is no one in the world with a snuckle like you. Your snuckle is the one and only like you. So whether your snuckle is big, red, or purple, or whether your snuckle is square with a nurple. Don’t ever try to have someone else’s snuckle. No, it’s not for you! The world needs YOUR snuckle. You have something to do. Your snuckle is needed by all. Your snuckle is a gift. It is your call. So love your snuckle and many will love it too. And you’ll be doing your part of the snuckle snugoo – that keeps all of us happy and dappy and loved. It keeps us going, and marching in tune. It keeps us marching all the way through gloomy lagoon. I need your snuckle and you need mine. We’ll share today. And we’ll all be just fine!
This is about teachers, but not in the traditional sense of the word – someone who goes to college for four years and then gets a teaching credential. This is about the teacher in all of us. For we are all one another’s teachers. We have something to learn from everyone with whom we come into contact, everyday. Those around us teach us about ourselves. When we react to something in someone else, that reminds us to notice ourselves. What was it we didn’t like about that, and why? Have we ever noticed that same trait in ourselves, and do we reject that trait in ourselves, or are we able to be still and notice ourselves without judgment. Clearly people have differences and value different things. And clearly we don’t all behave the same way. So how could we learn from someone with whom we have very little in common? The truth is; as humans, we have a lot in common. We all want to be accepted. We all want to know and feel love. We all have a survival instinct. We all want to feel some sense of predictability and control. So what could we learn from the thief who burglarized my office last year? Maybe that when humans are suffering; and feel helpless and powerless to ease that suffering or find another path, we build a wall toward others and aren’t able to empathize with the suffering we would cause the other person. When we are treated poorly, it helps when we can notice our own suffering from that, accept it, imagine the suffering that the other person must be feeling or have endured, and notice what we can learn from it. We can also learn from being treated well. It makes us feel good and reminds us of the good in ourselves and others. When someone takes the time to smile, hold a door, or give a compliment; we may feel valued. And we can pass that feeling on to another. Today, I will see all humans around me as my teachers, and I will open myself to my own learning and growing from every contact I have with another person.
Having a voice, and speaking up to share are very important parts of close relationships. And it is also important for us to be realistic about the goal and possible outcomes of our doing those things. We get in our minds to speak up “so that”…. “So that” he will change this, “so that” she will do that differently. But the only “so that” guarantee we have is “so that” we will be better known, and that those parts of us who have felt devalued, ignored, or otherwise unworthy will be restored to a state of worthiness. As children, we hoped it was our parent’s voice who affirmed our worth and value as people. As adults, It is our own voice that affirms our worth and value as people. We never have the guarantee that speaking up will get us what we want, but it does change us from the inside out. It empowers us to advocate for ourselves. It tells those small-feeling parts of us that it is ok to be who we are. That we have a right to take up space on this earth. And it allows those who are close to us to know the truth about who we are. Yes – we risk being rejected. We risk having people say they can’t love us for who we are. That is livable. Rejecting ourselves and refusing to love ourselves for who we are is not livable. We can heal from rejection by another. We cannot move on while actively rejecting ourselves. Today I will tune in to my inner voice and practice speaking up “so that” I will value myself and “so that” people who are close to me will know who I am.