My inspiration for many years now has been focused on these words:
If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.
2018: The Year of the Butterfly – I’ve come across this message a few times in the last few days, surely 2018 will be the year of the butterfly.
The caterpillar emerging from the chrysalis and morphing into a glorious butterfly has been used as a symbol of change and transformation for thousands of years.
2016: The Caterpillar – the feeding and growth stage.
In this stage of the butterfly’s life their main goal is consumption. The caterpillar’s sole purpose is to eat as much as possible in order to fuel the growth that will take place in the future. During this stage the caterpillar will outgrow and shed its skin as many as 4 or 5 times.
Symbolically this stage represents learning and growth. Consuming as much information as possible to prepare for what comes next. There is also some shedding of ideas and old ways during this phase. In essence, this stage is about establishing the core foundations necessary for the dramatic transformation about to take place.
2017: The Chrysalis (or Pupa) – the transformation stage, hibernation, things appear static.
This is the most intriguing stage of a butterfly’s development. When the caterpillar is fully grown and can eat no more, it simply dangles from a branch and spins a protective chrysalis around itself so it can safely rest and digest all the food that has been consumed in the previous stage.
Though the chrysalis appears unchanged from the outside during this stage, there is dramatic transformation taking place on the inside. The body of the caterpillar is slowly dissolving while the previously dormant precursor cells of the emerging butterfly gradually develop, migrate together and create a brand new being.
Symbolically this stage recognises the need for rest, retreat and recovery while trying to grow or create something new. Bearing in mind, the changes and transformation occurring are not necessarily visible to the outside world during this stage.
2018: The Butterfly – the rebirth stage, spread wings and take flight.
This final stage sees the fully developed butterfly ready to emerge from the chrysalis. After breaking free, the butterfly’s wings are still folded and wet with more rest time necessary to allow blood to flow into the wings. Finally when the unfurled wings are fully dry, the butterfly is ready to take flight and share its beauty with the world.
Symbolically this stage marks an awakening, leaving behind old ways and moving forward with courage and some risk-taking, while recognising the fragility of the new.
Embrace the butterfly as a symbol of rebirth, a transformation to a new stage of life.
Here’s to change for the better in 2018!