My sister-in-law bought our kids a butterfly kit a couple of years ago. It was a wonderful gift. It came with caterpillars and some gooey food and a mesh enclosure. We watched those caterpillars crawl around, fattening up little by little over the weeks. They were busy, always on the move.. until they weren't. Everything just stopped. The kids asked if they were dead and we said, "no, they're just changing."
And then after a couple of weeks they were entirely different creatures. But those couple of weeks seemed to take forever! From the outside, it appeared as though nothing was happening. And then it looked like it happened overnight. But that was the illusion, the gift, the lesson because it was happening on the inside all along, every day.
How did those caterpillars know to climb to the top and hang upside down? How did they know it was time? What mechanism was in tact so they knew?
There's an incredible intelligence in all things. How can we tune in to that intelligence, that divine order, that knowing? For us humans, I believe it comes from tuning into our hearts, the seat of our intuition. It's also tuning into our "gut feeling" when we're moving in a direction that does or doesn't feel right. It can also come in a dream, an image, a vision. I like to meditate on this central channel that connects these energy centers, imagining it clear and unrestricted so vital force can flow freely, so that my radio dial stays tuned in clearly to what this loving intelligence wants me to hear.
To heed means "to pay attention to, to notice." Can you remember a time where you've been called to do something? It can be a major move but it can also be something small like getting off the couch and going for a walk. Can you love yourself enough to tune into this intelligence and work with it? Is it learning a new whole foods recipe? Doing a cleanse? Or is it taking a break from being so healthy and ordering take out or having popcorn for dinner? Is it by doing everything right, always keeping things spotless and tidy or is it by leaving the dishes in the sink and playing instead? Is it trying intermittent fasting? Is it starting a new hobby? Is it taking that trip you've been wanting to go on? Is it ending the relationship that isn't working? Is it taking a chance on the one that might? What is your body hungry for? Connection? Purpose? Water? Movement? Carbs? Healthy fats? Rest?
If you try to figure something out from your thinking brain, you will make your brain worse 100% of the time. You need to change your state by dropping down from your head into your heart. Do this through prayer, through meditation, through sitting on a park bench - anything, anywhere where you make a connection to your higher self/divine intelligence/God/the universe, whatever resonates most with you. Once you're in that state... ask for a sign. And then surrender it. Let it go. Say thank you and trust that it is coming. When the sign comes (and it will) and it surprises you in a way you never could've guessed, heed the call.
I imagine if that caterpillar would've ignored the nudge to go hang upside down and change, it would've grown fatter, maybe gotten sick, maybe stopped moving so vigorously. Does that happen to us, too, when we don't heed the calls of our bodies, hearts, souls?
Change can be beautiful, just like the metamorphosis of the butterfly. Sometimes there needs to be a complete breakdown of the old so that something new can emerge. It could just be a few baby steps to get you back in the current. It might feel like an eternity, that cleanse, that cutting out a junk food to start eating right, that 30 days of no drinking, no gluten or no dairy, that 21 day writing journey, that 6 week course you've been wanting to take, that book that keeps coming up for you to read. But guess what, it's not. It just feels that way. Start with page 1, step 1, day 1. Soon, when you have hind sight, once you've come out on the other side, you'll be more in alignment with yourself. You'll be lighter and feel freer. You'll have a whole new perspective when you spread your wings.