My latest body ink is a tribute to myself and my latest birthday. I have been in a cocoon for a few years now finally this is the year where the true transformation takes place. I will have the courage to take on 2 large projects. One is my fitness goal to compete the other to finish my fiction novel and get it into the hands of an editor. It’s the promise I am making to allow myself to be seen and continue to inspire others.
Here are some tid bits about the butterfly and the word courageous as explained by Dr. Brene Brown who I admire and follow her extensive research.
The Butterfly: Biological Characteristics
Butterflies are insects. Consider however, that insects succeed as a group because of six primary qualities:
1. Their ability to fly enables them to spread. 2. They are extremely adaptable to their environment and climatic conditions. 3. Their external skeleton provides a kind of armor of self-protection. 4. Their small size keeps their demands meager and accessible. 5. The ability to delay fertilization until conditions are beneficial enables their species to survive. 6. They undergo multiple changes (metamorphosis) to facilitate and carry on life.
All of these traits can be viewed symbolically as ideas to assist humans to be more successful within their own lives. While we cannot fly, we can ensure that we don’t get stuck in what is too comfortable. We don’t have exoskeletons, but we can develop sensitivity to the energies around us and strengthen ourselves to be less victimized by those energies. We can be less wasteful in our lives and keep our demands small. We can build and do a little at a time so that it becomes great over time instead of trying to accomplish all at once. Probably most importantly, metamorphosis is inevitable… and life becomes more difficult on many levels when we resist its natural flow.
Metamorphosis is the magic that insects can teach us. Change ensures growth. We have to shed the old before we can come into the new. We give birth to ideas, activities, or qualities. Ideas and creativity need to be shaped, formed, developed and honed. After this is accomplished, the new foundation is laid. Sometimes, we need to back off and go deeply within after laying a foundation so that creation will be able to come forth strong and in a new light. Just as the adult butterfly only emerges when conditions are right, our ideas and activities will only flourish on a higher level when conditions are right. That is the force of creation – the only constant is that we are always changing.
Symbolism and Power
Butterfly is the power of air, the ability to float upon a breeze. It is known for its darting flight; thus, it represents the mind and our ability to change it when necessary. Butterfly represents the never-ending cycle of life; therefore, its medicine bestows not only the ability, but the clarity of mind needed before self-transformation.
Butterflies appear to dance as they flitter among the flowers. They remind us not to take things so seriously within our lives. They awaken a sense of lightness and joy. They remind us to get up and move, for if you do not move, you cannot dance.
The lesson of the butterfly is letting go of old behavior and expounding into the next phase of existence. Each of us transforms through multiple stages in our life. It is only through exertion that we emerge into who we will be next. Ask for butterfly help when:
You need help organizing a project or detailing the sequence of steps to complete it. You know it is time for a change and need the courage to break free from your “cocoon.” You are experiencing a major life change. You take things too seriously.
The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage literally had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has actually changed, and today, courage is synonymous with being heroic or performing brave deeds.
Heroics and bravery are important, but I think we’ve lost touch with the idea that speaking honestly and openly about who we and about our experiences (good and bad) is the ultimate act of courage. Heroics is often about putting your life on the line. Courage is about putting your vulnerability on the line. In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary.
For me, practicing courage means telling my story with all of my heart. It means being honest about who I am, what I believe, and how I feel. It doesn’t come easy for me – I have a tendency to self-protect – but it really is about practicing authenticity and letting myself be seen.
Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
Courage is born out of vulnerability not strength.