This past Spring I planted several milkweed bushes.  In order for a caterpillar to morph into a butterfly, he can be found night and day munching those leaves. I kept checking the bushes, looking for them and one day they were loaded with striped caterpillars, destined to become Monarch butterflies. There’s a lot of info about these miraculous creatures and their migration patterns and how ‘somehow’ their DNA has been encoded with the instinct to fly 2000 miles across a continent to procreate and evolve the species.

Butterfly

Recently, the Monarchs emerged into my garden and they stop me in my tracks they’re so regal. I had a similar feeling last weekend when I went to a baby shower for my daughter and was surrounded by a couple dozen of spectacular women, most in their 30’s. There was a palpable energy there of lighthearted happiness and camaraderie of the heart. I was witnessing once again something that would prove valuable for me. These sophisticated and talented women are no strangers to life’s stings and yet, with youth on their side, the greatest gift they could have moving forward is perspective. How they will interpret and respond to situations in their lives will determine their physical and emotional future. They were soft and lighthearted, laughed easily, were bold and confident, sweet and funny, and engaged authentically with one another. Most are young mothers. Sure, they will encounter the ecstasy and agony of parenting. They will experience loss and suffering. We all do. The thread I’m unraveling is this one: I see many older women (men too) who are lonely, bitter and pessimistic and have seemingly thrown in the towel. Is it just the mileage of accumulated life experiences or can we be doggedly determined to change our perspective? Can we witness with curiosity and appreciation these amazing young women and rekindle that innate part of ourselves?

My artistic interpretation!
Joy of Becoming 24X24 Oil and Encaustic

 
Last night I had dinner with Arielle Ford and her husband Brian Hilliard. Since I have been thinking about this and truthfully, dragging along some painful baggage from my past, they helped catalyze a shift for me. Arielle asked me this question: “What if you and your former husband had a contract before you came to be. What if you both decided to play that role in one another’s lives for massive growth and expansion and then be done and move on?” I’ve also thought of it this way; what if God loved you so much, he had that person play that role in your life to serve you in every way, even yet to be determined benefits?

In Arielle’s book  The Soulmate Secret, the first step is forgiveness. I believe there are many layers of forgiveness. We’ve experienced the benefit of letting go and moving on as well as how destructive it is when we don’t, physically and emotionally . So here is what was revealed to me in this morning’s meditation and writing. The caterpillar created a cocoon out of his environment. It was for its eventual unfolding but in the interim, the chrysalis stage, even when it looks like goop, rapid change was truly happening. There was nothing in that cocoon that even slightly resembled the Monarch. When it begins to emerge, its wings are small and not developed enough to fly until it breathes life and fluid into them to expand and strengthen them for flight. Then, in it’s glory it lets go of the cocoon and flies. It’s new existence is to simply drink nectar from flowers and by its very being, delight and surprise us. It’s not hurt or angry at the cocoon. It’s not mad at the milkweed leaves or at me for planting the bush.  It’s free at last. Liberated!

When we justify and defend, replay scenarios even if they were true at the time, scratch off the scab and never allow the wound to heal, we are wasting precious time. And more, we are creating a force field around us and around our hearts that keep new experiences and wonderful fun people away. My job is to create an environment of peaceful healthy happiness, the stimulation of learning because that makes life fun, and always morphing into the next great version of Becky. All the rest is frosting. Do you think we can help people just let go this easily? I do!  Here’s a good start:

Vitality which means healthy choices and active physically. It’s near the top of my list second only to my relationship to my Creator because this body is the only apparatus we have to play and work in, so when we’re not tuned up all the time, the decline is wicked and eventually fatal.

Lighten up and be softer. We all have a story. Or will have. We get hurt or we hurt others and it’s part of that Life stuff that shows us all the good things we desire and what we never ever want again. It’s all good. But to be negative or repeat our ‘story’ ad nausea is heavy and unattractive.  Save me and everyone else the boredom. And bigger even than driving everyone away, is that ‘As A Man Thinketh’ clause: you get more of what you think about. So save yourself!!

Be mindful of your investments: who you spend time with, how you spend your time, and how you responsibly manage your money. BTW, my former husband just published a must-have book about money. All of these together with a vital healthy body and softer lighter outlook on life are the basics. I’m adding in painting, writing and learning because they keep me in the flow and out of trouble. What are your add-ons?

Here’s what’s cool about having lived a few decades and being graceful about it, there’s no armor around our hearts. We’re not fearsome, we have the confidence of a warrior and the heart of a lover. And that’s sexy for men and women.