The country and western singer Dolly Parton sang a song that went: Life is like a butterfly. Soft and gentle as a sigh!
I have never been one for new years’ resolutions and usually refuse to make any. I generally choose to live my life one day at a time, believing that tomorrow will take care of itself – why worry about tomorrow when you have today to deal with – right?
Reading through my Twitter feeds at the beginning of the new year, I was inspired by @startupprincess to replace new years’ resolutions with a focus word instead. They suggested you could choose a focus word per week, or per month and use this to guide your goal setting, motivation etc for the weeks and months ahead.
Mmm . . . not too difficult, I thought until I tried to come up with a few words. After much thought and deliberation with myself, I decided that my first focus word was going to be AWESOMENESS – I was going to be awesome in everything I did for the month of January – at work and in my personal life. Yeah, right!
When I looked up the word “awesome”, some of the meanings assigned to this word were:
- Inspiring or displaying awe
- Excellent or outstanding
Now I had a real problem. How was I going to apply the word AWESOMENESS in love (relationships), business (wealth) and my decision-making? How was I planning to be AWESOME to my friends and family – to those I love and who love me? How was I planning to be AWESOME at work and in my decision-making? Turns out, it is not that easy to come up with creative ways to apply this focus word to my daily life. Mmm . . . what now?
A few days later came another Tweet (from @Idealist this time). They spoke of a relationship between gratitude, happiness and health. Apparently a great study has been done on this. I blogged (not too long ago) about the value of a gratitude journal and wondered if I should not go back to the gratitude journal idea and re-look at this. Maybe I should read this study and see what they say about the relationship between gratitude, happiness and health? There was also something on Facebook recently about starting a Gratitude Jar i.e. use a glass jar with a lid. Make a slit in the lid of the jar (like a moneybox).
At the end of each day, take a piece of paper and make a note of a surprise gift you received on that day, a goal you accomplished on that day, the beauty of nature you observed on that day, a “laugh-out-loud” moment you had that day, a memory worth saving for that day or a daily blessing. The idea is to do this between 1 January and 31 December and on the evening of 31 December when you are getting ready to celebrate the forthcoming new year, you could go through every piece of paper in your jar to remind yourself of all the little “good” things that happened to you and you will realise that life was maybe not as bad as you thought.
While all this was going around in my head, I also started working on drafting a business plan for a Virtual Office business I would like to start running from home. I found a template I’m working on which asks specific questions to get you thinking about what your business is all about and how you actually plan to get your business off the ground. This template also then automatically structures your thoughts into a logical sequence which makes it easy to have all the critical information you require for your Business Plan.
This opened up a whole new can of worms for me because the emphasis of my business is on making a difference and going through this template, forced me to think about the changes I have made and want to continue making in my life in order to realise my dream – this brought me to transformation/change/metamorphosis. I came across a blogger’s page (cannot remember the name right now) who shared this beautiful story about a butterfly which I would like to share with you right now . . .
A story is told of a caterpillar named Yellow who was trying to find out what she should be doing with her life. In her wanderings she discovered another caterpillar seemingly caught in some gauzy, hairy filament. Concerned, she asked if she could help. He explained that this was all part of the process of becoming a butterfly.
When she heard the word butterfly, her whole insides leapt. “But what is a butterfly?”
The cocooned caterpillar explained: “It’s what you are meant to become.”
Yellow was intrigued but a bit defiant. “How can I believe there’s a butterfly inside you or me when all I see is a fuzzy worm?”
On further reflection she pensively asked, “How does one become a butterfly?”
And the answer? “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
(By Trina Paulus’, HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS)
I have always thought that the metaphor of the butterfly for transformation is mind-boggling. If you really think about it, what the caterpillar calls the end is actually only the beginning of one of the most beautiful creatures on earth.
So coming back to my story I started with – am I going to focus on a “focus word”, am I going back to starting a Gratitude Journal or am I going to continue focusing on my metamorphosis and transformation this year?
Where will I get direction (to follow), patience (to wait) and knowledge (to know when it comes)?
I have decided that whatever direction my life takes this year (2013), I am going to let go of everything that is no longer serving and supporting me and I will make room for what will, and like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly, it will be a worthwhile trip, I am sure!
“Life is like a butterfly. Soft and gentle as a sigh . . .”