With the onset of fall in Wisconsin, we are able to witness and enjoy the change of the seasons in the trees. Green leaves are beginning to turn yellow, orange or red. The fall colors are absolutely gorgeous to witness each year, and we’ll be at our peak color in the next couple weeks. And it got me thinking just how beautiful change actually is.
In my Marta Beck Institute life coach training program we learned about the change process using the example of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. Much like the four seasons, for the caterpillar to become a butterfly it must endure through four stages – meltdown, reformation, emerging and full flight.
The caterpillar doesn’t get to choose to go through this change it just begins to happen. Some physiological switch is flipped that tells the caterpillar it’s time to get ready for its next big move of building a chrysalis for protection for the next phase. Once the chrysalis is built the caterpillar is safe to complete its break down – to that of mush – and begin to reform and grow into a butterfly. When the butterfly is complete it must work hard again to break free from the safe haven of the chrysalis. After its wings dry and the butterfly has flapped its wings and is ready, it finally takes flight. The beautiful butterfly is free to flutter around and enjoy its life doing whatever it is butterfly’s love to do.
But I wonder why it is we can accept, appreciate and even long for the change of seasons and in nature, yet we tend to feel so against change in certain areas of our life. Obviously when change is thrust upon us it can feel scary, frustrating, and painful. It can also be a great opportunity to transform like the butterfly and the seasons. The butterfly only gets one transformation in its life. But humans can have as many chances as we desire.
So whatever the change that’s been dealt to you or you’re considering, going through your own change of seasons ormetamorphosis is how you get to the other side.
Here are the 4 Phases of Change:
1) The first step is to accept that this is happening for you verses fighting it.
2) Next, allow yourself to break down and turn into mush – feel free to grieve, to feel uncertain, to not have control.
3) Then it’s time to get busy and work at transforming yourself – get curious about learning new things, imagine what you’d like your life to look like and start planning how you might get there.
4) Once you’ve transformed and busted your way out and emerged, you get to take flight and test your new wings to see how they work.
The perk about being human verses a butterfly is we can make adjustments to our plan even after we’ve taken flight.
Embracing and surrendering to the change process and allowing yourself to transform and become a new, better version of yourself, is where the true beauty lies. Change is beautiful.