The phenomenon of the caterpillar constructing a chrysalis and secretly transforming itself into a butterfly is a powerful and wonderful metaphor that inspires most of us.
- What a beautiful illustration of the idea that nothing is destroyed or created but simply changes form!
- What a beautiful symbol of transformation.
- What a stunningly elegant demonstration of the fact that some degree of struggle (the squeezing out of the cocoon) is necessary to develop strength (without being squeezed, the butterfly would be too moist and heavy to fly).
But have you ever wondered about that process inside the cocoon? What is actually going on in there? And what parallels can we draw from that process to our own lives?
A friend of mine reckons that water is only good for washing dishes. His beverage of choice is champagne, and his life philosophy is that he’s 'here for a good time, not a long time'.
It sounds good and it’s very amusing but I suspect that when his body starts to fall apart he might have second thoughts. On the other hand, his great attitude to life is such that I’m sure it’s providing him with some pretty decent immunity. At sixty-odd, he’s fitter than many a younger man. I’m going to be interested to see which wins out, physical laws or the laws of the mind!
You’ve probably heard the proverb, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’.
It’s a good one. It makes sense at an everyday human level, but if we delve a little more deeply, it’s actually telling us how the universe works. You know that guidebook everyone says we didn’t come to earth with? Well, that proverb is your guidebook.
How do you feel when somebody makes that comment? Do you squirm or smile? Do you feel as if you’ve been criticised or as if you’ve received a compliment?
For the moment let’s not get distracted by the ‘facts’ regarding how upstanding and admirable or how despicable and revolting your parents actually are; instead, pay attention to your response to being tagged with the same brush.
I was never called to summon things with a flick of my wand or straddle a broomstick and take off for the dark side of the moon, but I was certainly interested in magic. Real magic. The kind of magic that transforms ordinary lives as they are lived here on earth.
Then it becomes important to us to win our footy match (score goals!) or the art competition, pass our exams, or take that girl out to the school dance… As adults we want to land the job of our dreams, travel to South America or buy that particular car; we want a life partner, a house, financial abundance…
Try my ‘Two-Handed Meditation’ to help you Deal With Festive Season Madness
You might instinctively react to the statement that ‘being negative is good for your health’ with a ‘No way! Being negative causes depression and other destructive states of mind, whereas being positive is a creative, optimistic state that is productive and encouraging and hopeful!’ – but if you are familiar with earthing and ions you’ll know that ‘it ain’t necessarily so…’
We have come through that ‘New Year Resolutions’ time where we innocently (naïvely?) set goals that we fully intend to achieve, tentatively set goals that we hope we’ll achieve or, with a mocking laugh, avoid the whole thing altogether.
Having written a personal-development-styled novel for youth, I have suddenly found myself in the strange, and often uncomfortable, position of being an ‘expert’ on goal-achievement; a bizarre turn of events, given my own journey where goals are concerned. Recently, in the process of teaching goal-setting to others, I was struck by the actual spelling of the word ‘goal’ and its association with the word ‘gaol’. After all, the word ‘goal’ and the word ‘gaol’ are not that far apart. Flip a couple of letters and your innocent dream has landed you in the clink.
I was sitting in a business breakfast yesterday morning listening to the famous Beechworth Baker, Tom O’Toole (who is both very inspiring and very entertaining), when he asked the audience the following question: ‘What is success for you?’ and suddenly I realised that, where business was concerned, I had been defining success as something that was still to come.
Immediately I decided to change that definition so that success no longer has to do with book sales (in the future) or number of Mastery Club programs being run (in the future) or number of Facilitators teaching programs (in the future) or number of my writings published (in the future).
Last week I blogged about the myths of ‘Talent’, ‘Mastery’, ‘Gurus’ and ‘Ideal Partners’ so I figured it would only be fair to blog about the realities this week. Here’s my take…
Writing powerfully is no mystery. There are simple strategies for overcoming writer’s block that all tackle the core issue: an over-zealous internal editor, often masquerading as a critic. When we trust and accept what we’re writing, our writing flows. That might seem to be an over-simplification, but it’s absolutely true. The proof is in the pudding of application. If you dedicate yourself to practising trust and kindness, your words will flow.
I’m in a myth-busting mood, so here are my thoughts about a few of them…
The ‘Talent’ Myth
We tend to think that some people are naturally more talented than others, but (as I teach in my Writing Mastery course) talent is a very misunderstood word!
Have you ever put other people on a pedestal, discounting your own intuition and following their advice rather than your own feelings?
Have you ever assumed that others know more than you about your own business, family, health, life? It’s easily done, isn’t it? Especially when they come with white coats and clipboards and awards and letters after their names and big numbers in their bank accounts.
- Extract the gold from your pesky inner voices!
You’ve probably had the ‘should’ thought plenty of times – 'I should be more positive/ call my mum/ eat more vegies/ be more patient/ get more exercise/ be nicer to so-and-so', etc. If you’ve been playing in the personal development arena, you know that ‘should’ is a dirty word. You might even have been told, ‘Don’t should on yourself’. Great advice.