When a caterpillar is born, it contains all the necessary innate wisdom to one day, when the conditions are right, transform itself into a butterfly. Up until then, it just does it’s caterpillar thing, crawling and eating… crawling and eating… crawling and eating….with, I like to imagine, an occasional glance up; curiosity piqued by a mysterious winged creature flying above her.
And then one day, based on a subtle prompting of nature, the caterpillar begins to self-destruct, literally turning it’s body inside out, digesting and regurgitating its own innards creating a protective container that holds it’s now liquified self.
During this period, called chrysalis, the caterpillar soup slowly begins to take a new shape. It’s a time of uncertainty, shapelessness and potentiality, all fragilely contained within a self-created shell.
This current coronavirus crisis is our own sort of collective chrysalis; a time of uncertainty, shapelessness and potentiality.
Like the caterpillar, most of the systems that were crawling along have stopped, plans that were being arranged have been put on hold and the overall shape of life for each of us individually and collectively has been turned inside out.
And now, life as we knew it, for the entire world, is on hold, with no clear path of what might be next. Many of us are actually, quite literally, cocooned inside our homes. Others are scrambling to find what’s necessary in order to safely cocoon. Still others are creating new makeshift cocoons every day to keep life intact for themselves and their loved ones.
We don’t know how long this time of pause will be. As much as our mind desperately wants details, the only real certainty we can give ourselves is what we know in this moment, contained in the sensations in our body and the movement of our breath… right… now.
Once we’ve taken a breath and gotten into our bodies – then our minds can more resourcefully stretch beyond the details floating through the newsfeed and start hooking into a bigger guiding story and vision of what could be.
The caterpillar that was our collective reality before this is no longer. Like all pinnacle moments in history, there’s no “going back” to normal. But, at some point there will be a going forward into something new. An emergence from this current cocoon.
The possible futures ahead of us are infinite. The shapes and colors the wings that will emerge from this cocoon are yet to be defined. It takes massive change to make massive change; the available energy from all that is crumbling is undeniable, and it there for us to create something new.
What will breakthrough from this crisis/chrysalis has everything to do with which parts of ourselves, individually and collectively, we invite to take shape in our consciousness. It is a chance for realignment to begin in a significant way and the more we can envision what’s possible and start taking those shapes – from the view inside our cocoon – the more effortlessly that future can unfold.
But for now… don’t feel like you must make anything take shape. This liminal space gives us permission to release the effort of maintaining what was as well as the struggle of figuring out what will be. Right now, as much as you are able, practice simply being with each unformed moment… doing what you must to feel safe… feeling all your feelings… connecting to what and who brings you hope and joy… and dreaming up the colors of your wings once you emerge.