My good friend, Tracy Russell — a transformational coach and facilitator, has a wealth of wisdom to share with you.
She is the founder of ‘The Wild Hearted Revolution’ and creatix of ‘The Emergent Imaginal Model’ which provides the context for her coaching and leadership programs for youth and adults.
I’ve asked her to do a 4 part blog series — which will begin today and carry on for the month of February — to highlight the key aspects of her insightful and revolutionary module.
So, come journey with us as we unravel how to become the butterfly and awaken to a greater you — to soar on those newfound wings of freedom that you will have at the end of this series!
“It’s the caterpillar’s job to resist the butterfly and the butterfly’s job to become stronger because of the opposition to its advance.”
Let the interview commence:
Cherie: I see you have used the cycle of the butterfly as an allegory for your work — what’s the inspiration behind this?
Tracy: Butterflies have long-held a fascination for most people. They represent t joy, freedom, creativity and change. Most importantly their seemingly magical metamorphosis symbolizes a necessary transformation and soul evolution for us as individuals and as a collective.
The complete metamorphic cycle (which 88% of all Insects, and most amphibians undergo) has often been used as a metaphor for change. Change that we as humans tend to resist, yet if we learn to embrace it, rather than fight it, we get to discover what the caterpillar discovered… her true self and infinite potential which was always there waiting to be uncovered.
Cherie: That is a very powerful interpretation. You mentioned to me that you’ve uncovered more in-depth and incredibly synchronous information about the cycle of the Monarch Butterfly and how it so beautifully relates to our own personal growth and enlightenment — can you elaborate on that for us?
Tracy: Sure, I’ll illustrate this through the cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. The egg is usually laid on the Milkweed plant, which remains the larva’s staple diet during her juvenile years. She goes through her life consuming the same bitter food in her familiar environment… it’s predictable, it’s comfortable. Her sight is limited, and she can only in see black and white. She blends into her environment, plays it safe and goes about her job of consumption and survival.
Interestingly the word larva comes from the latin word larva, meaning ghost or mask. Whilst trying to fit in and wear various masks that are socially acceptable the caterpillar creates more layers of disconnection from her innate truth. She goes through 5 layers of molting and grows up to 30 000 times her size in just two weeks.
Yet within this oblivious caterpillar are what are scientifically called Imaginal discs. These cells contain the entire blueprint of the butterfly, the full potential of this juvenile.
Tired of her life on the milkweed she feels a deep yearning for more meaning growing inside, her imaginal discs are awakening. Her old life just no longer fits and she knows it’s time to go within and find her gold. Interestingly the word Chrysalis comes from the Latin word Khrysos meaning Gold.
She spins some silk and attaches herself to the underside of a leaf hanging upside down in a letter J and prepares for the 6th and final shedding.
Yet letting go of that last layer isn’t easy, it involves trust and commitment to stay connected to the leaf and the process. In order to become who she really is, she needs to let go who she thought she was.
As these imaginal discs start activating, the old cells of the instar see these new ‘higher frequency’ cells as a threat and start attacking them, basically eating itself from the inside out as the discs form larger and larger clusters and take over.
This stage is met with fears and doubts as you enter the unknown. The old you wants to remain small, irresponsible and keep hiding behind the mask.
Being who you truly are, showing up fully and vulnerably, honouring your values, your unique gifts and strengths and living from the power of your heart requires courage and persistence. It means putting your quest for truth above all else and blazing your own trail.
After two weeks in the Chrysalis, the butterfly has found the treasure of who she is, reclaimed her power and now has to break through the final barriers of resistance to share the gift of who she is with the world.
Cherie: That is truly amazing and a perfect metaphor for us! Can you elaborate succinctly the caterpillar’s journey to become the butterfly so we can see it more clearly?
Tracy: She’s gone from survival to thrival, sipping on the sweet nectar of life. Her vision was black and white and now encompasses a full spectrum of light, including ultraviolet. She’s lighter, more radiant, fearless and free.
Cherie: How do we know if becoming the butterfly is what we truly want? What are the signs to look for that we are having a personal awakening or urge to break free of our cocoons?
Tracy: You may be feeling a restlessness within, a desire for more meaning and fulfillment. You may be asking ‘Is this really it?’, ‘What is my purpose?’, ‘Why am I here?’ You’ll feel a yearning for something greater, yet not necessarily sure what that even is or how to make it your reality.
Simply put, your purpose is to set your inner butterfly free. To be who you really are beyond the layers of domestication and conditioning and share your uniqueness with the world. You don’t have to know what that is or how that will come about. You just have to commit to the journey, trust the unfolding and be in action of your dreams. Living into your potential involves going beyond the known (I’ll be explaining in a later blog how to create in the unknown).
Metaphorically your imaginal discs are activating and you’ll feel that inner battle going on between your heart’s desire and your old conditioning (not to mention the demands of the outside world.) You’ll feel the surge of fears and doubts and in each moment you get to ask yourself “What am I giving my power to? My doubts or my truth?” (Either way you’ll be right!)
Cherie: How do we discern the difference between our doubts and our truth?
Tracy: Yes that’s always the tricky part. What I’ve learned is the truth isn’t something that’s necessarily rational. It’s a feeling, a knowing, an intuition, a tingle in your body, like you’re remembering something that feels like home – It’s expansive and liberating. Your fears and doubts are contractive and pinch you off from your joy. They’re there to show you what needs to be transmuted and let go of in order to live more fully into your truth.
Cherie: How do you think the butterfly cycle relates to where we are right now in this auspicious epoch of time?
Tracy: The time has come on our planet where the imaginal discs are activating, within ourselves and within our planet. Those who awaken to their butterflies within become the imaginal discs of our planet.
The more and more we start clumping together, the more we threaten the old caterpillar way of survival, consumption, competition and destruction and assist humanity and our planet in birthing a new world of compassion, beauty, freedom and abundance. I call this the rEVOLUTION and it starts with each one of us taking our power back from our own inner dictator.
Cherie: Wow! Now that is something I think we can all relate to. Most of us feel a change is afoot (in fact a necessity) and the key is to know that each one of us can make a difference and it’s our responsibility to create the change we seek.
Thank you, Tracy, for this illuminating interview.
In the follow-up blogs (next one is out in a week — so stay tuned!), Tracy will be expanding on her model and taking this evolutionary process deeper to explore the integration of:
- Our super- and subconscious / light and shadow
- Our masculine and feminine principles,
- And how to live into our most authentic and powerful lives.
Exciting stuff, you don’t want to miss out on, I can assure you!
UPDATE: You can read the second blog here: Do You Know the Difference Between Your Superconscious and Subconscious Mind?
More about Tracy:
Tracy Russell is transformational coach, facilitator, writer and speaker guiding adults and young adults to their hearts, inner nature, authentic power and potential so that they may share their unique expression with the
world and be the rEVOLUTION that’s needed. She’s a truth-detective, edge-walker, nature-lover, fear-slayer, heart-activist and Wild Hearted Woman in training. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa where you’ll find her either up a rock face, somewhere in nature, dancing or hanging out with her beloved, spirited daughter… when she’s not doing the work she loves of course.
Visit her Site HERE (site still under construction but you can contact her via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
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