Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The Cocoon:"It is like a great exploration into the mythic underworld."
It is hard to imagine a caterpillar without also considering his special journey into his silky sarcophagus that has been a symbol of magical transformation throughout time. It is like a great exploration into the mythic underworld. The place of darkness from which one emerges with new abilities and wisdom.
Our dear Caterpillar, the one who challenges our very sense of self, has in front of him a shift in identity that is of epic proportions. Who are you, indeed!
As The Caterpillar goes deep into The Cocoon, he slips into a deeply restful state, and after a complete surrender of mind, body, and spirit, he dissolves into almost nothing. Of course, knowing that he will emerge with a beautiful set of wings and the ability to fly makes it all worthwhile, but this brave little creature doesn’t have a clue what lies ahead. He’s simply following his instincts, his pre-ordained path, and allowing the natural flow to take place. (I just recently learned that caterpillars produce antihistamines in reaction to the chemical process that takes place when they start to dissolve. So, don't feel bad if you have a bit of resistance to your dissolution. It's perfectly natural, and yet still unavoidable).
Have you ever taken the time to really check out a cocoon? What about a Monarch butterfly cocoon? To me they look like some beautiful ancient Egyptian sculpture (check out the image below). No wonder they call them Monarchs. If this is not an indication of transformational technology, I don't know what is.
Now, think about some of the challenges you’ve faced in your lifetime. If you’ve really been on your toes, then they’ve all lead you to someplace better. Deeper wisdom, more compassion, greater insight into the world and the self. In the middle of the uphill trek, we can’t see the amazing view, breathe in the fresh air and hear the silence, but once we get there, all the hard work melts away and we are immersed in the beauty we took the journey for to begin with.
You, too, are being called to undergo a transformational process. There isn’t anything that you need to do for this to happen except to let go and allow what is taking place to follow its natural flow.
Eat well, rest well, and take good care of yourself and allow The Cocoon to work its magic. Don’t fear the darkness. Use it as a time for renewal and rest.
Remember: when everything starts to dissolve (this can look like the loss of relationships, possessions, jobs, old limiting beliefs, health, and other opportunities & resources), allow yourself to see beyond the immediate fear of letting go. Instead, take a step back and entertain the idea that you are simply being asked to take a break and allow for something completely different to manifest in your life.
In the moment, it can feel like utter disaster, but from that perfect hindsight perspective, it’s well worth the disruption of the status quo.
Assuming that the death of something in your life is the end of the road is to cut yourself off from the great rewards that lie ahead on the path. If the caterpillar never allowed himself to dissolve, he’d never know the miracle of flight, and some caterpillars who resist change while in the chrysalis never make it out again.
So, take it easy. Be good to yourself and simply focus on letting go of the fear that comes up when facing the end of a cycle (no matter how old, we do get attached and it can be hard to say good-bye even to the things that no longer really serve us).
When you are complete, you’ll be a new person with new abilities.
The following meditation may help.
Meditation: Sit in a dark, quiet place. Get really comfortable and if it feels alright, wrap yourself up in some cozy blankets. You may even want to lay down. Call your query into focus. Notice the places that feel like they need to be fixed. Notice the places that you are holding on and resisting change. Notice the elements that are moving away from you that you are clinging to. With each of these, take a deep breath (imagine bringing the breath into this area of your query) and as you exhale, imagine releasing any worry or need to fix/change/cling. Just let it go completely. Imagine that everything that happens naturally is for the best, and you can let go of all sense of needing to do anything. Keep breathing in and with the exhale, letting go of all thoughts and feelings that you need to make something happen or that things need to unfold in a certain way. Just keep letting go until you are as restful as possible. Now, if you can, allow yourself to sink into as deep a state of relaxation as possible. That may mean taking a little nap, or simply slipping into that luxurious day dream state. Whatever you can do in the moment, allow. When you are complete, take some time to journal about your experience. Keep up this practice until the circumstances in your query have come to completion. Don’t rush the process. Really let it come to fruition in its own time. If you feel impatient, that is a good time to return to this meditation.