Kate walked in with a heavy heart, she had been coming to see me for a while and hadn't made the breakthrough she was hoping for.
We talked more about her heavy heart, and she identified her feeling as “torn.”
Torn between her past – the old Kate - she wasn’t ready to let go of.
But she also dreamt of feeling free – the new Kate – that was calling to her but who she wasn’t sure she was ready to be.
This goes to the heart of the human condition – we want things to change but we want them to stay the same!
In order to move on from fear we need to heal what's underneath - pain and loss.
We want to live bold and free but we don't want to have to feel the pain that's stopping us owning our freedom.
So we're stuck, torn between freedom and fear - the freedom of being free and the fear of feeling pain.
Getting unstuck means we need to feel that pain underneath the fear.
You've heard that you need to “feel to heal?” - we need to feel our old pain to heal it.
Kate said she was ready to let go of her ex and begin her new life.
She still had a good relationship with him and he was a great Dad to their two kids, but it felt overwhelming to her at times having to cope with everything life threw at her.
She hated making decisions at the best of times and after she moved on she knew she would need to make big decisions all on her own without the support of her best friend.
Kate knew she couldn't move on without letting go.
And letting go means she was going to have to begin dealing with the emotional fallout from the loss of her relationship.
When helping clients move on, one useful analogy I use is that of the caterpillar.
You’ve heard the story: the caterpillar crawls around on the leaves and the butterfly lands beside her and says, “I was a caterpillar once.”
The caterpillar, replies, “no, you never were!”
The butterfly teases the caterpillar by shouting, “and you will be a butterfly too!” before flitting off.
The story goes on, the caterpillar becomes a butterfly and lives happily ever after.
But this time I'm going to focus on the stage that everyone overlooks.
When the caterpillar is not a butterfly and a butterfly is not a caterpillar, it's a chrysalis, and a chrysalis is … just mushy green goo!
So if you're a caterpillar stuck on the ground munching away on some tasty green leaves and you long to be free to flit and fly through the sky as a beautiful butterfly you will need to become … mushy green goo!
This is a scary stage because nothing is coming together.
You have no backbone, no spine, you don't know what you want, or what you stand for.
You're stuck inside your chrysalis shell, so you can't see a way out or a way forward.
And you're hanging around feeling like you're wasting space and wasting time because it feels like nothing is happening.
But this time of groundlessness - of going nowhere and feeling like nothing, is an absolutely essential stage before you fly away with butterfly wings to your new life.
Because a caterpillar does not become a butterfly.
A mushy green goo chrysalis becomes a butterfly.
And while you're stuck in the green goo stage, things are coming together, there is a plan, there is a way out.
If you trust the process and hang around for a while you will fulfil your dream of becoming a beautiful butterfly.
Then you'll no longer be crawling around the ground, you'll be warming your wings in the Sun before flitting and flying through the air!
If you'd like some “Butterfly inspiration” here's an inspiring life coach tool!
wishing you the best of days,
Harley M Storey
"The Life Coach Toolman!"