Winter, Chrysalis and Tapping Into Infinite Potential
Updated: Aug 11
My metamorphosis by Anna Ryan
Today is the last day of winter. To be totally honest, I am not a big fan of winter. I can enjoy and appreciate the charm it has on offer, like trips to Queensland outback and sitting by a massive fire under a night sky untouched by city lights. But let's be honest, it is not that charming every day! As someone who loves the heat of the Queensland summer, literally in the form of the hot temperatures as well as the vibrant and ecstatic energy summer provides, residing in the inert nature of winter for the whole three months can be a bit challenging. Hence, I often found myself fleeting for a few weeks to enjoy European summer during the Australian winter months. That was the plan this year too until coronavirus made it impossible by making the Australian borders closed. And with all the other restrictions imposed during the pandemic, oftentimes there was nowhere else to escape to, but to go in, inside of myself... Which in fact, I think was the exact purpose of the whole thing - to stop and have a look at ourselves and our lives, and eventually face what we have been more or less consciously avoiding. To see the dark and uncomfortable components that ask for attention, as they often hold a key to our liberation (but require time and courage to attend to), but also the beauty and abundance, that in the hectic pace of modern life and all its perceived demands and drive for more, more frequently than not, comes unnoticed.
So the winter sucked me in…
With nowhere to run away, I have found myself being ushered into my chrysalis to undergo a radical transformation.
I heard about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly and how it can be related to our lives from Saul David Raye as a part of “Metamorphosis Dialogues. Mystic Stories to Inspire Growth & Renewal” offered by Hanuman Academy and Dayna Seraye sometime this year and it struck a deep resonance. When the caterpillar is ready to become a butterfly, it goes into a chrysalis, a protective shell that will enable the transformation to occur. The process itself is quite magical and fascinating. The old caterpillar cells slowly dissolve and turn themselves into imaginal cells. Imaginal cells are undifferentiated cells, which means that they can become any type of cell... they hold the potential to become anything! How freaking magical is this?!! By allowing the old form to melt away completely, a new form is being born that holds potential limited only by imagination of the consciousness! And as a result we can witness the most spectacular creatures becoming alive🦋
So as I have been sitting in my chrysalis I have experienced my old self being dissolved with the outdated and irrelevant stories, conditioning and limiting beliefs making themselves known in order to be acknowledged before they could be transformed. It has not been a very comfortable and pretty process... but as the saying goes: “we cannot heal what we cannot feel”. So in order to fully release what has no longer been serving me, first I needed to have the courage to face it… to sit and get familiar with my shadows. See them, feel them... A shadow is a disowned part of ourselves. It does not need to be a bad thing. But it is something we consciously or unconsciously hid away to keep ourselves safe. Sometimes we actually needed to hide our talents or potential, as it was shining too bright making us too vulnerable and prone to be hurt. So we learn to dim it to survive. But as we mature and evolve, and find a new sense of safety, we become ready to look at those shadows too.
The journey can be confusing at times too.
Before the butterfly emerges, it is a cluster of cells that are no longer the caterpillar, but a mass of undefined potential... a mass of nothingness one might say…
At times I found myself very challenged and scared to sit in this nothingness. The place in between. The place where the metamorphosis becomes real, tangible. The place, where the old no longer exists, though the memories still linger and evoke an urge to fight back. And the place of the undefined vastness of opportunity that as much as exciting, it also triggers fear of the unknown. It takes a lot of trust to become a beautiful butterfly. I wonder if a caterpillar / butterfly has the consciousness to ponder on the courage this metamorphosis requires... The courage to be totally dissolved in order to become something new. And not only new, but so much more spectacular! Regardless of it being aware of the transformation or not, the story of what happens in the chrysalis has served as a very inspiring one, cheering me on my own journey during this winter.
So I have kept plucking up my courage and exercising my patience to go through the metamorphosis. As the winter is coming to an end, I am full of hope and anticipation to see myself emerge transformed.
Mediation to Tap Into Opportunities
One of the practices that has been my companion, as I journeyed through the winter, was a Kundalini Yoga meditation for tapping into opportunities. What I found interesting about this meditation is that it uses the word “Hariang”. The word “Hariang” translates as “destroyer” and in Shakta Kaur words “in practice what it does is destroy those blocks in our psyches that keep us out of rhythms with the flow of the Universe”.
How I also came to think and experience this mantra is somewhat aligned with the metamorphosis that happens in the chrysalis; the sound vibration of the mantra “Hariang” helps us to tap into our own infinite potential by removing all that is not part of it.
By chanting this mantra we step into a full of trust space of surrendering of all that, that is not part of our story going forward. A wonderful example of “aparigraha”, sanskrit for non-attachment. Aparigraha is a practice where we become free of attachment to people, things and experience. We trust that our life is being guided by a divine force and it is meant to be a good, beautiful and meaningful one. In that trust we release control of the details and accept that if we want to evolve in accordance with our higher purpose, change will be unavoidable and it also may take a form of letting go of something or someone we thought would be part of our evolved version of life.
During the meditation I have gone through a very physically cathartic period that went for about a fortnight. During that time, as soon as I sat down ready to start my meditation, I would have been swept by a deep sadness and could not help myself but cry. I quickly came to realise that the tears I cried were helping me to process various griefs that I found myself consciously or unconsciously putting away. A grief for my Grandma passing away on the other side of the globe with all the complex family dynamics it triggered as well as a grief over an important relationship taking a different course than expected, to name a few. It was a very vulnerable and challenging time, but was vital for my own transformation. And it also highlighted the significance of grief. When things change, we need to take time to mourn the loss. Even though the new might be better, to be able to fully embrace it, we need to give ourselves the time to integrate or farewell the old, acknowledging the role it played in our life story. There would be no butterfly without the caterpillar.