Shapeshifting into your Dream: the journey to Butterfly You

If you want to go from HERE (where you are now) to THERE (where your dream is, where you embody the potential pulsating in you) then you want a transformation. You are like caterpillar dreaming of wings. The goal seems almost impossible!

“Why,” Caterpillar You asks, “if I’m working so hard and I want to live my dream more than anything, why on earth am I still HERE? Why am I not THERE?”

But here’s the hidden truth: While most of us want transformation, most of us resist change. Since transformation is change, that leaves us stuck. Why do we resist what we want?

From a shamanic perspective, this has to do with confusing our True Self with our Social Identity. Your Social Identity is your Caterpillar Self. You were taught to be “humble” and a “good, obedient girl.” As a woman you probably inherited a bundle of guilt and shame that weights your Psychic Shoulders at any time you try to fly. This learned belief says that to be good you have to be self-sacrificing, selfless. If you give yourself priority, then you are selfish. How on earth can you open your wings with that belief weighing you down?

The Chrysalis
When does caterpillar first undergo its transformation?

When it stops identifying itself as caterpillar. Caterpillar lets go of the caterpillar cells, and they turn to mush, literally. Caterpillar is no longer!

If you allow yourself to let go of who you were taught you were, you may feel that you are disappearing, and this is really scary. You start second-guessing yourself, doubting yourself. You start believing that you are making this up. Who are you to dream such BIG dreams? So you feel like mush.

But in that moment in which your Caterpillar Self is dissolving and you are apparently losing control, you are truly emerging. You are tapping into the Butterfly Egg, the potential of Butterfly You carried in your Soul.

For shamans this is a vulnerable stage that requires protection of the apprentice or client. Every stimulus, both internal and external, feeds either the mush or the Butterfly.

To feed Butterfly You! you need to own your creative genius and believe in what you imagine as your true nature.

Butterfly You
At the very core, the metamorphosis of Caterpillar You into Butterfly You is about:

  • Releasing your Social Identity and owning your radiant Essence and its unique gifts.
  • Touching the seed of perfection within you to experience that you are perfect for your purpose.
  • Aligning your emotions, thoughts and actions with your true nature, your Butterfly Self.

And that’s easier said than done. Here’s why:

Once caterpillar has turned to mush, new cells begin to emerge. They are called Imaginal Cells and no one knows how they come into being. They are not the caterpillar’s cells. They are not the mush cells. They are a completely different vibration.

This is the stage where your creativity plays a leading role. They don’t call these new cells Imaginal for nothing!

From a shamanic viewpoint, Imaginal Cells come from the imagination of the being that ~no longer identifying itself as caterpillar~ calls forth its identity as butterfly. They come from that potential in the Butterfly egg that now bursts into blossom.

Here’s the challenge.

Imaginal Cells are so completely different from the original caterpillar or ooze cells that they are perceived as a virus by the ooze cells, which attack them.

Your old beliefs, habits and ways of perceiving will rear up and will attack your dreams, invalidate your talents, criticize your creations and paint awful pictures, all designed to destroy those precious new Butterfly Self vibrations, akin to the Imaginal Cells. Many women give up at this point, defeated by their Inner Enemies.

The emerging butterfly, however, will not give up. Even though the Imaginal Cells are being killed off, nothing stops the butterfly dream in the chrysalis, and more Imaginal Cells grow until they are a cluster, then entire strings, and finally a community of differentiated cells that become butterfly.

To persist in your metamorphosis and find inspiration and support to grow your Butterfly Self, visit the Butterfly You! digital magazine.

Shapeshifting into your new reality is about consistently affirming the Butterfly You and releasing the Caterpillar You. It is about using your creativity to paint a new world; the world of butterfly. It is about changing your story from one of crawling and struggling to one of flying and creating.

When Butterfly You finally spreads its wings, the act of co-creation is complete. You have tapped into the potential that Life Mother granted you at birth. Seizing it, you have created your dream in your life. You have become your Dream. You have unclipped your wings and now you fly in your radiant true colors.

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Comment by Maria Mar on September 4, 2013 at 1:56pm

Hi, Sherry,

I loooove your butterfly wings! Thanks for your kind words. That's absolutely right, there are may sources of inspiration and support, and we need them all. When you give yourself a break today, fly over to the Butterfly You!magazine for some inspiration.

Comment by Sherry Buikema on September 4, 2013 at 9:23am

Hi Maria,

Thoroughly enjoyed your article!

Amazing how we go to mush and begin again through imagination, while our original beliefs and programs attack or resist this change.

So as you said:  "persist in your metamorphosis and find inspiration and support to grow your Butterfly Self"

It is exciting that so many communities of emerging butterflies are springing up all around the globe!

Thank you for this marvelous expression of our journey.  :)

Comment by Maria Mar on September 3, 2013 at 9:57pm

Hi, beloved Om Times readers, I'd like to know: what are the habits or beliefs of your Caterpillar Self and what nurtures your Butterfly Self? Let's explore this together and create a flight of Butterfly Selves! I'll be answering all comments and questions.

OM Times Magazine is a Holistic Green eZine with a Spiritual Self-growth Perspective for the Conscious Community.



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