Hello Dear Ones!
Seems Mike and I have taken on quite the topic today – that of transformation. It started out with the amazing cinematography and documentary on the journey of the Monarch Butterfly from its various home locations in North America, all the way down to Mexico in the fall and where it overwinters. The butterflies that arrive back at their home locations in the late spring of each year are not the original butterflies that left in the fall – they are likely the 3rd or maybe the 4th or even 5th generation. What a remarkable tale – and a more remarkable reality! No wonder butterflies are known to be used as symbols of transformation for people world wide.
In choosing this topic I thought to bring forward a Wikipedia definition for you (and one for me to get me started) only to discover that it depends on which specific subject you wish to choose for such a definition to be available. There were too many to list here.
Fortunately, Mike and I chose (naturally, for us) spiritual transformation. That should simplify the definition, or so I thought. Not! Check out what Wikipedia has to say on that subject!
I settled for the following wee segment of what Wikipedia had to share: “In New Age spirituality, spiritual transformation is the act of transforming the deepest aspects of the human spirit via a self-induced or divine act.”
There, that one I can work with a bit more readily. Or can I? Such a huge topic … where do I start?
How about with my own spiritual transformation? Yes, I’ll start there. It took place over a period of years and the process was completed on Monday morning, March 21st, 19 … NOT! Just adding a touch of humour here … the human spiritual transformation process is an ongoing journey of a lifetime. When it ends, so does the human life. We are not blessed with turning into a butterfly to add grace and beauty to the world for a few more weeks. We are, rather, even more blessed to return to Spirit. Like a drop of rain returning to the life of the ocean, we leave our bodies behind and that which truly makes us who we are at the very core of our being returns to the Source of All That Is.
Since you are reading this, and as I am writing it – neither of us is obviously at that stage yet. So what forms of transformation am I talking about at the physical, earth bound level? Change – plain and simple – yet so very profound.
Spiritual change: the alteration of what each of us believes within the depths of our soul that over time have shifted (likely self-induced) – or with a remarkable experience or encounter in our lives (divinely influenced) have suddenly and dramatically altered our perception of reality and/or life itself.
My self-induced progressive change came about from inner urgings to read and study religions and beliefs – both ancient and modern. I took in what held significance to me – things that resonated well. I let go of anything that had me feeling less than comfortable within my core. It didn’t have to be perceived as being wrong by me. More it was just that I may not have been ready at the time to receive what that particular faith or belief was attempting to achieve. Some have referred to this aspect of my growth and increased knowledge as utilizing a level of discernment – choosing what I liked and letting go of all that didn’t resonate within me.
Over the years, I have found myself taking on different styles of religions and faiths, only to learn as much as I was ready and able to accept. I never step into anything slowly or gradually. I jump in with both feet, immersing myself in whatever I’m interested in pursuing. However, I’ve found that at some point in the journey I find a belief, a custom, a ritual that has me putting on the brakes of acceptance and coming to a complete and sudden stop. Nope – I’ll not accept that! At that point, I look for someone to assist me with understanding what I am failing to understand at that point in my study/learning. Most times there is no one who can guide me through the challenge and beyond and to a satisfactory level of comprehension.
Usually I get the “Pan too small story”: Great Granny always cuts the ends off the roast before cooking the meat for a special occasion. Her daughter does it too because it’s what her mother did. Granddaughter does the same by example. Great grand daughter questions why. The child’s mother says it’s because it is for a special occasion and so it’s ritual. Her mother is asked and says it’s because Great Granny did it, so it must be ritual. Great Granny says: “I have only a small roasting pan in my house. When you folks come for a visit I need to cut the ends off the larger roast so it will fit!”
When things are done because of habit without understanding the purpose behind the habit, then ritual becomes redundant. I have recognized and given up a lot of rituals in my life. I’m talking spiritual rituals. I still have habitual rituals such as the way I start my day, brush my teeth, stop to smell the roses… But spiritual rituals – habits that someone else created centuries before for their own, personal spiritual journey – and that a given faith has taken to hold some significant religious purpose and performed by rote today – that is a deal breaker for me.
The concepts and ideas coming forward today – what many refer to as New Age Spirituality – haven’t been around long enough to have developed that many ritualistic patterns. The blend of Quantum Physics with religion is still new in its formation. Those scientists who are delving into the depths of that potential aspect of life – where we are, all of us, so totally interconnected that there is no division between us physically nor by thought – are still discovering new insights daily. Yet there are those who have seen the possibility of the religious overtones and are already creating the foundations for inspiring the populace to their way of thinking and believing. And what works for these new prophets, if you will, may become the rituals and beliefs of generations to come if their concepts hold enough value to be lasting in the decades, and centuries, to come.
Okay, I’ve gotten off on a wee bit of a tangent of sorts. The purpose was to understand better the gradual change within me over the years. Coming back to the topic of transformation in my life – I also had many major AHA moments that altered my beliefs, my perception, my ways of thinking and behaving in a matter of seconds and with dramatic result!
Have you ever had an experience that shocked you to the core of your being? These I deem as divinely guided. I’ve had a remarkable number of them over the years. Happenings that revealed the light of what I thought to be truth, only to see my world from a totally different perspective. It is then that I begin to question the validity of what I knew. Hopefully there is enough in the magic of that moment to give a hand-hold to steady you till you get your bearings. There were times when that didn’t happen for me and I floundered. When I floundered – arms flailing out in panic, afraid that I’ll drown in my own unknowing – I would get scared. And when I get scared I am known to get angry. There are two options on the path to change when I get to that point. One is that I transform into a butterfly – converting my old beliefs, letting them turn to mush and reshaping them to what I now know to be true into something different, spiritual, beautiful, profound. Something that flies! The other option is to be more snake-like.
A snake is also known to make dramatic change. It sheds it’s old skin and replaces it with new skin, leaving the old behind. How does this differ from the butterfly? The caterpillar completely alters its structure and physical capability. The snake merely replaces an old layer with another fresher one exactly the same! There has been change without transformation. If I was lucky with my divinely guided experiences, my life would totally transform and my spirit would fly to new heights of spiritual comprehension.
Yet, looking back today on those fearful experiences, I realize that the fear and anger were as much a part of the divine intention as was the marvel of the AHA moment itself. All part of the journey to change.
I am more a butterfly today than I was 20 years ago and less of one today than I will be 20 years from now. Who I will be then compared to who I am now can not be comprehended as yet. I am open to the advancement of that journey and the blessings of that metamorphosis.
In Light and Laughter,
BTW: Please check out my story: Angel On My Finger – the true tale of one very special Monarch butterfly.
Follow this link to read Mike’s View.