Would you like joy and abundance right now?
There is a street in my neighborhood that is lined with gigantic eucalyptus trees and this is my favorite time of year on that street. Right now the monarch butterflies are as thick as pea soup, hanging out in the eucalyptus grove. You can barely walk down the road without out bumping into one or two as they flitter through the air. I love the monarchs because for me they serve as a reminder of the power of trust. Not trust in another, but trust in my inner knowing and myself. Trust in my unique journey. And trust in the ease that exists when I fall in love with what is instead of trying to control and manipulate what my mind thinks should be.
How do I get all of this from a simple butterfly?
It begins with the caterpillar. The caterpillar, much like each of us, is going along minding his own beeswax (as my dad would say) when suddenly he is overcome with the urge to stop and rest. This urge is not just for a little pause, but for a deep rest. He literally cannot go on. As he sinks into this deep rest, his entire body all the way down to his cell structure begins to dissolve. Luckily nature has provided him with a hard outer casing sheltered under a leafy cover. So as he surrenders to the dissolving process, he is safe.
I envy the caterpillar since I imagine that in his thinking mind - his brain - he does not question what is. He just moves with it. There certainly have been, and continue to be, times in my life when going into a deep, deep rest and letting go of what I think should be, would have saved me much stress, anger, resentment and a great deal of effort.
When I heard spiritual teacher Jeff Foster speak a few years ago, his journey enlightened me. He encouraged us to say the words “depress” and “deep rest” aloud and listen for the similarity. And at times to accept that when our body signals symptomology that can be felt as depression, perhaps it is calling for deep rest. Valuable information may be waiting for us if we allow ourselves to experience some deep rest.
Author and coach Martha Beck calls this phase, human soup. Just as the caterpillar dissolves into a soup during a time of great change, she recommends that we do the same. Allow for a period of protected rest and trust that the knowledge of what the future will be rests deep inside the soup. Through the rest the blueprint for the future can emerge and soon enough we will sprout wings and fly. It is our fate.
Anyone who has heard me speak has heard me say that in some ways we’ve been sold a giant bill of goods. A bill of goods that can create shame or feed our “not enough” feelings. It is the myth that if we “do” enough of the right things – if we meditate well enough, if we eat enough super foods, if we journal enough, if we say enough positive affirmations, if we pray enough, if we make the perfect vision board, etc., etc. – then we will have a life of joy and abundance.
My life experience tells me that joy and abundance is not the achievement of perfected bliss day in and day out. Instead joy and abundance is the awareness that when the disappointments, confusion, hard choices, and grief-filled moments of life appear, I can come back to center. I can remember the wisdom of the caterpillar. And instead of trying to fix it, change it, avoid it or fight it, I sink in. I allow myself to be and to take a deep rest. And trust that the way will again become clear.
I was again reminded of this last week when I was working with horses and emerging leaders in an Equus Coaching session. Horses naturally live in the present moment. It was a beautiful sunny day and the round pens were filled with soft, warm sand after having been muddy for weeks. The horses were fully present with the participants, but the instant there was a break in the action, every one of them immediately took the opportunity for a luxurious stretch and roll in the sand. The horses didn’t fill the time with doing or trying. They simply fell in love with what was – warm, sandy soil – and immersed themselves in it.
I know that the caterpillar cannot imagine what is next for them. Just as when I reflect back on my life, I could not have imagined myself where I am today. But I learned to trust and be open to what is. I learned to accept that joy and abundance is not something to achieve or work for, it is right here in this moment. In the warm, sandy soil and in the unanticipated sprouting of wings.
Would you like to experience joy and abundance now? Exactly where you are? If yes, then take a look at where in your life can you let go, sink in and even in the toughest moments trust that all will be as it is meant to be. Just like the caterpillar, you just may experience a far more magnificent outcome than you could possibly imagine.