Call it circumstance or fate—whichever view you take— these are moments where we find ourselves standing at The Crossroads; that place where we must choose our own path, but no matter which we choose we know one thing is certain, that shit is about to get real!
Such a moment came for me when I chose to leave a beloved company I’d worked for, for thirteen-years, along with it’s senior-level income and co workers that had become my family, to carve a path of my own without the benefit of a map or a compass!
As circumstances (or fate) would have it, my path would lead me to a number or roadblocks and detours; another leadership position would come and go along with people I cared for; an untimely death introduced me to the power of impermanence that painfully rubbed away a layer of inauthenticity; debilitating back pain humbled me, and possessions I'd accumulated became nothing more than stuff that weighed me down, and so I would choose to lighten my load.
There were failures, stumbling and falling, and multiple times I'd dust myself off, and get back up, even though I'd all but lost sight of the path.
In her book Rising Strong, Brené Brown explores the transformational potential of such failing and falling, and the badass bravery required to get up and tell our stories with vulnerability and self-honesty—the transformational pivot-point to rising strong. As Brené says, “The middle is messy, but it is also where the magic happens.”
This was the middle of my story where things got messy, and where I discovered magic.
ODE TO THE CATERPILLAR
By definition, transformation is a process by which one thing changes into a complete other thing.
I am hard-pressed to imagine a better example of transformation than the butterfly. If you are like me, you find this remarkable symbol of becoming our future self, an appealing one— I mean, who doesn't love the magnificent butterfly? Yet, consider the caterpillar. She’s the one doing the massive transformation, surrendering herself to a digesting process whereby every cell in her body get's consumed and reconfigured—bit-by-painstaking-bit— into the previously unimagined creature: the butterfly.
I don’t know about you, but I’d put money on the caterpillar feeling like a hot mess in that process!
Each stumble or outright face-plant in the arena of my life was a gentle or stiff wind that fanned the ember of longing for personal transformation which-- come what may-- is the bearing that guides my life.
Like the butterfly’s heroic journey of becoming, the part of a hero's journey we tend to like best, is the part where the remarkably brave woman (or man) saves the world. And still, it is the middle part where the heroine meets impossible adversity; get's creamed, gets up, dusts herself off, and discovers a superpower she didn’t realize she had, and so begins honing that skill and realizing her true purpose.
STAND AND BE ACCOUNTABLE
The magic in the middle was to discover my transformational purpose: human potential through regenerative living, one choice at a time.
I was born with the gift of gab, and an innate ability to inspire the human potential of another, helping them choose their path to their own life of lasting significance. Try as I may have-- and I have tried-- I can't seem to shake this gift. So I practice standing in and holding myself accountable for this ability, as I offer it to others do the same for themselves.
Just like you.
If you’re on that path of discovery I welcome the opportunity to discover how I might help you stand in and be accountable for your MTP.
Until then, may you lead into the unknown, and when you come to the messy middle (which we all do), never lose your sense of adventure, and wonder for what might be found there. This is the spark that will reignite your deep longing for personal transformation leading the change, and becoming the butterfly... your Self!