The butterfly and your personal transformation
I’ve always hated it when a designer has suggested that I use a butterfly in my branding. They always said, but this is for personal transformation. I was not convinced. However in recent times, I have found myself enjoying all of the butterflies that I see on my walks. They are quite magical, even the ones that appear to be clad in plain white. Some days there is quite a butterfly gathering as I wander around with the sniffing and exploring pooches. It is as if as I am going through my personal transformation, I finally get why they are so special. Now I want to see them, not only because they are so beautiful and graceful, but because they remind me of my personal transformation and that I am learning to fly.
Personal transformation and the path of the butterfly
Imagine that your life follows the path of a butterfly. There are four stages to the butterfly’s path – egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly. What I love about the butterfly is that she doesn’t start life as a beautiful creature. She begins as an egg and goes through several more transformational stages until she is ready to fly and be.
- The egg is the birth stage where it is released from its mothers’ womb onto the perfect birthing environment. You are born into the right place at the right time.
- The caterpillar stage is the feeding and growth stage. As it grows, it sheds its skin four or more times so as to enclose its rapidly growing body. You are learning how to be you, as you gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience.
- The chrysalis stage is the transformation stage. You are stopped or called to slow down so that you can transform into who you are meant to be and fulfil your purpose.
- The butterfly emerges ready to fly. She unfolds her wings, takes a deep breath and takes flight. At which point you are living your purpose and laying other eggs. I.e supporting others to become who they are meant to be through the divine wisdom that you have gained. This is your most powerful and fulfilling personal transformation yet.
Incredibly eggs are laid in the perfect environment. In life, we know that for each of us to thrive we need to be nourished and not all eggs thrive in their birth environments. Regardless of the life that we have pre-contracted to, your egg is laid in the right place. Think about the family you were born into. They may not be perfect but they are your family. Despite all that I have been through I am blessed to have the family that I do. As I navigated my life they supported me and still do.
The caterpillar emerges into the light and keeps moving further towards discovering its light and so starts your life journey. The caterpillar for me is about a life cycle akin to the unconscious competence model.
The unconscious competence model
The learning model unconscious competence explains what stages we go through to acquire our knowledge.
- Unconscious Incompetence – You don’t know what you don’t know, be kind to yourself.
- Conscious Incompetence – You know you don’t know. Give yourself plenty of space, time and encouragement. It will get better.
- Conscious Competence – You can now do but it still needs practice. Stay focused and keep practicing.
- Unconscious Competence – You do things unconsciously. Well done. Remember how tough it was to get here, stay on track and try not to get complacent.
One way to understand how this works is this.
Stop and think about how you might make a cup of tea. Now write all of the steps down and then teach someone else what you do. Easy? I bet you missed some bits out. What about something you are an expert at? When you describe what to do, are they more gaps for the bits that you just do? How easy was it for someone else to learn what you just know?
This model shows us the stages that we go through when acquiring new skills and knowledge. It’s a great model for demonstrating to us how we become unconsciously competent and serves as a useful reminder of the stages we go through when acquiring new knowledge.
This model is also known as the Learning Stages model was developed by former Gordon Training International employee, Noel Burch in the 1970’s.
Four stages of the caterpillar and life
Mind, body, soul and spiritual development occurs at the caterpillar stage. Lots of life lessons and people come in and out and we go through tremendous personal growth. This is when we accumulate lots of knowledge, skills, and experience. Which later we might wonder why did we do that job or take this course. It will all become clear later on.
- Unconscious Incompetence – You don’t know what you don’t know. This the early stage of your life.
- Conscious Incompetence – You know you don’t know and you are learning more and more. Growing up, going to school, university and early career.
- Conscious Competence – You know what you know but it’s not what you want to do forever. Often at this stage, you will be yearning to change direction and be starting to consider other options.
- Unconscious Competence – You can do what you are doing with your eyes closed, but there is something missing and you want to explore. At this stage, you will have gathered immense knowledge, skills and experience, be unclear how you can use it all, but you know that there is another way to utilise it.
When the caterpillar reaches this stage the light fades and it spins a cocoon ready to be born into its true light bringing with it everything it has learnt from being an egg and a caterpillar.
Typically at this stage when the caterpillar is fully formed, she is stopped in her tracks and retreats into her chrysalis. This is the death of our old self. While here our caterpillar gets in touch with who she is and goes through another life changing transformation process. This is when we develop a deeper connection to our spiritual self and the cosmos. We know we are part of everything.
The butterfly emerges into the light and the beautiful colours as the chakras light up, as they do her wings unfold like angel wings. This is the time when you learn to fly, take off in the right direction and follow your eternal light.
At this stage, the butterfly clothed in wonderous colours attracts the right people and environments. She knows that each step on her path might not be fully illuminated, however, she trusts that all is well and takes each step with growing confidence.
Often we ask, ‘why does it take so long to learn our lessons?’ or ‘why did it take me so long to get to this point?’ Remember that we choose to come to Earth to learn to be human, and therefore what would the point be in knowing everything right at the start?