What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
the rest of the world calls butterfly.
-- Richard Bach
A friend gave my son two caterpillars in a cup with a few juicy, green leaves. We had lofty goals to observe the metamorphosis because our favorite books these days are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Ten Wriggly Wiggly Caterpillars. Alas, my son insisted on hugging them with his fingers and while we encouraged him to be gentle, he's two and the caterpillars had no chance.
But let's pretend they did.
Let's also call to mind the beautiful orange and black wings of the monarchs just outside your window.
And while we're at it, let's get on a yoga mat.
No teacher can push you into a cocoon. Nor can he sprout wings for you. A teacher cannot make you fly. However, when you let it, a yoga practice can help you transcend your human shackles. It will awaken a deeper sense of purpose and a more accurate understanding of who you are. At the core.
So, I ask: Who are you?
Skip the social pleasantries. I don't want doctor, mother, chef, or dog trainer. Shake your foundation a bit and get to the real essence of you.
I hope one day we all say: Love, Joy, Infinite Power, Wisdom.
What if the caterpillar phase is the same as walking around as a Homo sapien?
What if caterpillar and human belong in the same sentence because we are both waiting for the right time to form the chyrsalis? To hibernate and meditate and process until the moment arrives when we can each expand our wings and take off?
We all have this innate knowing within. Accessing it requires discipline, commitment, positivity, optimism, faith, and trust, but the knowledge is already built into our cellular make-up. We are lucky that way. Blessed.
Since we're all still here on the mat, let's sit upright. Pull the heels towards the pelvis and bring the soles of the feet together. The knees are bent and relaxed to the sides. Don't force them down. Let the hips and ankles soften. If it's comfortable, begin to forward fold, maybe walking the hands out and one day resting the head down on the feet or just beyond them on the mat. Welcome to baddha konasana, also known as bound angle or more commonly, butterfly pose.
But now we know it's not just a pose.
Instead of squeezing the caterpillar, I'll teach my son to cup it in the palm of his hand. To look at it with the same respect as his own reflection in the mirror. And to understand the potential lying within it's tiny, fuzzy black body.
We don't have to witness the metamorphosis to know it's real.
The wisdom comes from trusting it will unfold when the time is right...and that it will happen to us all.