Sometimes, the Creator has a way of speaking to me through others, and it seems that last week, the Creator had a lot to say! Fortunately, most of the advice came in the form of nature metaphors, like the one I shared on caring for the root bound, and this week, I continue to reflect on what they mean to my life.
One such comparison, the life cycle of the butterfly, had been selected as the theme of our deaconess and home missioner convocation. As we explored the symbolic meaning of each stage, I couldn’t help but wonder, where am I?
Do I consider myself the caterpillar that is searching and waiting for a period of transformation? Am I in a cocoon phase, a time that is seemingly quiet and still but is actually filled with much activity and preparation? Have I burst forth as a beautiful and lively butterfly ready to take on the world?
As I sat last weekend and pondered what was being shared, I was reminded of a passage I read recently in Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Eric Schiffman. The author suggests that stillness is like a spinning top. (yes, I did a double take too–stillness like a spinning top?)
If you think about a spinning top, there is something that happens when it is in its rhythm and is balanced. Even though it may be spinning very quickly, it remains in the same place, focused and tight. So while there is movement, it is still capable of practicing stillness.
When I think about a cocoon, I imagine the same sort of concept. Living into the stillness of the cocoon doesn’t negate movement and change. It simply means that during this period of time, this tiny creature surrenders the struggle, saving energy for what is to come–the miracle of metamorphosis.
So how do I do that in my life? How do I live into the stillness when my house is turned upside down with construction, my daughter is a hitting her stride as a teen, and all my other activities continue to move forward and expect me to do the same?
I breathe deeply.
I yoga daily.
I rest nightly.
I eat healthfully.
I pray contemplatively.
I connect regularly.
I trust wholeheartedly.
And when all is said and done, I gratefully find my center, my spinning top moment. It is then that I realize, a transformation has already occurred.