By Lynne Weatherill
PROMPT — Who am I today?
Today I am a butterfly in the making. I am in my chrysalis. I am probably made of goop right about now. I recently heard about scientific studies of caterpillars transforming into butterflies. Experiments in which they taught a caterpillar to be averse to a certain smell. When that caterpillar transformed into a butterfly, they discovered that the butterfly was also averse to that same smell. But the amazing thing was what they found when they cut open the chrysalis and found that there was no apparent remnant of the caterpillar. Just slimy goop! No apparent remaining brain to keep the knowledge of the caterpillar into its new stage of life. What carried that smell recognition into the new stage?
I guess my case is a bit different, as I will still have my same physical structure when I emerge, but my current state is that of change, transformation.
Before quarantine, I had dabbled in spiritual pursuits, exploring the mysteries of life, figuring out how to make the most of the life I’ve been given. I read and listened to wisdom from New Age Gurus, taking in a little bit, discussing it with friends, spending a little bit of time trying to figure out how it applied to me. I added a few drops of this wisdom to the alchemy that was Me. I sometimes yearned to know more, to understand better, to apply these things to my life and manifest a fuller, richer, better life for myself. But all too often, life got in the way, and I rushed off to something else, leaving the meditation practice, or turned the TV on instead of reading the book or trying out some of the techniques that might enrich my life. I wallowed in mediocrity, feeling like “there must be more than this,” having the existential crisis sitting on the toilet in the wee hours of the morning, “Is this all there is?”
I am a very fortunate person with a comfortable life. I have never had an abundance of money, but have always had enough to feed, house and clothe myself. My husband and I have had enough to provide a comfortable but not luxurious life for ourselves and our children. I am often very grateful and appreciative of what I have and how fortunate I am. I have family that gets along reasonably well. I have many acquaintances and some friends. I have experienced deep friendship and love. I have people I could turn to if I was really in need.
But at the same time, in the past 20-plus years, I have often felt like there could be more to life. I have felt a deep longing for a richer engagement with my life. For more adventure, more excitement. More deep conversations with people who really “get” me, and I them. For a best friend who lives next door. Who would come over and visit with me while I cleaned my bathroom, or who would happily accept my offer of bringing her family dinner when she was under the weather or in need in some way. Community. To be surrounded by people who know me and I them, who may or may not agree with me on every point political or psychological, but who will listen to my view, share theirs, and we both walk away richer for hearing from the other.
I want a cabin in the woods. With a gorgeous view and a lake to jump in. I want to be able to travel when and where I wish, to afford lodgings and adventures.
When quarantine first began, I was dealing with more anxiety than I have ever sustained over a period of time, due to a sick pet. I was feeling sick in my stomach all the time, worrying about the outcome and the effect on our family, especially my children. I had guilt about things I hadn’t done that might have avoided the whole situation.
I realized at one moment that I needed to raise my vibration. My energy was vibrating at a very low level, in fear, worry, and shame. I shook myself off and Googled “Raise my Vibration”. I came across a video of a guided “Chakra meditation with the Archangels.” This was quite outside of my normal range of new age dabbling, but I listened to it anyway. I didn’t know what I thought or what I believed in this context, but the soothing music and voice immediately helped me to relax a little bit. When the speaker said that my Guardian Angel was taking my hand and leading me into a beautiful garden, I found myself weeping. With a kind of relief. “I have a guardian angel? It is there to help me? Maybe I will be okay.”
That video and others like it helped me to stabilize my emotions over the next several days, weeks. I explored the things that I had been dabbling in, interested in but never giving time to delve in to. I listened to Wayne Dyer talk about the spiritual in all of us, Abraham Hicks tells me that “there is much love here for you” in the spiritual realm. I explored EFT Tapping as a way of shifting energy that may be trapped, causing our bodies dis-ease and discomfort. I found an energy practitioner offering a free 15 minute chat to see if she could help me, and I began working with her via Zoom, identifying and clearing old wounds and old “tapes” that were keeping me in bondage to those old ideas. Bringing them into the light, looking at them, and deciding that they no longer serve me and sending them on their way, opening up space for new, more healthful ideas and for light to shine in and show me Who I Really Am. And Who I Can Be.
I still fluctuate in my devotion and attention to these new learnings. I still turn on the TV and waste my time. But I am opening to new ideas and ways of thinking about being here in this life. I feel that I have much to give to the world, some of it coming from my advancing sense of spirituality. I believe I am here for a reason, and I can make a difference. And having the time and peace to turn my attention to this has been a blessing.
Lynne Weatherill is Transforming In Place at home in Vermont with her husband and two almost-grown children. She has been writing Personal Essay, mostly about parenting, mostly through prompts in the Women's Writing Circle for several years, imagining perhaps publishing a bunch of them as a collection someday. Other pursuits include knitting, quilting, spinning, reading, gardening and Doing Nothing (for the purposes of personal growth).