by Catherine Lai
Like the butterfly forming in the chrysalis, you decide how you turn out. Paint your wings with every colour of the rainbow or choose monochrome if that suits you better. You are the one who makes the ultimate choice. You are in charge of your destiny!
I paint and it isn’t just a hobby or a pastime.
I paint to give voice to what goes on in my psyche. Every painting is a statement of my personal journeying.
Every piece is different and hard to duplicate because the act of painting is almost mystical and often it goes beyond words. I reach in deep and give “voice” to every pull and tug of my soul. And when it is finished, well, I know that I did not make that picture alone. And so it is with this particular one I painted – one of several in a series of butterflies.
Why the butterfly? Because it is the symbol of the psyche and its transformation. Transformation of what and to what? Of life and transition, disintegrating and rising in another form. It is the conscious ego dissolving in the unconscious to emerge in a new shape. An inner spiritual process, a transition from physical earth-bound sensation to the flight of the wind experienced inwardly. Well…. that’s one way of looking at it. That was how I looked at it because of where I was at that time in my life.
Now that I’m undergoing NLP certification, I see this same painting with new eyes.
How would you see it from an NLP point of view? That’s right… you probably spotted it right away. The presupposition (beneficial belief to adopt) that “all resources we need to effect change are already within us” is pretty relevant, isn’t it?
Let’s look at that butterfly again. It came from a tiny egg that hatched into a voracious caterpillar, which then cocooned itself in a chrysalis, which in time metamorphosised into a butterfly.
Metamorphosis? Talk about breaking state (or interrupting the situation to generate a different outcome)! Here you have a creepy crawly transforming to an insect with six legs and a pair of magnificent wings! The transformation is astounding because the butterfly and the caterpillar are 180 degrees apart in terms of differences. Well, with NLP, we know that that’s the sort of control we have over our state from moment to moment. We are in constant metamorphosis to stay successful and positive. The transformation may be amazing or may be less earth shattering. But the thing is we have the power. As sure as the caterpillar breaking state to a butterfly, so too, can you from being negative and unresourceful to otherwise.
Destiny? Do we choose our destiny? You may argue that it’s all genetically coded and there’s no choice involved. Every species of caterpillar has its own destiny. A Monarch is red and black. Its caterpillar is green which gave it good camouflage from the birds. Green served it well. But life goes on. A rut is the last thing you want to be in. If you are ever tempted to say, nah, my life’s destined to be this or that… well, really? Is that your belief? O’Connor and Seymour said, “Beliefs create results”. We are what we think we are. Think about that! And while you are at it, what’s the color of your butterfly?