When I think about transitioning, I think of change. I think of moving from one state of being into another state of being. And indeed there can be a heck of a lot of change happening when you go through a transition.
At the centre though, between the chaos of change that brings on that transition and the adjusting to your new state of being after that transition, there is stillness and waiting.
I think sometimes we forget how important this stillness is. We are so focused on doing, constantly moving. To sit in stillness and honour that centre point in transitioning is seen as being slothful, lazy, And we get impatient – Come on transition! Happen already!
I think this centre is the least acknowledged and the most sacred of the 3 stages in transitioning.
Recently I read something about butterflies. When it comes to making a life transition, these tiny creatures go through the most drastic of changes. They go from being a caterpillar, crawling along a leaf to a butterfly, flying amongst the flowers. In between, all we can see is the stillness of a chrysalis hanging from a twig. For us, looking on from outside that chrysalis, nothing seems to be happening.
Well, read it for yourself:
First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess. Certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs survive the digestive process.
Once a caterpillar has disintegrated all of its tissues except for the imaginal discs, those discs use the protein-rich soup all around them to fuel the rapid cell division required to form the wings, antennae, legs, eyes, genitals and all the other features of an adult butterfly or moth.
Let yourself think on that for a moment. In that ultimate stillness, the caterpillar digests
it’s own body, turning into a glob of primordial goop. Then it rebirths itself from that goop into a butterfly. It sits in stillness trusting in its ability to become. No hurrying, no rushing. No lamenting this time of inaction while waiting for its transition to finish. No beating itself emotionally or verbally – ‘come on stupid caterpillar, become a butterfly faster and stop lollygagging! You’re wasting time when you could be flying about gathering nectar!’
No, it embraces this state of not-being and sits in the stillness of transition. Until it is ready to emerge fully formed from the chrysalis.
Today, honour yourself, and honour the sacred stillness at the centre of your own transitions.