Butterflies have become the symbol of change, of metamorphosis. Their wings represent the four stages that occur in the process of transformation. The first stage is the egg. This is a period of nurture for growth and taking on form. It lacks the ability for self-mobilization.
The second stage is that of the pupa. The caterpillar that is now able to move, seek nurture to sustain the following cycle. That is the chrysalis, or cocoon stage. The safe place for nurturing the energy needed for transformation and metamorphosis.
The last and final stage is that of the emergence of a whole new creature, the butterfly.
But the butterfly has another unique element. It’s senses are, for the most part, located in it’s feet. Think about that for a moment. To gather the sense of one’s environment from the place where one is standing, in any given moment. Sounds a bit like intuition, doesn’t it?
Gavin DeBecker, in his book, The Gift of Fear, writes of how intuition is hard wired into the human brain, allowing us to make a choice when threatened, to stand and fight, or run like hell and save the fight for another day. But, we can enhance that gift in several ways by taking a lesson from the butterfly, and learning how to sense the environment around us in any given moment. Not just when we are threatened.
I have been writing for well over half of my existence. Seeing as I am now seventy years old, that’s a lot of words on paper. What’s more important, is that I firmly believe that writing, on a regular basis, is the best means of enhancing that intuitive ability we all own.
Writing is how we learn to lean in and listen to the most important person we will ever know, ourselves. It hones many different skills that feed that natural intuitive ability that allows us to process, sometimes incredibly swiftly, those moments we are standing inside of.
The human brain operates on two distinct levels. That of logic, and the other by association. But both of those levels need reinforcement and training. When we write, we lodge our experiences in memory. The associative faculty may operate in the blink of an eye, but writing it out logically so that it makes sense, lodges it even deeper in the memory. And all of that memory reinforcement simply builds that intuitive function, giving it a much larger source from which to operate.
Any creative endeavor will do the same, or provide similar enhancement. Take the above image, for instance. I did not set out to create a butterfly. I was just playing with colors and trying out different effect elements in my paint program. Swirling the colors, sometimes blending them, trying different things just to see how they worked. Then dropped some black into the image, swirling that around as well. And suddenly I realized that the black swirls looked a bit like a butterfly. So, using the brush function, sketched a bit around the black to enhance what I could see there. It is one of my very favorite “happy accidents”.
Then went looking for the symbolism to be found in butterflies. In turn, learning about the transformation process, and finding out that perhaps I had been walking on subconscious, and intuitive, butterfly feet.