“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The Serenity Prayer
It is incredible to me how guided I was to write this passage today, not knowing what the topic of the next chapter of this book is. There is so much truth to the statement, the lesson appears when the student is ready.
Everything in my life has been pointing to major transformation. I have even been obsessed with butterflies lately, which has never been a big thing for me. I heard someone recently quote that butterflies’ transformation is often overlooked: only their beauty is admired, and oftentimes the process it took to get there goes completely unnoticed and unacknowledged by those who appreciate one of nature’s most elegant insects.
Butterflies represent transformation in the totem world. Butterflies have been showing up with greater frequency in my backyard, flitting in the breeze, and every time I see one I make sure to stop and pause to watch it. To me, seeing a butterfly cross my path is a reminder to slow down and enjoy life. Why stress so much when there is so much beauty and lightness to be enjoyed on this earth?
Butterflies have shown up even more powerfully for me than that, though. My dear friend, whom I have written about before, Tracy, ordered herself Doreen Virtue’s newest set of oracle cards on the market, her Butterfly Transformation deck, and the company accidentally sent her two.
This has happened to Tracy and I before, once to each of us. Once to me with the Romance Angels deck I wanted around Valentine’s Day, and then once to her when she ordered Virtue’s Loving Words of Jesus meditation cards, which, being someone who has not felt very connected to Christ, I have actually found this deck extremely helpful and empowering.
So, it has happened again, this time when butterfly imagery seems to be popping up all over the place for me.
I was guided by my friend Tracy to start leaving a bowl of water on my deceased pet’s grave a week ago. She said she didn’t know why, but I had to put a bowl of water right where he is buried. She has the most incredible visions, so I trust her every time she says things like this. She mentioned the bowl was a silver pet bowl, and I just happened to have Bagheera’s (that was my cat’s name-named after the black panther from The Jungle Book, Mowgli’s voice of reason and father figure!) bowl that didn’t sell at the garage sale we had when we were nearing the end of our home’s remodel.
The most amazing thing happened after I placed this bowl on the ground on Bagheera’s grave.
I turned around, and there on the stepping stone right at my feet was a dying monarch butterfly.
Instantly I scooped it up. I had a feeling to the depth of my soul that this butterfly was a gift for listening to guidance and setting out water on my dear cat’s grave. I still miss that car every day, even though it has been four years since he passed. He was my first pet ever, and the first and only time I have ever experienced that deep animal-human connection, where our hearts literally beat as one. We had our own language, Bagheera and I, and I have waited years for some kind of message from him.
I knew this was it. And I also knew this was a message that I must keep going, that I must keep pushing.
I knew the butterfly was going to die, but I tried to save it anyway. I didn’t have any milkweed (the monarch’s only food source) so I did the best I could and placed it on my potted poinsettia plant in the backyard, and spoke encouraging words to it. I really hoped I wouldn’t see it the next day, because that would mean it recovered and flew away.
Of course, the next day I went back to find it had fallen to the bottom of the pot. It was no longer moving. My heart broke.
I know it’s the circle of life, but I felt bad nonetheless.
I placed the butterfly at the little table and chairs I have in that pot that is part of my fairy garden. I loved the imagery of the butterfly sitting there, personified. Of course, I took a picture of it to share on social media, but I knew that there was something bigger at play than just playing with the carcass of a butterfly.
Change is hard. Change takes real commitment, consistency, and time.
For change to truly take root, it must be done every day, and it must be done to the depths of your soul, beginning with the thoughts you keep about your life.
To be bluntly honest, things have been tough in my life lately. I am so grateful I am beginning this week with this post, because I have chosen to drastically change my life and how I make money, and right now I could let myself be taken away by negative thoughts of disbelief and tragedy in what I had originially chosen to do as a career. I choose not to, though. I choose to take on the decision I made to be an entrepreneur, and I have to admit it is way harder than I ever imagined.
It’s not that I don’t like personal training. I DO like it, but for whatever reason it doesn’t always inspire me. What does inspire me is making people feel good. I love running Red Cheetah Yoga, teaching power yoga classes at greenmonkey yoga and helping to run their teacher training, I love writing books for adults and children, and I love making my special blend of cold brew, superfood coffee, Cheetah Grounds. I am excited for the partnership that RCY has made with the new company, Soul Akademy, and the amazing opportunity we have with them to create the legitimate company I have dreamed of since we first got our logo made.
And, to be honest, making this transition has been extremely difficult, and it hasn’t been easy on either myself or my boyfriend. It is truly costing my relationship, but for some reason I cannot let go of my vision. I cannot let go of the goals I have written down for myself, because every single time I have written down and goal and a plan for that goal and striven for that goal and worked toward that goal every single day, I have MADE THAT GOAL.
I know I have gone on a tangent about butterflies in this post, but this chapter really hit home for me. It is incredible to me that he opened this chapter with the Serenity Prayer, because I have literally been reciting that prayer to myself every single time my boyfriend and I get into an argument.
Am I behind on my bills?
Does it seem like I am being irresponsible right now?
I admit that wholeheartedly.
I hate feeling behind in things, I hate letting my boyfriend down, and I have no idea how he is going to feel about me writing all of this for the world to read when it is private information.
But, I have been faced with a choice, and I have chosen.
I have thought about getting a job as a waitress or bartender, or go part time at lululemon or some other chic place, but when I stop to put things in perspective, I realize those things do not fulfill my ultimate dream of being an author and a multiple-business owner. What will that kind of a job actually get me? Sure, I might have some money on hand right now, but what about my future?
Won’t that kind of work just take me away from this kind of work? From writing what I feel about the yoga sutras, with the intention to help others out there?
Of course there is nothing wrong with being a waitress or working retail. I worked food service for an entire decade before moving into personal training and group exercise, and now, ironically, I am heading right back to the food industry in the form of Cheetah Grounds.
Parinama truly speaks to me, and hits me as deeply as isvara did when I did that chapter a week or so ago.
As Bachman writes, “Everything in nature, including ourselves, changes from moment to moment, day to day, year to year.”
I remember my high school biology teacher saying that there isn’t a single cell in your body that lives as long as you do. That is true. Which is why we must constantly inquire about what is within us, what beliefs we are clinging to, and get curious about whether or not they serve us.
The Buddha said, “Just as a snake sheds it’s skin so we must shed our past over and over again.”
The only way to transform is to feel what we must right now, feel it fully in all it’s depths, whether it’s anger, sadness, depression, frustration, happiness, or hopefulness, so we can clear it out. Give up these things to get empty, so that we may charge forward from clear space and create the lives we are meant to.
Change is by far one of the toughest things a human can do, because we are conscious beings, and our ego’s like to keep us stuck in what we are used to. This is why the Red Cheetah Yoga mantra/slogan is “Choose to Evolve”, because we know how important it is as a company to own your own power, and choose to change for the better.
A prisoner knows the inside of the prison walls and is comfortable there, but if he chooses to stay there, he will surely die.
Why stay trapped in the things that do not serve, do not inspire? It’s ok if sudden changes happen in life, like the loss of a loved one or the loss of a limb or some other tragic incident, but getting used to something being gone takes time. This post focuses mostly on those things in our lives we MUST change in order to be happy, only because that is what is present in my own life right now. I cannot expect to remain a caterpillar forever when I am meant to be a butterfly.
The most profound and lasting changes happen when they are intentional and deliberate, happen on a daily basis, are written down in order of priority, and executed continuously. There is no right or wrong except for what makes you happy and what gives you the most amount of peace from the beginning of your day until the end.
Your greatest freedom is your ability to create your life, and we all have equal ability to create the lives we want, with the right amounts of prosperity, abundance, peace, love, adventure, health, and whatever else it is you are seeking.
This is a chapter about getting curious about your goals. Your goals around what kind of lifestyle you wish to live the rest of your days with, not necessarily what your bank account has, even though that is important, too. This chapter is about imagining the life it is you want, the ease and peace you need in your life and how to obtain it. To write those things down, affix a plan to it, and then go for it.
There will come a time in your life where it will be harder for you to stay where you are, than to charge forward with passion, focus, and intensity to where you are headed.
You will charge forward, you will succeed, you will create what you want, you will allow in the changes you want in your life because that is where you want to be. You are grateful for everything you have now while working toward where you want to go, and, with time, transformation becomes your habit, pushing yourself to your limit becomes your habit, so that eventually your habit becomes the most excellent side of you there is.
The most authentic, and inspiration version of you that exists, where you make your own rules, where you inspire yourself which in turn inspires others, and you attract others into your midst who holds up your same ideals, and you step forward into the horizon in step with the team you have built.
See where you are going, and don’t stop heading in that direction.
Change, change, change.
You are malleable, and being malleable is beautiful.
Real, lasting change usually begins with discomfort and ends with joy and respect for oneself.
I can replace obstructions to my progress with what encourages and supports moving in a positive direction.
I will set an intention for positive changes in my life that are conducive to the practice of yoga.