I saw a meme on social media the other day that said, “You can’t talk butterfly language with caterpillar people.” I reposted the meme and was a little surprised by the amount of engagement it got. Apparently there are a lot of “butterflies” out there trying to steer clear of “caterpillars.” If you know anything about me at all, you know I’m absolutely obsessed with the butterfly’s story of courage, growth and transformation. I even wrote my first “Lesson from the Butterfly” which I’ll be dropping on social media on Friday.
So who are these caterpillars? To me they are the haters, dream-killers, discouragers and worrywarts – the anxious, defeated, unhappy, bottom-hugging crabs. Perhaps they’re so entrenched in caterpillar life that they simply refuse to become butterflies. They don’t want to take the risk to see what’s on the other side of the chrysalis. This doesn’t mean they’re not your family and friends. This doesn’t mean you don’t love them, but you should protect yourself from them.
There is an old adage, “behind every great man is a great woman.” While the expression is a bit outdated, it’s also full of truth: we all need a support team. We simply can’t live our most amazing authentic lives by ourselves. And, it can’t be just any scrappy bunch, it has to be a group of folks who inspire, encourage, affirm and provide feedback for our wildest dreams. This is not a head-nodding “yes” team, but rather a carefully constructed squad of all-stars in our life: the folks that care about us the most combined with our most committed and accessible community resources.
When I first moved to Atlanta in 2007 I was heartbroken, both my relationship and my business endeavor ultimately didn’t work out. I was young and I had never weathered such a storm before – I was shaken to my core. Thankfully some internal wisdom made me realize that the same way children need a village, adults do too. I found a new career path, a church, a fitness center, a therapist, a masseuse and joined social organizations. I leaned on my family and friends. I recognized that I needed to care for my mind, body and soul. Because of this, I was able to work through my loss, parent my daughter effectively and create an amazing life for myself in Atlanta. But, I couldn’t have done it without a team of support – my butterfly people.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone that leaves you so drained you need a day to recover from it? Have you ever felt excited and confident only to speak to a dream-snatcher and walk away feeling anxious and uncertain?
I’m not saying constructive criticism isn’t warranted and extremely helpful. However the operative word is constructive. Criticism without conscience is like spitting in the wind – useless, messy, and it probably has a lot more to do with you than the object of your criticism.
My father used to always say, “It’s easy to criticize.” Then he would say, “If you think you can do better, then do it.” So true. Instead of criticizing the temperature of your food at a restaurant, open your own restaurant with perfectly hot food all the time. Instead of criticizing the venue for your favorite festival, launch your own festival. Instead of complaining about the teachings of the church, start your own church. This is actually what my dad said to me, which seemed crazy until I realize people open churches all the time. You chose to be either a complainer or a doer.
This life waits for no one.
Explore your desires.
Pursue your dreams and help others pursue theirs.
Be a counselor to your friends and family.
Give advice when you’re asked, but never ever kill someone’s dream.
I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. One of my dreams is to host a SOLD-OUT 2020 Spring Retreat, “Thinking Outside the Chrysalis” at Callaway Gardens, April 17-20. I’m hosting a FaceBook LIVE on Thursday, November 14th at 8pm to answer any questions you may have. Here’s the link: facebook.com/veganhoneybutterflyz You can also get retreat details at honeybutterflyz.com/spring-retreat-2020