Freeing the butterfly

A friend of mine commented on major changes happening in her life in 2012. Leonie Dawson mentioned somewhere that perhaps 2012 is not the year the world ends, but that it’s the year the world shifts and changes in major ways. (Of course I can’t find where she said it, or I’d totally have a direct quote here.)

I have noticed big changes in my life too. I started working with a life coach last summer, so there have been a lot of internal changes for me. But I’ve started noticing and causing a lot of external changes as well.

  • Driving to work (about an hour each way) was a major cause of stress for me, so I started taking the train. Amazingly different, love it so much. I feel so free when I’m riding on the train, watching the big river that flows next to it.
  • I’m a lot more confident in who I am, what I look like, what I am capable of, and that has translated into applying for a new part time job (10 hours/week) to supplement a full-time job (35 hours/week). I aced my interview and was hired, and this is going to be a great experience to do something different but tangentially related to my full-time position. I can already feel the financial freedom headed my way, and I haven’t even started the new job yet!
  • I spend a lot less time in front of the computer when I’m home, which is good.
  • I recently decluttered my GMail account, spending about five days cutting it from 500 messages to under 10. Now it usually sits around 25, and if it gets close to 50 I spend time working on cutting it down again.
  • I’m meditating more, even if it’s just 3 or 4 minutes. I close my eyes and listen to all the sounds around me, trying to single out every little individual thing, every bird, every electrical hum. Allowing myself to do what feels right instead of feeling like a failure for missing a day, or for not going longer.
  • Last year I gave up the religion I was born and raised in because it no longer suited me, and I’ve found I’m COMPLETELY okay with saying “I don’t know” — I don’t know if I believe in a god or just a goddess. I don’t know what to call the spiritual beings around me (guides? angels? guardians? all the same to me). I don’t feel like I HAVE TO “know” everything about my spirituality, and that feels very freeing.

I think it all ties into the same idea: freedom. Freedom from stress. Freedom from the impossible quest for perfection. Freedom from ideas and thoughts that weigh me down and chain me up. I see a lot more birds lately, or at least I notice them more, and every time I do I smile. I feel like they are a message for me, and that they have something in common with me. A sign of freedom.

Taking this symbolism a step further, the other day I was going out for lunch with my friend/coworker, or maybe we were leaving to get on the train at the end of our work day, and I saw a butterfly trapped inside a revolving door. It couldn’t come inside or go outside. Butterflies are my totem animal, and I couldn’t follow my friend through the regular door. I felt like this butterfly was important, and it was important that I set it free. I got into the revolving door and carefully walked through, making sure the butterfly fluttered safely away before continuing outside myself. That IS me. I AM the butterfly. I was trapped, nowhere to go, until I allowed myself the freedom to go outside and fly away. I couldn’t wait for someone else, I had to help myself.

The Word of the Year I chose for 2012 is Hope, and I think in my case, embodying Hope has lead to feeling Freedom. So I guess Freedom is the Word of the Year that chose me for 2012. 🙂