Butterfly or Not?

Metanoia - A Radical Change Of Heart

While doing some spring cleaning I found a metal badge I'd bought as a child. It says, "just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly!" The butterfly is my inspirational creature.

When you look at the journey of a caterpillar and you ask yourself, "Does the caterpillar have a choice?" In one way "yes" because it has chosen the path of change and in another way, "no" because they either transform or they die. It's not optional. And I think it's the same for us.

Metanoia is a word that perfectly describes this transformation. It may sound like a medical condition or a punk band....it simply means a "change of mind" meaning a change in one's life resulting from a deep conversion, sometimes a spiritual or intellectual revelation.

Metanoia is a radical change of heart, forcing one to dig deeply....it's like a prayer answered. The potential to change, to see with new eyes, which fires the imagination, fuels the visionary and changes our world!

When I look at my own formative years, the years of dabbling in creative pursuits, chasing the intellect, small business projects, creative ways at discovering my abilities and a life of excess in some areas too....I think it was all an attempt to heal myself of unbearable conflict of melting down and then being reborn in a more balanced form. I see it now as a psychotic breakdown which is potentially a very productive process... Like an existential crisis, a pivotal tipping point....a culminating realisation that we must all 'die' so we can live. We must face our shadow self head on so we can free ourselves of inner turmoil, addictions and suffering in the hope of finding what already exists within us.

Metanoia is the 'bigger heart', it's the warm, generative, empathetic part of us. It is an experience of learning to love ourselves completely, without conditions and judgements on another....accepting all the 'good' and 'bad' in our lives and truly believe that every hurt and pain, tragedy and loss is a stepping stone in this life....a life we have chosen to live.

So, as another year approaches, rediscover who you are, find your tribe, and above all find a way to be thankful for the muck because order will definitely emerge from all the chaos....that's the nature and purpose of chaos. Order does not beget order, only chaos can do that!

If you are fortunate enough to be consumed by the fire, you'll find a torch among the blackness of the cave and if you are able to get past your own shadow, you'll emerge renewed. And one day you'll finally see without a doubt, that an initiate within you is born!


Until next time....

Ritu Malhotra