Communications Team Author: Kathleen Kerr
WHEN MY DAUGHTER was young, we often played outside. One spring, I remember chasing her around the trees, when I noticed the caterpillars and called a timeout so we could check them out. We watched them in the trees as they lay there looking as green as the new growth on the branches. I recall telling my daughter that one day this caterpillar will be a beautiful butterfly and able to fly from the ground to anywhere it wants to go. She paused to ponder what I was saying. Then she responded, “How sad that it will stop being a caterpillar.” What is the point of this story? There are two; 1) each of us placed meaning on the transition process and 2) neither of us questioned the transition, accepting it as a natural, normal function. Transitions are a natural, normal cycle of life AND the meanings we make about them determine how we experience the wonderous and often radical process of change.
Change occurs all around us, even within us, all the time. The meaning we assign to any changing situation is what drives our experience of it! However, when the meaning we make about something blocks our path forward, spending time in the “Space Between” is necessary for any growth to occur. It is like when the caterpillar spins itself into a silky chrysalis in preparation for its own transformation into a butterfly. New learning in the space between has multiple steps before transformation occurs. First, we must acknowledge and accept that something has ended. Trust that everything up until now has been in preparation for what is next. It is here in the space between where we begin to realize that choice is power. The power to choose meaning, for meaning is what allows us to see and experience things differently. Our thoughts and feelings offer insights to our beliefs and during times of transformation, it is important to re-examine our beliefs mean to us. For it is our beliefs that drive our thoughts and feelings – and thoughts and feelings are fuel that drive action. It is action that is the fuel needed to emerge from the chrysalis transformed into the butterfly we were always meant to be.