Yesterday I was reading a book on professional development and career happiness, a topic that I am trying to understand intellectually, and I read a story in my book that I would like to share with you here. I’ve been sharing it with my yoga students at DAYA Foundation.
It begins with a man who happened upon a cocoon. The butterfly within the cocoon was struggling to come out of the cocoon: a little hole started to appear. The butterfly kept struggling to get out of the hole, and then gave up. The man, seeing the butterfly give up, decided to help the butterfly by making the hole bigger. So the butterfly wobbled out of the cocoon, emerging into the world with a swollen body and small, wrinkled wings. The man assumed time would eventually bring life to the butterflies wings and the fluid in its body would go down. Instead, the butterfly spent its very short life hobbling around with a heavy body and powerless wings.
It turns out that the very struggle for a butterfly to get out of her cocoon is what decreases the fluid in her body and sends life to her wings. It is the struggle that makes the butterfly capable of spreading her wings.
I am not alone when I say that I’d much rather fast forward through the struggles that living seems to bring. I’d rather fast forward through this year of my mate being deployed. I’d rather fast forward through the struggles of getting used to a new studio. I’d rather fast forward to the part when my yoga classes and private sessions are full, my job is easy and graceful, and Greg is back from deployment.
But it is the struggle that makes it possible for us to spread our wings.
If we let it.