While visiting my mom's farm two weeks ago, I went to my favorite clearing in the woods.  It's the place where I always go when I want to clear my head and get in touch with the spiritual side of  myself.  On one side of the clearing is my dad's tree stand that he used for deer hunting.  Although he is no longer here in physical form, I feel closer to him in that clearing than I ever did while he was here on earth.

On the other side of the clearing is our pet cemetery.  The four pets we've had over the last twenty years are buried there.  I don't know if it's the connection to those that have already passed, or just a quiet beautiful place in the middle of the woods, but previous visits to this clearing have given me profound insights into my life.  It's the place I picture when things are getting crazy at home and I just can't find a few minutes to be by myself.

As I walked into the clearing that day, I noticed a caterpillar about 20 feet in the air.  It's amazing I saw it at all, it was so tiny and so far above my head.  At first I couldn't see it attached to anything, it appeared to just be floating in the middle of the sky.  Then I thought, surely it must be stuck in a spiders web, but there were no trees or bushes around for the web to be attached to.  As I got closer, I realized there was a tiny thread connecting the caterpillar to a tree branch about 30 feet above him.  He was slowly inching his way up the almost invisible thread connecting him to the tree.

Such a long way to climb, I thought.  How will he ever make it up there?  Then I realized his immense desire to become a butterfly was helping him overcome the enormity of his task.  I found myself a little bit jealous.  That's what I need I thought to myself, a passion so strong that I would overcome anything.  No matter how insurmountable the odds seem, or how much the fear weighed me down, I wouldn't care.  I would keep climbing because of the beautiful life awaiting me on the other side.

For a long time I wondered if I would ever come out of my cocoon phase.  It was a dark and dreary time for me, and sometimes very frightening.  It felt suffocating, but I knew it was a necessary stage in my evolution.  I was gaining strength, waiting for the next stage of my life.

This week I started cracking open the cocoon, with the help of some amazing new friends.  I took a workshop designed to help me become better aligned with my life's true purpose.  I want to tell you all about this workshop, because it was a life changing event for me, but that will have to be another blog.  I'm still trying to get my mind around exactly what happened, and how I seem to have changed so much in such a short time.

I am motivated, inspired, passionate, and excited in a way I haven't been for months.  I only hope I can maintain this level of intensity and euphoria as I slide back into the real world of every day life.  I'm finding it hard not to let the fear and self doubt start nudging it's way back in.  The memories of past failures nag at me.  What if this is like the other times I was excited and didn't follow through?

What if?  That tiny little two word sentence, along with "if only", are the two phrases that have been the biggest road blocks in my life.  I have decided the reason it will be different this time is because I'm going to stop saying "what if?"  Every time that phrase comes into my head I'm going to finish it with a positive thought.  Eventually, I won't even need to think about it anymore.

Part of the course was to come up with a mission statement for our lives.  I create a world of --------.  I do this through -----------.  I'm still tweaking the second half, but the first half feels so right I smile every time I say it.  This is the first time in my life that something has felt so true and so right that it gives me a warm glow inside.  I think I now know what is meant by "lighting the fire within."

My mission statement:

I create a world where it is safe to be a healer.  I do this through strength, integrity, passion and grace.

My wings are still wet and wrinkled, my legs are wobbly, but I don't need the airplane to fly anymore.  I'm emerging from my cocoon to fulfill my life's purpose, and I'm slowly transforming into the beautiful butterfly I am meant to be.  So be it.  So it is.

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