“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
How true is that? Well – I have an idea. I’ve been noodling on some things since the new year, looking for ways to add more WONDER to my LAND (see last week’s blog). The fermentation of that noodling is a project I want to launch called Project Butterfly, and I invite you to join me. Interested?
Here’s the concept. One is not born a butterfly, one becomes one. That’s true for the butterfly, and it’s also true for us, as people interested in leading ourselves to a happier, more productive, more satisfying life.
The butterfly birth process begins with eggs (ideas or thoughts), then those become caterpillars (those thoughts and ideas grow when they are well-fed), then it holes up in its own little cave (think going deep inside you for thinking, reflection – aha’s and insights), and then voila! Out pops a butterfly. Butterflies are an important part of the universe’s ecosystem. So are we. Each one of us plays an important role – more important than we know.
What if we spent time over the next six weeks focusing on what our butterfly would look like – what would it look like if we migrated from where we are today, to a point of greater potential, using our strengths, leveraging our passions, and knowing ourselves well – from the inside out? What would we feel like? How would the world see us? What changes would we see, feel, hear, and enjoy?
I can’t say what they would be, for each person’s journey would be unique. The only thing I can guarantee is the journey itself. Where you are today is not where you will be in six weeks.
In case the notion of six weeks feels kinda random (don’t blame you for wondering!) there is a bit of structure I’ve created to support us. A general roadmap, if you will, for we don’t want to start from a blank page. A blank page is too easy to leave blank. It has too much gravity – we want a little rocket booster to help us get started.
Well, I have just the thing for you.
Choose your word(s). Why this? Well, each butterfly is unique, and as such, each of us will need to find a word, or two words, or a phrase to describe our journey and keep us focused on the destination. I decided to take this step myself after reading the fabulous blog by Bonnie at The Paperkeeper, and the impact of choosing one word for year has had on her and her world. Click here to go read it – it is short and impactful, and click here to see words others chose. My words? I was starting with WONDER (for my land) but I’ve decided, after reading Bonnie’s blog, to choose WONDER-fully FEARLESS. My butterfly is going to be WONDER-fully FEARLESS so that I make better choices, personally and professionally. My future will be different from my past. I will land in a place, six weeks from now, that is closer to where I want to be. Are you with me so far?
Take the Strengthsfinder if you haven’t done so already. We’re going to use a strengths-based approach to becoming fully. It does require a small investment of $9.99 at www.gallupstrengthscenter.com but as my friend Amy said, “I spend time and money on a manicure, or a lunch – why wouldn’t I do the same with my strengths? Surely they deserve at least that much time a week.” Indeed. (Hint: Make sure to read the Insight Guide report – it is unique to you – it is the jewel in the process.) I am committed to supporting you on your journey if you commit to learning your strengths!
Watch your world for a week. See if you find your word/phrase popping up. Note what you love most about your work or your world. Note what you dislike the most. Just jot it down in terms of “I loved doing XXX.” Or “I felt great when XXX.” And capture in one line what you didn’t like as well. There will be things that undermine or violate your word or phrases. We’re simply going to shine a spotlight on all of it so that we respond well, from a point of awareness. Responding well is an important aspect of self-leadership.
Then, next Sunday, let’s share what we’ve learned in the first week. If we form a learning circle, we will think about what we learned, and what we can do with the information. If we share in the comments, we can all learn from one another (which is where the fun is.) Hint: If you want to leave comments, you have to click on the “register here” link and create a user ID. Just create an id/password that you can remember, or write it down. If you have trouble, contact me and I will help you.
In WEEKS 2 – 6, we’ll focus on one strength a week, leveraging the Insight Guide, combined with our words, blended with the special sauce that we’ll receive from each one of us! How will I use my strengths to be WONDER-fully FEARLESS? I don’t know yet, but I’m excited to start!
This might be a good time to find an accountability buddy – someone who travels the path with you. Is there a colleague or friend that you know would be fun to play with? Invite them. Invite whomever you’d like.
I can see hundreds of butterflies – yellow, orange, blue, black, white – dancing in the wind, the sunlight flashing off our wings… this is going to be awesome!