We are going to compare the transformation from egg to caterpillar to butterfly to our personal growth. Every cycle of the butterfly’s growth has challenges.
Stage 1: Where you began/The Egg Laying
A female butterfly lays a lot of tiny eggs on leaves or stems of plants. The first stage of the life cycle of a butterfly usually lasts 3-7 days. Reflect on:
- What was it like for you growing up? Who did you used to be? What were you like as a kid? What was your family like? Friends? Town?
Stage 2: How you survived on your own/Caterpillar
A caterpillar’s main activity is eating. They almost never stop eating so they can grow quickly. The first meal for most caterpillars is the eggshell and then they eat the leaf they were born onto. Caterpillars increase their body mass over 100 times larger than its birth size. Caterpillar shed their skin 4-5 times. Monarch caterpillars are able to eat leaves of the milkweed and store the glycosides in their own bodies, which makes the caterpillar toxic. It is how they defend themselves. This stage is about how you got your survival needs met.
- How did it go when you left home?
- How did you change?
- What did you need most? How did you get what you needed?
- How did you become toxic? How did you protect yourself from predators? How did this serve you and hurt you.
Stage 3: Choosing Change/The Chrysalis
The caterpillar makes a chrysalis in a safe area around the plant where it hatched. The change from caterpillar to butterfly is called Metamorphosis. Once enclosed in a chrysalis the caterpillar’s body releases a digestive enzyme which dissolves it’s tissue. It completely liquifies. within a few days the cells rearrange and form a butterfly. The chrysalis thins and becomes see through. The butterfly is then able to break out and hang to dry.
- When did you know it was time to let go of your caterpillar life and become a butterfly?
- The Break Down- What does it feel like to transform? Talk about how uncomfortable it is to let go of your old life and live in the uncertainty of change.
Stage 4: Living Consciously/Adult Butterfly
After a few hours the butterfly became ready to take its first flight.
- Consider how hard life can be for a butterfly. Having delicate beautiful wings makes you more vulnerable. What’s hard about recovery? How has your increased awareness and sensitivity to the world made life more difficult? How can you deal with it?
- What are the advantages to being a butterfly rather than staying a caterpillar?