“In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.’*
My daughter loves this story. This much-loved children’s book by Eric Carle has been described as one of the greatest childhood classics of all time, having sold 30 million copies worldwide.
It is a regular favourite at bedtime. It’s the simplicity of the story, the vivid illustrations and creative layout, and the clever way that the author weaves into it educational themes such as counting, the days of the week, foods, and a butterfly’s life stages which makes it so universally appealing. For me, the fact that my daughter loves it being read to her is enough for me!
However more recently, it has taken on a deeper meaning and relevance for me in light of what I am doing now.
For the book beautifully captures the different stages and changes of life, along with the associated aches and pains experienced before a major transformation.
This tiny caterpillar emerged from his egg very hungry and looking for food. Just as in life, we are born with a craving for new experiences and learnings.
The caterpillar eats his way through a different type of food on a different day of the week. Just as we sample new and different things that feed our soul which in turn help us grow and shape our personalities and define who we are.
The caterpillar ends up with a tummy ache for eating too much so he goes back to something familiar in taste which makes him feel better – a nice green leaf. Like us, things can reach a point where it can become too much so much so that we can suffer angst, pain and stress, and instinctively we seek what is familiar to us. This usually happens before we experience a major change or shift in our lives. So we often retreat to reflect and reassess our choices, circumstances, environment and where we are at in life. Just like the caterpillar retreats into his cocoon where he stayed for more than two weeks.
Until he was ready to face the world again … but this time as a beautiful butterfly!
The Stages Of Change
This is an absolutely classic representation of the Stages of Change. Or what we experience when we go through a major change in our life.
Our life’s changes follow a pattern. We begin with our values and strategies (or simply put, thought processes) matching our environment. Everything is great. Then as a result of sampling the different experiences that life has to offer, either our environment changes, or we begin to change the way that we think. We go through a stage where we know that what we used to do just doesn’t work anymore. We begin to have doubts. We go back to things that have worked in the past in an attempt to restore our balance and confidence. We hold on to old beliefs and ways of thinking however this often only leads us to feel trapped, stuck, directionless and overwhelmed. We find we are unable to cope.
It’s only when we develop new coping mechanisms, strategies and a new way of thinking that we can move forwards. This is what we call ADAPTING.
So here’s the moral of the story.
Change is inevitable in life. In fact, it’s the only constant in this world. So it’s HOW WE ADAPT TO CHANGE which sets each of us apart and defines who we are and how we live our lives.
Embrace change, and turn it into an opportunity for self-discovery and growth, and like the very hungry caterpillar, you CAN became the beautiful butterfly!
If you would like to find out more about how I can help you, please click HERE.
*Extract from ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle
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