When my daughters were infants, I would lie on my bed with their tiny bodies held against my chest, their heartbeats beating a gentle tattoo against my body. As I breathed, their bodies would rise and fall with my breathing. I would touch my lips to their warm soft heads, smell the fresh sweet scent of their skin, and know bliss.
I could lie there for hours, my hands cupped around their tiny, fragile bodies. My mind floating as my world revolved around the indescribable wonder and joy of their beings in my life.
Those moments, though fleeting, live with me. As I reflect back on them, tears of joy fill my eyes. There was a purity in those quiet moments of calm, when the world seemed far away and distant, when I felt connected to a force greater than me as I reveled in the miracle of my child’s birth.
It is the miracle of my daughters birth that inspires me on my journey. When I first held them in my arms, witnessed the tiny perfection of their beings, I knew that I was witnessing the wonder of creation and it was truly miraculous. Yet, when I looked in the mirror I could not see the miracle and wonder of me.
That wasn’t right.
To be whole, to be free I needed to see myself as a miracle of life.
I wondered, where did my miracle go? What is preventing me from seeing the miracle of me in the mirror?
With that question my journey into wholeness began.
It's been a tough question to answer. A tough question to wrap my mind around so that I could get out of my own way and get into knowing the miracle of me.
But I'm doing it!
Last week at Choices (http://www.choicesseminars.com/) as I was watching the faces of the 'newbies' enter the room, I was struck by the realization that every person in that room was a miracle. My job as a coach, was to shine light in the room so that they could uncover the miracle that is their essence. What a joy to watch people move from disbelief to realization -- we are each a miracle of life. Unique. Magnificent. Divine.
When my daughters were little I wrote a story for them about a butterfly trapped in a glass jar. She was a beautiful butterfly. Her delicate wings glistened in the light like stained glass windows in a cathedral. She sat on a little twig, her big dark eyes peering out at the world from behind the protection of her glass enclosure. She was happy. She was safe from the world, out there, content to live within the confines of her glass jar.
One day, a young boy took the jar with the butterfly in it and carried it outside. "Butterflies should be free," he said.
The butterfly was not so sure. She clung desperately to the twig, terrified of this sudden journey into the unknown world.
When the boy got outside, he took the lid off, shook the jar and said, "Okay butterfly, fly free!"
But the little butterfly didn't want to fly free. She liked her safe little home inside the jar. She liked the twig upon which she perched. She liked the constant temperature of the air, the cool feel of the glass against her wings when she spread them wide. She did not want to fly free.
The little boy became agitated. He shook the jar again and again until finally, realizing the butterfly was not going to come out, he threw the jar to the ground and smashed it into a thousand pieces.
Suddenly exposed to the chill of the air, the butterfly cried in terror. "What have you done! You've ruined everything!"
The little boy didn't understand. The butterfly quivered on the grass, her wings shaking, her eyes tearing. She wouldn't move from the twig to which she clung.
"Stupid butterfly," he said before turning his back and walking away.
The little butterfly watched him leave and wondered what on earth she was going to do now. Where would she go? How would she ever feel safe again? Just then a gentle breeze came up and stirred her wings.
"Who's there?" she asked.
"It's me. The wind," a voice answered.
"The wind? Who are you?"
"I can be your friend," the wind responded.
"Ha!" chirped the butterfly, her voice rising in condescension. "I don't need a friend. I need a glass jar."
"How do you know you don't need a friend? Have you ever had one?"
The butterfly didn't want to listen to the wind. She wanted to climb back inside the security of the glass jar and be safe.
"Go away! Leave me alone."
The wind didn't listen. He tickled her wings. Gently stroked her body. Poured himself around and under and over her as he coursed through the air.
"Stop that!" The butterfly cried. The winds caresses were encouraging her wings to unfold. She did not want her wings to unfold. She did not want to let go of the twig to which she still clung so fiercely.
The wind didn't listen. He grew stronger. Pushing himself into the spaces between her wings. Forcing them to open wide. To stretch out and move up and down.
Slowly, against her will, the butterfly began to lift off the ground.
"What? What's happening?" she cried as the earth began to fall away. "Stop it! I'm scared."
The wind continued to ignore her cries as he carried her further and further away from the broken pieces of the glass jar that was once her home. He carried her to a garden of bright, brilliant coloured wild flowers. Their velvety faces pointed up towards the sun, the colourful heads nodded in joy against the gentle caresses of the breeze as it carried the butterfly through their midst.
"OOOOOhhhhh!" cried the butterfly. "Look at all the colours. What are they?" she asked as without thinking her wings began to move up and down by themselves and she began to flit amongst the multi-coloured hues of the flowers.
"They're your friends," the wind whispered into her ear.
Suddenly, the butterfly realized she was flying. She stopped moving her wings up and down and landed with a plop on top of a flower. "Oh, sorry," she said as she struggled to gain flight again. The flower, a bright sunny, daisy with many arms smiled happily and replied. "Don't be sorry. You're helping me grow!"
Just then, another beautiful butterfly came flitting by. He saw the little butterfly struggling to lift off from the flower and settled on a petal close by. "Hi," he said, his eyes twinkling in the sun. "What's your hurry? How about sitting with me awhile?"
"Who are you?" the little butterfly asked, trying desperately to fold her wings into her body to avoid touching his.
"I'm a butterfly," he replied. "Just like you."
"Hmmm," the little butterfly thought for a moment as she digested this new information. "And you live out here?"
"Where else would I live?" he asked. Growing tired of sitting around in the sunshine, he spread his magnificent wings and took flight. "Come on," he called back to the little butterfly who watched in awe as the sun caught his wings and cast beautiful colourful prism onto the ground. "Let's fly!"
The little butterfly looked around. Amidst the flowers hundreds of butterflies flitted joyfully amongst the flowers. Here and there a big fat bumblebee buzzed its way around as it busily gathered nectar for its hive.
The butterfly wanted to be like the other butterflies she could see around her. Carefully she unfurled her wings. She felt a tickle of breeze caress her skin. She felt her body lifting up. Leaving her fear behind she spread her wings and took to the skies. Beneath her, the glass shards of her forgotten jar glistened in the sun. In the distance, the little boy played ball with his dog while all around her the world revolved in magnificent splendour as she began to fly. She was free at last. Free to feel the wind beneath the wings, as she moved beyond the memory of her glass jar into the big wide world around her.
We don't know what we don't know.
The little butterfly didn't know she was born to fly free.
You and I didn't know we were born to be miracles of life.
Today we do.
Today, I fly free, my wings unfurling, my light shining brightly as I journey into my perfect world with the wind beneath my wings. I hope you join me.