Lessons from a little caterpillar

Hello my fellow human beings:

Last week I mentioned that my experience on the stormy roads of eastern Ontario reminded me of the lessons I learned from a little caterpillar.  Here’s that story.

I attended yet another 10-day silent meditation retreat last fall at the Ontario Vipassana Centre in Egbert, Ontario.  It was a challenging, yet enlightening experience in which I learned a lot about myself, the mind-body connection, how the ego works and much, much more.

To be honest and frank with you all, I am a recovering worrywart.  Worrying is in my genes or something, as I come from a long line of worriers.  It’s not something that I am proud of, as we all know that worrying doesn’t accomplish anything productive, except perhaps to give you a pain in the neck (if that’s what you’re lookng for). 😉

It was at a time during this retreat, when my worrying was peaking and adding to my struggles, that I was taught some invaluable lessons by a little caterpillar.

You see this little caterpillar was crawling along the top of a picnic table with the challenge of negotiating the crossing of the varying gaps between the planks.  She did not worry about how she would cross each gap.  Instead she showed me that she had three choices she could make in the moment:

(1)   Take a risk. (Try to stretch out and reach for the next plank in the hope that she could touch it.)

(2)   Seek out help. (When she couldn’t stretch out far enough to touch the other plank, I placed a stick across the gap to help her traverse it.  When she made it safely to the other plank, she stood on her hind legs and gave me a thank-you salute!)

(3)   Change her path. (Once she reached the far edge of the tabletop, she had to try climbing down the side.)

This beautiful, little caterpillar taught me that worrying doesn’t help our situations.  Instead, it can act as an obstacle to keep us from moving forward.

We must be courageous enough to face the challenges in our lives without worry knowing that we have choices in every moment.  If one choice doesn’t work, then we try another and another.

We don’t give up.

We find the strength to be brave enough to die to what we know of our current selves (as caterpillars) so that we can be transformed into our beautiful new selves (as butterflies or moths).

So this week, when you find yourself worrying about something, be still, be fully present in the now, connect, and try out the lessons of the caterpillar.

May you all be happy.

May you all be peaceful.

May you all be free.

May you all live more abundantly!

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4 thoughts on “Lessons from a little caterpillar

  1. Much appreciated as I too come from a long line of worriers and it is a lifelong commitment to do what is necessary to confront worry! So be it…

  2. It is nice to have camaraderie while becoming less of a worrywart. Thank you, Valerie! I shall think of caterpillars, and butterflies : ) ~ Lily

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