(#16) Butterfly Says “Get Ready For Big Changes”

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre GideYou must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.  ~Denis Waitley If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change.  If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.  ~John A. Simone, Sr.Change always comes bearing gifts.  ~Price Pritchett

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.  ~Henri Bergson

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.  ~Author Unknown

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.  ~Anatole France

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
~Lao Tzu

Throughout life we will go through many changes—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—yet the most dramatic occur during infancy and adolescence, the two periods where growth is the most rapid. In the first six months of life a human baby will develop more than at any other point in her life, gaining . . . . Following this there are a few years of slower growth until the second surge during adolescence, where dramatic changes in the body, the mind, and the heart occur along with the issues inherent with this second spurt of growth.

Of course growth and changes occur throughout our lives—the challenge is to flow with these changes. Whether it’s the physical, mental, and emotional changes that naturally occur as we journey along our life path or the continual shifting of our surroundings and circumstances to which we have to adjust, it’s in our best interests to embrace these and find ways to flow with them and integrate them into our lives. Resisting them has the potential to create unnecessary suffering.

There are times throughout life when we go through such big changes that they are rightly called transformations, for which the butterfly offers the perfect symbol and metaphor. Through the Children’s Spirit Animal Cards, In the guidebook that accompanies the cards, Butterfly spirit offers her wise counsel and encourages children to move gracefully through these changes that are a natural part of life:

I started out as a caterpillar, but after wrapping myself in a cocoon for a while, I came out all pretty and started flitting about. Nature took its course. It took awhile, but then big changes like this usually do. You’re going through these kinds of changes right butterflynow. You may still feel like a caterpillar or like you’re in a cocoon, but get ready! Lots of things are changing as you grow up. Aside from your body changing and growing, a lot is happening inside you too—all a part of growing up. You’re already feeling different about yourself, but it’s still you and will always be you.

These changes may involve new challenges at school, a move, or new tasks to tackle. I’m sure you’re going to like most of these changes, but others may be a little scary at first. Just trust that you will succeed in dealing with them. Just like what happens with me, Nature is taking its course with you. And if you do get scared, just ask one of your parents, a friend, or even me to help you through them.

In addition there are suggested activities for children to support their courage in adapting to these changes;

* Make a list of ways that you have changed in this last year, including physical changes and ways you do things differently.
* Write in your journal about how these changes make you feel.
* Take note of any positive benefits that have come from recent changes.
* Confide in your parents, a relative, or a friend about what kinds of changes are going on for you and how you feel about them.

The guidebook also offers specific ways that parents can support their child when there are major changes taking place—and often for children any change will be perceived as major!

* Help your child embrace big changes with a sense of excitement instead of fear by how you talk about it, such as, “How exciting it is for you to be going into first grade!”
* If the child is fearful, comfort them by first acknowledging their fears and then reframing the experience in more positive and life-enhancing ways.
* Tell them stories about changes you went through and how you dealt with them.
* Read stories to them or provide them when they can read about others going through changes.

No matter the degree of discomfort with the changes that are occurring, the reassurance of parents and the wisdom that Butterfly offers can help a child more easily navigate through the most challenging of transitions.

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