Health & Wellbeing > Chasing Butterflies

Chasing Butterflies

Published: September 29, 2011

Writing has not been something I have wanted to do or could have done for what feels like a very long time. It has felt like my head has been stuffed with cotton—like you would find in a new bottle of aspirin— the pills are there but a cottony stuffing prevents you from getting to it. It’s placed there to prevent breaking in shipping. I don't know if mine was protective but it sure was jammed in tight. I was cluttered as my brilliant sister Chris put it. I just needed time and patience, of which I have in short supply; to have it all sort out. I say “it”, as I seem not to be any help in the sorting, as much as I tried I only made it worse. Up until then I had been serious about chasing down solutions to all my ills and hit a wall.

Most of the time during this cycle, yes it is cyclic unfortunately; I almost always panic at the onset as I always feel like Alice going down the rabbit hole. Not good. My fear and belief that I will not make it above ground again is so strong I get overwhelmed. I feel like the clutter will not clear away and I will feel anxious, lost and useless forever.

It took a long time for me to right myself this cycle. I am not sure exactly why that was but I believe there were lots of elements involved to extend the process. One element being a significant birthday, another was reduced resources, an anniversary of a trauma and the loss of faith, hope and fun. All of which resulted in whirling. Lots of whirling indeed. I can whirl like a tie-dyed hemp Jesus-sandal wearing, three-brownie eating, yogi dervish at a Grateful Dead concert. Pure pro... All the whirling does is create confusion, anxiety and a loss of focus bringing me to a dizzy, damp heap of red, freckles and pale.

I tried to use my trusty bag of tricks to right myself, yoga, walking, the beach, sex, mediation, twizzelers but nothing worked. I could not even bring myself to write. I was not able to string a sentence together. I tried drawing as painting and color felt like too much, too overwhelming. I tried reading; music, napping, bad TV and good movies... still nothing. I got nowhere. In fact it got worse before it got better. In the end the right answer for this cycle was to do nothing about my perceived issues, drama, troubles, etc. and keep my head down and muddle through it. There was nothing to fix and certainly not in that state. I was too clouded to recognize a solution if it bit me on the butt.

What I can equate this to is butterfly hunting. You don’t do well to chase butterflies; running willy-nilly around a flowered meadow is inefficient and unseemly to say the least. To say even less it sucks. You do best to sit still among the beautiful flowers and wait. Sooner or later a butterfly floats down and lands next to you if not right on top of you. Chasing most things make them move away from us. This is true for meditation, creativity, love, a pool toy, money you name it. If we are hyper-focused we lose sight of the opportunities right in front of us. We miss the presents that are being offered. Not to mention we make ourselves and those around us crazy with our whirling, moaning, groaning and generally bitchy attitude… or so I am told. Not a good way to spend an hour much less a life. So when in pursuit of something be mindful of what you are chasing and if it is something elusive perhaps it is time to sit down and take a breathe or two and smell the flowers.


1. Willy Nilly Wench on September 29, 2011

i love you.... Plain and simple. I love this analogy... And what a peaceful feeling to just sit and wait for that butterfly to land.... Keep doing you... You can never go wrong!

2. Sweet Sunshine on a Stick on October 1, 2011

Fabulous. So clear. Thank you for sharing this insight.

3. Chris on October 5, 2011

You're baaaack! Brill analogy and beautiful visual! Love ya more than my luggage....

Any Comments?


» The Relationship between a Square and a Circle

Creating Change

Published: December 7, 2011

Small steps to create change in the New Year

Turkey Trot

Published: November 12, 2011

Moving forward is fine, running willy-nilly is a whole other animal.