Living in the Moment Like a Butterfly
Have you ever sat and watched a butterfly fly? They flutter through the air carefree and unfettered, unconcerned by things like updrafts, or whether their wings will support them. Unencumbered by thoughts of what the next moment will bring. Will I be eaten? Will I catch the perfect wave of air? Will I splatter against someone’s windshield as I whiz through the air in oblivious abandon? Will I meet up with my mates for a game of tag? Or join a game with a bunch of strangers?
Butterflies live for the moment. Heck they’ve managed to go from caterpillar, to puddle of goo, to a lighter than air flying creature, all by simply being themselves—being in the moment. Why sweat the small stuff at this stage of their life?
Humans could take a few leaves from a butterfly’s book. We spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what’s going to happen in the next bazillion minutes, and when things don’t go as we planned we fret about what we perceive as failures for the next bazillion. To what purpose?
Making Plans and Battling Failure
Are we happy while we meticulously plan for outcomes beyond our control? Do we find joy in rehashing our perceived failures? Do we stop to admire all the beauty around us, or recognize how many things go right when we get out of our own way?
Sadly too many humans focus their attention on the one thing they feel went wrong, ignoring all the amazing and wonderful things going on right around them every single moment. We spend far too little time on all the things in our life that are going right if not downright amazing!
Taking a Tip From the Animals and Insects
I sat on my front porch one Friday night watching cars go by carrying people home from work and into the weekend. Butterflies played tag through the tree boughs while a handful a pigeons pecked the grass for bugs. My outside cats lay amidst the overgrown weeds occasionally wandering over for a skritch. They, like me were more interested in watching the birds and butterflies soaring overhead than interrupting the pigeons’ pecking, for a meal they neither wanted nor needed.
Birdsong filled the air as the sun sank lower and feathered families settled into their nests for the night. But for the occasional whoosh of a car or hoot of a train whistle, it was just me, the cats, and nature settling down for the night. I’d accomplished a few things during the day. Maybe not as much as I could have but enough that in my eyes, the day was a success. Sitting on my porch watching the butterflies darting through the sky, and listening to the birds performing their nightly ablutions was exactly where I was supposed to be. It was exactly when I was supposed to be too.
The Journey is the Purpose
Even for me, moments like this are rare. I’m still learning to appreciate the value of allowing moments to pass without a plan, without an objective, and without a specific purpose. I’m conscious of the need to simply Be, but like most humans, fall back into old habits that insist I must “do”; must accomplish something with each of my moments. In reality, allowing myself to just Be is often accomplishment enough.
When faced with a major project such as the latest revision of my memoir, my first inclination is to grab paper and pen and draw up a plan. Even general wisdom tells me I must draw a kind of map so I’ll know how to get from here to there. Then, without taking a breath or looking around for other options, I have to dive in with both feet and start producing…something.
But sometimes the journey IS the purpose. How and when I get there is what I’m supposed to discover along the way. Yet how many times have I mistakenly assumed responsibly for setting the path, and blamed myself when it all went to hell? My mistake wasn’t in how or where I directed the train, but in assuming responsibility for setting it’s direction and rate of speed in the first place. It’s a mistake I’ve repeated over and over again throughout my lifetime. I’d like to say I’ve learned my lesson, but know sooner or later I’ll go charging in again when my role is really to follow.
Learning to Let the Universe Drive
Perhaps it’s just age which has slowed me down; has made the destinations less urgent. Perhaps taking the long way around is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Yet I’m finding as I do that. the long way around is getting me where I want to go just as quickly and a lot more easily than when I tried to force things or run the show.
The truth is, every time I tried to force the route, the speed, and the mode of travel, I ended up somewhere I really didn’t want to be. Over and over the Universe said “trust me”, and I replied “me do!” as I grabbed the wheel and drove myself off another cliff. Somehow the bumps and bruises failed to drive home to me where the real problem lay.
These days I have less stuff than most of my friends. I go to less concerts and take fewer trips. But I have something many of them don’t as they continue to chart their own courses and drive their own vehicles.
I have time to sit on my front porch watching the butterflies and listening to the birds with my cats who are far wiser than me in the ways of the world and the meaning of life. And sometimes when I do, a blog post or story writes itself—much like this one did.
Gratitude for Things Great and Small
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful I’m learning to slow life down.
- I’m grateful I’m learning I don’t always need to be the conductor of my life and journey,.
- I’m grateful for quiet evenings to listen to the birds and enjoy the butterflies at play.
- I’m grateful for my cats who love a good snuggle and nothing more.
- I’m grateful for abundance; peace and quiet, joy, inspiration, appreciation, the little things, plans that make themselves, letting go, enjoying the ride, friendships that make me feel warm and loved, health, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity for all.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws , of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward