An Excerpt from Hop, Skip, Jump by Marney K. Makridakis
Perhaps there is no better symbol for transformation and manifestation than the butterfly and its process of moving from caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly. Butterflies are often used as a symbol to show the “payoff” of hard work: “Look how hard the caterpillar has to work, and as a result, it becomes a butterfly.” Why is being a butterfly any more special than being a caterpillar? Why is an hour of meditating any more sacred than an hour of washing the dishes? Why is five minutes of blowing bubbles with a child more playful than five minutes of organizing your weekly receipts? It doesn’t have to be. Play is a state of mind.
Pausing Instead of Pushing
A person who studies butterflies is called a lepidopterologist. I am not a lepidopterologist, primarily because I am not able to pronounce it, but also because I have not studied all things butterfly. So I’m not an expert. Yet I’d like to think that a caterpillar, when building its cocoon, is not necessarily “working hard,” but simply following its true nature and taking its time. A playful manifestation process means trusting divine timing. It means that when something seems to be taking a long time, maybe it’s not a sign that we need to push harder, but rather a sign that we need to pause.
I once visited a butterfly garden and watched as all the children ran around trying to catch butterflies. I found myself walking around looking at the different butterfly species and enjoying the fairy-esque delight. I wasn’t chasing the butterflies like the kids, but my inner conversation was saying, “I need to keep moving — I don’t want to miss anything!” Then at one point, I got a little tired of walking, and I sat down on the ground and closed my eyes. I felt a small tickle on my right arm. Not one, but two butterflies had landed on my hand like two little glittering cherubs.
In manifesting what you want, sometimes pausing is more important than pushing. As you’re Skipping, you’re not being timed by some kind of divine stopwatch in the sky. You get to take your time. Skipping becomes more sustainable when it also leads you to quiet places, slow breaths, and cocoons of faith.
Try This: Make a Metamorphic Memo
1. Draw two large circles, side by side, with their edges barely touching.
2. In the middle of one of circle, write the word “stop.” Add decorations, doodles, or other words or phrases that come to mind when you think of taking time to stop, pause, and be present.
3. In the middle of the other circle, write the word “watch.” Add decorations, doodles, or other words or phrases that come to mind when you think of watching the world around you, taking it all in.
4. Draw a vertical line between the two circles, and you’ll see a butterfly emerge. Add more embellishments to make the butterfly come to life.
5. This butterfly is here with a simple reminder: Stop. Watch. You’re not on the clock. You can take all the time you need. So enjoy a pause and watch for a little gift to alight on your wrist.
Marney K. Makridakis is the author of Hop, Skip, Jump and founder of the online community ArtellaLand.com. Her first book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life, hit #1 on Amazon’s bestseller lists in several categories. She lives in Dallas, Texas. Visit her online at www.ArtellaLand.com.
Excerpted from the book Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life ©2014 by Marney Makridakis. Published with permission of New World Library.