Why a Butterfly

This is a repost of my second blog post ever about why I titled my blog “My Life As a Butterfly.”

Thought I should write a little about why I named my blog “My Life as a Butterfly.” This blog will be about my journey in life. It is a written expression of who I am and who I am is a butterfly. The butterfly is my totem animal.

Two years ago I participated in the What’s Next?! Workshop led by, my coach, Joanne Lutz and (at the time) Jamie Thurber. This workshop is an AMAZING personal journey and I got so much out of it, I did it twice. In fact, quite a few of us have done it twice. Click on the link above to check it out and see Joanne’s description of the workshop, as she does it best. Needless to say, it TRANSFORMED me. One day, during this time period, I was meditating and this image of myself as a butterfly came to me.

As a child, I was the early stages of a butterfly. Livie studied these 2 years ago in Kindergarten, but she’s at school and not here for me to ask. Let’s see, I think it’s the egg and the caterpillar. I think of my early childhood as the egg stage and the rest as the caterpillar. Next came the pupa.

My pupa stage was my clinical depression. I was clinically depressed from my Sophomore year at Stanford until I was 28 years old, 8 years! I have a biological predisposition toward depression. This first bout was triggered by my father’s cancer diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma in 1991. My world came crashing in on me. I struggled, eventually left school and moved back home to Lake Oswego. My depression grew more and more severe. My father passed away in September of 1993, my mother’s alcoholism worsened, I tried to return to Stanford, but couldn’t make it work. During this time, my ex-husband and I started dating and married in 1997. We moved to the Boston area in 1998. My depression grew even deeper. Finally, by March of 1999, I was ready to get better. I had taken myself off of my meds, so I was feeling my highs, but more importantly, I was feeling my lows. I am not advocating people need to go off their meds to get better. Far from it. This is just my journey and how it happened for me. I am a huge believer in anti-depressants.

Here’s my little anecdote about my decision to seek REAL help. I was having dinner with Joanne (who at the time was my friend, not my coach) and her husband, Mark. Both dear friends of mine. I was relaying to them my story of depression, how I would see therapists for a while and then run when they started to get too close to my demons. I said, “I need someone who is going to call me out on my bullshit.” I remember this like it just happened, they both picked up their heads, looked at each other and said, “Prita!” Prita is now my therapist/teacher/mentor. But I was the emerging butterfly. I am the one who was drawn to these friendships, opened up to them both about what I needed. I took myself to that first session with Prita. I bravely attended my very first Emotional Re-education Workshop.

These were all steps of me pushing through the cocoon of my depression. At that first workshop, I remember being in the middle, starting to do my “work.” I was sitting on the ridge of a canyon. I could see the other side. All I needed to do was find the courage to jump. To take that leap of faith. I jumped and you know what, the butterfly flew!!!

This is a moment of great pride for me. One of my most courageous actions in life.

Now this butterfly is a certified life coach, having graduated from Prita’s Institute for Conscious Counseling and Coaching last year. I see myself as a vibrantly alive person who flies, lands and grounds myself, nourishes myself on sweet nectar, all while being gentle and vulnerable.

This is why I am a butterfly. Welcome to my life!!

This was a gift from my cousin Cindy for my 40th!