Monthly Archives: February, 2016

The Butterfly Effect

Life is short. If you doubt me, ask a butterfly. Their average life span is a mere five to fourteen days.   -Ellen DeGeneres
My vision collage this year emerged in the shape of a butterfly and included images of many fellow people in my “tribe.” So I decided to name it “Butterfly tribe.” I then got to thinking about how I could, like Gretchen Rubin in her Happiness Projects, have themes to focus on each month. This is your cordial invitation to join me in the year of

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

 thisrsz_1heartbutterflymandala

The butterfly effect is a term from chaos theory that refers to a small change resulting in large differences in a later state or place. Each month I will be making small changes in different areas.

Here are the areas:

  1. Vision (January)
  2. Clarity (February)
  3. Make A Plan (March)
  4. Cultivate Creativity (April)
  5. Connect (May)
  6. Honor Sensitivity (June)
  7. Receive Support (July)
  8. Embrace Change (August)
  9. Play (September)
  10. Romance (October)
  11. Health (November)
  12. Release Shame (December)
Each month I will be writing about the small incremental changes I am practicing in these areas and recommending books or action you could try if you would like. Where do you come in? You are invited to join. If each of us make small changes, they MAY result in large differences. Also, in a tribe, people can learn from each other. For example there may be some spring chickens in this tribe that could teach me about how the heck to “tweet” during May.
Change (recovery, parenthood, living your vision) can be hard. It can be even harder when we attempt to do it alone. I have created a few ground rules for myself and you, should you choose to accept, in this butterfly project:
 butterfly

1. It is ok to choose the level of your participation, to make mistakes, and to change your mind.


2. You do not have to do it alone.

3. Stay engaged with the process (and notice when you would rather not).

Butterflies are fragile. They collapse easily and don’t survive well alone. They need each other, they need heat, and they need light. 4th generation monarchs, the ones that travel to California
and Mexico and live for 180-240 days, travel together for astounding distances. They do this together and then, when they hang in the trees, they do it together. So when you feel alone or collapsing in shame or sick and tired of being sick and tired, Do not give up. In the words of Richard Bach,

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.

Happiness

Although she is not a Psychologist or recovered person (those I often look to for wisdom on recovery or motherhood) I absolutely love the work of Gretchen Rubin. In her Happiness Project book series, she researches and then implements the wisdom she discovers. Though the nature of the topic borders on self-help, I never feel “preached to” (ex: You should take the following steps to get to where you want to be) while reading her work. She is permission-giving. Her main truth is “Be Gretchen”- be YOURSELF.

There is no better recovery guideline than that.

Here are some of her other Happiness Truths:IMG_1486.jpg

  • To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.  
  • One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy;
  • One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
  • The only person I can change is myself.
  • Happy people make people happy, but
    I can’t make someone be happy, and
    No one else can make me happy.

I was so inspired by her yearly themes that I have implemented my own for this year. January was, of course, Visioning.

February is Clarity. Stay tuned for more on this month’s theme as I read about the life changing magic of tidying up.

What are your happiness themes? What makes you happy?

 

 

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