Hello Butterfly

butterfly, transformation, change, change management, Yan Maschke, executive coaching, Cleveland Ohio

I treat myself to a “self-renewal day” periodically, usually spending time with nature and/or art. 

Visiting the Cleveland Botanical Garden and standing in front of the mesmerizing “butterfly life unfolds” display in the Costa Rica rainforest glasshouse,  I am once again inspired by the life cycle of a butterfly. 

There are 4 stages in its life: egg, caterpillar, pupa, then butterfly

After the caterpillar grows and hangs itself upside down, a pupa starts to form. 

Within the pupa, the body of the caterpillar undergoes complete metamorphosis. This means limbs, organs, and tissues of a caterpillar have all been changed - not simply re-arranged. 

Out of the pupa comes the beautiful butterfly, in a completely different shape and structure.

Everything is deconstructed first before it’s reconstructed. It is a complete transformation.

Staring at the display, in awe of the magic of life, I start to wonder: 

  • What would it have felt like to go through a complete transformation? 
  • If I was that caterpillar inside that pupa, what would be going through my mind?
  • How much faith would I have to have to start this transformational journey? Or would I just know it’s what I need to do?
  • How might my old identify as a caterpillar be playing a role in this process?

I treasure my life as a transformational journey, and I support my coaching clients in their transformations - professionally and personally. Change is rewarding but never easy.

Having this esoteric dialogue with the pupas and soon-to-be butterflies hanging in the display case, I wonder what lesson I am taking away that’s informative to our own growth, change management, and transformation. 

Maybe, and just maybe, one message is as simple as “It is ok to change”. It’s ok to challenge the status quo and our old identity. It’s ok to be uncomfortable. It’s only in the discomfort zone that we grow. 

It’s through the discomfort zone that the beautiful butterflies come to life

The sound of birds chirping breaks my momentary immersion in the thought. A beautiful giant butterfly in bright blue color gently flies by, flapping its wings ever so lightly and elegantly, as if acknowledging my curiosity. 

(Intentional pause)

What are YOU curious about? 

If you could be a beautiful butterfly in your imagination, what would that look like? 

What about your organization? What can you borrow from the life of a butterfly as you lead change and transformation?


Resources: “The Discomfort Zone” by Marcia Reynolds

Growth opportunities: contact me to discuss your transformation