Transformation and Moving Through Blocks Like a Snake

Snakes have been coming up a lot for me.  Thank the lord not in real life… but in metaphors, in pictures, in conversations.  

I feel like the butterfly often gets the most air time.  We talk about the slow and steady earthbound caterpillar who in order to morph into the butterfly needs to cocoon itself, literally turn itself into ooze, in order to reform into the beautiful butterfly, break from its cocoon and fly.

The caterpillar eats plants, the butterfly sips flower nectar.  The caterpillar crawls, the butterfly flies. The two are mostly unrecognizable from each other except for the eyes…  And if that cocoon should be torn apart or broken before it’s completed, ooze just flows out and there is no caterpillar and there is no butterfly.  Nothing.

On the other hand, you have the snake.

The snake, as it grows, creates a new skin and when the old skin feels too tight - they tear a little hole in it and then slither out of the old one, leaving it mostly intact but with any old parasites attached to the old.  And they do this multiple times a year - more often for young snakes, less often for old.

This metaphor seems more relatable to me, than the butterfly who is literally unrecognizable when they morph.

I don’t want to be unrecognizable.  I just want to be a shinier, more vulnerable, greater, version of myself.  The me that if you looked closely might seem like something is different, but you can’t really put your finger on it.

This past weekend, I went to a retreat in Sedona that had me starting to tear out of my old skin, leaving those old parasites still attached.  Leaving the same me still here - just me feeling more vulnerable AND fresh and shiny.

But when I was in the middle of the workshop - I felt like the caterpillar in the cocoon.  There was one moment on day 2, we working on money blocks, and I felt like I started to frantically weave a cocoon around myself.  Not to transform but to conceal.

Conceal my shame, my self-worth, my stories, my truth, my judgements.  

Money is a very interesting thing and what I found of every one of us in the room, and probably you too, none of the stories around money has to do with money, which is just a thing.  An energy exchange.

Money, for me, was tied to my self-worth.  Remembering conversations about money, stories that were told me about how I handled money and stories that I held on to for far too many years.  

Stories about what money represents and the type of people who have it and those who don’t.  It could be stories about what you get for money or what you don’t. How money can be turned into power, into despair, into longing, into joy.  So many stories.

So I sat with my stories, in my cocoon.  I unpacked them and I found that little girl inside of me who remembered those stories.  And we had a chat. And I make it sound all light and nice - just a little chat. But it was dark and stormy and wet.  I cried and I hugged her and I had a conversation with her. I told her that she could be exactly who she was - she didn’t need to put a smile on for me, or get me anything, or be anything other than who she was.  

And there was a moment that I felt I was the ooze.  That my cocoon was going to be sliced open and I was going to come pouring out and out and out …. That it wouldn’t ever end, that I couldn’t open myself up because then I knew I wouldn’t know how to stop.

But I didn’t have that luxury, to stay in my cocoon, no matter how much I wanted to.  Instead I had to trust, and open myself up. To be heard, seen and witnessed. Surprisingly, what I found by opening myself up, was that I didn’t die, but I released it.  I released all those old stories and I felt lighter, and shinier, and tired, and more vulnerable.

Just like a snake needs rest and extra humidity to shed that skin so did I.  Rest and a dip in the hot tub to cleanse all of it away and laughter amongst friends to relieve the stress of it.  

And as I slither(ed) out of that skin, I tried to leave as many parasites as I could with it.  As many of the old money stories, as many of the old stories, period.

And I’m sure I’ll find new ones and remnants of the old ones.  But the good news is that I get to shed it again and again and again….  I don’t get to go into a cocoon and come out as a brand new butterfly transformed, and I don’t want to.  I want to be me, just shinier and healthier and without as many parasites attached to me.

So why do I tell you this without any actionable steps, because I need to.  And to tell you, you can do it too.

Sit down (OK I guess I do have actionable steps) and close your eyes and picture yourself as a child and ask her/him how they are.  Depending if it’s money, or action, or career, or whatever you want clarity on. Sit with your little you and here’s a big key to this -- LISTEN.  Listen, for an answer. And then write down the answer, or sit with the answer, or ask more questions. And here’s the other key, share what you find with someone else.  A therapist, a trusted friend, a coach. Share it so you can see that it isn’t so scary - that the shame won’t kill you. In fact, it just might free you of that old skin and some of those old parasites.  

Jessica McClure