You know how people seem to go through sudden transformations? Like you turn around and they’ve come up with this great idea that’s getting a lot of attention in the blogsphere or they lose weight and look fabulous or it seems in a blink of an eye they are zooming up the corporate ladder.
Must be nice right? At least that’s what I muttered under my breath in my less stellar moments.
I get it now though. I see clearly.
These people went through what I have started calling the imaginal process.
See, a caterpillar is just inching along, munching on leaves all fat and happy (for the purpose of this story, the caterpillar looks like one from A Bug’s Life) when in his body, cells that scientists call imaginal cells start to show up One or two at first but then more and more until the caterpillar, without really knowing why, gets this urge to spin itself into a cocoon.
Then he dissolves into mush. That’s probably a little unnerving.
Those imaginal cells, they have a purpose, and that is to take what was there and make new and different. Not long after, the cocoon breaks open and out climbs a butterfly.
It seems awfully sudden. And miraculous.
Yet I see now that it took work and energy and time. And I believe we go through a similar process in our transformations, though the external changes might not be quite as extreme.
I think that if you think back to the big changes in your life, you will see that you started out much like the caterpillar. The first imaginal cell of an idea appeared-say running a marathon- and maybe you dismissed it as crazy. You didn’t have the time or you didn’t know how to train or you don’t have the drive needed to complete 26 miles. Seriously. But for some reason, you’d think about it every once in awhile and then maybe you’d read an article running and that documentary on running just sucked you in.
Still overwhelming though and seriously, you couldn’t possibly find the time. But more and more the imaginal cells pop up-conversations with coworkers, some pin on pinterest that really inspires you. ‘All of a sudden’ the fear or overwhelm disappears and you find yourself acting. Before you know it, you are already running 10 miles on the weekend and what used to drag your breath from you and shake your kneecaps becomes more routine.
There was a lot of work in there right? Fear and sore muscles and lungs bursting and fatigue. Probably felt like dissolving into mush sometimes. But you transform, become something different.
This idea came to me as I was musing on a transformation that my husband and I had been blessed to be part of. And I realized that what I wanted to do most in this world was share with people that they can do the things they think they can not do. That they don’t have to be special, wait to be a ‘better’ person, have the answers or know what the hell they are doing to make a real impact in their life or the life of someone/something else.
This realization has helped usher in a transformation of my own. I want to take this idea and wring it for everything it has. I want to test the process in my life, I want to explore those who have employed it, I want to talk about effective ways to change and hopefully, encourage others to do the thing they think they cannot do as well.
So this blog is going to be changing. I will share with you whatever I learn. Freely. Because if we all allow for this process in our life, then we become imaginal cells for the world, transforming it into something more beautiful, kinder, stronger, freer.
Welcome to the Imaginal Project.