The Butterfly

I was on my morning run, when a few feet ahead a big brown leaf tumbled to the ground. Leaves are nothing unusual, but what I saw next was. On the ground was a large tan butterfly, with beautiful blue eye markings on the lower wings and small almost mirror like eye markings on the upper. I have seen and photographed butterflies, but none were this big or this beautiful.

I bent down to pick it up and expected it to fly away. Instead it stumbled and flitted, but couldn’t take flight. I gently picked it up, thoroughly amazed at its beauty and fragility. I placed in my hand or should I say on it; it was large enough to cover my hand.

It made a feeble attempts to fly, but would just fall to the ground. I wasn’t sure if it was injured or in it’s final moments. Regardless, I was going to give it a safe place and I gently placed one hand over the other as if I was carrying a fragile glass and walked at a slow pace.

The slower pace was actually quite welcome. I really didn’t feel like running anyway because I feel like I’m always running somewhere; to work, to the grocery store, to do the laundry, etc.

Eventually I removed one hand and it just sat in my palm. Of course, I had nothing to capture a picture with and wanted to turn around and go home. I was a mile away so I just stayed the course. No sense in turning this peaceful moment into a rush adventure just to capture a photo.

As I rounded a curve, the butterfly crawled up my palm and sat on the edge of my hand. It was like it wanted to see where we were going. It sat there taking in the view as the path meandered around the golf course and near the trees.

And then it happened; it went tipped forward off my palm, tumbled down to toward the ground, and……unexpectedly took flight. Further and further it flew, climbing higher as it went, and eventually settling into a tall tree. I stood there in amazement and yet a little sad. Like all animal releases, you’re glad to see it return to the wild, but sad to see it go.

I carried on with my walk and realized how nice it was to provide a safe place from the world for the butterfly to just recoup and gather its bearings. I could use one of those little breaks!

Shortly after returning home, a friend called;”want to take a ride?”. I was cooking breakfast, had a full day of tasks planned, but I said “lets go!”. We took the scenic drive near the ocean, had a long relaxing lunch, and spent the day doing nothing particular with no schedule. It was exactly what we both needed to let go, regroup, and renergize.

Sometimes we can get a little beat up and making our way can be difficult. We flit about, here and there, not really making any progress. Taking a short break from it all to regroup (with a good friend really helps) can be just what we need to get off the ground and take flight again.

Unanswered Prayers

“I cannot believe that, seriously!”….I shrugged my head in disbelief. I had very successfully interviewed for a job, in a place I really wanted to live. It was close to my family, in a place with tons of outdoor activities, and a great climate. It was the same position I currently have, which isn’t at all fulfilling, but considering all the other benefits I’d gladly make the change.

Then out of the blue, the opportunity just vaporized.  I mean, poof….gone.

Needless to say I was very, very upset and went out into to nature to have one of those no holds barred conversations with God. Ironically, when I let it all out unabashedly, is when I become crystal clear. It’s that point of frustration, that point of I’m tired of having hopes dashed, that I’m not taking this crap anymore attitude that breaks through every barrier to my soul. That is where real change begins.

So fast forward several months later…..nothing like the passage of time to put things in perspective. For a long time I have dreamed of being a successful writer who inspires people, who makes a positive difference in the world. I’ve dreamed of writing about travel and using my photography skills to share the good things about the world and encourage others to do the same.

It’s been 3 months since I didn’t get the job I really wanted. In those 3 months I finished and submitted my animal stories book to be published. Several of my travel stories have been published on high profile websites. And…..last week I was interviewed on television!!! My first big break and it was so easy. Remember my photography? Yesterday, I was chosen as the photographer for a photo shoot of a 1.2 million dollar home.

I feel so alive that it’s incredible!! THIS is what makes my heart sing!   It is all coming together so effortlessly that I just stand there in awe and all I can say is Wow and Thank You.  I didn’t get the job I thought I wanted, but I’m beginning to live the life I’ve dreamed.

So the question remains Is God saying “no” when your requests aren’t answered? Based on my experiences, I have a theory. When you let go and ask God to guide you, what begins to appear are your heart’s true desires. We may say we really want something, but way deep inside there is a different desire. Letting go and trusting is when we connect to our deeper being. Like a defibrillator, it often takes a jolt from life for us to connect to our heart.

Ironically, when we surrender to our heart, “coincidences” start to appear, and things easily fall right into place.  Instead of tireless effort that seems to get nothing, the simplest efforts yield incredible results.

So the next time a prayer isn’t “answered” take a long deep look into your soul. Just maybe your heart’s desires are begging, screaming, and kicking to be let out and now is their time.