Wellness Pearls

14 March 2022

The Butterfly VS the Moth

Top Photo: Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing, the world s largest species of butterfly, wingspan reaching 1 foot. Found only in the forests of Papua New Guinea.  

Many people I have come across are asking big questions:

  • “What’s most important to me?”
  • “How do I want to live?”
  • “How can I live with a greater sense of wellbeing?”   

A recent MIT study suggests that toxic work cultures are a large driver of the Great Rsignation.  While there are thousands of considerations out there that have the potential to improve work culture or your own life, a useful one I discovered recently in Costa Rica is the difference between butterflies and moths.

As you re-shape your life or your work, consider integrating rather than discarding.    A butterfly digests itself from the inside out within its chrysalis, and then absorbs its chrysalis (former self) afterwards.  On the other hand, the moth’s chrysalis desiccates and is then discarded.

As you re-invent your life, consider integrating as a butterfly would, and bring the best parts of yourself along to improve the world you inhabit. Here are some real-world examples:

  • The respiratory therapist who grew weary from treating end stage lung cancer, started a smoking cessation program involving advanced lung cancer patients as instructors.
  • The staff member of a non-profit who felt exploited and undervalued broke out on her own to manage her own clients
  • The nurse who took on culture change from within- knowing that despair needs reinforcement to live, she began paying close attention to herself and her team.  She noticed what was working and stopped all complaining and gossip.  She took wise action on what mattered most by asking for what she needed.   By paying profound attention to imprisoning thoughts and actions, she set herself free from the inside out.

With wholehearted conviction, courage and kindness we can integrate all of our experiences into a more nourishing future.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”                  -Rumi 

My apologies to any entomologist readers:   I know there are many exceptions to this chrysilis rule but the metaphor still stands!

Wellbeing Resources

The United Health Project by Liz Svensson

Liz Svensson, a passionate advocate for health, interviewed me for a summit she is hosting from Dublin Ireland. She created the United Health Project and interviewed wide ranging experts in the field of health and well-being and compiled it all into a 21-day interview series summit.  Register for free right here:


Notice the beauty

As we watch what is happening in the Ukraine with helplessness and horror,  we can soothe ourselves with awe- a time lapse of a butterfly transformation .

20 things to do if you Say your Life Sucks

My favorite?  Commit to anything for one day.

Social Media Addiction

Social Media Victims Law Center

A non-profit  focusing on the damaging effects social media can have on some of our lives.  It offers resources for parents and outlines the evidence on the damaging impact that socal media is having on our lives and society.

Parenting Challenges?    Parent Encouragement Program

I serve on the board of the  Parent Encouragement Program and  still feel it was a huge contributor to our wellbeing as we were raising our kids.  It is chock-full of parent resources/ideas/evidence on how to raise kids with social interest who are competent (not entitled), able to self regulate and manage their own lives and contribute to society.  I suggest starting with a class on discipline or encouragement.  A real game-changer if you want a peaceful home.  Here are parents describing their PEP experience.

Stay Well,   Eileen

2 Responses

  1. Couldn’t have said it better, Eileen. The empowering part of this exploration is the discovery that culture in the workplace is an open system – we can affect change as much as we are affected by change. We can be part of the solution. Thanks for this.

  2. Pingback : Autoevolución para proveedores de atención médica

Leave a Reply