The Hungry Caterpillar

So… you find yourself not quite “there” and you’re doubting… you’re doubting yourself, your destiny, your purpose, your whole damn existence. Maybe you feel like other people are doubting you too.

But what if you’re not lost? What if you haven’t screwed it up beyond all recognition? What if you’re just a smooshy thing in a cocoon?

In the words of Oldest Son, “patience, young grasshopper.” (I have five children and each is super duper delicious but Oldest Son is also Old Soul. Yay, me!)

One of my favorite books is The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Know it? The caterpillar goes around, eating and eating and eating… until it curls up into a cocoon and eventually emerges as a butterfly.

Maybe, just maybe, all those foods that the caterpillar is munching are its life experiences… to be processed, in his guts, down into his real being… creating – over time – a brand new Being.

My observations and musings:

  1. Is it really a brand new being, though? Does the butterfly retain all the thoughts, feelings, emotions of the caterpillar? Can the butterfly remember being the caterpillar? (Welcome to my brain…)
  2. The caterpillar eventually gets plump enough on all its “food” AKA life experiences, and crawls itself into a cocoon to rest, process, and transform… and we see this respite, tucked in, as a good and necessary part of the caterpillar’s journey towards becoming… a butterfly. 
  3. We know to leave the not-a-caterpillar-but-not-a-butterfly being… oh, that in-between-being… alone. Too much help is not helpful. We must allow it… we must give it permission to make its way out when it’s ready… and then patiently await its perching while it dries its wings and prepares to fly. Allow. Be patient. Encourage. Believe.
  4. Many of us enjoy butterflies… we think of them as beautiful. But the way there, to butterfly-ville, is filled with munching so much “food” AKA life experiences, and crawling-tucking-waiting… in a mushy, squooshy state… until just the right time (not too early, not too late… it knows, it knows) to emerge. New. But still tender. In need of patience. Encouragement.

I see through the eyes of my heart all of us as caterpillars… munching away, butterflies in potentiality… 

So, to me, all the life experiences are food for us… the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives… all fuel for the great transformational potential that exists in each and every one of us.

What do we need to find our way from plump caterpillar to flitting butterfly?

  1. Patience… with each other and with ourselves.
  2. Encouragement… time in the cocoon can be difficult. We’re all smooshy and unrecognizable… let us not rush to judgment based upon the in between seasons of our becoming.
  3. Vision… to believe in ourselves, in each other… caterpillar or smooshy in between thing, we each are butterflies at heart. This is our destiny!

Very often, I remind my clients that we are all in process, on a journey, and becoming. Be curious about your experiences; be compassionate with yourself on the way; be courageous to feel, be honest, and allow yourself to become.


Wherever you are, whichever season of life you find yourself in today… remember who you are. 

You are a freakin’ butterfly. 

Patience, “young grasshopper.” You’re not done becoming yet. 

  1. Eat up those life’s experiences. 
  2. Process them. Cocoon time, baby. Messy, squooshy, sometimes lonely. 
  3. Emerge. Tenderly, with great self-care. And patience. And hope.
  4. When you’re ready, fly.

Most often, my clients come to me somewhere along the journey, having forgotten their destiny. It is a blessing and true pleasure to remind them.


I love you.



Holistic Wellness & Empowerment Coaching

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