From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Humans have always been fascinated by the transformation of the caterpillar from a tree-clinging pest to an aerial fairy. The metamorphosis is a fantastic metaphor for evolution.

Our protagonist Pooja, had a terrible life at home placed between a rock and a hard place. She had to keep her mum updated about every minute detail of her life.

No going out without supervision.

Want to invite friends for thanksgiving? Get the list approved first.

Seek permission before binging on a show.

Hand over the phone to get the texts checked every week.

Want to switch jobs? Does she know about it?

The list has just begun. Her mother was a control freak and overly critical of everything that Pooja did.

Pooja’s mum would never admit to being wrong. Disagreeing with her was the end of the world. Nobody stood up because they did not want to deal with the drama.

She felt she was entitled to Pooja’s gratitude because she gave birth to her.

Pooja was fed up of dictatorial figure in her life, and walked to a counselor. In one of the counseling sessions, she was narrated the metaphor of a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Pooja instantly related to the story. She was further told, it was her journey, and she will have to live it. The evolution will not be easy, because all those childhood memories and feelings won’t just go away, but cutting off a toxic presence in life would be liberating.

Butterfly Caterpillar

Pooja severed ties with her mother and left her a note quoting The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran.

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

There are countless stories of will that do not make it to the magazines. Pooja had one such internal story of bravery and will. We sing its praises here.

How does one amass will? Let experts throw light on it.

“Will is associated with the mind, while power is associated with the body.

But let me give you a secret these words are connected to both mind and body.

Willpower enhancement is better coordination of mind and body. Whenever any action mental or physical requires willpower.

Our subconscious brings our deep-seated fears, conditioning, and triggers which do not exist in the present but seem to and this hijacks our brain and body.

We overthink become indecisive and get stuck. Now in this situation, we react by “fight flight freeze or fawn “.

How to break this loop of going into past failures or experiences which just bring us into lower emotions? And this breaking helps enhance willpower as even little action becomes a dose of enhancement.

How to bring this to action?

  1. Address

Address your fears and failures with the angle of learning and curiosity. Ask.

  • What are you learning from the situation?

  • How can I do something different in this situation?

  • What and how shifts us from reaction to response?

And being “response + able = responsible” gives us the courage to decide and works in willpower enhancement.

  1. Breath

The breath starts shortening on negative thoughts but when we breathe fully from our belly the impact of the situation starts diluting. When our body breathes, the brain is unable to make a big picture of the situation. This gives us a little dose of will to handle the situation.

  1. Celebrate

Your goal may be big and it may take long but even if you take one step towards it “celebrate”. A celebration can be taking a nap, eating food of your choice, to listening to your favorite music. Conscious Celebration creates a sense of acknowledgment and happy/victory memory in our subconscious brain.

You can remember these three as ABCs of willpower enhancement.”

Pallavi Kashyap

“Personal practice every day that allows you to observe your mind and body and make space to organize and acknowledge the full range of your emotional life.

Engaging in personal practice every day in quiet allows us to observe our minds and bodies. When we do this, we can organize and acknowledge the full range of our emotional lives, and find our focus. This is how we can enhance our willpower is what allows us to find meaning and do good in the world.

Avoid asking many people’s advice about where to focus.

Often we unknowingly listen to how society ranks us in the importance of our voices. When we ask many people’s advice about where to focus our efforts and how best to utilize our skills, we can lose access to what is true and meaningful and become focused on something that is not the right fit for us.”

Sangeeta Prasad

“Do protect your willpower. Will power is a resource that can be depleted. It is important to protect it when you can. The easiest way to protect your willpower is to use it once instead of having to use it repeatedly.

For example, if you don’t buy cookies at the grocery store, you just have to use your willpower one time. If you buy the cookies and bring them home, you have to use your willpower every time you go into the cupboard and see the cookies.

Additionally, if you have many different snacks in your cupboard to choose from, you will have to use your willpower on every item in the pantry, which will lower your willpower faster and put you at greater risk of giving in and eating the food you are trying to avoid.

Don’t rely on willpower as your only tool. Willpower is one of the weakest tools to rely on when trying to stop yourself. Habits, routines, avoidance, and environment, used together with willpower are always going to be more effective.

For example, if you want to start an exercise routine, relying on your willpower alone to get yourself out of bed in the morning will not be sufficient. You will want to set yourself up for success the night before by having a routine of going to bed early, getting your exercise gear ready, having a workout plan set, putting your alarm clock out of arm reach from your bed, and having a glass of water nearby to drink as soon as you wake up.

The combination of habit, routine, preparedness, and willpower will make doing your exercise routine much easier than relying on willpower alone.”

Tina Wilston

“Meditation— Research shows that after just 2-3 days of practicing meditation for 10 minutes, your brain will be able to focus better, you will have more energy, and you will be less stressed.

Use Your Opposite Hand — One that worked particularly well was to use your opposite hand. Your brain is wired to use your dominant hand, so it takes willpower to use the opposite.

Be More Mindful of Your Automatic Decisions — To get started, try to catch yourself in an automatic behavior and ask yourself why you are doing it.

Perform a task everyday — Let loose your comfort zone & practice task building physical/ mental.”

Bhawna Dhamija

“We can enhance our willpower, by rewarding ourselves at intervals after performing a task or reaching a goal which we had visualized earlier. We have to work on goal setting and be optimistic.

We don’t have to criticize ourselves, and not be over ambitious. Step-by-step progress is important for improving. Will power is something that doesn’t happen suddenly, it is a process of patience.”

Anmol Singh

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