Becoming liquid to change

Caterpillar on a leaf

I’ve been reading about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. The stages are egg – larva – pupa – adult. I can’t help but be astounded at how much we have to learn about how nature gets her jobs done.

In a world in the throes of transformation and disruption, there should be a whole bunch of metamorphosis going on, and perhaps there is. Though what I’ve come to learn about the process the caterpillar goes through has made me wonder whether we’re doing it at all.

I’m going to write a longer piece on how we might use the model of caterpillar to butterfly as a way to think through transformation, but this blog is dedicated to the bit when the caterpillar digests itself!

During the state when it is in its chrysalis, the final shedding skin that then becomes the protective coating, the caterpillar completely liquifies. It turns into caterpillar soup and it is from this soup that the butterfly is formed.

This made me reflect on all the work I’ve done across the many years working with people within (and without) transformation. I don’t think it is possible to really know what it feels like to go through a complete transformation of self, or an organisation, until you’ve actually lived through it.

What I find interesting in the caterpillar’s metamorphosis is that it needs to disolve every aspect of itself before emerging as something completely new.

I couldn’t help but see how this ‘readiness to liquify’, to question and challenge the structures that represent our current realities, as an essential primary ingredient for our own transformation.

For complete transformation to take place,

we need to liquify our currently reality,

so that a new one can emerge.