I was once given a handout by a teacher that said in big bold letters: Pardon the Mess; Transformation in Process. We students chuckled and then dutifully put the handout in our binder along with our notes. As I sit in the chaos and mess of my home while it is being gutted for something new to take its place, I see the truth of these words. The question is, do I see the truth of this process in my own life?
The great teachers tell us there is something major that wants to happen to us; we are blueprinted to be transformed. Not the ego’s idea of transformation, but a transformation that is beyond our current understanding. This is why so often it seems we are regressing, not progressing as we engage our yoga practice. From the view of the ego, things are not moving along as planned or hoped for. But from the soul’s perspective, the process is perfect.
Ram Dass speaks of the caterpillar as a metaphor of this process of transformation. He says that the end result of the cocoon is not to produce a flying caterpillar, but something altogether different – a butterfly. For this to happen, the caterpillar has to disintegrate into a soupy mess in order to emerge with the ability to fly. As a caterpillar, it could only crawl; now, as a butterfly, it soars. The caterpillar that fights this process never gets to fly.
This is true for us as well. We hurt ourselves when we think things should be other than they are; that we should be other than we are, or that the process of our transformation should look different than it does. As we learn to surrender and trust, we begin to willingly enter the cocoon and submit to becoming the soupy mess of someone in the process of being transformed. This is good news.
Pardon the mess…