To fly or not to fly…that is the question
The modest caterpillar’s metamorphosis from a shrub hugging, 12‐legged bug into the magnificent airborne butterfly, is one of the most used comparisons to define a complete life transformation. It’s sincerely a fanciful mechanism established by nature. Yet, while all might appear fantastic on the exterior, this transformation looks rather ghastly deep inside the chrysalis.
Basically, for a caterpillar to transform into a butterfly, using enzymes activated by hormones, it digests itself before slumbering cells comparable to stem cells cultivate into the form of the impending butterfly.
If you thought adolescence was cruel? Read on….
A caterpillar’s existence consists of locomotion through life from leaf to leaf, simply consuming and snoozing, living in a Groundhog Day cycle where it lives the same day over and over again, not recognizing that any other life is conceivable. A butterfly, on the other hand, is free to travel and explore wherever it wishes, spoiling in the premium blossoms of life. Some butterflies tour thousands of miles to spend the winter in warm, sunshiny climates. Undeniably, the contrast in life transformations is extraordinary. What is even more curious is the fact that the winged beauty was formerly an ordinary caterpillar.
The caterpillar has no notion that concealed in his chromosomal structure is the eventuality to develop into a gorgeous fluttering butterfly. Not surprising though, as he was born a caterpillar, that’s all he has ever identified as being. Far removed from his frame of reference, even if a butterfly lands right next to him, the caterpillar unassumingly cannot comprehend the disparity or eventuality of his future as a winged beauty himself.
Using instinct and programming, the caterpillar moves to build a cocoon around itself and begins a life transformation. Unlike you and I, the caterpillar has no other odds, but eventually its instinctual actions will change its life evermore. Instinct is not typically sufficient to convey an all‐inclusive life transformation for us hominoids. Fortuitously, we have somewhat more than this. Dissimilar to the caterpillar, we have autonomy. We also have the capability to grasp that more is achievable. Even if we have not ever breathed the life we sincerely long for, we still acknowledge that such an existence is feasible.
Deep inside of us, we are all convinced that an existence of true gratification and contentment is our entitlement. So, for us, the problem isn’t so much, “is it attainable?,” but alternatively, “in what way is it attainable?” How do we go about transmuting our present reality into the life we dream of? Here’s how….
On my journey of shedding the caterpillar casing and becoming a butterfly flying across the dreamlands, I have frequented many transformational destinations and have put together a list of the ones that really helped me to become the butterfly I was always destined to be.
As we are all so different and have different ideals of the world and how we’d like it to be, similarly there are transformative retreats for everything possibly imagined. Whether you want to metamorphose yourself into an artist or simply to metaphorically learn to fly again, there’s something for everybody.
Remember though that the process from caterpillar to butterfly is weather dependent and depends on the regional climate, so ensure you choose the right environment for your own incredible transformation. Metamorphosis isn’t just some beautiful physical transformation, though. It’s a stunning display of evolutionary mechanism at work, so enjoy the whole process. The butterfly in you is waiting to spread its stunning wings and fly.
First on my list is the initial transformative retreat I visited called Ti Sana in Italy, a detox retreat that has many programs to offer. If this is the first on your list, as it was on mine, then it’s good as with any transformation process to clear out some excess weight and toxins with one of their cleanse programs. Ti Sana’s programs allow guests to revitalize the body from the damage inflicted by our modern lifestyle and help to prevent the absorption and accumulation of toxins. Their Healtheatarian program rises from the need to merge scientific research (science based evidence medicine) with the holistic world of alternative medicine (which sees the whole human body as an interconnected system of health, but lacks of scientific evidence). I certainly cleared some energy that no longer served me and shed some caterpillar skin at Ti Sana, ready to build a cocoon around myself in the next stage of my transformation.
For even more cleansing, Fivelements, Bali was next on my list of transformative retreats. What began as a leap of faith, embraced by its founders in unspoken terms, became a reality driven by a strong will and a mission to participate in the emerging transformation economy. The co‐founders’ intention is to co‐create healing and wellness concepts and destinations that share: A vision for love and its power to transform and an aspiration for bridging the wisdom, philosophies and healing practices of traditional cultures with innovative wellness services and an eco‐consciousness linking their mission to inspiring design. This divine setting has a magical energy surrounding it and felt like my metaphorical chrysalis process was coming to light.
There was no stopping me, once I had witnessed Balinese beauty, and Bali Spirit Festival became a yearly ritual for me. Through the traditions of yoga, dance, healing and world music, the BaliSpirit Festival attracts over 7000 people from all over the world every year. The 5-day, 7-night Festival offers you a wide range of events to choose from between 8am – 11pm each day over 1 week around March/April time each year. The goal of the BaliSpirit Festival is to awaken and nourish each individual’s potential for positive change within, leading to positive change in our homes, in our communities, and around the world. Through beneficial and inspirational traditions of Yoga, Dance, and Music, the BaliSpirit Festival illustrates the Balinese Hindu concept of Tri Hita Karana: living in harmony with our spiritual, social, and natural environments. I certainly felt a transformation happen in Bali. Prepare for your true self to form and flourish here.
The Farm in the Philippines specialises in deep detox and healing. This is one of the most magical places I have visited. The Farm is a Centre for holistic healing and wellness where people balance their mind, body, and spirit with nourishing live foods in an eco-friendly place. The Farm is a healing journey, a “must have” in every individual’s life at least once a year. This personal journey is needed for recharging one’s mental, physical, and spiritual state. It is the sole sanctuary of its kind in the Philippines and one of the best in the world. Combining the latest in Nature and Science-based integrated therapies from East and West; the resort has become one of the world’s foremost wellness retreats. Their vision is to establish a unique healing Centre in a new dimension offering a personal journey with a total holistic approach to rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul in an idyllic setting. To address individual requirements and administer its wide-array of wellness packages and customized detox treatment programs. My wings in all their glory were most certainly forming here and I began to learn how to fly.
I want to add in a bucket list destination for a change up. I have yet to venture to Canada but Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise transformative retreats are most certainly on my list. Situated in the heart of Alberta’s Banff National Park within a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the Victoria glacier and the emerald colored Lake Louise. Fairmont Chateau is originally designed as a base for outdoor enthusiasts more than a century ago; the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has evolved into a luxury mountain resort and top bucket list destination for travelers worldwide. For several years the hotel has offered wellness programs that add a sense of Zen and mindfulness to the magical setting of the hotel. For 2017, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise decided to top up its wellness offerings by adding more variety and bringing in renowned health and wellness professionals as retreat facilitators. There’s plenty of openness to spread your wings here.
After spending a month completing my yoga teacher-training certificate in Rishikul Yogshala, Rishikesh India, I headed to Shreyas Retreat in Bangalore. Shreyas endeavours to guide you on your journey of self-discovery, by providing a space for reflection & introspection, yogic processes to heal and strengthen the body as well as connect with your inner self, and the opportunity to nourish body, mind and soul. Shreyas Yoga Retreat offers authentic, personalised Hatha & Ashtanga Yoga to all guests, irrespective of age, experience or faith. Shreyas enables guest to integrate the manifold facets and benefits of Yoga (Meditation, Pranayama, deep relaxation, Yogic kriyas and more) into their daily lives without the austerity and rigour usually associated with yoga ashrams.
For a more gentle transformation of the mind, body and spirit, I went to Yoga Magic in Goa, India and indulged in daily meditation, yoga and pranayama breathing exercises, Ayurvedic massages and vegan food. Whether you are looking for relaxation and tranquility or rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit, their aim is to ease you back to nature without compromising on luxury. Sleeping close to the elements in spacious tented eco-‐chic lodges, or one of the enchanting boutique suites in the main house made me feel like I was in a cocoon healing with nature. What made this special trip for me were the owners and the staff. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting around the fire each morning after meditation, sipping on chai tea, discussing the universe and all of its beauty. The family vibe you receive when there is so comforting. I thoroughly enjoyed Yoga Magic and the magic of India as a whole. I feel like I accepted my license to officially fly in India and so my bright and colourful wings prepared for their maiden voyage.
Like a natural evolution of my metamorphosis, Rythmia in Costa Rica presented itself to me. An all-inclusive, medically licensed luxury resort and wellness retreat in Costa Rica. When Gerard Powell, the Founder of Rythmia, started his journey towards optimal health and total well being he was a successful businessman trying to cut from addictions to drugs and alcohol. His thorough search for the purest forms of medicine and most effective ways of healing led him to create Rythmia, a life-transforming, luxury health and wellness center. Driven by the ease of awakening through plant medicine versus conventional routes he decided to make it his life’s mission to show others there is a shortcut to happiness. As if Rythmia isn’t already magical enough, the Thrive Health Access team now have a health haven here where guests can utilise their Hemalucent treatment which is a unique and patented process for activating one’s own blood with appropriate and gentle laser light frequencies and then using the same light to guide the activated cells to whatever parts of the body need most support. Having had the treatment I can honestly say I feel rejuvenated with the strength to fly like never before.Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble, the creators of the internationally acclaimed documentary film THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take? have created Thrive Health Access to bring unprecedented breakthrough healing opportunities for restoring health and wholeness to humanity. HemaLucent is the first breakthrough program to be offered by Thrive Health Access and it will be available beginning May 1, 2017 at Rythmia Life Advancement Centre. I cannot stress again how much my experience at Rythmia was and is entirely transformational. I guarantee that no matter what your life goals, you will come out of the whole Rythmia, Thrive Connect and plant medicine experience with new eyes and a newfound love for life like never before. As the universe would have it, I am now the newest member of the Rythmia family embodying the role of one of their yoga and meditation teachers. Life is magnificent. I sincerely feel like I can now fly confidently with these new and beautiful wings of mine. Prepare for your wings to mature into an array of colours and fly like never before. The universe, your new life and your higher self are expecting you. Book here to receive your miracle.
Envision festival also in Costa Rica is next on my transformation destination to‐do list and one that the universe has only just presented itself to me. As a celebration dedicated to awakening our human potential, Envision provides a platform for different cultures to co-exist in sustainable community, and inspire one another through art, spirituality, yoga, music, dance, performance, education, sustainability and our fundamental connection with nature. I’ll see you there and we can paint our wings together from 23rd-26th February 2018.
Attending the Blazing Swan event last year for the second year running led to a huge shift in my consciousness and evolution. The tiny town of Kulin swells to more than three times its population when it hosts Western Australia’s own version of the Burning Man festival in the US. I’ll also be venturing to Burning Man in the sandy surroundings of Nevada later this year, to shed yet more of the layers that no longer serve me and cement in my butterfly status. Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self‐expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome. There are no better places to feel free and alive, where love is the currency and community is the key.
For something different, whether you’re already a vegan or a curious carnivore, Holistic Holiday at Sea has everything you need to transform your lifestyle and ultimately your health with likeminded souls. With over 150 lectures and workshops included aiding your transformation to the new and improved version of yourself. Holistic Holiday at Sea presents the ultimate gift for your mind, body and spirit. Share the experience and wisdom of some of the world’s leading authorities and experts in holistic living and natural health. Cruise the Eastern Caribbean on one of the world’s premier Italian luxury liners, the MSC Divina, which combines the style and sophistication of Europe with American comforts and convenience. Join me on their special 15th Anniversary 10‐night cruise which sets sail from Miami, Florida to exciting new ports of call, including Martinique; St. Kitts and Nevis; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda; Philipsburg, St.Maarten; and Freeport, Bahamas. All this and more while you dine on specially prepared vegan natural foods and beverages. I’ll be using my wings to fly to these sunshiny climates to meet you in Miami ready to set sail and evolve above and beyond.
The Ram Dass’s quote: “You can’t rip away caterpillarness.” rings true. “Caterpillarness” is something that melts away in its own personal and individualized time, but we can intuitively set the environment for this grand transformation to take place. When the time is perfect, you the caterpillar will be inspired to create a cocoon and flourish there until the time to transpire arises. The minute you decide to venture to foreign shores to embark on a transformation, you soon realise you are the co‐creator of your own destiny. As good as the law of attraction sounds, they forgot to mention in The Secret that massive action must be taken! So slide ahead dear caterpillar and go onwards and upwards at steady speed towards your beautiful metamorphosis. Your chrysalis awaits you. The transformation beckons. Your new wings are calling and the one thing you can be sure of, your bug’s life will never be the same again. I wish you all the best on your magical journey.
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