Gooey Moments in Transformation

The Goo Phase

This past week was rather emotional, more so than a normal week, anyway.

My cohort for my doctoral program had our ninth and final residency, which would have been an emotional affair under normal circumstances, but COVID made it so we could not unite in Santa Barbara, California like we had planned.

We had our residency virtually, which worked surprisingly well; the technology is really great!

I was reminded by a colleague during one of our discussions during the residency of an amazing phenomenon that happens in nature. When a caterpillar is in the process of becoming a butterfly, of course we all know that it spins itself up in a cocoon.

But inside the cocoon, the caterpillar’s body actually completely disintegrates and turns into “goo,” using my colleague’s word.

Special cells remain intact that enable the goo to come back together to form an entirely new creature! That’s incredible!

I think it’s a pretty common metaphor that a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, but I’m particularly interested in the “goo” phase of this awesome process.

You see, the goo phase must be observed and respected because it is a NECESSARY and CRITICAL part of the animal’s transformation.

When Broken Becomes Healing

This reminds me of when I was at what I now identify as the beginning of my great journey. I was 22 and very broken; I had just dropped out of college, quit my job stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, and moved back in with my parents while I waited on my spot in the Air Force to open up.

This was my low point; I felt like a loser in every way.

And then, just like flipping a switch, I understood that I was going to be successful.

Not just that, but I began believing that I already was successful; all I needed was an opportunity to make it so!

I was still in my goo phase, but just as there is some intelligence that remains in the cocoon goo that forms a butterfly, I now knew I would manifest my potential.

I did not know what that meant back then, but I was excited to figure it all out instead of just being sad that I knew I wasn’t living my best life.

Honor the Goo

So, if you find yourself in a particularly messy situation or when you feel like you’re living your low point, take a moment to consider this metaphor and remember that the goo phase is very necessary and very important, not just for butterflies, but for people, too.

The fact that you are experiencing pain and/or discontent during this time may very well indicate that you are about to finally break through and develop whatever it is that you need to grow your wings.

Looking back at my low point, I now realize how special that time was. I’m grateful for that time, when I first decided to say “yes” to myself, when I decided to stop disappointing myself.

And I’ll tell you, nothing has been the same since then. Looking back, I now love my goo phase.

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