Most of us have heard some version of this popular children’s story. “There was a little caterpillar who was very hungry. He started eating everything he could find. He ate so much that he got very, very tired. He fell asleep and made a special blanket called a cocoon. He slept for two whole weeks. When he woke up he crawled out of the blanket and found he wasn’t a caterpillar anymore but a beautiful butterfly.”
This simple story captures the miraculous change of caterpillar to butterfly; a fascinating and inspiring process. When we think about the metamorphosis of the caterpillar its is a little easier to believe that we can change. We can become nicer, more pleasant, more tolerant, more tolerable. It makes us believe that the addict can give up the addict can give up the habit and the morbidly obese can loose weight.
We all have things about us that we would like to change: bad habits we want to give up, new practices we want to start. There are many tools we can use to start on our path to change. Whether you believe that Jesus can make you brand new, that yoga is the path to enlightenment, or any of the philosophies in between; it is important to remember that humanity has always progress on the central theme that we can be better.
It has been my experience that if we really try we can change the things about us that we don’t like or want to improve. We can set a goal and make a plan to achieve it. When we make the plan it may be hard to stick to it. There are many strategies that we can use to help us stick to the plan. You should choose the strategy that works best for you. You may pray to a higher power. You can also repeat a mantra; a positive phrase that you repeat to keep focused on your goal. You may visualize your goal to remind yourself of the reason you would like to change. There are many other strategies that you can use. While all these strategies are useful the most important thing is to take the first step and decide to change.
In setting your goal remember it is more encouraging to focus on a positive than a negative. If you would like to get rid of a bad habit, focus on a good habit you can replace it with. Replace a negative quality with something positive. Replace selfishness with love. Replace doubt with hope. Replace hate with tolerance. Replace anger with forgiveness.
Change can sometimes seem like a mountain to climb but all it takes is that first step. You won’t know much is possible until you try. What is your instrument of change?