Emerging from the Cocoon

Have you ever seen how magnificent a butterfly looks? The colors, the texture of the wings, the intricacy of the symmetry, all of it makes us wonder about the masterpiece of creation. While this is delightful to even contemplate, have you ever seen the birthing of a butterfly? Especially during the cocooning process? It will make you wonder if it is worth all the struggle and strife it goes through.

What is interesting to note is that the caterpillar goes through a journey of voracious consumption, non-stop almost as if the food supply of leaves will be exhausted. It then uses its body fluids to weave a cocoon around it and then goes through a very painful process of disintegrating its internal tissues through its body fluids. While these eat up most of the caterpillar’s internal organs, some unknown intelligence keeps the parts that are necessary for the caterpillar’s new Avatar. These are scientifically termed as imaginal cells. This process allows for transformation at a core cellular level so that, that which moves its body weight around with great difficulty can metamorphosize into an organism that is light, nimble, and has another worldly beauty to it!

In many ways, all of us are emerging out of our cocooning process at this time in many places around the world due to the corona situation. What we have made of ourselves depends largely on what we have consumed before the global lockdown. It is important to notice that what we consume through all our five senses (not necessarily only the food we consume) indefinitely has an impact on our re-birthing as a wondrous thing of beauty just like the butterfly.

While for the butterfly, nourishment comes primarily from the food it consumes, we human beings are nourished at many different levels. Aside from being physical beings, we also have mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions to who we are. Owing to these, it is important that the nourishment we give ourselves, that will allow us to become the butterflies we are meant to be, depends to a great extent on how holistic and inclusive that nourishment is in supporting the other dimensions of who we are. There are three key pointers that will help in nourishing us to blossom to our highest potential as professionals in the corporate world:

♦ The Company we keep during working hours determines to a large extent our mental & emotional vibrancy

All of us know the impact of keeping company that is constantly focused on shortcomings & limitations. Imagine having excessively critical individuals constantly as company during working hours! Would you continue to have the passion and focus to deliver results? Also, in talking about the company, we are not referring just to the physical company of individuals. We sometimes also entertain technology a bit too much at the workplace and that has its’ influence too. What kind of content you entertain also tends to come under the definition of the company you keep (including reading this article)

In this regard, the key rule to remember in corporate life as much as in life itself is ABC which is an acronym for “Avoid Bad Company”. While “bad” is a relative term that may differ from person to person, the definition of bad is anything that moves you away from your highest potential as an individual.

This is the one reason why most successful professionals invest a great deal of money on having coaches. This allows them to surround themselves with company that shares the same passion & integrity that you wish to birth within yourself! A coach could be anyone or anything from an individual to an article to an image that resonates and inspires you to reach for your highest potential.

♦ The idea we have of our highest potential influences all our choices personally and professionally

Flowing from the first point, the company we keep influences or shapes the idea we have of our highest potential and consequently the choices we make as professionals. Take for instance, the life of a person who believes that the highest potential for a human being is to become the wealthiest individual in terms of money. Their every choice personally and professionally will be aimed at making this a reality. In contrast, the life of an individual who believes that the highest potential for a human being is to share their gifts with the world will also make choices personally and professionally that will be a reflection of this. This is also the inspiration behind the concept of “Servant Leadership” as espoused by Robert K. Greenleaf.

It is useful to reflect on “What is my highest potential that I can aspire to?” regularly. Consequently, in our experience it is interesting to keep checking this question at different stages in your career and watch how the answer evolves and changes with your evolution as a professional.

♦ The ability to hold positive tension between opposites helps us greatly in every decision-making process

The caterpillar in the cocooning process had two opposing forces working in tandem. While it had to deal with the degenerating process of its intestines being eaten up by its body fluids, it also had to deal with the painful process of its body regenerating from the chaos. Many times, we have to make conflicting decisions, or we are in situations where there are opposites begging our attention. We often make the mistake of rushing into a decision-making process with “Either” “Or” options. A more holistic approach in Corporate life that can greatly benefit us is the ability to hold positive tension between opposites.

What we mean by this is allowing for both seemingly opposing thought patterns to be held in your awareness without leaning to either side in a rushed manner. This will allow for the highest choice to emerge in a natural and organic manner. This is also how Leaders make decisions from the “Gut” so to speak. This can greatly allow you to accept diverse situations that may be seemingly difficult to face.

The most difficult situations have the most profound impact on us as individuals & professionals provided, we surrender our worry and trust your highest potential to lead the way.

Many times in our corporate life, we face challenging situations. During these difficult times, we forget that we are, just like the caterpillar, moving through life re-discovering the beauty, dexterity, and the larger version of who we truly are.

So, as we still emerge out of this lock-down from COVID, let us begin by reminding ourselves that

– We are much more than the highest idea of ourselves

– We are much more than what we have accumulated as experiences that we proudly call our life experience

– We are much more than any expectations imposed on us either by ourselves or by society

– That we have the opportunity to re-define and re-shape who we are to our highest potential…. This is the GIFT of this time!

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