Life: It's Not Supposed to be Easy
Point To Ponder: Do you often get discouraged by the difficulty of life or trick yourself into thinking life isn't supposed to be hard?
As you may or may not be aware, iGnite was founded on the philosophy that sustainable holistic health is possible when and only when the body, mind and spirit are given equal time, attention and nourishment. This means if you workout everyday and eat perfectly, but your heart (spirit) and mind are not receiving wholesome and life-giving nourishment, holistic health can not achieved. The reverse is also true: if you meditate, pray and never listen, read or watch anything that’s toxic, but you don’t nourish your body with exercise and wholesome food, holistic health can not be achieved. It’s for this reason we place high value and emphasis on community (doing everything together) and doing things outside of our fitness classes together, as this nourishes our spirit. It’s also why we provide this, the Weekly Journal, with the hope of giving your heart and mind encouragement and inspiration for the week. In our fitness classes we also challenge your body and mind by asking you to do try different things and move in different directions. During Adventure Escape, Getaways, Retreats and events, we challenge your body, mind and spirit by asking you to let go and trust, try new activities, and be with new and different people, as this promotes growth and nourishment for the body, mind and and spirit. Finally, this is why we love iGniting outside and promote spending time outdoors. It is magic for the body, mind and spirit. This is also why the butterfly is a very important part of our logo and why you see her on any everything ‘iGnite’.
The reason we love the butterfly, in particular the Monarch butterfly, is because she reminds us that life is not supposed to be easy. The notion or expectation that life isn't supposed to be difficult is unhealthy and only sets us up for failure. Think about it, a butterfly doesn’t start as a butterfly. It first goes through what appears to be a painful, difficult and gross process. Check this out:
Before a caterpillar can become a butterfly it first starts as an egg, which grows into a robust worm, (caterpillar) eats everything in sight, spins itself into a cocoon and then emerges as a butterfly. But, what I bet you didn’t know is the unpleasant process that takes place inside the cocoon. The caterpillar first digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. According to Scientific America, “If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess. Certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs survive the digestive process. Before hatching, when a caterpillar is still developing inside its egg, it grows an imaginal disc for each of the adult body parts it will need as a mature butterfly—discs for its eyes, for its wings, its legs and so on. Once a caterpillar has disintegrated all of its tissues except for the imaginal discs, those discs use the protein-rich soup all around them to fuel the rapid cell division required to form the wings, antennae, legs, eyes, genitals and all the other features of an adult butterfly.”
Now, let’s go a step further. Check out what happens if we interrupt our growth process by way of quitting, taking short cuts or avoiding physical, mental or spiritual discomfort, rather than accepting the challenge for what it is and trusting the process:
Science tells us that disturbing a caterpillar inside its cocoon or chrysalis risks botching the transformation. What looks like amorphous mess, actually isn’t a mess at all. Something beautiful that we can’t see, like the perfect structure of the butterfly, is being formed. (Note to those of us raising children—if we want our children to grow into courageous, strong, independent contributors in the world and develop their own navigation system that will take them into world where they will have success, we have to let go and let them figure things out, even if it means failing). To do otherwise would be disturbing the caterpillar, botching with the transformation and stunting the growth of their wings. The result is death.
I write today’s journal to make you aware of why we say the things we say, send what we send, and do what we do. We believe we are made to fly like the Monarch Butterfly and this can be achieved when our body, mind and spirit receive equal nourishment, time and attention--producing sustainable holistic health.
Action Item: Manage your expectations and accept that life isn't supposed to be easy. Instead, trust the experiences and growth process you find yourself in and know it is allowing you to fly even higher.