What’s with all the butterflies everywhere?

I’m so glad you asked!

selective focus photography of tiger swallowtail butterfly perched on lavender flower
Photo by Marian Florinel Condruz on Pexels.com

The image of the butterfly appears frequently on my website, my marketing materials, in my office, and even in elements of my clothing! This is because I believe that the butterfly has important symbolism both for the transition to motherhood and for healing from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

A caterpillar emerges from an egg, and after a while enters a cocoon in which it transforms into a beautiful butterfly. Similarly, during and after pregnancy, a woman enters a period of transition and transformation, from a person who may have many facets to her own identity but is only responsible in many cases for her own well-being, to a new role in which she is now mother to a tiny being completely reliant on her for everything. This role change and identity shift is as monumental as any could be. It has been said that when a baby is born, so is a mother. She emerges from the cocoon of the perinatal period as a beautiful new self in many ways. This is something to be nurtured and celebrated, and it must be recognized for the power and strength it takes to get there. And of course, it can take lot of difficulty to “get there.”

As for healing, during the course of our work together, you may find that you are beginning to notice moments, however fleeting, of beauty and joy where you did not see them before. Maybe you take surprising delight in the smell of a fresh spring flower, or in your baby’s smile, or in the way that the sun is shining through the leaves of a tree right at that moment. My teacher Karen Kleiman refers to these instances of joy as “butterflies,” and encourages her clients to seek them out. I love this notion of finding joy in the smallest things, even if it only lasts as long as a butterfly landing on your fingertip. My hope for you is that as we help you find your way back to yourself (however transformed), that you will experience many butterflies along the way.

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