The Butterfly Effect: You are Connected with the Entire Universe
I discovered a chrysalis clinging to the back of my outdoor rocker. It was so beautiful: bright green with gold edging around the top.
It was the most recent of a number of butterfly sightings and visitations I had experienced. A butterfly landed on my shoulder twice one day, which is usually a harbinger of some unexpected joy coming one’s way. I also saw a beautiful swallowtail butterfly up close, on the wall of my house. But the chrysalis, in the perfect place where I could watch it from my office window, was simply amazing to me!
The Butterfly Effect
While I missed the actual moment that the butterfly emerged out of its chrysalis, it was still a wonderful reminder of transformation, rebirth, and new life. In the Celtic traditions, butterflies also represent prosperity, joy, good fortune, and honor. In many cultures, they symbolize the soul.
All of this reminded me of the ways in which we are all connected in one dynamic web. You may have heard of “the butterfly effect.” Scientists have shown that a butterfly flapping its wings at just the right moment can cause a hurricane in another part of the world. A barely perceptible action can dramatically affect something far away, positively or negatively.
Quantum physics has also proven that no electron moves without the permission of every other electron. The conclusion? We are all part of a dynamic web. Everything in the universe is connected.
Every group naturally forms a web of its own — every family, business, school, community, religious group, garden, and more. One of the webs I have woven in the past years is a garden web that attracts butterflies and bees and hummingbirds. My garden web includes varieties of milkweed, butterfly bushes, and butterfly-friendly flowers. The result: each year, I have at least five or six different varieties of butterflies, including many monarchs.
Often, however, a web may experience some dysfunction or disruption. In a family, for example, a divorce or death changes the way members relate to one another. When that happens, the webs need to be untangled, rewoven, mended, or simply woven anew.
When you untangle or reweave a part of a web, it has an impact on the whole web. More than that, it has an impact on other larger webs. For example, if you work with one relationship in a family, it will have an effect on the whole family.
Similarly, when you work with a family, it will have an effect on the community, and so on. Because everything is interconnected, when you make a change, it’s like dropping a pebble in a pond. It creates ripples that move out in concentric rings. That’s a visual example of the butterfly effect in action.
You are Not Alone
As I look around and see all that’s happening today on a large scale and small, I am even more convinced that we must learn how to weave, reweave and mend webs. That is why I developed my Weaving Webs course. It teaches you how to heal relationships in communities, groups and the body. Doing this work truly impacts the world.
The butterfly effect means that doing work with one person within a group, or with a group within a larger institution, will affect the whole. Conversely, the butterfly effect can also help you remember that you are not alone.
In this time of great shifting, knowing that you are part of a dynamic web can be something to hold onto. More than that, the symbolism of the chrysalis can help you remember that all the shifts we are going through are for your — and the world’s – transformation.
May you find strength in knowing that you are not separate, but are connected through a great dynamic web. And may the symbolism of the chrysalis remind you that, even when it seems like everything is unraveling, the shifts are for your — and the world’s — transformation. Finally, may you also seek and find ways to experience transformation and joy, so you too may contribute to a positive, glorious butterfly effect.
If you are interested in learning more about the science of connection and how it is central to navigating the huge shifts we are in, I am offering a free webinar on October 7, 2021. Registration is also now open for my Weaving Webs course starting in November. I hope you will consider joining me to learn to do the weaving and reweaving that essential for both individuals and the collective .