The Caregiver’s Voice Reviews Ann Vanino’s Chrysalis – Transformation from the Inside Out
There are two periods in a caregiver’s life when a metamorphosis occurs – the moment we commit to caregiving and the period after.
Chrysalis is the name given to the dramatic and total re-creation of a new life – the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. How are aspects of our lives similar to nature’s chrysalis? A family crisis finds us caregiving. Many of us struggle to hold onto our career cocoon; ultimately emerging as a caregiver. Our chrysalis happens once more – after caregiving – when we try to reconstruct a new life.
I love this analogy to our lives. Ann Vanino, author of Chrysalis: Personal Transformation from the Inside Out, captures it beautifully.
Early on in our lives the future is wide open and full of possibilities. As we get older life fills with responsibilities. We must be strong to enter the unknown world of transformation. Anais Nin wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
The caterpillar’s mission is to eat and grow, shedding its skin a handful of times. Having spent its entire life crawling, when the time comes it deconstructs to emerge anew. As a butterfly, it can see more of the world. Despite our fear of change, Vanino writes, if we remain true to our own need for transformation, there will be a tipping point. Miracles will appear to help us along.
Highlights from Chrysalis
The White Rabbit
Rushing through life and not seeing, feeling, or experiencing.
When our lives change – when we become caregivers – our friends, activities, and beliefs will fall away and make room for new ways of relating, doing, and believing. Vanino asks, “When your life changes, is it an end or a beginning?”
Darkness is not to be feared. Formative growth happens in the womb of darkness or cocoon.
The Meadowlark’s Song
A beautiful story about transformation following injury.
Ann writes, “The best way to rejuvenate is to create. An act of creation brings you energy and excitement, and you are no longer tired.” Furthermore, she adds, “Chrysalis takes place outside of your comfort zone. That is the place where true change can occur. Each time you grow, you leave your comfort zone and enter a new zone. There’s adventure and excitement in that.”
Most people fill their lives with so many activities and human-created stimuli, they never tap the power of their still point – that feeling of centeredness and stability during life’s storms.
The force of darkness is more old than dark.
Our process of total destruction and creation happens with our imaginal cells – both literally and figuratively.
Caregivers, your own chrysalis has occurred in the process of caregiving… and beyond. Ann Vanino writes:
Your transformation has expanded your vision and abilities.
You are lighter, no longer carrying the burdens you once knew.
Your struggle and solitude have brought strength and understanding.
You can live in the present moment and see others with compassion.
If there’s one thing I would have liked to read is the Ann’s own chrysalis and her experience with living an entire day acting only on intuition. Perhaps we’ll read about these in a second edition.
Right now, Ann Vanino’s Chrysalis: Personal Transformation from the Inside Out, is free on Kindle!
The Caregiver’s Voice posts reviews of current or forthcoming titles in print. An exception was made after acquiring and scanning Chrysalis soon after it was published. It is not a title to be devoured. Rather, the words must be savored. I welcomed them as they wrapped around pieces of my life. I set aside Chrysalis for a period and then returned. I then read for 30-45 minutes, first thing in the morning or last thing before sleeping. Vanino’s Chrysalis contains the imaginal cells to transform our thought.