Did you think there was a typo in the title of this post?

Was goo supposed to be good?

I meant goo, but we may decide that goo is good after all.

“The old cheese actually wasn’t that good when compared to the new cheese.”
~Spencer Johnson M.D., Who Moved My Cheese?

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
~Lao Tzu, author of Tao Te Ching

“Our patterns are well established, seductive, and comforting. Just wanting for them to be ventilated isn’t enough.”
~Pema Chodron, The Places That Scare You

“The seeker embarks on a journey to find what he wants and discovers, along the way, what he needs.”
~Wally Lamb, The Hour I First Believed

He opened the door and walked away,
Sometimes a selfless step is all it takes,
From the mountain, he can watch it all burn,
Welcome friend, to the point of no return
Once in a life, you can find a time to see,
and you get to turn it down, turn around, temporary sanity
And then the mountain disappears without a trace,
All it took, was a sudden leap of faith.
~Kenny Loggins, Leap of Faith

I heard a story a couple of weeks ago on the topic of change, and it challenged me to change my thinking on change, so to speak . . .

We all know that a butterfly starts out as a crawling caterpillar. The caterpillar eventually closes itself into a chrysalis. Later the chrysalis opens and the butterfly emerges.

But what would we find inside of the chrysalis if we interrupted the process?

If we were to break open the chrysalis, would we find on the life-cycle continuum a caterpillar with wings or a sixteen-legged butterfly?

If the chrysalis were actually cut open at just the right time during the metamorphosis, we would discover no discernible caterpillar or butterfly inside. During the caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation, the insect’s distinctive features dissolve into a gooey mess. The caterpillar gives itself over completely for a bit, not to the emerging form of a butterfly at first, but rather to a state of utter goo. In order for the caterpillar to be transformed, it must lose itself not only to what it was, but even to any semblance of what it will be.

Here is the truth: Many of us have trouble with the idea of change, much less transformation. We may be willing to tweak a few nonworking parts, but often we opt to stay “safely” ensconced in our old patterns — even when old patterns don’t serve us in any way except to provide familiarity.

Is there something in your life you want to change, or are you ready to take a leap of faith, become goo (no matter how messy it might look and feel), and experience transformation?

Transformation Meditation:

I will release what I believe will be in order to make room for what could be.
I will begin by having a compassionate relationship with myself,
even when I do not feel worthy.

I am willing to step into unknown territory.
I am willing to just keep moving, even when moving is uncomfortable,
even when I don’t know the destination.

I will not be undone by fear.
I will look directly at fear, embrace fear, and act in the face of it.
I will accept the feeling of falling.
I will let go of what I want.
I am open to the belief that what I have inside of me is exactly what I need.


At Tucson Botantical Gardens
Butterfly Magic Exhibit
February 2008

28 comments on “Sunday Message: Will We Be Goo?”

  1. Yeah, goo.

    I wonder if the caterpillar just trustingly goes into that state of goo, or if he’s in there battling it in his head for a bit before he gives over completely.

    Is it easier for him?

  2. I think I have gotten past the “goo” stage of my own transformation – and I’m discovering that, “…what I have inside of me is exactly what I need.”
    Wonderful post.

  3. I had an English teacher in high school who said, “You really want to freak out your friend? Just change. Go ahead. Try it. People are uncomfortable with change. They HATE it. Even if you can deal with making changes within yourself, be prepared for the backlash of others.”

    I think he nailed it. THAT is the hardest part of change.

    I’m comfortable with getting “gooey”, it’s accepting the fact that very few people around me are comfortable and tolerant of my goo stages.

    You’re so smart. x

  4. We are all goo. And we can’t rush the process. We can’t help it along, take shortcuts, or try to cut our way out early because every second of that process and the struggle for emergence is necessary to produce the strength we need to survive.

    Valuable lesson for me today, Cheri. Thank you!

    Da Goddess
    dagoddess.com

  5. my sister said to me last night that she hasn’t felt close to me in two years. she said how weird my life seemed. how unrelatable she felt. i am goo. or i was goo. i think i’m on the butterfly side of the goo. but the caterpillar has dissolved.

  6. Love this. My question: How many times in our lives do we need to become goo? Is it a one time thing like the caterpillar?

    How do we know when we reach butterfly status?

    Will I know when the transformation is complete?

    When I’m goo, I can’t seem to see the forest for the trees, so does that mean the goo stage contains some grieving?

    Just a few questions that popped into my head.

    I’m needing transformation, and I just don’t know what stage of the process I’m in. 😉

  7. I have a little sticky note that contains this very message. I doodled on it when a very wise woman told me the story of goo. I suspect I will hold on to that sticky for a very long time. And, I will be gooey for an indefinite period of time. I am grateful for my goo. I am grateful for my goo (and my very wise friend).

  8. it might be good for me. but frankly, the thought of turning to goo (fantasies aside) scares me.
    but i’m open to change. i really am. just i prefer to change on my terms.
    change is inevitable, even if struggle against it.
    i try to embrace.
    i embrace.
    i struggle.
    i accept.

  9. She:

    Here are my thoughts in response to your questions. Just thoughts. I don’t have answers. Anyone can feel free to chime in.

    How many times in our lives do we need to become goo? Is it a one time thing like the caterpillar?We don’t have to become goo; many of us never do, and some of us do it only rarely or situationally. But we can choose to accept the gooness that is, or we can allow goo to happen. Gooness can happen over and over again. Repeat gooness does not mean there was previous failure. In fact, we can even embrace gooness.How do we know when we’ve reached butterfly status?You are a butterfly. You are a caterpillar. And maybe goo, too. With all of that going on at once, it might be tricky to figure it out. So, you’ll pray for (or meditate on) discernment, courage, acceptance, and gratitude. It’s about the journey, not the destination, right?Will I know when the transformation is complete?Being a butterfly is like being the birthday boy or girl, you’ll probably want to be one more than once.When I’m goo, I can’t seem to see the forest for the trees, so does that mean the goo stage contains some grieving?Goo is like snowflakes, no two goos are alike.I’m needing transformation, and I just don’t know what state of the process I’m in.The “not knowing” is the essence of goo.

  10. I totally see a “Tao of Being Goo” book in the works.

    I love this!

    I was having a conundrum about this very thing just a minute ago, and then came here and feel more at peace with the essence of being goo.

    Thank you.

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