Becoming a Butterfly – What is your cocoon?

I was a caterpillar in a cocoon for the longest time and my journey of growing wings and flying has been a painful, yet rewarding one – pretty much like what all caterpillars go through. Sharing my journey of stepping out of my comfort zone and growing wings and flying…hoping it will inspire some of you or motivate you to keep trying!

So I always loved teaching and in Singapore also, I was teaching yoga. When I moved to India and studied hypnotherapy with a leading institution it was most logical for me to eventually become a trainer. And I did. I took to training like a fish to water – within the first year itself I got two awards and I had trained 100 students in level 1 and 50 in level 2. I was making money, growing the market and eventually also started that company’s market in Singapore – going there, starting form scratch and doing their trainings there. In 2 yrs I had trained close to 250 hypnotherapy students in India and Singapore and things were going great! I was growing my own name along with the institutions – whose curriculum I was teaching.

Along with my trainings I was also continuously learning and as I grew my own skills and knowledge, I started feeling the need to bring in the new learnings into my trainings – but as I was teaching a ready made curriculum that was designed by someone else and standardised, I felt limited. I couldnt change anything to match my new understanding and neither could I do away with what I stopped believing in. Soon enough I found myself growing increasingly uncomfortable with my own trainings – what I had believed in passionately, now I found some parts redundant. I found myself parroting what i was supposed to teach and it made me sound fake to myself. I soon realised that the very trainings that were my passion were now becoming a burden – simply because I could no longer feel authentic about teaching and training things that I didn’t totally believe in or that were now understood differently by me, with my subsequent trainings and learnings. I didn’t want to do something that my mind said I should, but my heart was not aligned with. I started falling ill before and during the trainings – my body was showing signs of being out of balance. When our mind body and spirit are not aligned, it shows up and body screams out for attention and correction

Amidst all this I decided to finally listen to my inner voice and quit teaching the curriculum and leave the institution that made me the trainer. It meant giving up the cash cow – after all I was doing 1-2 batches every month and I had created a good market in a short time – I was associated with this institution by all the 250 students I had taught. It could be a huge set back from financial and marketing point of view. Family and well-wishers asked me not to take any hasty decisions and to wait it out. I was told to first start something on my own by the side and then give this up – but that sounded too inauthentic to me. I couldn’t ever deceive those who trained me and gave me this opportunity. IF I continued to train for the sake of money, I would be miserable and it would come through in my energies. As long as I was in the cocoon, I would never be ready to fly. As long as I was a part of an organisation, I would never be able to think differently and energetically also I would never be truly free. I had to take a clean break.

I felt like the caterpillar who wants to become a butterfly, who knows that she is meant to be a butterfly, but is too scared to break the cocoon!
What if I realise that I can’t fly?
What if my wings don’t open up?
What if the wind is too strong?
What if i fall down hard and never get up again?
What will it be like outside the cocoon? What if it’s too cold?
What if I am all alone?
What if someone eats me up before I can even fly?

All this was on my mind and I had no back up plan. No idea what I will teach on my own. No idea how will the money come in. All I knew is that I didn’t want to be inauthentic.

I spend next one year going through emotional ups and downs. From earning quite a bit from trainings I was not earning much at all. From getting the appreciation and adulation from students now I was struggling with self esteem issues. My passion of teaching couldn’t be met. I didn’t know what to teach or train! I felt the ground had slipped from beneath my feet. When we are a part of a big organisation it is like a cocoon – we feel safe, protected and comforted. When we leave, it feels confusing and scary. I was confused, insecure and scared. Each time i tried to bring myself to start forming my own curriculum I would reach a blank. I was depressed. I was anxious. I often times doubted my decision – what if I was too hasty? was I too impulsive in my decision?

For one full year I did only therapies to sustain my work and sanity. I felt so unsure and incompetent. I knew I wanted to teach what I believed in and what I practised but I didn’t know how to structure it. I was also clear that I don’t want to copy or plagiarise the work of my teachers – I know many trainers blatantly copying methods and ideas from their teachers and training as their own – including photocopying stuff from books and reporting in their manuals!! I didn’t want to be one of those. What I teach had to be authentic and original. And I had no clue how to bring that up. I worked with my therapist friends, took sessions to work on my dwindling confidence and lack of clarity, I worked on my own issues and hoped things will change. It went on for a full year.

In such times Gunjan YTrivedi (my husband) came to my rescue. He sat down with me and inspite of all my doubts and inhibitions (I kept questioning him – how would YOU know about my work? How can YOU help me make my training when you haven’t even trained urself in all that?? etc etc) He keep persisting and finally we were able to put other our first module that combined his work and study and mine into this two day training of JOURNEY WITHIN. He is most focussed, persistent and disciplined – totally opposite to me!! Over heated arguments, and equally hot cups of tea we put together all the 6 modules of our entire curriculum that we decided to teach….combining his knowledge of NLP, Sound healing, Corporate Trainings and Passion for Research and my decade of therapy experience.

We were very clear all along – we don’t want to train spiritual healers – there are enough people doing that. We wanted to train therapists who would use techniques that are based on research and evidence based concepts. We wanted to train our therapists to help clients overcome clinical issues rather than just experience spiritual experiences. We wanted to incorporate psychology, physiology, neurology and physics into our trainings and keep adding latest research in these areas. We wanted our work to be measurable and also publishable in medical or psychology journals. We were not just doing it for the money but also for promoting a different approach to therapy and healing.

When overall we were aligned, the rest was smooth. We combined our skill set and started training. The first batch will always be memorable- I was unsure and nervous – after all I had trained for too long with a ready made curriculum designed by someone else, and now I was going to train my own curriculum – but Will it be accepted? Will it be popular? Will I be able to do justice to it? All these questions haunted. I had faith in the Universe and while I was happy to do the first batch with 6-8 participants, Universe decided to be kind and I ended up doing my very first batch with 14 participants!!

From there onwards there was no looking back! We have done 10 batches so far – trained almost 100 participants in our new curriculum so far since its launch in August 2019 and the journey continues…..

With the lockdown, I was challenged again – from centre-based workshop with a garden and home cooked meals, I had to try an online platform – again I wasn’t sure. I had to once again step out of my comfort zone – especially because I am technologically challenged. But today we completed our 2nd batch of Online Module of The Journey Within!! And it has been very well received. The flight of the butterfly continues….

The anxiety before the flight was there, the doubts, the insecurity and the periods of depression when I froze – not even wiling to try. But after that when I decided to break free and take flight, it was different! The caterpillar had become butterfly! It was always meant to be!

And as I fly, I always feel grateful to the cocoon for sheltering me, taking care of me and nourishing me – every training I do, I always share the names and pics of my teachers in my journey of becoming a butterfly – I was fed and nourished by them but its my time to be a unique butterfly like them!! And spread my wings and fly!!

When we outgrow the cocoon, the only thing left to do is FLY!

Ririi G Trivedi ([email protected])

Riri conducts workshops in Integrated Certification with Regression Therapy & Life Coaching.

What is your cocoon? Is it time to break free?? What is stopping you? What are your fears??