I am thrilled to have Keri as a guest blogger this week! Once a month you will get to hear her perspective, I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do! -Andrea

This is one of my favorite times of year in Southern California. My backyard is teeming with life from humming birds to soaring hawks. I love to sit on my patio to watch and listen to all the abundant signs of new life. Perhaps it is because I have been in a process of transformation of my own, but this year my favorite thing has been watching the Monarch Butterflies.

A few weeks ago, a bright-colored yellow, white, and black caterpillar climbed up my chimney wall just outside my family room window. Before I knew it, that clever caterpillar had transformed into a beautiful, green chrysalis. After two short weeks, I was stunned when I noticed that a spectacular Monarch Butterfly was pumping his wings in preparation for flight.

I guess I didn’t pay much attention in elementary school science class, because what happened next surprised me. The butterfly did not just miraculously fly off into the blue sky. Instead, I spent hours watching this creature dragging itself across my patio as it gained strength in its legs and wings. This looked utterly exhausting, and I wondered if this butterfly that I had become oddly attached to was ever going to fly. Eventually, it made an attempt at flight, but failed, and my butterfly was back on the ground. He did this over and over again, until finally, he tried one more time, and fluttered away!

The metamorphosis of a butterfly is a spectacular analogy to personal growth. What really caught my eye and heart this time though, was realizing that the transformation from caterpillar to a beautiful and graceful butterfly didn’t stop when it emerged from its chrysalis. The same is true when we learn new skills to become a more effective and inspiring leader. The transformation begins with an awareness of ourselves and our tendencies. We then learn skills needed to motivate and guide others. But the work doesn’t end there. Just like the butterfly, we need to flex our wings and struggle a bit. As we implement these new skills, we won’t be perfect. We will surely stumble … and that’s okay. We can be confident that, with more practice and comfort, we will achieve flight and we will be capable of bringing others with us to new heights.