Deconditioning Can Feel Like Death

Conditioning is the process through which we take in the frequencies around us.  The imprinting that comes through the transit field, the movement of neutrino particles which carry energy and information from the Sun and the Planets.  It also comes through the energy and information we pick up from each other’s bodies, the thoughts, feelings and frequencies that we exchange when we come in contact with each other.

Conditioning is unavoidable and we learn from from it.  Deconditioning is the process through which we let go of the effects of the conditioning forces in our lives.  It is a constant cleansing and filtering process.  It can happen through various modalities, crying, plant medicines, physical movement, and awareness and dis-identification with the frequencies we absorb.

Instead we waddle along, increasing our burdens, trying to grow more and more without changing, and without losing anything and without being uncomfortable or ugly or empty or alone while maintaining a consistent energy level and youthful appearance.  A grotesquely obese caterpillar.  So I started reading about caterpillars:

A caterpillar spends most of its life crawling on — and devouring — its food source. But when it’s time to become an adult, most caterpillars start to wander away from what they’ve been eating. They find a sheltered, safe spot in which to pupate, or transform into an adult. In all caterpillars, this happens inside a protective shell known as a chrysalis, but the specifics differ from species to species.

– From

This is one of my favorite aspects of my work and a perfect description of transformation of the soul.  It is a holistic process.  Deeply alchemical.  An initiation that deserves honoring and support.  If we are true to the process, no aspect of us – emotional, physical, spiritual, relational, mental – goes untouched.  In fact:

The transformation itself is amazing. Think of it as recycling — if you drop a plastic bottle off in the recycling bin, it can be melted down into an entirely different shape. This is what happens inside the chrysalis. Much of the body breaks itself down into imaginal cells, which are undifferentiated — like stem cells, they can become any type of cell. The imaginal cells put themselves back together into a new shape.

If we can allow ourselves to die, to become nothing, to not know, maybe even not to care, then a silence comes.  It may be deafening, or frightening and certainly lonely.  A cocoon is not a party.  It is a gateway to the birth of something new.  And like physical birth – as any woman (or baby) who has been through birth will tell you – it is not usually comfortable or even imaginable before it actually happens.

At some point during the second year of my daughter’s life, I was meeting with a group of friends weekly and I finally told them what I had been resisting admitting for many months.  “I feel dead”.  I expected them to try to bolster me in some way, give me advice about what to do, try to stimulate my aliveness.  Instead, one of them said, “Good.  Go ahead and be dead.  In fact, let’s all hang out with you while you’re dead.”  Those words alone were such a relief.  The next hour of just lying on the floor, saying and doing nothing, not sleeping and not paying attention to anything or anyone in particular, was wonderful.  In the meantime, they talked and carried on and periodically checked in with me to make sure I was okay and still enjoying being “dead”.

I was enjoying it.   And the more I let myself enjoy it over the weeks and months that followed, the more enthusiastic I started to feel. At first I was just enthusiastic about my “deadness”.   I wasted less and less energy trying to stay alive, to keep going, to resist falling down.  After a while, I had been dead long enough that I forgot about how I used to feel about my life.  I forgot what my opinions were.  I forgot what mattered to me.  I forgot what I wanted to be or thought I should be.  At certain points I feared it would go on forever.  Then slowly over time I began to want to come alive.

Thankfully, I didn’t try to save myself from it.  Thankfully, I had a few people in my life who knew how to pay attention to me and hear me out as I began to remember and re-create myself.  They let me die and they encouraged me to keep going, to keep emerging instead of collapsing back into what was painfully familiar.  As a a fellow butterfly I know always says, “If you’re going through hell – keep going!”  Or as I once heard someone say on the radio, “If you still feel bad, you’re just not done yet.”

I see the butterfly transformation as akin to the Virgin Birth story (or myth or reality, as you may choose to see it).  The story of a woman conceiving, alone with her god, immaculately, birthing a savior, is a story of the true birth of ourselves.  Not just as an adult in the mundane sense, but as a true autonomy, our own sovereign being in totality.

This is how we create our god-ness in body, the true manifestation of our whole selves being birthed into the world.  In the depth of it, we do it alone.  If we are blessed, we are admired, revered and respected for what we become when we emerge in all our rich, soaring, unique beauty.