• Personal Development



    “You shouldn’t hold a grudge. Just let it go!”

    Forgiveness means you have another chance to start again. Often, that means evaluating the person who behaved hurtfully to determine whether the harm was intentional or accidental.

    Well-meaning people frequently admonish those who have been seriously hurt by another person to forgive the one who hurt them. If the person did not normally behave that way, it makes sense to forgive. Everyone has reactions they regret and bad judgment once in a while.

    But when the person possesses no empathy or compassion, when they not only refuse to take responsibility for their long-term pattern of damaging behavior, but they blame someone else (often the victim!) and play the victim themselves, victims of this kind of person find it hard to forgive. Because the perpetrator does not feel sorry or regretful, and often feel fully justified in their actions, the injured person cannot even begin to consider forgiveness.

    They blame you when they’re the perpetrator.

    So this situation will bind you to the hurtful person with the strongest of cords. You hold these cords in your hands yet you pull them taut every time you immerse yourself in the past. By holding onto your feelings of pain, anger, and betrayal, you give that person free access to your mind and your soul, your entire inward person. You give away your power to someone who wants to control you. As long as you go back into those memories, you live in the past and give up your sovereignty to someone who does not deserve it.

    Separate yourself …

    By seeking to forgive the person, you cut the cords that bind you. Acknowledge that the person who hurt you does not or will not understand how they have hurt you. You also acknowledge that they don’t care. You are not saying that it’s okay that they hurt you, or that it wasn’t that bad, or that it doesn’t matter.

    Quite the contrary.

    … and release.

    By forgiving them, you release their hold over you. By forgiving, you show that you do not intend to keep diving into the bad emotional experiences that you have had with them. You won’t think about them at all. For anything! You sever emotional ties and remove their hold on you. You will no longer accept their valuation of you, nor will negativity from them be tolerated by you any longer.

    Forgiveness in this sense means simply letting go: letting go of the pain, the memories, your history with this person, sometimes letting go of the person. It is not condoning, letting it slide, and saying it was okay to hurt you.

    You are not to blame.

    Forgive yourself for those times when you might have responded in a less-than-ideal way. Who wouldn’t have? You were not the problem; you never were the problem.

    Ultimately, forgiveness removes obstacles to perceiving your relationship with this person clearly. Once you remove the obstacles, you will be free – free to choose to walk away from the person and your relationship with them, and to have a new beginning (but not with them). Forgiveness gives you a chance to separate yourself from the painful situation, and from the person who caused it – and if it takes separation to bring you peace and wholeness, then do it.

  • Personal Development

    The Polarity of Butterfly Phoenix

    Polarity Butterfly Phoenix
    The Polarity of Butterfly Phoenix

    “There are two sides to every coin.”

    My parents used to tell me this, and being somewhat of a literal mind, I couldn’t see why they thought they needed to point out the polarity of coins. It was obvious!

    Now I see the deeper meaning behind the metaphor. Polarity characterizes many aspects of our reality. So when you understand how the polar nature of something works, you have deep insights into how you can make your own reality better.

    So …

    The Butterfly

    The Butterfly represents transformation of self. If you allow yourself to be changed by both the joys and vicissitudes of life, you evolve into a higher, purer individual more aligned with your gifts and purpose. The Butterfly represents Being.

    The Phoenix

    The Phoenix represents your path and purpose. Transformation isn’t an end in itself. Rather, it equips you to walk your path and fulfill your purpose. You have gifts that only you can share flowing from your unique talents and knowledge. The Phoenix represents Doing.

    The Polarity

    The polarity of butterfly phoenix represents both aspects: you must be before you can do, but you must do if you are to be. Moreover, you create your reality in this way, as well as meaning for your life. You are meant to be more than just a consumer of goods and information.

    Butterfly Phoenix Community

    If simple consumerism satisfied you, you wouldn’t be part of our community. You joined us here because you can see more; you know that life offers more, and you want to be part of a community that sees it too.

    We are glad you are here, and we hope to offer you encouragement, support, and balance on your journey. Many wishes for much growth and transformation in 2019 and beyond!

  • Goals and Action

    The Year of the Earth Pig

    Happy Year of the Pig!

    The Year of the Pig is an auspicious time for almost everyone. The Pig is associated with wealth in China, and the year of the Pig is said to bring prosperity, success, and wealth.

    This year of the Pig, 2019, is associated with the element of Earth, which brings stability, opportunity, and growth to the year of the Pig.

    This is a good year to start or expand a business, as the element of earth brings resources to the abundance from the Pig to encourage success.

    Relationships of all sorts benefit from its influence and strengthen during the year of the Earth Pig. The Earth element provides grounding (of course), and the abundance of the Pig provides security.

    This time of plenty can lead to excess, which can impact health. This is a good year to pay closer attention to health issues in order to maintain good health and to prevent future health problems.

    This year offers peace and contentment, making this a good time to work on emotional health, too. The security and stability proffered by the Earth Pig gives a solid base to work on emotional blocks and hurts that cause pain and thwart progress.

    Finally, while the Earth Pig symbolizes solidity, practicality, and material success and security, all these influences create the ideal environment to explore spirituality in a largely risk-free situation. From a solid space of stability, beliefs can be questioned and answers can be sought without the sense of having lost one’s foundation.

    Happy year of the Earth Pig, and many wishes for much success, joy, contentment, and abundance.

  • Everything Is Energy

    Attract the Energy You Want

    energy attract
    Be the change you want to see.

    “This is not philosophy; this is physics.” – A quote widely attributed to Albert Einstein, who may or may not have said it about attracting energy or any other topic. Regardless of who said it, the concept applies here.

    You attract the kind of energy you send out

    Whatever kind of energy you send out into the world tends to influence the kind of energy you attract back. Although good people experience bad things, and bad people experience good things, you receive what you emotionally believe to be true.

    Emotionally convinced: a charged phrase, to be sure. You must strongly persuade yourself of the truth of something, or at the least of its possibility, and you must be emotionally invested in it. Additionally, good people send out energies of fear, dread, anxiety, and the like as they fret about the future, and often they attract their worst fears. Worse yet, when they only get something bad instead of something awful, they often feel happy and relieved

    Expect the good

    But it doesn’t have to be this way. Good things can happen to good people, and those good things can happen all the time. It really comes down to expectation. Drop the chains of guilt and a sense of unworthiness. You deserve to be happy. Moreover, by sending out positive energy and uplifting thoughts, you raise the energies around you, which benefits other people as well as you. Then you will attract energies that serve you better.

    Finally, with the strength of your deepest being, learn to expect that good things come your way always and you deserve to have them. This isn’t greed; you do not take good things away from someone else to have them yourself. It’s not a zero sum game.

    Like attracts like

    Be the energy you want to attract. Like attracts like.

    This is not philosophy. This is physics.

  • Everything Is Energy


    When we’re comfortable with someone or with a group, we say we ‘resonate’ with them. The people with whom we surround ourselves tend to vibrate at the same frequency that we do, and vice versa.

    This resonance means that we behave in ways that resonate with the ways our friends behave. It also explains why it’s so hard to join a group of people who don’t resonate on our frequencies. We just never quite seem to fit in, no matter how nice the people in the new group seem to be.

    Yet to a point, we can choose what kind of vibrations we incorporate. That choice is made largely by the kinds of ideas that we consume.

    If we fill our minds with angry thoughts – anger at prejudice against a minority group, for example – we give off the vibrations of anger. Others who are also angry will gravitate toward us, and we will be attracted by images and ideas that resonate with the vibration of anger we have adopted. In addition, we may infuse that vibration with self-justification, self-righteousness, fear, helplessness, or resentment.

    Notice that the idea is strongly linked to a powerful emotion: in the example above, it is the idea of social injustice combined with anger.

    Combining powerful images and ideas with even more emotion strengthens our vibration and begins to influence our self-identity and to change our perception of the world around us: when we have a hammer, all the world is a nail.

    We need to be aware of the ideas and the emotions we consume, because if we don’t, they will ultimately decide for us who we are, who our friends are, and the kinds of actions we take and decisions we make. We can be aware of injustice, for example, and even work to mitigate it, without immersing ourselves in the vibrations of outrage, divisiveness, and hate.

    Immersing ourselves in love and acceptance allows us to act without harm to ourselves or others while still rejecting injustice. The frequencies of love empower us to make positive changes and to be positive people, to resonate with those who make the world a better place.

  • Everything Is Energy

    Aligning With Energy

    Aligning With Energy

    “…[T]he fields generated by the hands of healers exhibit the same frequencies employed by electromagnetic healing devices. Therapists practicing Qigong and other forms of energy healing have been found to emanate large electromagnetic fields from their hands.” ~Dawson Church, PhD, “The Genie In Your Genes”

    Energy can be drawn through the body and sent out through the hands or by other means (through the heart chakra, for example). It has long been said by the establishment in the West to be “all in one’s head” or “pseudoscience”.

    Traditional energy systems in Asia (China, Japan, and India have well-known systems) have systematized energy work for millennia, and the mechanisms are widely understood there.

    Every culture in the world has its foundation in energy work, except the modern western civilization, thanks to the so-called Enlightenment. (Oh, the irony.)

    But this post is not about healing, though that is its most common application.

    People who do energy work properly align themselves with the energy they will use; they adjust their frequencies to harmonize with the frequency or frequencies of the energy they intend to work with.

    Once they are in harmony (oneness) the energy can flow through them with out impediment.

    This principle works on every level of our lives. We can see it most often and most easily with emotions. When we’re with happy people (absent clinical depression or other psychological disorders) we become happy. When we’re with angry people, we become angry. When we’re with grieving people, we become sad.

    We align our frequencies with theirs, whether we intend to do so or not. It’s our nature to align with the frequencies we experience around us and in others.

    The energy is real, and measurable with existing scientific equipment. The evidence for our aligning with the frequencies of ambient energies is ubiquitous.

    You can choose the energies you align with. Choose wisely.

  • Goals and Action

    Goals Vs. Tasks

    Goals create big changes; tasks keep things the same.

    We need to have a balance; we need both.

    The mindset of achieving goals at any cost creates chaos because those people and things you already have are neglected or damaged.

    The mindset of maintaining and avoiding change creates stagnation and leaves you nothing to replace those things that wear out or break, or the people who move out of our lives for their own reasons.

    A balance of creation and maintenance allows both change and preservation. Trees spend the spring madly creating new tissue, and they spend the rest of the year solidifying and integrating the tissue they created in the spring.

    A goal and a task are not the same thing. If you can just take the correct action and get the result you want, that is not a goal; it’s a task. And lots of us could use some support and encouragement to get our tasks done.

    Routine work like home maintenance, yard maintenance, car maintenance, parts of your job at work are tasks. No special techniques are needed, just the necessary tools and supplies, and enough time to do the work. And maybe a little motivation is in order, too, like a self-directed kick in the behind.

    A goal is a large change in ourselves or our lives. This could be a career change, a move, a relationship change (in any kind of relationship, not necessarily just in an intimate relationship), or anything that could be considered disruptive if it weren’t our choice to change.

    Goals require many steps to accomplish them, oftentimes specialized techniques or tools, and a huge amount of work. They do not maintain what we have but rather change what we have in a fundamental way. Goals often require more than one person working together to accomplish, and they impact both people and things. The hope is that the impact is positive for all concerned.

    So seek balance, and work on both your tasks and your goals.

  • Personal Development

    The Key to Change

    “And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been … and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it … great things.”
    ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, 1892-1910

    The new year holds such promise, with its clean slate and its fresh beginning. We can almost feel the field of infinite possibilities unfolding before us as we look ahead unencumbered by our past that we left behind in the old year.

    We feel passionate, hopeful, eager for transformation, seeing the world with new eyes so that the world looks new again, filled with the promise of “things that have never been”.

    We believe that this time, things will be different, we will be different, and our lives will become what we want them to be. We even understand the magnitude of the effort and time involved in the transformations we ask of the new year, and are willing to put in that effort and time to accomplish them.

    So how do we find ourselves in the same situation we left behind, year after year? How do we lose sight of the bright shining future we envisioned for the new year yet again?

    The key lies hidden in plain sight, as it so often does: at the new year, we choose to see the possibilities, we stoke the fires of desire for transformation, for evolution, for growth and change, and perhaps most importantly, we let go of the past, releasing it to stay in the past, in the old year that’s ending.

    You see, as long as we’re holding onto the past, we can’t create a new future. As long as we feel emotions like anger, regret, sorrow, grief, frustration, annoyance, vengeance, we are tied to the past by the strongest of cords.

    The key to lasting, effective change is simply to allow the past to stay in the past instead of holding onto it by reliving our emotions.

    During the holidays, we have a break from our routines, along with a festive spirit and (hopefully) time away from work to relax with family or friends. Because we have broken our routines, our minds have become more open to new possibilities, and our focus is on the future.

    We often feel emotional about what the future could hold as well, and we’re ready to open our hands and our hearts and let the past fall out and lie amongst the ashes, where it belongs, while we turn our eyes and minds toward the horizon and the shining new year rising before us, replete with promise and possibility.

    This year, keep your eyes on the future. It will be bright, because it will be what you create. Allow the past to remain behind you, unseen and unfelt. You have lived through it once; carrying the past with you will not mitigate its effects; rather, you will strengthen it by pouring emotional energy into it.

    Pour your emotional energy into your future instead, into the infinite field of possibilities lying before you. You have the ability to choose the future you want to walk into; you can create the life you want to live. Study the possibilities with an open mind and an open heart, thrill with the possibilities, infuse them with positive emotions, and start working to manifest your dreams.

    It’s time to set down your baggage and leave it in the past. Turn your eyes to the horizon and embrace the promise of the new year.

  • Goals and Action

    Carpe Annum

    Carpe Annum

    Seize the year! The Chinese New Year, the Year of the Earth Pig, has begun, offering the promise of new possibilities, new opportunities, new chances to make changes.

    The new year is as good a time as any for a fresh start.

    Make your fresh start last all year by having specific goals along with specific plans to see them through.

    Know what you want, know who you want to be, know where you want to go, and know what you want your destination to be like.

    • Do you know what you want? I don’t mean a million dollars and a 90-foot yacht. What do you want to accomplish in the next 12 months? Toward which outcomes do you most want to work? Are they really your outcomes, or is someone else trying to push you to do or be something pleasing to them at your expense? Are you limiting your choices of outcomes because of limiting thinking? For example, if you are looking for a job, are you seeking one that offers the same low pay, the same lack of benefits, the same lack of advancement opportunities as the one you’re leaving? Have you trapped yourself in a salary expectation or a type of job? Sure, you probably can’t successfully get a job as a neurosurgeon if you haven’t got the degrees and experience, but you can probably step outside your comfort zone and move into an exciting and better-paid career if that’s an area you’d like to change.
    • Do you know who you want to be? Do you want to be a non-smoker? Do you want to be a highly paid executive? Do you want to be a professional speaker? Do you want to be a fit and healthy person? You could be any of those things if you chose to be them, and were willing to put the work in to achieve them. Do you want to be someone who watches television and talks around the water cooler at work about what other people get paid to do? Or would you rather do something interesting and talk around the water cooler about what you did instead of what you watched?
    • Do you know where you want to go? The answers to this may be geographical: “I’d like to work in California or buy a vacation home in Florida”; but they may also be metaphorical: “I’d like to be closer to my master’s degree”, or “I’d like to be closer to my ideal weight and BMI”. Do you want to have a better job, or to start a business, or to learn a new skill, or to be a better person in a specific area? Where exactly do you want to be? What is the route on the roadmap to get to where you want to be?
    • Do you know what your destination looks like? How would you know if you have arrived? Is your ultimate outcome for this year to be healthier, wealthier, happier, luckier, more spiritual, fitter, or more educated than you are today? How do you know when you are happier enough? How will you feel when you reach your destination? What will it look like to you? What will it sound like? Does it have a taste or a scent? Does it have surfaces with texture? Immerse yourself in the complete sensory experience of having successfully arrived at your destination.

    When you can answer all these questions, vividly, using all your senses, experiencing what achieving your goals feels like, then it’s time to plot out your road map to get there. Break the big goal into steps, so you can make measurable forward progress while still feeling like each step is completely doable. Now schedule each of these steps into your calendar every day until the day the goal is reached.

    That is how you seize the year. You start by identifying what you want to seize, then every day you seize the day by accomplishing its tasks, and you move a little closer to your goal, until you hold it in your hands.

    Remember, a goal without a target date is just a daydream.

  • Well-Being

    The Birth of Butterfly Phoenix

    by Donna R. Wood

    Emerge into your best self!

    We live in a time when personal brand seems to be everything. Personal brand sounds so salesy and … well, fake; but is it? The world’s perception of our personal brand really depends on us. The authenticity of the brand is what matters the most. Are you being authentic, or are you blending in with everyone else out of the fear of being different?

    For years, people would ask me what exactly Butterfly Phoenix is. For the longest time I didn’t have a satisfactory answer, because even I didn’t know. The title of my blog was Butterfly Phoenix. I published my books under Butterfly Phoenix Publishing. Everything I did online was somehow directly connected to Butterfly Phoenix.

    One day, it came to me. The reason I didn’t have an outward answer was because Butterfly Phoenix is me. It is the culmination of a life that had an uncertain and rocky beginning, and would end as something beautifully transformed; not perfect, but transformed.

    As I pushed forward to discover more about Butterfly Phoenix, I found more people who had discovered the authenticity of who they were inside, like my business partner, Rebecca. Although Butterfly Phoenix was born from my life experiences, I recognized that I am not the only butterfly in the kaleidoscope of humankind; nor am I the only phoenix that has risen from the ashes as something new and beautiful.

    After years of chasing the almighty dollar, struggling to get ahead, I found my authenticity through living a lifestyle based on existential well-being, where I focus on living from the inside out. Every day, I try to balance my four dimensions of being, resulting in a life of wholeness and a sense of purposeful meaning.