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The Butterfly, the Bridge and the Rainbow

By Karen Vally on 07 Mar 2021

There is something very powerful about symbols. They seem to speak much louder than words because they often have much deeper meanings. It is this very characteristic that makes them so effective in helping us understand ourselves and the world in which we live. 

In 2011, I bought a book called, "Living With Joy," and a few days ago, I was going through the notes I had made. Three nights ago, I read these words, " Having a symbol to represent something is a very powerful way to draw it to you."

Below that, I had written, " the butterfly, the bridge and the rainbow." It was as if these words jumped right off the page. For the last three weeks, I have been considering writing a blog on various topics from my ongoing list, but nothing had captured my interest and enthusiasm to the same extent as these seven words. I strongly suspect that it is because they took me on a trip down memory lane as I recalled my very first leap of faith.

So, what do butterflies, bridges and rainbows stand for and in what ways have they been symbolic in my life? A butterfly symbolizes a metamorphosis or transformation, a bridge represents the idea of a path to a better future and a rainbow is a symbol of faith and hope. My own coach, Brenda Eckstein, inspired me with hope and courage by raising questions that made me pause, dig deep and gradually begin seeing things differently, as I explored new possibilities. She encouraged me to slow down and created an opportunity for me to experience what it is really like to feel peaceful. Before I had the privilege of partnering with her, I worked in the corporate world, rushed everywhere, never took a break and my body felt continuously taut and tense. I steadfastly believed that everything had to be perfect and that I had no choice but to continue to live in this way.

In 2011, she introduced me to a few new habits which I fully integrated into my life and which have, since then, made a huge difference. The first, was to journal, the second was to meditate and breathe deeply and the third, was to stop once a day to disconnect from my work, mobile phone and laptop. I also began to observe myself closely, instead of operating on auto-pilot. I recognized patterns in my behaviour, got to know my triggers and learnt how to self-correct. I still feel the change in my way of being and my way of doing as a result of these three daily habits .

I was determined to use the symbols of a butterfly, a bridge and a rainbow when I made the transition from a financial advisor to a New Insights life coach in 2013. I chose the butterfly as my logo to symbolize my newly found freedom, a picture of a bridge at the beginning of my very first blog, "Inside Story," written on 18 June 2013, and the bright colours that appear throughout my website, are inspired by the seven colours of a rainbow. Every time one appears in the sky, I run outside and look up in wonder and awe and step back inside with an even greater sense of hope.   

So, the next time that you see a butterfly, remember that it is symbolic of the circle of life and time's fleeting nature. Take a few moments to be present, to look around you and feel grateful for the progress you have made, or try to think of a way to set yourself free from whatever is restraining you.

" Every human encounters some kind of hiccup on their life path...Likewise, every human comes equipped with a metaphorical bridge to span that gap."

Which symbols have had a strong influence in your life?
When did you last think about them and the role that they have played?
How could you use them even more effectively?

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