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A vision, a dream, an idea, or an imagination is such a beautiful, powerful thing.


The transforming process takes someone from inner reflection and finding self-worth, to finding their voice and moving into a place where they might begin to dream. One of the most beautiful ways to explain this type of transformation is to tell the extraordinary story of the “Imaginal Cells” – how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.

After a caterpillar buries itself inside its cocoon, it waits to morph into a butterfly. The caterpillar does not simply shrink a bit and sprout wings. Instead, it sort of disintegrates into a puddle of ooze within the cocoon. If we were to open the cocoon halfway through the process, we would not find a half-caterpillar half-butterfly type creature, but a blob of primordial goop. Basically a mass of death and decay. The goop is made up of a bunch of individual cells that are all basically the same type of oozy cells. 


They are not the original cells changing into these new cells, but rather they seem to come out of nowhere, popping up within the goop. These new cells are called imaginal cells, and they are so completely different from the original ooze cells that they are thought to be a virus or some other form of enemy so the ooze cells begin attacking the imaginal cells. However, even though the imaginal cells are being killed off for not fitting in, they still keep showing up, more and more of them.  


Eventually, the imaginal cells begin to find each other and cluster together. Like attracts like, and the clusters begin to join up with other clusters. The original cells still keep attacking them but the imaginal cells continue to multiply and cluster together.  


Eventually, they get to be a large enough community and they switch gears from simply being a group of like-minded cells into the programming cells. Some imaginal cells start changing into wing cells, some start changing into antenna cells, some start changing into digestive tract cells, and so on. The butterfly eventually emerges as a completely new entity from the original caterpillar. 


Do they hold the same memories, life lessons, and consciousness? Who knows? One would think that for survival of the species, the butterfly would still retain whatever knowledge the caterpillar had learned before entering into the cocoon state.

What if a type of "imaginal cell" could work for people too? It could be like a quiet little thought somewhere in the back corner of someone’s mind telling them that they could make a huge change in themselves, to become less like the caterpillar and more like the butterfly. Many people have gone through this transformation through the coaching process.


People know that they are meant to grow, morph, and change into some new, an improved version of themselves, by the reoccurring theme of those tiny little imaginal cells creating inspirational thoughts. They find that deep “value” – the hidden, intrinsic worth – in the reoccurring thoughts that can both haunt and inspire. These thoughts will cluster together creating themes of healing change, themes of growth, and themes of becoming something completely different.  As the butterfly – the self – emerges, the voice strengthens.


Helping someone find their emerging potential and see – envision – themselves as the fully developed butterfly is a truly awe inspiring process and a privilege to be a part of as a coach.

See also  Value  &  Vision


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Dr. Chris Accornero
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