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The Wisdom of Cocooning

The Wisdom of Cocooning

Through life’s trials and hardships we arise beautiful and free.
–Julia Butterfly Hill

Throughout her life, butterflies have appeared to Julia Butterfly Hill in times of need, sometimes in reality and sometimes in dreams and visions. For Julia–as for so many of us–the butterfly has became a symbol of transformation.

We can all internalize the process of the butterfly, which is really about understanding–and then letting go of–our attachments. What does the cocoon have to do with it? Why are times of cocooning so important, even though our culture urges us to produce endlessly without respite?

Find out what lessons the butterfly holds for us, as explained by this great compassionate activist, here:

“True transformation occurs only when we can look at ourselves squarely and face our attachments and inner demons, free from the buzz of commercial distraction and false social realities. We have to retreat into our own cocoons and come face-to-face with who we are. We have to turn toward our own inner darkness. For only by abandoning its attachments and facing the darkness does the caterpillar’s body begin to spread out and its light, beautiful wings begin to form.

“Even then, the caterpillar must shed one last attachment–to the dark cramped space it has gotten used to–and begin breaking through the barrier of self in which it has wrapped itself. It doesn’t have a clue what lies beyond, but it responds to this higher calling anyway.

“Similarly, only once we let go of all we know, including all our self-centered concerns, and break free of the cocoons we spin around ourselves to shut out the word can we become the truly beautiful beings we are meant to be.”

Read more: Spirit, Inspiration

Inspired by The Legacy of Luna, by Julia Butterfly Hill (Harper SanFrancisco, 2000).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

Go to the Source

The Legacy of Luna

The story of a tree, a woman, and the struggle to save the now


+ add your own
5:47AM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:49PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

We turtles know about "cocooning,.". We frequently withdrawe, think things over, meditate. Then we stick our necks out again and make more progress from what we have learned. Then, once again, we withdraw for a while,.

9:47PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

See! It is so healthy to withdraw sometimes,

4:48PM PDT on Mar 29, 2010

Thank you!

7:09PM PDT on Mar 15, 2010


5:22AM PST on Mar 8, 2010


Metamorphosis. Transformation.

Taking time (cocooning) to really look at yourself, your life, your problems, and take the opportunity to transform yourself into something even better. All very poetic.

Too bad it isn't quite as easy and beautiful as it sounds.

7:46AM PST on Feb 6, 2010

It is indeed a great wisdom..

1:17PM PST on Jan 10, 2010


8:34PM PST on Jan 1, 2010

I agree. There are times in life when we need to shelter ourselves for self preservation because the sunlight will destroy instead of nurture us. A seedling is like that too and so is a growing baby in a mother's womb. I see the creative process as being like that too. There are times when something is too much in it's infancy to endure criticism. People will tell you how to end a story or which way to take it. Criticism can help an artist to become better but too much of it early on can be stifling.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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