butterfly-handIT IS OFTEN said that life is made up of many moments — and that to live within the stillness of the moment without expectations brings the greatest joy.

Butterfly encounters remind me of such an example. We have all seen their beautiful, colorful and intricately patterned wings. They flutter about, weaving in and out of flowers with a simplistic carefree style. They catch our attention out of the corner of our eye, gliding in and out of sight until we can no longer follow their trail, as a tree suddenly blocks our view. And sometimes if we are lucky, they’ll even land on us, revealing their quiet majesty by slowly opening and closing their delicate wings.

It is a moment we treasure, as it conjures up feelings of childlike wonder and awe. Something deep inside of us wants to keep it, beckoning the memories of summer days from long ago with safari hats and butterfly nets. Yet, we know now that catching butterflies would only result in a dismal life for them, short-lived in a jar.

The question still begs, “How do you catch a butterfly?”

Do you run around the yard flailing your arms madly when you spot one, demanding it to come to you? Or…would you have better success if you just stopped and perhaps…stood still? If only for a moment….

People, animals and even insects respond to calm energy. For people, this is evident at parties, work, school, the grocery store, at home, and everywhere in between. It’s even more apparent when our beloved pets don’t want to be around our bad moods, yet cannot wait to curl up on our laps when the opposite is true, if only for a moment.

Forcing a desired result through our thoughts and actions interferes with the purity of moments.

So, the next time you see a butterfly, try doing nothing at all. And if the butterfly decides to be caught, enjoy the moment for as long as it wants to stay.

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