How to spin your own dreams

Art Journal August 24, 2014 The caterpillar cannot fly free, until it learns to spin its own dreams
Art Journal August 24, 2014
The caterpillar cannot fly free, until it learns to spin its own dreams

When my daughters were little I wrote them a story about an unhappy caterpillar who cried and cried all the time. One day, his tears fell on a leaf fairy sleeping on a leaf. Surprised by the sudden rain pouring on her head, she awoke and demanded to know why the caterpillar was crying.

“I hate being a caterpillar,” the unhappy fellow wailed. “I hate it. Hate it,” and he shook his tiny body ferociously and cried some more.

“If you weren’t a caterpillar what would you rather be?” asked the leaf fairy.

“What a stupid question,” said the caterpillar. “How can I be anything else? I’m stuck in this body.”

“Well, I’m a fairy and I’ve got magic and I can turn you into anything you want,” the leaf fairy told him. She wasn’t used to being questioned so she had a bit of attitude around her response.

The Caterpillar thought about this for a moment. Magic. Hmmm… Anything he wanted…. Well in that case. “A rose,” the caterpillar promptly replied and poof, she changed him into a beautiful red rose.

Alas, the rose was prickly and thorny. No one could get close to him. He wanted to be more… likeable. He cried again and asked to be turned into an iris.

The iris, however, was too blue. He was tired of being blue all the time and wanted something happier. Like being a bright, sunny faced daisy he pleaded with the leaf fairy.

The leaf fairy agreed to do it (but he was wearing her out) but even then the caterpillar was dissatisfied. The daisy had lots of arms to reach out and touch people with, but it was rooted to the ground.

Just then a brilliantly coloured butterfly flitted by. The caterpillar watched her in awe and then he knew what he really wanted to be. He wanted to be a beautiful butterfly with gossamer wings that shimmered in the sun, free to fly wherever he wanted.

He pleaded his case one more time with the leaf fairy. “Okay,” she said, “but you’re tiring me out. This is the last magic I can do for you today.”

The caterpillar closed his eyes and waited. The leaf fairy spoke the magic words, sprinkled leaf dust all over him and when he opened his eyes anticipating wings to fly free, the caterpillar wailed in dismay. He was a caterpillar once again.

“I told you I wanted to be a butterfly,” he cried. “I hate being a caterpillar.”

“You are a butterfly,” the leaf fairy told him. “Inside you there is a beautiful pair of wings waiting to be free. But first, you must learn to spin your own dreams.”

Sometimes, I have not believed I could fly. Sometimes, I have clung to my disbelief in the possibility of change as I held steadfast to my resistance to dream. Sometimes, I have embraced the lie that I am not powerful enough to make my dreams come true, and sometimes, I have grounded myself so deeply in my fear of flying, I haven’t even bothered to try to stretch my wings for fear I will fall.

Regardless of the reasons why I haven’t catapulted my dreams into reality, when my dreams don’t come true the way I want them to, I have a choice. To find value in what is, or…. to hold still, take a deep breath, and keep on spinning my dreams into reality.

When dreams don’t come true, it’s because the dreamer spun in a different direction, changed their course, or simply gave up spinning in any direction at all or perhaps it’s because they were spinning cotton, not silk.

Today, I commit to spinning my dreams in the direction of my goals. Today, I choose to affirm, my dreams are mine to spin in every colour of the rainbow.

Today, I commit to spreading my wings. I don’t know their full extent until I reach beyond the edges of my imagination, out into the universe where dreams come true because I’m willing to spin my own dreams.

22 thoughts on “How to spin your own dreams”

  1. Love, love, love, the story! I was thinking about the creating of dreams recently, and realized that the dream of my 10 year old self to own a home in the countryside took over 30 years to materialize……….but it came at the perfect time. Within a year of moving in, my husband of 25 years crashed into a midlife crisis and deleted himself from the picture. Why perfect? Because I needed to be by myself to learn who I was…to learn that I am a butterfly too.
    Your love shines, Louise!


  2. I love this blog! Thank you Louise. You amaze and inspire me!

    My problem is I’m not sure what my dreams are anymore, and I doubt my worth. Argh. Maybe I should hire you as a coach when I get back. I’m in Toronto with megan till Sunday. Quite a ride…

    Peace and Joy to you my friend

    Judy Atkinson


  3. You made my day SO beautiful!! Such an amazingly loving story you have written that you could provide the same charm as a child holds her breath, wide eyed! And how true that there is still a child hidden within us who jumps with joy as soon as such stories unfold before us!

    You are so right Louise…we can spin our dreams, we can start again and again, use whatever colors we want, we can spread our wings any time! You are so inspiring!! I Love you and your thoughts.


  4. That is a wonderful story about the caterpillar. Spinning one’s dreams is an interesting concept and you are correct that often we do not because of being afraid. I have recently remembered a dream (of an ambition) that I had many years ago and realize only now that there is no reason to do that stuff of my dreams. I must get spinning too 🙂


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