I don’t know everything about Monarch butterflies far from it, nor do I pretend I do, although each day I continue to learn through my teachings, experience, & from people that share their stories first hand with me. We are here to grow and learn together. I don’t think anyone really wants to listen to an expert unless you at a university lecture studying for a degree. It’s far greater to learn whilst having fun and being interactive.
It started with me being curious alongside my children having a few swan plants in my garden each summer, my passion grew and grew until The Butterfly Musketeers blossomed into something amazing. The best thing is I also transformed too, from a caterpillar to someone who’s proud to teach children dressed as monarch butterflies. It helps that in my previous years I went to a lot of dress-up parties, perhaps this was priming me up for my talks dressing up. I, too, have been inside a chrysalis reflecting, shedding layers, and growing, and have transformed into my best possible self as a butterfly educator to inspire others.
I’ve created my own job, that works around my family life. I’ve become an author, which was something I thought only people that got top marks for in English could do. Which shows everyone; anyone can do it. If you have a story or passion that’s inside you, write it too, what’s stopping you? Writing a book wasn’t even on the radar for me until 5 months before I published it, it happened super quick. At the same time, I did so many behind scenes things like the design of my own website, adding pages and content. Working with my editor (re-writing pages) collecting resources for my talks and finding my uniform, organizing a book launch, designing marketing campaigns. It’s amazing what you can pack in a short space of time. At the time to I had true friends that uplifted, whilst believing in me and supporting family helping me along the way.
Whilst my book was at the printers, I thought my job done was done, and I could start a new project or have a rest even as I was only living at the moment day by day with a print deadline before the school term finished, juggling so much and 3 young children.
Without even realizing it, before my book was even published I was already talking at schools spreading the message, enlightening children and teachers about the magical life of a monarch butterfly. This wasn’t my doing, friends told their schools about me and they would ring me to come in and talk. All I had to do was say yes, which I did & worry about it when the time came. But the worry never came, not even driving to the school on the day, I just “winged it” so to speak, maybe because I didn’t believe it was happening. When you have a passion and it’s one of your purposes in life you just have to turn up. It’s that turning up for things and saying yes when you don’t feel ready or think about it is when you grow and you have the trust in yourself that’s it’s going to be ok. I just had to align myself and be ready and I was but didn’t realize it at the time. When are we ever ready to take that leap of faith? Hard to believe this was over four years ago now.
Each talk I came away from, I was beaming with joy and so grateful to all the beautiful teachers that care so much about their environment. It all came naturally not thinking about the next step, a small idea of writing a book so I could just sell a few copies to my teacher friends informing them the facts, sharing ideas, and what the kids learn out of the metamorphosis cycle has grown into something so amazing. When you are teaching about the environment and raising the awareness of the monarch butterfly, it brings an introduction to biodiversity and other species. My following has now gone worldwide I’m sending the message out there, that monarch butterflies need our help, as they are in decline with loss of habitat, spraying and pesticides, and harmful predators. I know how much being within nature is great for your overall wellbeing. Humans need to feel connected to the Earth.
What better way to wake up each day and know that you get to teach the teachers, children & passionate people who care so much about protecting our important pollinators here on Earth. I’ve said before monarchs have emerged seconds after my talks have finished from their chrysalis so I take that as a sign from the Monarchs I’m where I’m meant to be. Most people get butterflies in their stomachs when they are just about to do a talk, but I have my butterflies in the outside on my uniform, and yes I still get a little nervous when speaking to adults but that’s probably excitement. Once I start talking about swan plants and monarchs I then find it hard to shut up, there’s no stopping me.
Magic happens when you just start saying yes to things, and silly ideas that you don’t think are possible just explode and happens without hard work, it doesn’t seem hard at the time as you become immersed in the process by actioning with your love and joy. You just have to turn up and help will arrive and believe it will happen.
Beautiful Image at top of page from the hugely talented artist Alex Grey. Check out his amazing work!
Have you got your copy of my book?