“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ― Maya Angelou
About five years ago, I came upon something that was so beautiful and wanted to keep forever. Have you ever seen some part of nature or an animal that just spoke to you? Being a big nature and animal lover, I couldn't get over how amazing these creatures are: butterflies. They have always been one of my favorite insects because of the diverse species and colors. It reminds me of human nature in a sense, people come in all shapes and sizes and it is up to us to accept others as they come.
It was my curiosity about these species that I started to purchase framed and mounted displays from Butterfly Utopia for my family every Christmas. It was my tradition, a peace offering, a small gesture of kindness and love. No matter how much we have had our ups and downs, I realize that in every challenge in life, we overcome them through an open mind and heart. As a yogi, I believe that appreciating the little things in life is vital to living a happy life. Just as a butterfly transforms into a cocoon, it is the process of metamorphosis that creates a diamond in the rough. It takes work to really see positive changes in life.
Over the years, I have purchased so many kinds of butterflies, the Madagascan Sunset Moth, Yellow King Swallowtail, Red Glider, Blue Mountain Swallowtail, and the iridescent Blue Morpho Butterfly! I read up on how this business helps to save the rainforest. Their butterflies come from farms and ranching projects in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. These farms create jobs for the locals and increase the butterfly survival rate to 80%. Habitat protection equals rain forest preservation! All butterflies are legal and approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service after being imported into the U.S.
After scouring the site for years, I became Facebook friends with the owner, Paul. I made up in my mind that if I ever made it back to NY, I would HAVE to meet him at the Butterfly Utopia Office in Brooklyn. So that is exactly what I did! I spent one morning with my best friend and her sister touring his work space, getting to see the process of putting together the riker mounts and displays, learning about all of the species, and even getting to take one home for my collection! Paul and his team were so hospitable and welcoming to us, I am forever grateful for such a great learning opportunity.
It was through this experience that I felt a renewed respect for humanity, nature, and the little things. I felt happy that I had achieved something on my bucket list, no matter how small it was. I believe that when people come together to help preserve the beauty, wildlife, and environment, it creates a harmonious rhythm in the universe. Just as in yoga, we learn that all things are connected. When you support those who create positivity and light in the world, it will come back to you. So in my reflection, I encourage you to go out and tackle the tiny things, be curious, have an open mind, and let nothing stop you from creating the life you want to live. Peep my tour and butterfly collection below!