The Butterfly Effect: Learning Self-Love.

Every butterfly must complete metamorphosis during it’s lifetime. This period of rapid transformation changes the course of it's life forever.

Did you know we can do the same?

To grow into an adult they go through 4 stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.

Each phase has a different goal: for instance the caterpillar must grow a lot so therefore it needs to eat a lot. It needs to keep filling itself up so that it can grow to it's fullest.

The life cycle of a butterfly can take anywhere from 1 month to 1 year.

If I told you that in 6-12 months you could alter your entire life for the better, would you step up?

Listen to the full The Butterfly Effect: Learning Self-Love Episode on our podcast Self-Love First by Smile Teachers.

Why am I talking about butterflies?

This process of metamorphosis is similar to the journey of learning to love myself that I have been on for the last 6 months.

It’s a journey of resilience, courage and vulnerability not dissimilar to the life cycle of a butterfly. Where I have been on a constant path of growth and evolution. A committed I made to myself many moons ago and I believe you will find value in learning about it.

Do you ever feel like shit?

Like you're empty or worthless?

I had this lingering feeling of self-doubt, stress and anxiety (again). I felt like I didn’t matter.

I had so many little negative voices that were trying to drag me down.

“You’re not good enough”

“Who do you think you are?”

“You’re never going to make it”

“People don’t want to hear what you have to say”

“Just go back to your simple life and stop dreaming”

I hit a period of my life that consisted of intense pain, a lack of energy, no inspiration or drive and overall feeling like a worthless piece of shit.

I was constantly battling with my inner world and self-sabotaging my own growth and evolution.

After experiencing a painful and sudden evacuation from my beloved teaching post at the end of 2018, where my boss and colleague of 4 years decided that "my head was on the chopping block" and I was pushed to leave the job I love because he had a more suitable and politically supportive "friend" lined up for my job. It hurt... it shattered me and it crushed my soul.

I had been in this constant spiral of negativity where I had diminished self-doubt, confidence and worthiness.

I felt like a tiny insignificant spec on the earth’s surface. My life felt like I was nothing but a tiny little egg… floating through the Universe.

My big vision and goals for Smile had never changed, but my belief in myself and the outcome had become darkness instead of filling me up with light and igniting my fire.

While busy and stressed and constantly doing things as I tried to find the answers I felt like I was soulless and a lost cause. I felt like a burden to everybody else around me as well.

I felt trapped, stuck and stagnant inside my shell.

But, was this feeling of loneliness, entrapment and fragility the beginning of something more?

During this emotional soul searching time of my life a great friend and mentor of mine reached out and shared some insightful words and advice. His prescription was to slow down and surrender to the pain and suffering. He advised me to stop searching for answers, to stop waking up looking for the stress and anxiety and to surrender and sit with the feelings, thoughts and emotions.

He asked “Do you believe the Universe has your back?”

I responded emphatically “Of course I do”

“Well then just trust that everything will work out and the answers will come to you, but only when you are in a state of stillness and silence” he insisted.

I had become so used to the stress and anxiety that it had become my default setting... I had to turn and face the darkness of living in an egg so that I could bloom into a butterfly.

There it was… my new favourite term, a term I later transferred to our Smile Teachers workshops as a focus for kids and teachers. STILL and SILENT (if you rearrange the word silent, it makes LISTEN).

It was when I made the commitment to myself to be still and silent that I began to really grow.

This little egg was on it’s own metamophisis. Although I felt like a shell of a man and a little empty on the inside, when I looked close enough I knew there was an infinite depth to my being and soul.

The coolest thing about butterfly eggs, especially monarch butterfly eggs, is that if you look close enough you can actually see the tiny caterpillar growing inside of it. There was something far greater growing inside of me.

I began to listen and practice being still and silent every day. I would trek up into the bushland behind my parents property and I would sit on the same big red and whit quartz rock everyday. Most days I would sit silently for an extended period of time, inquiring as to what was going on inside me. I had this immense resistance and pain.

The self-sabotaging beliefs were still lingering… however, the more time I spent reflecting and allowing myself to feel into the pain and suffering I began to realise I had power over this situation. I had been holding onto this anger, frustration and sadness for some time.

I had a lot of resentment, fear and anxiety that had manifested from the past few months of “not knowing” why this happened or what I was going to do. I wanted to go in an punch him in the jugular for doing that to me.

I felt abandoned, hurt and treated poorly by my previous employer and this had a ripple effect on many other areas of my life. All this negativity was harming me and I needed to grow above it and leave it behind.

Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have or lacked… my mindset started to shift and the time I spent out in nature, breathing, journaling, meditating and practicing SELF-LOVE the faster I grew. I was no longer a tiny little empty egg.

This little larvae was wriggling into existence.

I integrated positive affirmations day and night, I invested in my own learning where I was completing 20-30minutes a day with Mindvalley to upgrade my belief system, I started using self-hypnosis and a power Transformational Hypnosis Therapy from Marisa Peer to go in and unblock the self-sabotaging limiting beliefs that were strangling my potential.

The question of “Am I enough?” was being reframed everyday… I am ENOUGH was posted on my wall, recorded on my phone, written in my journal everyday. I was started to shift my belief about this.

Learning to love myself became my mission for 2019. I was so passionate about telling everybody else how important SELF-LOVE was, but I was not embodying this myself. I found it hard to receive love from other people as well, because I really didn't believe I was worthy.

We all go through periods where we feel like the tiny little insignificant butterfly egg. To the naked eye it may look like there is nothing inside, but when we take time to be still and silent and we put a magnifying glass over what is really inside it is so clear that we all have this beautiful, magnificent and resilient caterpillar just waiting to bloom into this world as a beautiful butterfly.

Where you can spread your wings and fly! First we have to go through the process of transformation, right?

How many of you are willing to go through the pain and suffering to experience the ecstasy and bliss that waits on the other side?

When the egg finally hatches, most of you would expect for a butterfly to emerge, right? Well, not exactly. In the butterfly’s life cycle, there are four stages and this is only the second stage. Butterfly larvae are actually what we call caterpillars. Caterpillars do not stay in this stage for very long and mostly, in this stage all they do is eat.

First and foremost my health… all this stress was making me sick. I hadn’t felt healthy and radiantly alive for some time. Alas, my man Rory Callaghan to the rescue. My guts had been crook for as long as I can remember. 2-3 maybe 4 years of yucky feeling inside me… this made it extremely difficult to stay motivated, focused and inspired. Imagine having a coffee and then almost shitting your pants, that was me on the daily.

I was eating really well… but never really putting on any weight, I was the lightest I had ever been, my skin was blotchy, I had huge bags under my eyes, I woke up feeling tired and drained and then it was a mission every day to feel good about myself.

The fundamental to all pillars of your existence should be health first and that means self-care first… Rory is an incredible mentor and friend who is highly passionate about living a health conscious and sustainable life. Thankfully, he has always been patiently waiting to help me, I just hadn’t made the commitment yet, because I thought I was “healthy”. There was a lot more to health I was missing out on.

Taking the time off to rest, reflect and rejuvenate allowed my body to pause and reset. It was in these precious moments of stillness and silence, where I breathed into how I was feeling and what I was feeling that I had the realisation. Enough was enough of my digestive system playing havoc on me.

How was I ever going to feel that I AM ENOUGH when every single day for as long as I can remember, I had borderline IBS… abruptly going to the toilet and releasing KG’s of yellow peanut butter looking poo? (delicious)

It was time to heal myself from the inside out.

The things I love about the products I use and the program Rory coaches me through is that it integrates health with mindset and vision. All the things I was working on.

After just 14 days of this new integrated health system I was noticing massive shifts in how I felt and looked.

Getting on top of my health and eating well was what I need to grow. Just like the caterpillar I was munching away on high vibrational plant foods and supplements everyday and I FELT AMAZING!

As soon as a caterpillar is done growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis. From the outside of the pupa, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all of the action is. Inside of the pupa, the caterpillar is rapidly changing.

During this chrysalis of life, we are resting and reflecting, but his create space. We need to hold space for ourselves if we want to grow. When we create time and space to just BE and to sit with our feeling, thoughts and emotions, life begins to shift around us. The Universe reflects back to us whatever is happening in our internal world. The caterpillar goes through a plethora of changes inside the pupa, it is shifting, growing and transforming into it’s highest potential.

The past 6 months have been my opportunity for unlimited growth. When I slowed down to nourish my mind, body and soul. I began to understand the true significance of loving myself first. As I have continued to grow and expand my consciousness, incredible things have happened.

In April 2019, I completed a learning course with Vishen Lakhiani at Mindvalley called Self-Transformation, where I was committed to the project of self-transformation. I have always believed that personal growth is the fundamental law of life, we should always be growing and expanding, but Vishen’s course that included some significant insights from Srikumar Rao, helped me to identify some strategies for accelerating my transformation and ultimately, my own metamorphosis.

One truly remarkable concept Vishen shares is how “traditional goal setting” is broken. We have been brought up with this notion that we should set goals and focus incessantly on these goals until the come true for us.

How often do we actually stay the course and see these goals come to fruition?

I began reflecting and researching…

I had kept journals and notebooks for my entire adult life and when I was flicking through these memories I noticed how many times I had set SMART goals…

Fuckin hell… there were pages and pages and pages of times where I had sat down really motivated, determined and invested to attack these new goals head on. But surprise surprise… very few of them had been achieved.

No wonder I was feeling like a little egg, empty, shallow and lacking self-worth…

I had rarely achieved success= lack of fulfillment.

I had always been chasing the next goal that “should” make me happy= feeling insignificant.

I was never obtaining what I desired (love, money, freedom)= lack of self-worth.

I was never going to feel like I was enough with this methodology.

The chrysalis continued and I started using the techniques I had learned in Vishen’s course to upgrade my systems for living and my mindset.


Lofty Questions…

Rate of Self-Evolution…

20/20/20 principle…

Finding my north-star…

Adopting these techniques and integrating them into the health and nutrition system I was using to take back my gut health and energy was paying HUGE dividends.

I am on a path of rapid transformation… this chrysalis has a shit load of movement inside it. My body is becoming stronger, my mind is shaping into a more positive, peaceful and patient producer of the emotions, thoughts and feelings that were ignited the fire within my soul that was pulling me toward my greatness.

Now, as most people know, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis,’ to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.

We must always be growing and transforming in all aspects of our lives. We will all go through our own process of metamorphosis at some point. To take advantage of your true infinite potential, you need to learn to love yourself first.

Here are my top 5 tips for cultivating self-love and accelerating your own metamorphosis:

1. Self-care First:

Nourish your body with the best foods available. Connect with a program like Rory Callaghan and utilise the powerful science behind optimising your health holistically. Send Rorz a message and tell him you want to know more!

2. Still and Silent:

When was the last time you actually stopped everything you were doing and just went and spent time completely alone? No phone, no TV, no kids, no distractions. Whether it’s for an hour, a day or a week. Learn to LISTEN to what the Universe, God or a higher power is trying to tell you.

3. Invest in Self-Development:

Everyday is a chance for you to grow. We can grow a little or a lot, you deserve the investment in your own learning. Self-love begins with self-leadership. Make it your priority to start learning for 20 mins a day. I suggest looking out for Mindvalley Quest, watch Tedx on Youtube or purchase an online course.

4. Positive Affirmations:

Morning and night or in the car or on your walk. Put in your head phones and start reprogramming your subconscious mind with positive self talk. Some of my favourites are here:

Zen Talks

You Are Your Creators

5. Hour of Power:

Set you alarm for an hour earlier than normal. Stop using the bullshit excuse that you're tired ot don't have time. This will increase productivity! Sleep is important but my guess is most of you would rather over sleep that improve your health and mindset. An hour of power will change your life. Spend the first hour of the day moving, meditating and learning. Learn more about it with Robin Sharma one of the world's leading personal development coaches.

Start with 1 of the above today, don’t wait for tomorrow. Start building your wings!

My journey of self-transformation is still in progress. I am growing my wings and preparing for the first flight.

I can openly say… I am still working on myself to embrace that I am Enough.

I have more work to do. I can keep improving and expanding my inner world.

But, I do believe I love myself more everyday and this has been a result of committing to SELF-LOVE.

My health is consistently positive and after healing my gut health issues I am now committed to a 16 week program where I aim to build lean muscle and be in the best shape of my life. This allows me to feel great and wake up with an abundance of energy and inspiration.

My mindset is a work in progress where I have much work to do in order to unravel and face the shadows and limiting beliefs that have been a part of my subconscious mind forever. I am more aware now of the social conditioning and contagion effect that has created many of these self-sabotaging beliefs and I will continue to raise my consciousness so my inner world is magnificent.

My soul will always be expanding and growing. I have so much love, passion and abundance to share with the Universe and I believe when I connect to purpose, collaborate with other aligned beings and as long as I consistently nurture my body and mind the soul will continue to pull me forward towards my higher self.

When the butterfly first emerges from the chrysalis, both of the wings are going to be soft and folded against its body. This is because the butterfly had to fit all its new parts inside of the pupa.

I am rapidly emerging as a confident, intelligent and highly motivated young man.

I love that I live with positive health and a vibrant energy.

I love that I am consistently working on bettering myself.

I love that I have the ability to spark positive change in the world.

I love that my vision is greater than myself.

I love that soon my wings will have grown so wide that I can fly.

As soon as the butterfly has rested after coming out of the chrysalis, it will pump blood into the wings in order to get them working and flapping – then they get to fly.

It’s only a matter of time before I spread my wings and fly.

I would love you to cultivate more self-love and start to build your wings as well.

With love,

Shaun Kay

Smile Teachers

Listen to the full The Butterfly Effect: Learning Self-Love Episode on our podcast Self-Love First by Smile Teachers.

I hope you find value in this blog. I would love to hear your experience with your own journey of self-transformation, please send me an email at or connect via Facebook or Instagram.

If your ready to truly embrace I AM ENOUGH and to learn to love yourself. We would love to see you join us for an immersive week of transformation on our SELF-LOVE TEACHERS RETREAT.

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