Butterfly Efffects

by Maria Theresa Maggi on June 18, 2018

"Butterfly Eclipse," chalk pastel by Maria Theresa Maggi

“Butterfly Eclipse,” chalk pastel by Maria Theresa Maggi

Perhaps this may seem a little far fetched to some, but if you’re willing to read along and think outside the box a little, I ask you to give this a try with me.

I’m going to say right up front that this does not replace conventional action items like writing to Congress and donating to and resisting and marching in person. Do all and any of these things as well, and anything else you can think of to support the reunification of families who have crossed the border seeking asylum.

A very wise woman I follow online when talking about self-care in the face of a toxic situation has a mantra that goes “resist, res,t repeat.” To that mantra it came to me this morning that I add one more injunction to msyelf starting with “r”—restore—after “rest.” For it happens so often after I have rested that visions of how to restore a better way (on any front) and the steps I can take to do that become open to me. Then they can also become part of my resistance. It is in this spirit that I offer this “restoration” story and visualization here, and hope you can add your own special flavor to it in practice.

It started with a post my amazing intuitive/speaker/teacher/author friend Louise of Illuminations made on Father’s Day morning. In her inspired brilliance, she often suggests connections between phenomena in physics and how they explain or increase potential in our spiritual experience. She reminded us of that with these words and questions:

“Quantum physics principles are often way over my head, but I like to explore ideas that relate to my work, particularly those involving ‘time-travel.’

Here’s an interesting principle:

“RETROCAUSALITY means that, when an experimenter chooses the measurement setting with which to measure a particle, that decision can influence the properties of that particle (or another particle) in the past, even before the experimenter made their choice. IN OTHER WORDS, A DECISION MADE IN THE PRESENT CAN INFLUENCE SOMETHING IN THE PAST.”

This makes me consider the effect of ‘merging’ with the timeless consciousness of clients, and then going to the past to observe and reframe strategic moments when inhibiting fears, beliefs, and misperceptions were embraced, ones that continue to influence their present — and their future.

I then get ‘sneak peeks’ of potential positive FUTURE moments occurring (beyond time) as a result of that shift we initiated in the past.

Do you think ‘the decision’ — or simply the INTENT— to shift the past (and thereby influence the present and future) — might prompt this to phenomenon to occur?”

Initially, I was inspired to reply:

“I would like to experiment with this on a collective level. If we went back to the time of Jim Crow, for instance, or Civil Rights Movement and actually apologized for the harm we’ve done to people brought here as slaves, would it help end the police violence now? What point do we need to go back to regarding the millions of Mexican and Central American immigrants whose hard work keep our society functioning in order to shift this horrible separation of families taking place? I’m not saying you know the answer to this, Louise, I just am intrigued by it and ANYTHING that might help at this point is worth a try. I just watched all the people gathering for the march in Tornillo this morning and so on my walk I walked with them in solidarity for the reunification of the children who will be put in this tent city to be treated humanely and reunited with their parents. I felt such great spirits as Bobby Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. King, Caesar Chavez and on and on adding wind to these sails. How can we help this wave of bravery, compassion and love swell to a point of change? Let’s do whatever we can. ”

I was surprised to see that later in the day a few others had read my response and were enthusiastic about trying to envision “out of the box” this way. Spurred on by their interest and encouragement, at the end of the day, I received this inspiration and  wrote:

“Okay, Louise and friends, I just had an inspiration. The long long history of Colonization of the “new” world by Spain and England goes so far back and is so entangled that I asked for something simpler if possible. Then I remembered just the other day that I had listened to Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso speak about the border and the region in the face of these family separations. One of the ways he was describing the truth of the porousness of the border was the intermingling of language, cultures, families and– monarch butterflies– and their long intercontinental journey. That made me think of this delightful Canadian documentary about the scientist who first tracked the flight of the butterflies and how the story spans our continent, our borders and goes across generations–Flight of The Butterflies. I will link to a description of the film, which is on Netflix. What if this we could go back to these moments of discovery and see them catching fire in the public imagination in such a way that they began to melt our rigid idea of borders and the “other”–for in truth this effort was not possible without players from all countries –Canada/US/Mexico–playing integral parts. It couldn’t have been done without those in Mexico or the school children in the US who helped tag butterflies on their way. And the butterfly is such a wonderful and apt metaphor for transformation. Can’t “flesh” it all out just yet but it sure is a lovely thought to dream on. And so, good night. Thanks all, and thank you, Louise for inspiring me to be inspired!! It’s been a very intense way and this is a blessing of a way to end it.”

Before I headed to bed I saw Louise had responded:

Interesting application, Maria. I’ll have to think about a visualization to apply to this issue in the past at a historical juncture when it was emerging. Most intriguing!”

So we both slept on it.

In the morning, I had a flood of inspiration about this, as I often do when I first wake up and do my yoga and simple meditation before making my oatmeal. Here’s what came up:

“Okay, here’s the further “butterfly effect” inspiration I received this morning.

First: I’ll rewatch Flight of The Butterflies this evening and see what that opens up. (I’ll post a link to it on Netflix below)

Then, I realized that this is a Bioneers type action—“revolution from the heart of Nature” because we are calling on the wisdom of the monarch butterflies to help us outgrow human ignorance about how boundaries work, and what real interconnectivity with our land means. (Bioneers has a great radio program—you can find it online.)

Then it came to me that I have been preparing for this visualization for a long time, as far back as when I first met Louise and was teaching writing to upper division science majors at UC Irvine. We read the book Chaos by James Gleick and there is a whole chapter on whether or not the weather can be predicted. It cites a phenomenon called “the butterfly effect”—which describes sensitive dependence on initial conditions—which means that something as seemingly small and delicate and fragile as the motion of a butterfly’s wings can effect the weather patterns as they form and travel across the globe. (If that isn’t confirmation of your exercise, Louise, on a cosmic scientific level, I don’t know what is!)

And then it came to me that a few years ago before I moved from Moscow Idaho to Portland and ultimately to the Oregon Coast I participated in a collaborative art show of poets and artists. In this particular collaboration I worked as a visual artist responding to a poem. I don’t have the poem any longer but remember it was something about airports and traveling and borders and eclipses (!!!) My Interpretation of the poem was a pastel of a butterfly emerging out of an eclipse. (!!!) I’ll post a photo of it here in case it sparks any visualizing for any of you.

And finally, I was given an overarching “grok” of the long and bloody historical intertwinement that helped to create this tragedy we need to heal at our border. The longstanding centuries of rivalry and intrigue and war between England and Spain in some way sparked the “discovery” of the Americas and their competition to best each other resulted in the enslavement and slaughter of people living here. As we became nations separate from the original colonizers, we inherited that enmity reflexively and carried it on as the US and Mexico—especially the US, I’d say. What better metaphor than the migration of butterflies across our amazing continent to help us heal that. I thank from the bottom of my heart Congressman Beto O’ Rourke who mentioned the migration of monarchs in the context of his own appeal for people to care about the reality of what a border is. If we could imagine governments getting behind the wonder of this discovery when it was made and then finally confirmed, or at least people getting behind it in the style of what the Bioneers would call “biomimicry” “ perhaps we can create a future moment where we see the wisdom of joining together in our common humanity. Or something like that. I am given to play with the image of the butterflies and the people who tracked them and came to know each other because of it and see what grows from it. I ask you to join me, in courage, and love for all of us, and for our mother, Earth.

It’s been quite a ride on my yoga mat (magic carpet) this morning!”

Louise responded with this:

“Beautiful, Maria! Hey – I’ve got an idear: Remember my example from Fearless Future (posted recently) – where I describe how it’s possible to shift the energy on planes and trains by entraining others onto a higher frequency of authenticity and good will? We’ll….what if we ~ along with a vast # of us like-minded, here-for-the-greater-good, Current-of-Unity, Divinely-inspired souls ~ put ourselves (our timeless Spirits) on board the ships just now preparing to set sail for new, unexplored lands! (No need to think of ourselves as stowaways…we’ve been placed there quite purposefully and serendipitously!) Our thoughts and intentions are soooo strong and soooo vibrant — they override ambitions of greed, inauthentic power, domination, etc. We’re feeling such incredibly contagious excitement about the ventures ahead — discovering new lands of diverse people who will have SO much to teach us about their ways…so much to learn from others! Oh, and there are butterflies swarming on board all the ships ~ their energy permeating, leading the way as guides to show how we can all live, learn, and evolve together through changing times and various political climates, unforeseen strife — you name it. ALL FOR ONE ~ ONE FOR ALL! Y’all in?

I responded:

” I’m ALL in!! Love it! While we were on our walk this morning I was visualizing butterfly swarms all over the places where the children are detained, making those who are keeping them there look up and think again and maybe even take them outside to see and change what they are being told to do. Or the butterflies come when the children are outside. I LOVE this historic application. I’m SO there. Thank you.”

and she responded:

“BTW, Maria, you might know that when Elizabeth Kubler Ross once took a tour of concentration camps, she was amazed to see that in totally separate quarters where children were incarcerated, they had carved images of butterflies on the walls of their bunks! They certainly knew something Divinely-inspired, fer shure!”

I had read this somewhere a long time ago, but had forgotten it. With nothing but their fingernails and pebbles to work with, I might add. Chills.

And so here we are. I invite you to watch the movie, to visualize whatever comes from that, to put yourself on a ship to the new world ready to change the course of history to one of appreciation and learning and new alliances rather than enslavement.bloodshed and war. Step outside the 3D box if you dare. I’m not saying I know what comes of this. I’m saying I believe it’s worth an honest go. And absolutely do your actions in 3D too: write your letters, make your calls. Donate to RAICES Family Reunification and Bond Fund, join the ACLU. Do it all. And don’t give up. Sensitive dependence on initial conditions. The Butterfly Effect. We got this, inside and outside, of time. Resist, rest, restore, repeat.

Much love and courage,

Maria (moonwatcher)







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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Veronica June 20, 2018 at 6:07 pm

Never give up – “even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” I read something once regarding the butterfly effect, how everyone is so concerned about going back in time and making one tiny change that alters everything forever – but no one thinks one small thing today can alter the future. Here’s to hope, flying on butterfly wings. xo


2 Maria Theresa Maggi June 20, 2018 at 10:50 pm

Thank you Veronica–yes, here’s to hope, and all the actions that keep it alive and our courage stirred up and our hearts open. xo


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