Symbol of Change, Evolution, Self-Realization, Death and Rebirth

Flame Skimmer Dragonfly (Libellula saturata), male, common W-USA | by J. N. Stuart

This week I spotted a red-orange dragonfly for the first time! I never knew these beautiful creatures existed, so I immediately looked up the symbolism and was delighted with what I found:

“The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life. The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life.

The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis. This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.

The eyes of the dragonfly are one of the most amazing and awe inspiring sights. Given almost 80% of the insect’s brain power is dedicated to its sight and the fact that it can see in all 360 degrees around it, it symbolizes the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self. It also in a manner of speaking symbolizes a man/woman’s rising from materialism to be able to see beyond the mundane into the vastness that is really our Universe, and our own minds.

In many regions and as a norm of this day, the dragonfly is considered to be an agent of change and presumably symbolic of a sense of self realization. Self realization from how the dragonfly uses its power to control its movements and so elegantly. And change and evolution is all about the dragonfly’s ability to fly and the way it can be comfortable on water, land as well as the air.

To the Japanese, it symbolizes summer and autumn and am admired and respected all over, so much so that the Samurai use it as a symbol of power, agility and best of all, Victory. In China, people associate the dragonfly with prosperity, harmony and as a good luck charm.

Native Americans speak of the dragonfly as bringing a time of rejuvenation after a long period of trials and hardship.”

Felt very relevant to our current times… I also found this:

“Red dragonflies can be rare to view, and very special when the opportunity comes along. Yet, interestingly, they often appear to people surrounding life episodes of loss and death; perhaps a bit of an oxymoron that these lovely winged creatures are present at such times. But the meaning of red dragonfly includes both good and bad omens: one of eternal love and one of death. This paradox embraces the polarities we find in life, and as such, it is not surprising the red dragonfly makes an appearance at moments of death and loss. Death is the polarity of Life, and upon departing this realm, we most likely return to our home of eternal love. Red dragonfly symbolism and death are intimately entwined as the end of life’s illusions through transformation.

Dragonfly is the metaphor for our own transformations out of the depths of our emotional dramas into a place of freedom. A place we could equate to going when we depart this world. Thus, the red dragonfly may emerge around death with the soothing message that this transformation will carry us to freedom and eternal love.

Further, the Native Americans perceived dragonflies as the “souls of the dead” so a dragonfly visitation around a loved one’s death could well signify the loved one’s soul taking form in the spirit of dragonfly. It offers the assurance their soul is free.”Source: Annie Horkan

Which I found even more fascinating as I was thinking about the recent death of my stepmother. In one of my lessons this week I heard that spirits tend to stick around for 1-4 months after death but then typically move on, and while thinking of that I had a feeling that she’d recently moved on herself. Then I saw 2 more red dragonflies after having that thought! 🙂

The world sure is incredible when you slow down to look and listen to what she’s trying to tell you!

What symbols of change have you been observing first hand?

. . .

What changes would you like to see stick around after the COVID mess releases it’s grip on our daily lives?

Keeping Calm Amid the Chaos

I found this Tim Ferris podcast with Jack Kornfield to be quite helpful and refreshing that it didn’t focus solely on COVID-19.

Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India, and Burma, shortly thereafter becoming one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974.

Tim Ferriss

In the podcast Jack reminisces about his time spent with Baba Ram Dass, particularly in the last few months of his life. I had picked up Be Here Now after hearing of Ram Dass’ passing. I’ve been on a new spiritual path the past 6 months of my life, and found Ram Dass’ teachings shared in his book very uplifting and admittedly, at times, frustrating as the illustrations are a typographer’s worst nightmare. But above all, in tune with the path I’ve been on lately in terms of awakening consciousness.

For most of my adult life I’ve rejected the notion of being spiritual. In fact, I actively avoided it, despising the Catholic upbringing I had and the hypocrisy of it all. On one hand the religion tries to teach you only god can judge, on the other hand I see endless amounts of catholics taking that role on for themselves. Once my mom passed, I rejected it even more so. Her spiritual connections would send me into such deep sorrow and anger. I’ve mainly spent the last 17 years avoiding that grief.

Fast forward to 2020 where I’m now facing much of this again. My stepmom passed away unexpected late last year, and it’s been the first time that I’ve enjoyed my spiritual encounters with her. Right after her passing she would come to me as a bright orange, warming glow. I felt happy, reassured, and comforted by her presence. I’d wave at where I felt she was, giving her a smile, letting her know I “see” you. Ever since her twin passed away when she was 19 she’d always tried to reconnect with her on a spiritual level. The instant I learned of her passing I felt solace knowing their souls were reunited again.

Now I have a different relationship with spirituality. I was mistaken for most of my life thinking this meant religion. Today I view it more as allowing myself to connect with myself on a deeper level. I’m sure at it’s essence most religions are trying to teach this as well, however I think that message has been diluted with the passing on of teachings over time. I used to completely close down my energy centers at the mere thought of “God”. Now I embrace the fact that we are all “god”, not that we are “gods”, but to mean we are all connected as one.

I can’t help but think that my newly found spiritual awakening was preparing me for my stepmom’s death and the continued loss I experienced for months after. I believe it’s still preparing me for what’s ahead. In the upcoming months and years, I imagine many of us will be experiencing overwhelming loss, grief, and depression. It’s often not until we hit rock bottom that we seek out changes to help improve our wellbeing. But why do we wait until it gets so bad that we feel like we can’t take it anymore?

One of the things that Jack mentioned in the podcast really resonated with me was how depression often spirals people down into negative thoughts to the point that they convince themselves that they want to die. No doubt many of us have been there at some point in our lives, if not perhaps there right now. Our psyche can be evil telling us over and over how bad things are, how awful this life is, how horrible you are. Jack paraphrases teachings he’d learned from Stan Grof, psychiatrist and expert in non-ordinary states of consciousness and one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology, saying:

“When people feel that they want to commit suicide, they are right that something needs to die, they’re mistaken in thinking that it’s their body that needs to die. But they are facing something that really does have to die, and changing maybe the whole way they’re living their life, it may be the history that they have, that they have to die to—that you could call it ego death, some sense of identity that they have that they don’t want to let go of, but they have to.”

Jack Kornfield, Tim Ferriss podcast #414

Among such dark topics I oddly found myself at peace with this segment of the interview. How true I found it to be, and how confused and sad I was in years past when I’ve let myself get to this point. In the weeks (and more likely months) ahead where we need to practice self-isolation and social distancing I encourage everyone to not allow your psyche to bring you down. Do things today that can help you feel better now, tomorrow, and down the road. Invest in your mental health by practicing being present, allow yourself to quiet your mind, get in-tuned with your body. Turn off the TV and distance yourself from social media, even though it can give you tiny spurts of dopamine now, it will only make you feel worse in the end.

Allow yourself to feel bored.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive to our world today, but it’s in that boredom that your intuition will speak up. It can allow you to tap into your conscious awareness to reveal what we all have within, our intuition guiding us on the right path we are meant to take. Reach out to a friend on the phone. Even though the current times require us to be physically apart, I believe now is the time to allow this to bring us closer together, by being there for each other in whatever means we can.

Deep breath in….

Long exhale out…

Deep breath in…

Long exhale out…

As long as you focus on improving yourself in healthy ways, everything will be ok.

AOC is KILLIN’ it!

I’ve really been loving the raw honest truth and pressing nature that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is bringing to politics today.

Here’s some recent gems:

And this one where AOC interviews Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, who explains the distinction of being anti-racist and non-racist during a House Oversight hearing ‘Confronting White Supremacy.’ POWERFUL message here everyone should hear:

These are just 2 examples, but each and every video I see of her gives me a little bit of hope in this otherwise pathetic political landscape.


Finally, some logical sense to one of the most important constitutional amendments we should pass: Elizabeth Warren wants to abolish Electoral College system

“I believe we need a constitutional amendment that protects the right to vote for every American citizen and makes sure that vote gets counted,” she told a CNN town hall in Jackson — noting presidential candidates didn’t tend to campaign in states like Mississippi, which are not Electoral College battlegrounds. “And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College.”

Elizabeth Warren, via

Future of Work: Distributed for Success

I love this video from Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic, the company I work for, on the benefits of a successful distributed work culture. While Automattic started as a fully distributed company, Matt delivers some tips on how you can start to introduce this into a work environment that traditionally requires you to go into an office. As one of the commenters suggested on Matt’s post, the quality of life is so much greater when you don’t have to deal with a commute and have the benefit of working when your mind is in it, rather than the traditional 9-5 that most people subscribe to.

Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, on why working from home is good for business.

I’ve mentioned countless times in the past how I don’t think I could ever go back to an office work environment again, and I’m excited for the future when employers won’t have this as a blocker for hiring the best talent across the globe. The diversity and inclusion benefits of this approach are vast, and one severely needed in the tech industry.

2019 International Women’s Day Panel Discussion & Live Q&A

This Friday, March 8th, at 10am PST I’ll be hosting an International Women’s Day (virtual) Panel Discussion & Live Q&A with 4 amazing women from the tech industry, to discuss leadership development, self-advocacy, and mentorship. We will be using the Zoom video app to host the panel so as long as you have an internet connection you can join us! It’s free!

Continue reading “2019 International Women’s Day Panel Discussion & Live Q&A”