I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my state of being after a year of loss, grief, and transformation. I feel like I’m finally starting to emerge, like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon.

A friend who’s going through her own dark season recently shared with me that her counselor encouraged her to “strengthen her cocoon” during an acutely difficult time. I realized that’s what I’ve been doing this past year—building my cocoon.

I’ve experimented with new forms of self-care such as Ayurveda, acupuncture, centering prayer, massage, essential oils, and aerial silks, along with my regular practice of prayer, yoga, meditation, and lots of reading. I’ve also stayed close to the people who are willing to sit in the darkness with me. All of this have helped build a healing cocoon for my body, mind, and spirit.

I’ve also struggled so much over the past year. I’ve been in the dark depths of grief and felt like I was dying, and that I wanted to die, in the early days after Ellis’ stillbirth. A friend shared a quote with me from Maya Angelou: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Butterflies have to struggle in the darkness of their cocoons to build enough strength to emerge.

The month of May brought many milestones which seemed to punctuate my transformation. I graduated from a nine-month yoga teacher training program, I got through my first Mother’s Day without Ellis and made it to his first birthday, and I recovered from a miscarriage after I’d expected to be pregnant.

Now I feel like I’m emerging from my cocoon after being immersed in struggle and solitude. I’ve started teaching weekly yoga classes and have also begun a program called Prepare To Publish, which will guide me and a cohort of other writers towards completing a book proposal by the end of summer.

A year ago I could not have imagined the transformation and new life that was possible from going into the darkness of my cocoon. Darkness can be a very scary and uncomfortable place, but it also has inherent regenerative powers. Darkness is where all new things are born. Thanks for being on this journey with me.