5 Lessons From The Dragonfly.
“Why did you name your business after dragonflies? Why do you have dragonflies tattooed on your hands? Are those real?” people ask me.
Yes, they’re real. Permanent. Looking around my life, it’s clear I have a thing for dragonflies. I feel it as a connection, lodged right under my rib cage and sometimes a fierce fluttering around the third eye. A deep affinity. The dragonfly is my personal Patronus — at least one of them. I maintain we get a few.
I fought this connection for a while. If I was going to have an Energy I connected with, I wanted it to be something big, powerful, fierce. Maybe a lion, or a bear… even a hawk?
Not… an insect.
It took some time to let go of my resistance and open myself to Dragonfly’s wisdom. My apprenticeship has been an ever deeper appreciation for this path. I’ve come to believe some of us are true dragonfly spirits. We’ve learned the lessons from the dragonfly by heart. Usually the hard way.
1. Life goes through phases. And some of them are pretty much out of our control.
Some members of the dragonfly and damselfly family (Latin name: Odonata) lay their eggs into rotting wood just above the water line. Others lay eggs directly in the water. Think about that. Dragonfly souls go through phases that may include a lot of drifting through depths we have no awareness of. Or even less auspiciously, we sometimes start out in the midst of a lot of rotten muck.
And that muck paradoxically gives you just the material you need to emerge into the next phase.
2. A lot of life is lived under the surface. And it’s hungry.
A dragonfly lives a great deal of its chronological life underwater in its nymph stage. Nymphs can molt up to 15 times during this stage, which lasts anywhere from a few months to five years for some species. At this point, dragonflies are voraciously hungry. They have an impressive superjaw that gulps up mosquito larvae and provides fodder for our nightmares.
It’s okay to be not pretty, not nice, and voracious. It’s also okay to insist on your own timeline.
3. Vulnerability is a superpower.
Wings take time. Nymphs hover near the water’s surface, sometimes for days, learning to breathe a new element. Getting ready to emerge. And when they do, it is in full view. Unlike butterflies, dragonflies do not weave a chrysalis. Transformation takes place right out in the open where anyone can see it, if they know what to look for.
Dragonfly spirits transform right out in the open. It’s messy. It’s public. We’re learning as we go. And we use that raw vulnerability to create some of our greatest works and inspire people around us.
4. We know that the flightpath is not linear.
A dragonfly can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, and hover. It uses its four wings, as opposed to the usual two, in a completely different way than any other flying insect, physically rowing the air and able to use wings asymmetrically and independently to accelerate, slow down, or change direction mid flight.
The dragonfly knows what we learn: the path will never be linear. It isn’t supposed to be. Flexibility and agility help.
5. Beauty is not extra.
One of the top predators of the world — that’s right, own your fierce, Odonata-folk — dragonflies are also remarkably, breathtakingly lovely. Jewel-like colors, iridescence, and those marvelous patterned wings like translucent stained glass. In a world of abundance and governed by attraction, beauty is a main operating feature.
Seek beauty. Create it, celebrate it, honor it.
Sarah Sadie is a Qoya dance teacher, writer and the founder/owner of Odonata Creative. She specializes in transformations small and large through gentle small steps, recovering embodied awareness, with a few sugared violets sprinkled in occasionally. Leo sun with Leo rising and a Pisces moon in the mix, she helps women and men achieve creative breakthroughs and bloom.