You know what I’m grateful for today? Balls of yarn. Yeah, maybe that seems a little weird, but it’s like this. On my way to the initial meeting of our second series of Authentically You Coaching Circles, I had some yarn in the car I’d wound into a ball. It struck me, like some wonderful quantum flirt, that my colorful ball of yarn actually made an excellent metaphor for the journey this group was beginning today.
If you’re familiar with knitting or crocheting, you probably know that the top quality and luxury yarns tend to be sold in hanks. Now, a hank of yarn, loosely described, is wound into a large, open ring shape and then twisted on itself to make a package that’s easy to ship and store. To use it, you can’t just pull on an end — you have to untwist the hank, clip the ties that hold the strands in a circular shape, and then set about winding it into a ball.
The price you pay for not winding it into a ball is almost always a twisted mess of yarn with knots and loops. At best, you spend an hour or so untangling it so you can actually use it, or else it just winds up on the floor or in the trash out of pure frustration (well, mine does, anyway).
So as I contemplate my ball of yarn, I realize I’m looking at a perfect metaphor for our circle. First, it’s circular. Second, it requires careful handling to make sense of all the strands, but once you understand it, work with it, and make sense of it, you can then begin to knit (or crochet) with it. And, ah, that’s where the magic begins. Because out of this ball of yarn emerges something beautiful, useful, hand-crafted — something you can give to others or treasure yourself.
I think that’s the heart of the metaphor for living an authentic life. If we take the time to understand the strands that make up our past, our present — all the events that shaped us, all the values we hold most dear, all the voices that have told us to be a certain thing or act a certain way, and most of all, the inner knowledge we hold inside about who and what we are and who and what we long to become — we can get a head start on the journey. If we don’t take the time to really, truly know who we are and what we value and what we desire, we might as well be spending most of our time untangling the strands of our experiences and never really learning from them.
In other words, if we take the time to carefully unwind our hank of life experiences and wind our ball of self knowledge and awareness, then what we create is magical. It’s a life of amazing authenticity, a life of purpose and happiness, a life well lived. Like a beautifully knitted sweater or a lovingly crocheted scarf, it’s a treasure to hold, to use, to love, and to cherish.
So when I say I’m grateful for balls of yarn, you know what I mean.