A little while ago I was speaking to one of my dear friends in Australia. She is what I would describe as a 'touchstone.' A term I recently read about for someone who restores faith in the goodness of humanity. This person helps unwrap and untangle any knots around my heart and mind, and I always walk away from our conversations feeling lighter and inspired. In short, every time I speak to her, I feel like I've shifted and grown in some way.
In our latest phone call, we spoke of our current events, news and happenings in our respective corners of the earth. In the conversation, I shared that I recently felt a sense of 'unraveling' happening within me. This sensation is exciting, yet a bit unsettling. As I explained, this internal unraveling made me feel like I was on the cusp of some change or realization. I rambled for a bit about this feeling, and yes, had doubts that I made any sense at all. But that's the great thing about this friend; she's patient and a champion listener. (Like, if listening were an Olympic sport, she'd most certainly qualify and probably get to stand on the podium). Once I had finished spilling fragments of thoughts, there was a pause. I could hear my friend contemplating from 10,000 miles away. Then she mused, "When you were using the word unraveling, I couldn't help but think about a thread when you're knitting. When a thread unravels, you use that bit to create something new."
Wow. Once again my touchstone leaves me with such a simple image but one that I keep returning to on days when I feel like I'm coming undone. Sometimes this feeling of coming undone is exciting because something is about to change. Just like it can be unsettling, because something is about to change. Unsettling or exciting, the unraveled thread can be used to create something new and beautiful. A wise yoga teacher I am fortunate to learn from once told me that unraveling is part of the process of realization and growth. And suggested that the trick is to not become too attached or concerned with the feeling of unraveling. So, there in lies the practice. We're going to experience some sense of coming apart as we grow. The trick is to be aware and maybe even grateful for the unraveling, but to stay loose because if you pull or hold too tight, you might unravel the whole sweater.