New Moons and Weaving Beauty

 

“I don’t care how long it takes me; I’m going somewhere beautiful.”

I wrote those words in my journal and then on my whiteboard because …

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The ups and downs of running a solo-business take a toll on our emotional and physical well-being. The graveyard of products, collaborations that don’t work out, clients who don’t return to buy more, and traction – now slipping back into confusion is naturally discouraging.

 

What can we do to deepen our experience

rather than to see it as a string of failures?

 

There is a myth, a story told by Michael Meade of the weaving woman, it comes from “Why The World Doesn’t End” and it tells of a cave in which an old woman (mother nature) spends her time weaving a never-ending garment. 

She wants to fashion the most beautiful garment in the whole world. She has been at this weaving project for a long time and has reached the point of making a fringe for the edge of her exquisitely designed cloak. She wants that fringe to be special; wants it to be meaningful as well as elegant, so she weaves it with porcupine quills. She likes the idea of using something that could poke you as an element of beauty; she likes turning things around and seeing life from odd angles. 

The only time she interrupts her weaving work is when she goes to stir the soup that simmers in a great cauldron at the back of the cave. The simmering stew contains all the seeds and roots that become the grains and plants and herbs that sprout up all over the surface of the earth. If the old woman fails to stir the ancient stew once in awhile, the fire will scorch the ingredients, and there is no telling what troubles might result from that.

So the old woman divides her efforts between weaving the exquisite cloak and stirring the elemental soup.

In a sense, she is responsible for weaving things together as well as for stirring everything up.

As the old woman shuffles across the floor and makes her way to the of the ancient cave, a black dog watches her every move. As she begins stirring the soup to sustain the seeds, the black dog moves to where the weaving lies on the floor of the cave. The dog picks up a loose thread with its teeth and begins pulling on it. As the black dog pulls on the loose thread, the beautiful garment starts to unravel. 

As the great stew is being stirred up, the elegant garment comes apart and becomes a chaotic mess on the floor.

 What she has woven with such care has been pulled apart. She ignores the presence of the black dog as she stares intently at the tangle of undone threads and distorted patterns. She stands quietly and looks upon what remains. After a while, she bends down, picks up a loose thread, and begins to weave the whole thing again. As she pulls thread after thread from the chaotic mess, she begins again to imagine the most beautiful garment in the whole world.

As she weaves, new visions and elegant designs appear before her, and her old hands begin to knowingly give them vibrant shape.

Soon she has forgotten the cloak she was weaving before as she concentrates on capturing the new design and weaving it into the most beautiful garment ever seen in the world.

On hearing this story, my first response is “oh, what is the use.” A woman’s work is never done – as the saying goes. When our work unravels, it seems like nothing will ever work out. 

It is hard to be consistent and focused on one thing when our attention and care is divided among all we love and nurture. When faced with the inevitable undoing, it is important to know it is part of the creative process and how we do our best work. 

 

We need myths to remind us.

The garment had unraveled, “She stood quietly and looked upon what remained.”

I am writing this on the eve of the New Moon in Scorpio, which is about death and rebirth. Reminded by new moons and through myth that in this world I will experience loss, chaos, times of trouble, unraveling, death, and the joy of rediscovering, creating, and giving life to what I love again and again. 

It isn’t about going somewhere beautiful. It is about seeing the beauty of beginnings and endings. The continuation of creation has three parts: weaving beauty, sustaining the world, the unraveling.

It is said that the cave where the old woman weaves is the cave of knowledge. In other words, it is found in the depths of the human soul.

As Thomas Moore says so beautifully:

“The soul doesn’t evolve or grow, it cycles and twists, 

repeats and reprises, echoing ancient themes common

to all human beings. 
It is always circling home. “
While at first, it seems the woman never stops doing, we see her being. Unconcerned about a particular result, reward, or validation. This is soul work.  I’m learning to pick up the threads and start again with what remains. To pay no attention to the dog of distracting voices, the unknown, the troubles. I’ll get up and stir the pot because those seeds of potential need to be sown. 

If you would share in the comments:

I’d love to hear your experience and how you have come to see a graveyard of products as “what remains.” Do you continue to build on what you’ve created in the past?

Do you have to let some things go to give life to what is emerging?

As we share our stories with each other, we come to know we are not alone.

Nothing has gone wrong.

 

 

By |2017-03-03T10:53:24-08:00November 11th, 2015|Uncategorized|12 Comments

About the Author:

Tami Smith is the founder of The Dawning Point and creator of "Where Do You Shine" assessment which has helped self-explorers, soul seekers, and visionaries strengthen their confidence, focus, and purpose.

12 Comments

  1. […] You will evolve and your work will change, sometimes unexpectedly. Let beauty guide you. […]

  2. Marisa November 11, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Wonder what it says about me that I was really concerned that she didn’t do anything about the dog. I wanted her to confront the shadow so the work doesn’t all get unravelled again. But then, I realize that there is always an element of chaos, of the uncontrollable and it doesn’t make sense to try to fight off every detractor, every demon. The darkness is kept at bay with beauty, not retaliation.

    Hmm… it seems that this whole myth and storytelling thing works (if the goal is to get people to dig deeper into meaning than you, as the writer, might ever do with straight forward “consider this…” bullet points).

    As for the graveyard… I know that seeing my past as a thing of worth is hard for me. I can see the journey as necessary, but it is hard to pick out the threads and say “this thing is still like new – use it!” That’s why we have coaches. (That’s why I have you!)

    • Tami Dawn Smith November 11, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Thank you Marisa for confronting your reaction to the black dog. Me too. It is the most troubling part of the myth and of course I want to know what that shadow is so I can stop the unraveling. I think that is another myth though. There is another story we know about integrating the parts of ourselves that are in conflict. You are right about this black dog representing that which is the uncontrollable and painful aspects to life.

      It is challenging to see worth in the graveyard of products. It is in there. We find the threads and weave it into something even more beautiful.

  3. Bethany George November 11, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    As a hobby I crochet. I haven’t done it in YEARS because when my oldest child was around 3 years old she took a pair of scissors to an afghan I had been working on. When I found it, I was so devastated by the loss; wasted time, effort and energy, that I boxed up all my yarn and needles and put it away. That child is now 14.
    This story reminds me of that moment. I felt that devastation when the old woman returned to the unraveled mess. Yet she did not give up. She didn’t box it up and walk away. Instead she picked it up and started again, on a new and different design.
    I will be honest, I had never considered that an option before! When experiences happened that “unraveled my work” I had responded mostly in the same way as the afghan. My frustration and feelings of loss ruled me.
    What could I have created instead? What CAN I create instead? That shall be the question I ask next time.

    • Tami Dawn Smith November 12, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Such a beautiful response to this story. Thank you Bethany for sharing the way it landed with you. This is the point of great myths – to stir something personal and take us into our inner experience. Michael Meade says that we all have come into this world with a gift that only we can bring forth and that as we weave from our own thread we are weaving the soul of the world. I’m inspired by your words.

  4. robin November 12, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Tami,

    I simply love this story. As it happens, I’ve been cooking a large pot of bone marrow soup for the past 24 hours while gathering (re-gathering) courage to put myself out there yet again. I’ve lost count of which round this is…because, I no longer care. I’m in it for as long as it takes.

    And I’m making progress…but it’s slow. So slow that I can easily lose hope if I don’t intentionally focus on the big picture and remind myself that it takes a million small steps to get there. Contrary to pop – culture marketing messaging that overnight success is possible and easy if you just do x, y and z. (what a load of bull!)

    More and more, I’m redefining what success means. Whereas a few years ago, even just last year, I saw it as having a certain amount of clients…now I’m see it as a measure of what it is I chose to suffer: am I suffering the consequences of resisting my souls choice of the entrepreneurial journey, or am I suffering the journey itself to the best of my ability and strength?

    • Tami Dawn Smith November 12, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Robin, wow that is a powerful response. I feel this shift in so many of us as we redefine what success means. Your inquiry is beautiful. It is most likely both, right? For so long I was resisting my soul desire and at the same time it was being revealed through the obstacles. Life asks this question: “Is it real?” If it is it will endure. Which makes Rumi’s quote take on new meaning: “Hold on to your particular pain. That too can take you to God.”

  5. Kathryn Eriksen November 13, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I have felt the pain, grief and loss of many projects that did not find their place in the physical world. Judgement, criticism and doubt creep in and party inside my head, while I cry at the loss I believe I have suffered. Yesterday, I endured a strong storm of shame and finally gave up on my dream of passive income. That space where my ambitions were no more…that space filled with a new perspective that mirrors the old woman in the story.

    When my ego got out of the way, I realized that it is the act of creation that sings to me. It’s value is already established because it is an expression of a Divine spark. I cannot judge or condemn it, because I am not the source. I can only make myself available for its expression.

    The old woman is not producing a beautiful cloak for the world; she is the bridge between the infinite and finite, expressing her spiritual connection in a physical way. The cloak is a tangible object that she uses to express herself as a creator. It is the act of creation and expression that is valuable, not the physical object that is produced.

    Thank you for this beautiful post. Your intention to pull back the curtain on the shadows of solo entrepreneurs has shed light into the world. 😉

    • Tami Dawn Smith November 13, 2015 at 7:59 am

      Deeply moved by your words. Thank you Kathryn for the authentic expression. I hadn’t thought of the aspect of the old woman bridging between the infinite and finite. That is what our Soul does. We are meant to work for the joy of it, to access the spark of the Divine, and bring it into the tangible world. You touched on something beautiful and encouraging.

  6. […] is movement. It is a constant coming and going, cycles, seasons, beginnings and endings. We have to learn how to dance with this movement and sometimes, something in our own structure […]

  7. Nadine B Hack March 3, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Beautiful depiction of cycles of learning, growth & development!

  8. […] To weaving beauty into my work. […]

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