by Janice Hunter
‘…We shall not cease from
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the
~ T.S. Eliot
I never know who I'm going to be in January. Sometimes the New Year infuses
me with dynamic energy and renewed determination. Sometimes the old year haunts
the new, leaving me deeply introspective and longing for nothing more than profound
simplicity and clarity. Last year's roller coaster ride has left me feeling
weary and buffeted yet believing even more fervently than before that everything
is fuel for coaches and writers. All life is learning. Capturing and filtering
moments for this column remains a blessing, a constant reminder to stay open
and connected and to be grateful for the life-affirming insights I find in the
most unlikely of situations.
The other day, I dropped a roll of metallic kitchen foil before I could tear
off a piece to line the grill pan. Cursing under my breath, I watched it unfurling
like a broad silver ribbon before I could catch it. (Now, if this has never
happened to you, I suggest you try it just once!) The beautifully smooth, wrinkle
free, neat, tidy tube of shiny, delicate foil, which starts off wrapped snugly
around its cardboard core, has to be rolled back up by hand.
I can never, never get it back tight, smooth and neat. Holding the tube at
both ends, I wind and roll, roll and wind, but no matter how carefully I do
it, I always leave crinkles and the rustling roll that was once tightly, mechanically
wound and smooth becomes fatter and uneven at the edges. It rarely goes back
into its cardboard box, you know, the one with the saw-like cutting edge. Nor
is it ever as easy again to smoothly tear off pieces along the cutter.
But that day, I found myself smiling, then grinning as I rolled up the metallic
foil, knowing it would end up crumpled and squashed. It reminded me of me.
Every time I pick myself up from a disappointment or a fall, or an unplanned
life detour, I'm never the same. As long as I can still do what I was created
to do, does it really matter if I never fit back into the tidy constraints of
the original ‘box’, a box that was precision cut to contain something
perfect and unused, leaving no room for untidy growth, movement or change?!
If we tumble out of our ‘boxes’, if we've fallen or ‘failed’
or made a break for freedom and found ourselves travelling, unravelling out
of control away from our cores, we don't want to be wound back up tight and
constrained in the same way ever again. Or even worse, scrumpled up into a ball
and binned because we no longer fit some artificially constructed notion of
perfection. If we roll out of control and need to be gathered up and rescued,
it’s nice to be valued despite the wear and tear or because of
the wear and tear; it’s even more empowering if we're the ones doing the
All journeys expand the layers of our awareness just as our flaws increase
our learning and our wisdom, making us ‘bigger’, richer people –
like the roll of metallic foil getting fatter, more crumpled, more interesting
as it’s gently reeled in and furled back around its never changing core.
We may spiral back to where we started on our journeys, often feeling frustrated
that we’re back at the same place – but it never is exactly the
same place if we’ve learned and grown along the way.
Hunter, IAC-CC is a writer and IAC-certified coach who lives in
Scotland with her husband and two children. She specialises
in homelife coaching (helping people create authentic,
spirit-filled homes and lives) and also enjoys supporting
other coaches through her writing and collaboration. Contact
compiled all of her Coaching Moments pieces from the last
two years into a free 46 page ebook, 'Coaching Moments: a
Collection of Articles about Coaching in Everyday Life'
which can be downloaded
here or from her