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2014 Conferences : What Colors Are In the Tapestry of Your Life?

tapestry courtesy of Big Stock Photo

What Colors Are In the Tapestry of Your Life?

By Patricia Rose Upczak

Decades ago when I was a child my Irish grandmother gave me a wonderful symbol for life that I have never forgotten. She asked me, “Do you know what the back of a tapestry looks like?” Well I didn’t have a clue what a tapestry was so she patiently sat me down and instructed me with kindness. She had been a one room school teacher in the early 1900s, and was an amazing teacher.

“A tapestry is a beautiful woven wall hanging or floor covering filled with stories of the time and people’s lives. Many of them hang on castle walls all over the world. They are filled with brilliant colors and scenes of life,” she said. I could imagine all the colors blending together brightening up the gray walls of the castles.

She went on, “but the back of the tapestry is not necessarily beautiful. As a matter of fact many of them look like jumbled, random yarn and colors just thrown together. There are knots and chaos all over the back. You often times can’t even tell there is a beautiful picture on the other side.”

I was surprised by that. She went on to tell me that life is like a tapestry. From this side of things we only see the random colors and knots. Sometimes it really seems like a big muddled mess, and that it would be my job to make sure that the colors of my tapestry were bright and beautiful. She also said that it is only at the end of our lives that we get a glimpse of what our real picture of that lifetime looks like...the right side of the tapestry.

So my entire life I have been involved with techniques that help clean up the colors on my tapestry. Long walks along a beach or in the forest are vital for me. Learning specific techniques to help myself clear out the chaos of the world that bombards all of us daily. For years I have walked labyrinths, meditated, done reiki and learned how to tap away stress. In the classroom I used the Six Thinking Hats Game to teach my students how to really understand, and get different perspectives on topics instead of becoming entrenched in their own ideas as being the only “right answer”. I also have used randomly for years a wonderful test that Angeles Arrien gave me that I share with the attendees in my workshops. It is explained in one of Angeles’s books THE SIGNS OF LIFE.

Spring is finally here. It has been a long winter for many of us but, that just makes the colors of spring more brilliant and amazing. •

©2014 Patricia Rose Upczak. All rights reserved.

Patricia Rose UpczakPatricia Rose Upczak is an author, speaker and life coach for teachers. She has been involved in education since 1974. More »