Selling My Wool and Seeing My True Self

Robin before his fall shearing

Thank you everyone who bought my wool!

I came home from the Vermont Fiber Mill three weeks ago with 104 skeins of dyed and natural wool and 120 oz of roving.  I sold out of the yarn last week and today I put the last pack of Bedlam Farm Dryer Balls in the mail.

It goes without saying, that I couldn’t have done it without you all.

I appreciate how you follow my blog and have gotten to know my sheep enough to want to use their wool to create with.   I love getting your photos of the socks, slippers, sweaters, gloves, scarves and blankets you have made.  And I love posting them on my blog.

It’s a completely creative circle from my sheep to your creation.

This year’s wool was special for me in another way too.

I have written often of how my art reveals things about myself that I wasn’t aware of.  This time it was my wool, picking it up and selling it that showed me something different about myself.

When I picked up my wool and saw how much there was I seriously wondered if I would be able to sell it all.  In the past this concern would have been accompanied by fear and self reproach.  I would have beat myself up over only shearing the sheep once a year, or about my decisions on how to process the wool.

But instead, after the initial bout of worry, I found myself getting excited about the idea of how I would go about selling all that wool.

I started taking photos of my wool in way’s I hadn’t before.  I took videos of the sheep and wrote about my yarn almost every day for two weeks.  And I discovered that not only I was having fun, but doing this made me feel confident about my ability to sell my wool.

Each day as I sold a few more skeins, I grew more sure of myself.

I was certain I would not only make my money back but make a profit too.  And because of the repeat buyers and the messages I got from people I could see that my wool is the kind that people like working with.  That it really is good quality wool.

It’s not that I hadn’t experienced this before or didn’t know it on some level.  It’s that for the first time since I started selling my wool 11 years ago, I really and truly believed it.

It’s that feeling of believing in myself, of confidence in what I am doing and my ability to do it that is new.  And I know it comes directly from disconnecting from my family.  It comes from the freedom I have felt since my mother died.

The weigh of the implied judgment that there was something wrong with me, that I wasn’t capable, that I would regret my choices, are gone.

And the void that weight left is filling up with a sense of self that is determined by me alone. As if I’m seeing the reality of myself and the life I have chosen clearly for first time.

That feeling of confidence didn’t leave when my wool was sold.

It’s there in my new quilt “Dancing With The Dragonflies”  and it’s eking its way into everything I do.  Even when I wake up in the morning frightened.  Now instead of giving in to the fear, I sit with it and come to see again and again, that it isn’t real after all.

It’s a curious thing, that this awareness should come from selling my wool.  But, of course, it’s more than just selling wool.  It’s my choice of a way of life, my way of living.   The truth of who I am.

And it’s only now that I truly feel free to try to fulfill the potential of who I can be.

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