Upside Down on Unseen Threads

The, larger than a ladybug, spider hangs upside down on her intricate, yet unseen thread, dangling just above the water’s surface. Her extra long legs, three times the length of her slender figure, are barely seen by the naked eye. The one thread she purposefully strides along (still upside down) traverses the entire width of the koi pond. The koi, big and small, swim effortlessly in the waters below.

I am drawn into spider’s finely spun web meant to catch her nurturement, those little flying insects on their way to and from the water’s surface. Those little buggers who we swat at and wiggle away from wincing as we sigh, “Ew, yuck.” Yet for her, it‘s how she lives.

A new world unfolds, and I see other spiders, some smaller than her, maybe even her children, who have spun their webs to span the pond. The whole pond is covered with a microcosm of spider web strands. She drew me back into her trance, calling me to ponder.

So many metaphors to follow. I am most struck by her ability to hang upside down as a way of life and her graceful ability to glide along the invisible thread of her own making. My curious imagination leaps to how many of my clients feel now—hanging upside on a thin thread—yet this is her power, not her fear of demise.   

This leads me to the power of intention, the power to create our own reality, the power of our own storytelling (how we tell the story of our life now). We can choose to be consumed with fear of falling into the dark waters below. If the spider woman tenses up, perhaps losing confidence in her own strength or the strength of the thread she made, her web would begin to shake up and down as if it too has lost confidence.

Or we can choose to see these times as a willful journey from one side of the dark pond to a sunny meadow on the other side, thus transforming from a life lived to a new life ready and waiting for our imagination. Like the spider, we can empower ourselves to trust that we too can traverse a narrow thread, because we can, because now is our time to do so. Now is a time that requires ‘nimble grace’.

 ‘Nimble’ meaning: quick and light in movement or action, moving with ease, graceful, supple, limber, twinkle toed, light on one’s feelings, in the moment, zippy, lightsome, flexible.

 Some first responses may look like, ‘oh really?” Or “f. that.” Or “It’s too hard, life is heavy.”

I’m not denying that things are heavy now, not at all. I hold the image of the spider, purposefully upside down, confident in the thread she created. Being upside down as a new way of holding grace, not ‘upside down’ the way a human would see it as opposite to standing upright. Another way to allow the metaphor is to imagine being ‘upside down’ and allowing all the old baggage you’ve been carrying around in your heavy backpack of the life you have been living, to fall away into the dark waters. In so doing, you literally lighten your load so you can see the world from a new perspective. Down up rather than up down. Shake it up. Be nimble, let old stories fall away, trust your internal strength and inner knowing.



Call in quiet strength, agile moments of grace and ease. Focus on the long game, don’t take short term conflicts personally.

Imagine being like the spider here, hanging upside down, what is your new power? How can you see the world differently by straddling the dark waters rather than swimming in them? Contrast the way you have been living to how you want to live moving forward?

Journal, draw and share. I look forward to your inspirations and reflections.