“We have unlearned the patience and attention of lingering at the thresholds where the unknown awaits us. We have become haunted pilgrims addicted to distraction and driven by the speed and color of images.”John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace
Fully Woven is a collection of embodied contemplative activities* that have been shown to be effective in calming the nervous system and quieting the mind. Activities such as guided meditations, journal writing, creative arts, gentle mindful movement, and retreats.
I trust and practice these activites to help me live peacefully with chronic illnesses. Their introspective nature is subtle yet profoundly effective at amplifying wisdom. In practicing them with you, I seek to create a space to ease your suffering and where maybe you’ll feel less disconnected.
I have spent decades in devotion to various contemplative arts. I am an experienced retreat and workshop facilitator as well as a somatic narrative therapist. I work in collaboration with various community collectives and non-profits as well as in my own private practice with the abiding focus of emotional and mental well-being.
Why this phrase “Fully Woven”?
“Fully“ because when we are fully immersed and fully engaged — that challenge vs skill sweet spot — we are in a transcendent and restorative place. The word is also a cheeky nod to me being a fat, full-bodied woman. And because I’m a feminist and a yarn enthusiast I find it interesting that the cottage industry of fulling wool has contributed to women’s autonomy and economic freedom throughout history and across cultures.
“Woven“ because I love to weave; whether it’s a good tale or a colourful piece of cloth or a mindful yoga sequence. Furthermore, woven is an apt metaphor for our seemingly disconnected and lonely existence, isn’t it? It’s apt because we’re not truly alone. If we pause and notice, we will see not only our own rich tapestry but also our unique thread in the vastly intricate fabric all around us.
What is embodied?
Embodied is being aware of your body’s sensations, movements, and expressions. Far too often, we check-out and tend to live from the neck up and the shoulders down to the (texting) fingertips. During times of trauma and stress, our wise minds have various strategies to help us endure and survive. While these defence mechanisms may serve us well in time of need they cease being useful and are a hindrance when they become a learned response to any stress stimulus regardless of the threat level. In practising embodied awareness when you feel safe and supported you can retrain your mind and tone your nervous system to stay present and involved with what you are experiencing.
What is contemplative?
Being contemplative is a way of being that is slowed down, curious, observant, and thoughtful. Contemplation, meditation, and mindfulness are all close cousins in that they are all gateways into observing your own thoughts and perspectives without judgement. To many people, throughout time, having a contemplative practice has been a keystone to peacefulness.
*What does embodied contemplative activities mean?
You know those moments when you’re absorbed in an activity and time ceases to exist? Those moments when you feel calm and completely alive? Plugged in and full steam ahead? Embodied contemplative activities are those activities you enjoy, have a level of aptitude for, and are challenging enough for you to feel both motivated and rewarded. This is what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow phase and it’s what I call Fully Woven.