Fully Woven is a collection of embodied contemplative practices to soothe weariness.
Practices such as gentle slow movement, guided meditations, journal writing, creative expression, and non-residential retreats. The introspective nature of these practices is subtle yet profoundly effective at amplifying wisdom. And in sharing them with you, I seek to create a space to ease your suffering and where maybe you’ll feel less disconnected.
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 somatic 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 personal 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. You can find calm amidst the storms.
What is contemplative?
Being contemplative is a way of being that is slowed down, curious, and observant. It’s a journey into your internal world and a conversation with your own wisdom. Contemplation, meditation, and mindfulness are all close cousins in that they are all gateways into observing your own thoughts and perspectives without judgement. Cultivating a contemplative practice need not be onerous and you can layer it onto activities you’re already doing, such as washing your dishes. It’s true! Listen to the water as it fills the sink, feel the temperature of the water, see the bubbles, witness dirty become clean – and notice what arises for you. That’s it, you’re being contemplative.
What does ’embodied contemplative practices’ 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.