Initially, Fully Woven was a collection of embodied contemplative practices such as gentle slow movement, guided meditation, and non-residential retreats.
Eventually, my roots as a counsellor brought grief circles, journal writing, and collage workshops into Fully Woven’s offerings.
And then in the last few years, as my dynamic disabilities worsened, most of my work became unsustainable and I had to mourn the loss of my vocation as I revised what Fully Woven could potentially become.
For now, it’s the place where I share my creative endeavours. No doubt there are a few more revisions. Who knows what the future holds? I sure don’t.
I’m a typical wanderer; destinations are great, but my heart is in the journey. I’m a mystic and a skeptic. I laugh easily and cry often. The theme song of my life could be Wonder by Natalie Merchant.
I have spent decades in devotion to various contemplative arts and am a reluctanly retired counsellor and somatic therapist with extensive experience facilitating retreats and workshops. When my health allows, I host creative sessions on my own or in collaboration with various community collectives and non-profits. My focus is always on curious lovingkindness.
An HIV diagnosis in the spring of 1994 rocked my world and motivated me to strip down my life to the most meaningful elements. I dug deep into my core values and embraced a Third Order Rule of Life—in other words, a monastic way of life—which had me take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. For a time, I served in an Anglican community and was on my way to becoming an ordained priest. Ultimately, I renounced that path yet I continue to explore how to live monastically during the 21st century. It’s complex and endlessly fascinating.
From the mid-90s until 2017 I worked with a support agency for women living with HIV and it gutted me when we had to close our doors. That community of amazing women informed me in profound ways and I am deeply grateful for the many years we had together.
As well as HIV, I struggle with myalgic encephalomyelitis (also unhelpfully called chronic fatigue syndrome), autism, persistent depression, and am a survivor of complex childhood trauma. In my youth, I was occasionally homeless and resorted to survival sex for shelter and food. I have been knocked down many times and have sought my own destruction. This awareness of suffering and injustice stirs my compassion and cements my commitment to mutual community care.
I have spent the last few decades making sense of life through meditative movement, contemplative practices, and various fibre arts. These are all reliable ways of untangling painful knots. Perhaps you’ll find them supportive too?
However you go about making sense of life, remember you always have wisdom—it is fully woven into your very being.