SWF’s Emma Pavey writes about a recent workshop:
In October I participated in a workshop led by Eunice Aqualina and Stuart Whalley entitled ‘Self as Instrument’. Eunice is the author of ‘Embodied Authenticity‘ and ‘Stepping into Your Power‘, and she contributed richly to our SWF annual conference in 2021 on Embodied Faith. I was excited and grateful to have the opportunity to join her two-day workshop to explore the insights that come from thinking holistically about our embodied identity and purpose, including our gut, movements, brain, words, energy, and so on.
Amongst the workshop elements, we were encouraged to notice how our embodied selves behaved in response to safety, dignity and belonging, to saying yes and to saying no, and to claiming a personal commitment to be (‘I am a commitment to…’ rather than ‘I have a commitment to…).
Our theme at SWF in 2022 has been ‘Living Heritage’ and it was helpful to consider how the past, present and future are embodied in our ways of being and moving in the world, both as individuals and as organisations. When we consider transformational change, accounting for literal, physical embodiment is fundamental. What this workshop highlighted for me was that attending to embodiment includes attention to physical feelings and emotions but also includes motion. In our individual lives and those of our organisations, how often do consider how we live and move and have our being? When do we notice and reflect upon gesture, the way we take up space, the energy flow, and the movements we make in our space and towards (or away from) others?
SWF’s recent resources on Diversity, Otherness and Privilege, and on Flourishing Ministers, Flourishing Communities, are useful resources for thinking about our identities and relationships to others. We’d invite you to take a look at them, and reflect upon these issues in this light, adding a more richly embodied dimension to our understanding and our relationships. In considering how we tackle difference, diversity, relationships and conflict, how can we pay attention to these factors?