Weaving a New Story Project – we are now onto Session 7 of our 10-week intervention and things are hotting up! The group (mum’s with post natal depression) are learning to play and create with the fabrics and textiles. They are creating some amazing works, some of which will be on display at the Tate Exchange this weekend (April 1st) with @LizFinegold running some workshops based on our methodology.
Here is Tamara talking about the @sewindful methodology. Although the activity is creative, the guidance and exercises are designed to tap into core brain networks that we need to “work out” when training in mindfulness. Focused attention can be enhanced by different types of stiches and even different lengths of thread. Mind wandering can be monitored (more safely) in relation to the sewing activity, but around themes that are highly relevant to post natal depression (judging, rumination, comparison etc). The group are designing and now creating a quilt which includes both the “gorgeous squares” and also their “process squares”. The latter are those which demonstrate how their stiches and creative choices map onto their growing understanding of their bodies and minds.
A big thank you to the @sewmindful team and our sponsors.
Weaving a new story: a project investigating how mindful textile work can support mothers with post-natal depression is a 2017 project for the Mindfulness Centre. Working with funding from King’s Cultural Institute, support from Cocoon and two enthusiastic Master’s students from King’s College London, this 10-week intervention aims to use the creative arts as a way to train mindfulness, transform stories about post natal depression and have an amazing celebration of women and mothers at a final show (Mothering Sunday 2017).
Liz Finegold is the textiles/artistic lead on the project. Her work looks at how women can be supported to self-manage mental health challenges via creative endeavours (textiles, painting, sewing, craft etc). Mindfulness is the thread of the work, using the creative endeavour to explicitly explore mind and body states to increase awareness.
Follow us on Twitter @sewmindful
Dance Mindfulness: The Mindfulness Centre of Excellence is working with a number of collaborators to explore a dance project based on mindfulness. The scientific question is about embodiment – how we can use the body as part of the pedagogy of mindfulness. We are asking, can the way the body moves be used to help us understand the way the mind moves under conditions of mindfulness and mindlessness? Furthermore, can the movement of others bodies, and the corresponding activation of our mirror neuron system, help us to understand better what we are attempting to detect when we explore movement of mind? The early work of this project has been conducted in collaboration with composer Matt Travis, Dance United, Vivartista and Artful Badger as well as colleagues from Brazil – Taigo Tatton, Matteus Romero and Clarissa Oliveira Alminhana.
Enacted learning in Brazil 2016 with partners Casa Do Horto.
Learning from movement, sound and posture about the triple network of the brain that supports our mindfulness learning. How does the body move to represent the saliance network?
Making short plays of the mind as a way to learn. It was so engaging, fun, playful and the learning experience memorable and deep. There are more ways to learn mindfulness than sitting on a cushion ….
We held three workshops over the summer of 2014 where we explored the external, behavioural habits that take us over in our day to day life, as well as internal habits and emotions. We are grateful to Dance United for the use of their studio and wise advice and guidance. Those who took part in the workshop indicated that they found it very helpful to really enact their habits. This gave them a new insight. One participant reported that she felt completely different in her body after the workshop and had been able to see, very clearly the difference between how the mind moves and reacts when being mindful, as compared to when she was reacting and being mindless. One quote that comes up when working with embodied learning is that…
“When you embody the learning you begin to realise what you don’t understand…and ask questions.”
…and this is exactly what has been happening. In the process of beginning to work on this project we have come to understand that the experience within the performance is quite profound but also different to what we want to convey. We are experimenting with a workshop model (which will allow individuals to really move the body and experience mindfulness through the body) as well as the performance aspect – where body movement will convey the concepts that we hope will help people to understand more what they are observing and learning as they practice mindfulness. In the meantime, keep an eye on the Facebook page for our upcoming workshops.