Self-made Armor

To get out of a funk, I sweat or I create. To face the unknown, I armor up.

Passion as protection

One passion is handknits. In the crafting, I process my circumstances and my responses to whatever is happening in life. It becomes a safe space to pour my worries and aspirations. The product, is always flawed but it is also beautiful.

I think of the generations of women and men who have come before me, and I wonder of the stories they were processing as they were making their goods.

This bleeds over to the halls in which I walk and the public spaces I visit. Who was here before and what were they experiencing?

The Wearing

Sometimes the wearing is functional– I love warm socks. Sometimes it is intentional, as in I am entering a scenario which has some risk and when I wear the things I have made, feel the care I have shown myself, I am better armed to face the trickiness. That feels good. It is grounding.

Sometimes it isn’t knitting but it is the sketches or writing in my notebook. Sometimes it is the book pages I am working on. Seeing, reading, and reconnecting with what I know to be true and how it can be helpful to others powers me through my days and weeks.

The Wearing of Motion

The same happens with movement. When I organize my body and my movement at the start of the day, I feel armored to face what comes. My body feels engaged and connected. I am better aware of the sensations of my lived experience- the food I eat, the colors and textures I see, the temperatures I feel, and the ease or lack thereof felt when in conversation with others. My lived experience becomes slower and more informed. My ability to respond to what is happening and how I take part, shifts. I wear the product of motion, my self-care, through-out the day. It, too, is grounding.

We have choices in how we engage in life. So much of what I do is ephemeral and it can leave me feeling vague about my contributions to those around me or in my professional arenas. When I wear or record the products of my efforts, I am better apt to make decisions that support my values and remind myself of what I have offered. I choose to live beautifully by participating in the processes which make it so.

How are you living beautifully?


Author: Heather Vaughan-Southard

HEATHER VAUGHAN-SOUTHARD is a connector. She uses somatic engagement and creativity to inspire change in people, perspectives, and practices within classrooms, therapy rooms, and boardrooms. She is a presenter in the fields of education, social-emotional learning, somatic practice, and the arts.

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