What are the things that make us strong – that support and nourish us? Stick weaving is a great creative activity for exploring this question. We enjoyed using it at a recent workshop and came away knowing more about our own strengths and also what makes us stronger together.
We found it was so good to take some time to reflect on what strengths we have . Simply noticing and focusing on them was a good way of building them up. As we did this, we began to realize the number and variety of supports and resources we have in our lives. It also increased our gratitude for those people and things that we are able to draw on for support, encouragement and strength when we need it.
We found some strengths were easy to recognize – others we had to dig a bit harder to find. The slow and gentle process of doing the weaving gave us time to reflect, and as we wove, we found more strengths came to mind. As others in the group shared the story behind their weaving, we were reminded of strengths we had forgotten about, or perhaps not considered a strength. The materials in front of us, with their various colours and textures, also prompted our ideas.
Perversely, when we are stressed or under pressure, we often forget or feel unable to access the very things that can help us. The weaving is a visual reminder that we have available to us what we need. It can also be an encouragement to make the time and effort to keep finding and building the strengths in our lives.
How to do it.
3/ Have a variety of materials available. You might like a mix of man-made and natural things. Choose materials that reflect things that give you strength and support.
We really enjoyed this activity, and it was wonderful seeing the variety of ways people wove their materials in, and the very different results. If you get a chance to try it, I hope you enjoy it too…
PS: If you are struggling to think of strengths, here are some you might find you have:
Faith, love, appreciation of beauty
Personal qualities – persistence, hope, compassion, determination, problem-solving skills, humour, creativity, patience, tolerance, enthusiasm, passion.
People – family, friends, a good neighbour, a community group, an online community, people you can go to for advice, knowledge, help.
Physical capabilities – a strong body is great, but don’t forget the simple abilities – to see, hear, touch and sense our world. To be aware of our bodies. And the breath – simply being able to pause and focus on your breathing is a great resource.
Nature – do you draw strength from being in nature – gardening, walking by the sea, being in the bush, noticing the sunset or sound of birds?
Fun and laughter
Interests and hobbies
Things that make you feel passionate and alive
Relaxation, rest, recuperation