I did it! I led my first Street Wisdom event this afternoon, as part of the World Wide Wander. I was initially hesitant about signing up to lead an event, filled with thoughts about ‘What qualifies me to lead something like this?’ and ‘I’m not an expert’. But I eventually decided to just do it and the event seemed to be a success. Five lovely people turned up, despite the very changeable weather, they were all really open to trying out the tasks and all seemed to enjoy and get something out of the experience.
We had some great discussions as a group as we shared our stories of what had happened and what we had learnt. Our discussion included:
- The literal and metaphorical messages that we had been able to draw from the environment when we paid more mindful attention
- How looking at things differently enabled us to change preconceived perceptions of a place or event and how looking up revealed aspects of a place that we don’t usually notice
- How doing something different and being more mindful helped us to think of fresh ideas and see different perspectives
- The way we paid attention to messages that resonated with us and tapped into inner feelings and thoughts
- How we could interpret some of these messages in different ways or find messages that helped us to see that both options had benefits that we might not have seen before
- The difficulty of slowing down and not feeling the pressure to ‘do’ something or be ‘productive’
I went on my own wander during the day, thinking about how I could feel more inspired and motivated at work. Here are some of the words and phrases that I saw or heard that seemed to link to my question:
I also noticed how much calmer I felt when I was outside, even in the rain. And the rain didn’t last all afternoon – there was lots of sunshine in between, which seemed to be a metaphor for seeing the good things in between the not so good.
As I slowed down, I also began to notice again how things were made up of smaller pieces. Architectural features were composed of smaller shapes. The demonstration was made up of smaller groups and individuals. This is similar to one of the things I observed in my Creative Adventure with Morwhenna. I also observed how something could be repeated to form something bigger, for example a line of trees or the railings in a fence.
Initially, my wander seemed to be suggesting that I should leave my job, but as I continued to observe that became just one option of how I can change things. It is clear that I do need to change something, either my job or my attitude towards it. I now want to explore ways to put some fun, creativity and variety back into my work and to remind myself of why I do this job and how my role serves and helps the children and staff whom I work with. I also need to see the bigger picture, getting out of my office more and connecting with my colleagues and engaging with new, fresh ideas and also seeing how my small, repeated actions come together to achieve something bigger. The way I start my day could be crucial to maintaining a positive, energised attitude. And maybe I need to remember to slow down and not put so much pressure on myself. If these things don’t help, then changing jobs may be an option, but it might take another wander to explore what else I could do!
It’s amazing how allowing just a few hours to be more mindful in any environment can enable me to notice so much more and allow me to tap into my inner thoughts and feelings more readily by noticing what I pay attention to and connecting ideas.