This morning I woke up at the mythical hour of 5am all in the name of The Movement Series.
You may have heard from my previous posts that I am currently taking part in an innovative series of workshops as part of a friend’s new venture – Made to Move. These workshops seek to explore the connection between movement, mental clarity, creativity and self-awareness; and today’s was no exception.
The movement under the microscope today was cycling. I met my friend Bart, and his colleague Pia, outside Clapham Junction and we cycled through the manic streets of London in the glorious morning sunshine, to meet the rest of our Made to Move team in a cycling cafe called The Dynamo. Never have I cycled amongst such chaos before, with several lanes, roundabouts, and traffic lights to focus on. This I loved! Purely because it was a new challenge. Thus, even before we were briefed and set our challenges for the morning, I was already pushing my own boundaries and opening up my mind and body to something totally new.
Once we arrived at The Dynamo we were given the brief for today’s session. In pairs, once again we were to explore a dilemma that had been playing on our minds as of late, combining this with movement. I decided to follow on with my dilemma from last week’s session, as I felt like perhaps another person’s perspective on this matter could crystalize my previous conclusions or even open up new pathways.
HOWEVER, there was a new element to this week’s challenge. When coaching each other we were only able to respond with the phrases ‘Tell me more’ and ‘I don’t understand’. These may seem like limitations to the problem solving process, however they were intended to help us really open our minds, become present, and truly listen as coaches. Furthermore, when being coached, with no response from our partner, we were forced to dig deeper into the dilemma, exploring many paths we had never even considered before. Or perhaps even allowed ourselves to consider before!
After getting to know each other, I discovered that my partner Pia is a yoga teacher. However, at present she keeps this separate, and almost hidden from her professional life. It’s movements like the Made to Move project that could help so many people bring inspirational practices like yoga into their workplace, intertwining them into their daily routine, as opposed to keeping work and movement as two separate activities.
We then set off in our pairs, cycling around the stunning Richmond Park, coaching each other and forcing each other to delve deeper and deeper into our mindful ramblings.
I challenge anyone to not find some peace of mind amongst the deer. Pia and I were mesmerised.
What was particularly interesting was the clarity we experienced after explaining an issue, then cycling in silence up a hill together. The silence induced by the physical demand of cycling up a huge hill, of course. After the hill, having been given time to focus on physical activity, we were able to shed new light on our dilemma. So, by focusing on mindful movement, our mental clarity flourished.
After two laps of the park we raced back to the Dynamo for breakfast and a team meeting.
Check out this beauty!
The freshly pressed beetroot, carrot, and ginger juice was a godsend after cycling 15 miles.
It was incredible to hear how other participants had found the exercise. One comment which really struck a chord with me was from Josh, another friend from my Sierra Leone adventures. He said that what he noticed more than anything by delving into his own dilemma, and listening to the dilemma of his partner, was that fear controls almost everything we do, or don’t do to be more exact. I feel that if we can acknowledge this fact bravely, and respect it mindfully, then perhaps we can beat it. Perhaps by accepting the fear we can push past it and come to make decisions that scare the life out of us in all the best ways!
What if we made a conscious effort to make all of our most important decisions whilst on the move? Would it force us to be more organic and fluid with the process?
Yet, after just two sessions in the Movement Series, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps it is not just movement alone that is sparking such an improvement in my mindfulness, creativity and passion for movement. More than the movement itself, I feel that meeting so many likeminded, inspirational people, who are striving to make movement an integrated part of their creative processes, daily working life, and decision making, is what is igniting a real change in the way I solve my own dilemmas. Many of these people are runners, cyclists, yogi’s, even black belt martial artists and they all became involved in the project through their own curiosity. Each of us bring something unique, and yet we are all connected through our desire to beat the constraints of an average 9-5 life, sat in a wheelie chair, chomping on digestive biscuits dunked in coffee. There must be more to life, and these people give me faith that there is!
The next session in the series is set to be a beautiful new challenge once again, combining a martial arts philosophy with mindfulness, and the connection between our bodies and the elements; fire, earth, air and water. If you’re intrigued by the Made to Move series and feel you could bring something to the table then we would love to hear from you!
Lots of love,