Last week I was invited to take part in the third instalment of The Made to Move Series. A creative project coordinated by two friends of mine, aiming to explore the synchronicity between mind, body, and soul. Previous workshops have involved solving riddles in Richmond park (find here), and cycling around the city whilst coaching each other on a pressing dilemma (explore here). Both of which helped me immensely to explore how movement benefits my mental state, so I couldn’t wait to take part in the third edition!
We met in the grounds of St John’s Church just next to Waterloo Station; a little pocket of green in the midst of central London. It was so lovely to see everyone and catch up on our summer adventures. Just being in the presence of so many like-minded, wicked people, reminded me how lucky I am.
Joseph, our leader for the session helped us first of all to hone in on our own presence. An incredible martial artist, Joseph took great pride in teaching us the history of his art, and the connection between body and spirituality that it evokes. Safe to say that I always come away from these sessions, with a billion fascinating things that I want to go and research.
We focused our attention on the five senses, one by one, opening up space in our minds and bodies for both agility, and tranquillity; the two skills that would be of most help to us in our later task.
It was fascinating to experience how by taking our attention to the sounds around us, every train, every car, every human being and bumble bee; our self-awareness surprisingly also became magnified.
Having adjusted our busy city brains we set off for Waterloo Station, the centre of London chaos! With business men running for the tube, groups of cumbersome tourists, and people buzzing about in every direction possible, Waterloo is a place I have only ever associated with complete and utter carnage. But this was about to change!
In a brand new, tranquilly present state of mind, we entered the station with smiles all round; a great contrast to the panic and tension with which we’d all usually enter. In a relatively “quiet” corner of the station Joseph set us our next task.
Our mission was simple; to power from one side of the crowds to the other without bumping into a single soul. Easy right? Nope!
However, after several attempts each of us managed to cross the void without crashing into anyone else’s path. Success! We’d focused our minds and thus focused our bodies, something which I truly believe other people were able to pick up on as we paced through the space.
Joseph actually said something that resonated with me throughout the activity, “Hospitality is giving someone space”. And in a way, this mission from one side of the station to the other, was a mission of hospitality. By respecting the bubble of personal space around both ourselves, and the people who crossed our path, we were able to flow freely without crashing. Now if that’s not evidence of how mindfulness effects the body then I don’t know what is!
As per usual I came away from the workshop feeling energised, with buckets of new perspective and creativity. One of my friends felt so full of life that he ran all the way home to Putney instead of catching the train.
If you’re looking for a new challenge, or maybe you’re just mind numbingly bored on your lunch break, then give this task a go! Find a crowded space, centre yourself, tune in, and then go for it. Jump into the unknown and incorporate mindfulness into the most mundane of tasks.
Be a superhuman!
Lots of love,