To begin thank you again to all the people, who give me encouragement and inspiration to write this blog. Sometimes I think I am lucky, I get to choose how I spend my time and where I put my energy. Last week I was asked to volunteer at the Museum of Happiness, second event on ‘Exploring Happiness: An Afternoon of Talks, Workshops and More!’. I have been to quite a few workshops in my time. One of my values is learning, so I can overdo it and go to lots of events. These days I try to go to less events and try to do more by writing, and sharing my work with others instead. So I debated going to this event on a Saturday. I was asked by my friend Shamash one of the co-founder’s and author of 7 books, including the latest one The Mindful Way through Stress .
I decided to go and I was surprised that about 60 people turned up, motivated and really wanting to be there. I got to work with all the volunteers who were interesting and compassionate people, I was thankful to be part of the team. I listened to the two main talks from TEDx speakers. The first one was Susanna Halonen ‘Screw Finding Your Passion: Unlock It & Find Happiness at Work’.
She calls herself a happyologist, in the introduction of her book she says:
“ stop chasing your passion. Instead look inwards and you will see that passion is right there, within you…you’ll notice that people have been engrained with the message that they must find their one and only passion.”
She goes on to share the five keys that unlock the passionate way of being:
- Be the Authentic You
- Understand Your Why
- Master the Art of Learning
- Connect with Your Tribe
- Play with Your Strengths
These are the key points for being authentic-
- Identify what your values are, what is important to you and why. Awareness and fully embracing your values is the first step to unlocking your passion. If you want to do this you can take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths.
- Have the courage to carry your values in your everyday life.
- Acknowledge that being the authentic you at work is what helps you to be your best performing, most passionate you.
If you want to explore this area further this is another interesting resource by Neil Crofts to help you explore What is my purpose?
The second TEDx speaker was Marisa Peer ‘The Happiness Code: Three secrets to make your brain work for you’ with internationally acclaimed therapist, multiple bestselling author. From her experience she shares a fundamental rule that all our emotional and personal problems come from us believing that we’re not ‘enough’ and she explains how to overcome it. She teaches people to say ‘I am enough’ and get’s people to write this on their mirrors and put on their fridge doors. She shares the stories where this has worked. To find out more you can watch her TEDx talk-
I got to also meet Esteban there a friend of a friend Ben Rodrigas, who I met at the Wisdom2.0 conference in 2014. Here I am with some face painting by Livi Lollipop with the wise Esteban.
Later in the week I was going to be running a post-lunch energiser with Julie Whitehead on
Laughter Yoga. Last year I trained for two days to teach laughter yoga so I suggested it to TMSDI to have this as part of their yearly networking day. They said yes, so we delivered a surprise Laughter Yoga session to the delegates. Julie began by asking whether people have enough laughter in their life? The room was silent and the answer was no. So they were ready to give it a go. We shared a little bit about laughter:
LAUGHTER – ho ho ha ha ha
Laughter releases endorphins, giving us the ‘feel good factor’, acts as aerobic exercise providing internal jogging, unleashes inhibitions, encourages better communication. Great team building tool for colleagues. Helps boost our immune system which fights disease. Tones muscles, improves respiration and circulation. Encourages positive thinking and creativity. Relaxes the whole body by reducing stress and tension.
We practiced quite a few laughter yoga exercises to encourage childlike playfulness, helping us all to let go and connect with the present moment. There were 40 of us laughing together, there is something about the group energy that makes the laughter experience together even more special than when we laugh alone or with one other person. We had an extra nice group, ready to give it a go and participate, it was a pleasure to be able to do this, so thank you to the wonderful Julie for saying yes and giving it a go to run the session with me.
This is a poem Julie shared at the end of our session:
SMILE FOR YOU
“Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu.When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin. When he smiled I realised I’d passed it on to him. I thought about that smile, then I realised it’s worth. A single smile just like mine, could travel round the earth. So, if you feel a smile begin don’t leave it undetected Let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!”
Also at the TMSDI network event was Dr Charles Margerison one of the founders of the Team Management Profile. I have been accredited to use this team psychometric since 2006 and it is always great when you get to meet the creator. I think his major role from the profile is a ‘creator-innovator’, the same as me. His presentation was deep and thoughtful around the concept of existentialism and how we use our time. He shared stories of people that had been successful, bringing to light ‘perception’, people that noticed something of more value than was already there. For example, Heinz tomato ketchup was made from all the left over tomatoes that were going to be thrown away, Heinz found a different more valuable use for them.
Charles is an advocate of action learning. He used to think you had to learn to act. Professor Reginald Revans the originator of action learning said to him “why don’t you take some action and you will learn something.” Most of the learning we acquire is from our experiences. What new experiences can you have today, tomorrow, next week? He ended his talk with saying: “think about the right thing to do“, sometimes the right thing is not appreciated straight away or even during your lifetime. He encouraged us all to be a little more daring and take some risks. He is a unique character and really got into the laughter yoga exercises!
To close the day, I had been invited by Esteban to an evening talk in Covent Garden close by to where I was in Leicester Square. I went to ‘ A Wake Up and Heart of London Sangha event for Mindful Entrepreneurs: Practising Together’. This was facilitated by the two leads of the two groups Carol Wilkins and Joe Holtaway. They both follow the teachings of Thich Nhat Han, a favourite teacher of mine. He encourages people to practice mindfulness meditation together through a sangha:
“In practicing together as a Sangha, as a community, our practice of mindfulness becomes more joyful, relaxed and steady. We are bells of mindfulness for each other, supporting and reminding each other along the path of practice. With the support of the community, we can practice to cultivate peace and joy within and around us, as a gift for all of those whom we love and care for. We can cultivate our solidity and freedom – solid in our deepest aspiration and free from our fears, misunderstandings and our suffering.”
I enjoyed the meditation together and it was interesting to hear about how people are running their business with mindfulness and some of the difficulties they are having and how as a group we could encourage and support each other. This was the first meeting they had together, with a wish to continue.
Enjoy your weekend and leave any comments you have on my blog if you would like to.