Aukett Swanke / 15 March 2016
Last week, I ran the second ZEN YOURSELF lunchtime workshop as part of a WELLNESS month at international architects Aukett Swanke.
The themes we explored were
1. Remain centred (in the face of adversity and stress)
2. Be unlimited (remove obstacles and overcome barriers)
Following a relaxing ‘sonic visualisation’ during which the group was invited to close their eyes, and listen, we shared experiences of contentment and satisfaction reached following a challenging effort, or tough situation.
“Liked the starting relaxation exercise”
Descriptions of the contentment reached included – Relief, physical calm, one less thing in the back of my mind, moving on to the next phase, calm, light (like a weight of your chest), happy, proud, alive, rewarding, new feelings.
Short zen writings were read out, and we then applied the spirit of the writings to real work life scenarios.
Using role play, we looked at how to remain centred in the face of blame, panic, frustration and anger that may arise – and practised the most appropriate responses.
“Good tips about being centred and dealing with stressful situations” ; “Liked the anger, frustration, blame and panic analysis” ; “Liked the role play of scenarios – not taking anger or blame…”
Moving on to the principle of ‘being unlimited’… we took the ‘obstacle’ of a square of origami paper, and folded cranes… noticing if any stress or pressure arose during the making. Origami is precise rather than intuitive, and it’s easy to ‘make mistakes’… if unfamiliar with the folds. One participant noticed they felt pressure to hurry up, as other colleagues were going faster… we discussed how to overcome this barrier of feeling pressured. Breathe. Visualise calm. Remain centred. Be unlimited.
“Liked making cranes” ; “Nice origami experience to illustrate concept of “unlimited”…”
“Liked the focus, taking a step back, staying centred, relaxing and listening”
“Liked the collective activity and participation”…
In our final workshop we’re exploring how to become more self-aware, to develop better self-care in the work place.