Imagine you are a baby again. Everything is new, colours are vibrant, sounds are dizzying as it’s not clear whether they are coming from outside or inside of you. In fact there is no you. ‘You’ haven’t yet formulated the distinction between you and not you, between a thought and your awareness. Mind and body are one; every experience is felt and connected. A thought, a feeling, a sensation, a sound – they are all of equal importance.
You don’t have decades of experience weighing down your every action, shaping your behaviour through the habitual patterns you have developed over the years. You are simply aware. You take in the world as it is. Every sound is unique, every building slightly different, every person you meet has something to offer.
The world is fresh. But hang on… you’re not a baby anymore. The mind does reign supreme, pumping out orders to the rest of the body. We do walk from the tube station to work and back again with our heads down, without a second thought for what’s happening beyond the world of our phones. We do whisk along the bus trying our best to keep our eyes from straying too far away from the Evening Standard on our laps.
What if we were present more often? What are we missing out on? Last week the RSA in partnership with Streetwisdom set out to see what could happen if we did give ourselves some time just to be in our environment, rather than hurriedly scuffling to the next meeting or train. This is what some people experienced:
‘A joy to be able to slow down, turn off the phone and just experience’
‘It’s been a difficult year, a struggle to find my value and to understand even the question of why I’m here. I found not only the right question, but also the answers’
‘I revisited some ‘highs’ I had in my working life and why they had happened. I realised they were self-driven and I broke patterns to make changes. I thought about what I was afraid of and how that was holding me back…ultimately I have more courage’
‘I thought I knew Covent Garden, but I was astonished to realise I’d missed so much!’
Streetwisdom is an experience which proposes that the streets around us and people in them are full of inspiration and wisdom that we usually ignore. By becoming more mindful and tuning in to our senses it can unleash a creative awakening - a powerful shift in how we relate to ourselves and our environment.
Such an experience is liberating as it takes you out of your everyday habitual patterns and into a truly creative space. My first Streetwisdom session helped me break some habits and see the world anew. It gave me a glimpse of a new relationship between self and environment, giving me the confidence to actively engage with and change the world around me.
Instead of just reacting to life, I suddenly felt a sense of agency. Having now facilitated three Streetwisdom sessions, I have seen the powerful effect it can have on others too. And it’s important to state, that in a Streetwisdom session we aren’t doing anything weird or extreme, we are just taking a slightly different approach to our everyday surroundings, by tuning in to our senses and our environment, using simple techniques.
For me Streetwisdom is a fantastically accessible way of stimulating a creative awakening, a shift in consciousness which can empower people to turn their ‘ideas into reality’ – a goal which is at the heart of the RSA’s world view the Power to Create.
The Power to Create views creativity as a capacity inherent in all of us that, if developed and nurtured, becomes an essential part of living a happy and fulfilling life. By partnering with Streetwisdom again in future events we hope to encourage more people to open up to the potential that lies in the streets around them.
Taking a fresh look at the world around me, it suddenly ceased to be so separate, and for a few moments, at least, I am a baby again.
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