Wednesday, November 25, 2009

People-Shaped Society...

Living a way of life that is unsustainable, and doesn't actively give value to happiness, contentment, creativity and fulfilment, requires the creation of a new 'common sense'. Wellbeing activists are involved in being part of a profound practical exercise of revaluation. We propose that, actually, it's important to recognise and celebrate the whole person. It's vital that we make our communities people-shaped and planet-friendly. As one of my favoured fantasy dinner guests once said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" (Eleanor Roosevelt). 

Specifically then, Ken Robinson speaks here about this re-valuation in relation to education systems which, globally, de-value creativity - a process which not only runs counter to human happiness, but also diminishes the capacity of societies to create good business in a changing and competitive world. 

I'm with Ken - let's break free of these 'mind-forged manacles' and remember how amazing and creative we  (adults) once were, and follow the children's lead and work to re-discover this sense of wonder. In the way we choose to conduct ourselves in our daily lives, we can make such a positive difference. It isn't a dream - it can be done. I encourage you to take time to watch this...

PS This is also very funny!


Monday, November 23, 2009

The Wellbeing Challenge

During some recent wellbeing training we were asked to think of something that represents a 'dream' for us. Working in pairs, we then challenged each other to actually make this dream reality. Now, my 'dream' might not seem that amazing or untouchable, but it's something I've put off doing now for many years. I think it's something to do with worrying about making a fool out of myself, and fearing that I will not being able to remember the moves. My dream was to learn Tai Chi. I was challenged by Pat, my partner in this challenge venture, to do something about it.

I'm happy to report that I joined a class last Saturday, and although I did feel a bit lost working alongside experienced practitioners, I enjoyed myself and learnt about 10 seconds of continuous Tai Chi - yes, a whole ten seconds!
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Thanks Andrew for being the catalyst, and Pat for telling me to get started. I'm sure that this will really help my wellbeing.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Wellbeing Training - Thanks to Everyone I Met There...

Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to attend some really interesting wellbeing training, and I've just posted a thank you on my GET page. Click on the fish below to view the message...


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sign of Positive Changes...

Photo kindly provided by HelenofNorwich

Helen, from the 'Norwich Wellbeing Network' on Facebook messaged me with a wonderful local example of community action which enhances wellbeing.  

Here's what she said:
"There are lots of people wanting to see change and little things make a difference. For example someone put a pub/church sign on a lamp post outside the Whalebone [see photo, above] and this led to the vicar and the publican having a carol service in the pub this year on the 17th Dec!"

FYI: the Whalebone pub is located next to Sewell Park on Magdelan Road in the north of Norwich.

What a lovely idea! Thanks for sharing this with us Helen.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Be Kind to Yourself

You're no good to anyone else if you're not good to yourself. I am speaking, both, to myself here, and to lots of the activists I meet; as well as to the many and varied folk I encounter through my work, who are often very adept at beating themselves up and running away from themselves. Perhaps I am speaking to you?

We need to develop the skill of treating ourselves with kindness. We need to GIVE to ourselves in order to give of ourselves - and it doesn't just happen. This self-nurturing element is definitely an aspect of the Five Ways to Wellbeing which I need to work on. I hope that, CONNECTing with the support of other people, I will learn how to GIVE this peace of mind to myself.

A chain of curious accidents...

Isn't it interesting how one thing leads to another. Yesterday, struggling to suppress my asthma in a meeting, I coughed and tweaked a muscle in my lower back.  Today, I was hobbling into town, when I met a friend/co-worker in the community, and realised that I'd left my wallet home. She very kindly lent me a fiver (GIVE).

Later, due to discomfort of my back, I went to cafe in the Forum for a cuppa, which was made possible by the aforementioned lend. I was sitting making phonecalls with bits of paper and laptop strewn around me. A woman on the table next to me had overheard a conversation I had where I mentioned Wellbeing and we struck up a conversation (CONNECT and, as it happened, KEEP LEARNING). This led to her GIVING to me = Wellbeing enhanced, thank you very much!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Sixth Way to Wellbeing...

I fully understand why the positive mental health practices espoused in the Foresight report had to be distilled down into a manageable number, but I don't see any reason why we shouldn't personalise the message a bit.

I have been thinking about my own personal wellbeing values. I think that CREATE would be on my list - so now I have Six Ways to Wellbeing. Why so? Well, the creative expression renders the inside out - and in getting a bit of you out there, it can be cathartic. It is also empowering. In a society where we are often encouraged to be passive consumers, how liberating it can be to actually make something. It creates a sense of control. Creating is also about giving 'voice' to your uniqueness, and celebrating it.

POSTSCRIPT: following a brief discussion about this with other Wellbeing activists this evening, I'd like to add that, in my opinion, creativity extends beyond artistic creativity. It can also, for instance, include the ability to systematise things. Indeed, even seemingly routine activity can be made playful in keeping with wellbeing principles - click HERE for one experiment in this area...


Join us on Facebook


I just want to plug our new Norwich Wellbeing Network Facebook page.  CONNECTing is good for us, and, although face-to-face is always best in my opinion, there is definitely a place for some virtual meeting of minds and sharing of ideas.

Click on the word HERE to get to the page.