Last night I went to Secret Monday, a monthly event which “brings people together around the superpowers of calm and mindfulness”. the event is run by Alexis Bicât & Malcolm Scovil of Calmworks.
It was in a lovely location; WeWork near Spitalfields, and there was wine, beer and soft drinks available during a kind of networking / meet and greet type session prior to the talk. I spoke to a few people at that point, but got the feeling that everyone else there was far more into Mindfulness than I was yet, and they seemed to become disinterested when I said I was only just starting to read about it. However, I did get a warm welcome from both Alexis and Malcolm.
When we were called in to sit down, I found myself between two girls whom I’d not yet spoken to. The talk, titled “Your Big Why”, was given by Dev Modi, Managing director of The Omega Academy. Almost immediately, we were guided into a breathing exercise and some questions were posed to us for us to answer internally. We were then asked to share these answers with the people sat either side of us – which should have been scary as these were some personal things to share with a stranger. However, the fact that these two girls were strangers made it a lot easier. And I quickly discovered that I was sat between two ‘normal’ human beings. Both knew a more about mindfulness than I, and both had already started meditating on a regular basis, but neither were as pretentious about it as a number of other people in the room that we’d all spoken to during drinks. During subsequent exercises, despite not knowing each other, we reprimanded each other for being too harsh on ourselves and I think we all gained something from this connection with a stranger. I hope we don’t stay strangers.
As for the talk itself, Dev Modi was very engaging. His stories were self deprecating and humorous. I actually learned about Mindfulness (I was slightly worried that the speaker would just assume that everyone was already fully versed). The talk was oriented around Values vs Goals. For example, a goal is to go to the gym, but a value is to care for your body; something which can be done even if you miss a session at the gym. a goal is one thing you aim for, a value is something you live by. But he also showed us that values can change – think of values as a cube, just because you can only see on face of a cube, the other 7 sides still exist, you’re just focusing on one right now.
One of the exercises, was to circle 15 values from a list of about 60, then to choose 5 from those that we want to be our current focus.
My top 5:
We then made a commitment to achieve one goal in the next 24 hours that is guided by at least one of those values. And I’m pleased to say that I have already performed my action (it represented the top three values in my list), and although I didn’t get the response I was really after, I feel better for it. and that was another lesson we were taught:
“Courage to change what you can and accept what you can’t to live your values”
So I plan to go to another Secret Monday and I plan to keep reading and learning about Mindfulness.