The Answers To Your Life Questions Could Be Right On Your Doorstep
Recent media has exposed the problem – research indicates that the frenetic modern world is slowly killing our brains. Professor Glenn Wilson, University of London calls it info-mania and his study at the Institute of Psychiatry suggests that your IQ falls 10 points when you’re fielding constant emails, text messages, and calls, the same loss you’d experience if you missed an entire night’s sleep and more than double the 4-point loss you’d have after smoking marijuana.
Street Wisdom, dubbed ‘The University of the Street’ is a new free of charge group walking event which teaches us an accessible route to mindfulness, using your immediate environment to find inspiration and answer your life questions.
The 3 hour sessions are run by Street Wisdom volunteers on a ‘Share Ware’ programme. You learn the skills and pass it on. The aim – one million people through by 2017!
Founded by David Pearl (ex opera singer, creative confidante to top CEOs) and Chris Baréz Brown (author and speaker, recently described by the Guardian as a long haired twinkly eyed cross between Richard Branson and a wizard) in 2014, the project has gathered a big following, not only in the UK but globally, with events running from New York to Buenos Aires.
Baréz-Brown shares how Street Wisdom works: “ People come to Street Wisdom with a specific question they want answering. It could be about work, love, taking risks – almost anything. Our theory is that if you learn to pay attention to the world around you, you’ll find answers everywhere.”… “much of the work complements Buddhist techniques of mindfulness. Street Wisdom offers a slightly more urban, modern version of being fully present.”
How To Read The Street and Answer Your Life Questions
1. Tune up – slow down, look to the beauty in everything, take time to focus on the details around you. Breathe and notice how your body and mind feels, what is needed right here, right now?
2. Get clear on a question – the question should ideally be something not too big like ‘what is the meaning of life?’ and not too small like “what shall I have for supper?’, somewhere in between. Get close to what your question will be. Find a partner and ‘talk it out ‘ non stop for 7 1/2 minutes. Your partner will be able to hone in on it more and maybe find a different theme going on.
3. Get lost – armed with your question, spend an hour wandering, observing and focusing on the environment around you. Observe detail and allow your thoughts to drift and make connections.
4. Look out for teachers – don’t be afraid to speak to strangers, they may have the answers to your question!
5. Feel it don’t think it – our brains have a tendency to slip into analytical mode and over think situations. Don’t force anything, go with the present moment. Remember to breathe.
Most of all smile and have fun with it!
The next session will be on 11th September in London run by the RSA or
sign up online for a session near you. http://www.streetwisdom.org.