A few months ago I decided to enrol myself in a Street Wisdom experience.
What’s Street Wisdom? It’s a process that helps you look for wisdom, like the answer to a question, from the environment around you.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really go in expecting any answers. It was more about curiosity, and the chance to see a friend of mine, the facilitator Fiona McBride, in action. But I don’t do anything half way so I was determined to throw myself fully into the experience and when the day arrived I was surprised to find how excited I was.
It started at the laptop with greetings and introductions so that all of us sharing the experience could get to know each other a little bit.
Before heading out to seek wisdom from the world we had to do 3 mini-exercises to prepare, called Tuning Up.
Tune Up 1: A short walk around your space where the ask is that you pay attention and notice what attracts you kind of like how a small child walks toward what interests them. My attention was drawn to all the things in my space that needed fixing. I spent the entire time doing chores, straightening, tidying and folding. Read into that what you will.
Tune Up 2: Another short indoor walk around your own space where the aim is to slow right down. You’re supposed to slow the pace you walk at, slow your movements, slow your breathing, even slow the speed at which you blink. This one I actually did do. Mostly because I felt really guilty about not being present in the moment during the first tune up. But the second I slowed down, I all of a sudden felt a tiredness descend. I realised I was exhausted. I no longer wanted to go on a walk. I just wanted to lie in my bed and rest. But I persevered.
Tune Up 3: If you noticed the pattern you’ll be unsurprised that this was another short walk, this time with the aim of seeing the beauty around me. I was in my workspace with my laptop set up and I really struggled with this. I couldn’t really see the beauty in anything around me. I was fixated on a cup and 2 bibs belonging to my twins. I kept trying to look away and focus on other things to see beauty. I tried. I tried really hard. I just couldn’t do it in that moment. Later when I walked through this element with Fiona, friend and facilitator, she said that the beauty of the bibs is that they belong to my little boys – who are just wonderful. In fact my heart is melting just thinking of their little faces as I type this. That’s the kind of mindset and energy I needed to bring to this tune up. And now I know.
With the tune ups all done, it was time for The Quest.
We were asked to hold an intention in our hearts or ask a question as we headed out on said Quest. Not one as large as “What is the meaning of life?” but not one as small as “What to have for dinner?” I knew was I was coming for an answer to a certain question, so with that reminder I was ready to go!
If you know me, you will not be surprised that I had a plan for my quest, made in advance. My plan was to walk to the busiest street in my local area. Because in my mind, the busier the street, the more wisdom to potentially be found. Right?
So off I went into the world, all tuned up, with my brain awake ready to see the wisdom.
The walk started off quietly. It was still. Peaceful. Really beautiful, but I was waiting for wisdom and didn’t see it around me during that first part. I wasn’t daunted though because I just knew I would find my wisdom on the main road. So I kept walking and finally I got to said main road and … it was closed.
I kid you not. Closed. Traffic diverted. Red lights flashing. The works. Closed.
I looked at it all and the biggest smile broke out on my face. Because life sure is funny sometimes!
I did not see a single other human being on my 30 min walk. It felt like I was all alone in the world. There was only me. It was beautiful, peaceful, serene. I was able to see, feel and think clearly for the first time in a long time. My question was answered in the most perfect of ways. In a very big way. The universe certainly spoke to me – and I heard.
I’m a convert. I thoroughly recommend Street Wisdom and absolutely would do it again. In fact I can’t wait to see what the universe will show me the next time I do it (and there will be a next time). I started off unconvinced but I’m so glad I did it. The message I got was one I needed and I’m working on implementing it into my life and work.