It is not new news that mental health is increasingly fragile across the world. Research suggests that one in four people have been diagnosed with a mental illness. And small wonder given the increasing complexity we are all facing, the acceleration, the ambiguity, the volatility. With all this going on, how are we supposed to find direction and keep orientated?
We probably won’t find the answer staring into a screen, stressed. Our own inner guidance system is there, it just needs a re-boot. Oprah Winfrey explains in her 2013 commencement speech to Harvard Graduates. “But I know this, if you’re willing to listen to, be guided by, that still small voice that is the GPS within yourself, to find out what makes you come alive, you will be more than okay. You will be happy, you will be successful, and you will make a difference in the world.”
So, next time you find yourself there, with your internal alarm system ringing, get up and go for a walk in the street. The streets not only surround us in wisdom but walking also significantly improves our ability to think clearly, enabling better decision making and has been proven by Stanford University research to increase creative thinking by a whopping 60%.
Whatever they told you at school, remember your mind isn’t just the grey stuff between your ears. It is distributed via your nervous system down your spine and out through every part of your body. It’s mind and body working together. Movement is also far easier than trying to meditate quietly. When you leave the two-dimensional screen and walk down a street you become a three dimensional being again. All your senses are stimulated. And your mind will start to clear. Your wellbeing will benefit too: research has shown time and again that a short walk every day can reduce ageing and halve your risk of dying from a heart attack. It’s a win-win.
Being outside brings a new dynamic to your mind-mapping because the city streets present an unlimited source of inspiration waiting for you to slow down and see them. The problem is we normally rush around and ignore these signs, which means we’re missing out on a wealth of knowledge.
This is where my inspiration came for Street Wisdom, the social enterprise helping people find everyday inspiration in everyday places. It’s been described as problem solving, self-coaching and mindfulness in motion. I think of it as a way to wake up your own inner guidance system – a SatNav for your Soul.
The Street Wisdom technology teaches you how to slow down, open your mind and tap into the wisdom that is all around you. Street Wisdom is a powerful movement that has brought magic to people on the streets in over 35 countries worldwide, as a free resource. The impact has been astounding, resulting in people finding life changing answers to their questions.
The 3 hour WalkShops are led by a volunteer facilitator and start with a tune up, to help you connect to the street and discover the hidden wisdom. The tune up comes in 3 parts and here, I have shared those with you to help you make that first step to a more Wanderful world!
Be Drawn to What Attracts You – as we grow and develop we let a lot of judgement get in the way of what we are attracted to. We end up missing out on opportunities and stimulus that surrounds us every day. This tune up helps you wake up and notice what you notice.
Slow Down - this exercise helps us feel comfortable with walking slowly. Everybody is so busy rushing from a to b. We get used to shutting down our senses. Remember, people notice a lot less than you think they do!
See the Beauty in Everything (and everyone) – this is something that takes practice. By mentally wallpapering the word ‘gratitude’ into the back of your brain, it helps anchor your mind and change your perception of the world around you.
Try these exercises and see if it helps you to start to see your day to day environment in a new, fresh light - guiding you in how to find the answers you need. To turbo boost the process join a free Street Wisdom WalkShop near you!
And, after a bit of practice, you will have activated your very own Sat Nav for the Soul.
“I have been a seeker and I still am. But I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my soul.”
Be part of this this life-changing social movement and bring mental clarity to people all around the world. Exciting pledges on offer to support the publication of David Pearl’s new book Wanderful; Sat Nav for the Soul (publishing Fall ’19)
To join a WalkShop near you visit streetwisdom.org.