Recap: BWT’s First Wellness Workshop: Cultivate Balance with Intention
On Thursday, July 16, 2020, almost 60 members of BWT Vancouver came together virtually to find what we’re all looking for these days―a healthier, more manageable and balanced life while working from home.
Taking us on this interactive soul journey were two experts in mindfulness, who also happen to work for SAP, Ananya Huria and Jennifer Coleman. Huria started the workshop as host and lead participants through a one minute meditation, the perfect segue to learning how to cultivate balance in our lives.
Jennifer Coleman, a self-described curator of ah-ha moments, energizer, yoga instructor, meditator, and believer that anything is possible with the right mindset, took workshop participants through some key skills to creating balance, including an introduction to journaling.
For context, Coleman compared life to a hurricane full of chaos and that, like the calm eye of the hurricane, we can find inner peace for ourselves. She described that the busyness and amount of things going on today result in people being less attentive in meetings, a decline in memory ability, and that even multitaskers have a drop in IQ.
To create balance in our lives, Coleman presented 4 key elements, which she says are also the same components necessary to performing yoga’s infamous Tree Pose.
- Unwavering focus –To regain focus take 3 breaths. With each breath you’ll feel more balanced. This is so easy and quick that you can do it anytime, even while driving.
- Setup a manageable daily routine including creating an intention for the day. To keep focus, Coleman suggests having a piece of paper that starts with the words “Today I will..”.
- Centering on our core strengths – Articulate your personal values and use them as a way to re-centre. Ask yourself, ”What will help me to show up to be the best version of myself – now and in the future?”
- Push back a little for better balance – Define boundaries for home and work and set up agreements with your family and colleagues to help support these boundaries, and hold you accountable.
- Breathing like it’s easy – Use mindfulness and journaling as tools to settle, help focus and become more aware of what’s really going on.
Coleman also emphasized self-compassion and the importance of taking time to regroup and take care of ourselves.
As a tool for grounding, Coleman lead workshop participants through three journaling prompts meant to help clear the mental clutter and see what’s behind our conscious thoughts. Feedback by attendees after journaling included feeling hopeful, lighter, grounded, in control, having more clarity, and someone even said they shed some tears.
When journaling, Coleman suggests not to worry about what you write. Don’t worry about what you think other people should hear. Don’t even worry if it’s legible.
Below are the 3 journal prompts participants went though, spending a few minutes on each:
- I wish I had more time in the day for …
- Staying focused will help me to …
- My deepest wish to fee balanced right now would be to …
To complete the workshop, Coleman shared her favourite quote on mindfulness:
“Mindfulness means paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment in the mind, body and external environment with an attitude of curiosity and kindness.” From the United Kingdom’s Report by the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group, Mindful Nation UK, October 2015.
Workshop takeaways included suggestions to #findyourbalance, #breathlikeitseasy, and #cleartheclutter.
Takeaway questions for participants included:
- How can I notice when I’m off balance so I can recalibrate?
- When times get tough, what can remind me of what is most important to me?
- What strategies can I leverage to help me stay focused and balanced?
- https://insighttimer.com/ (meditations)
- https://currentmindfulness.com/ (Meditation program that offers micro mindfulness meditations ranging from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Co-founded by Ananya Huria)
- https://www.sarahblondin.com/ (has meditations on her website and contributes to Insight timer)
Adding to the good karma that the Wellness Workshop offered, the event was also held by donation raising over $800 for the BC Women’s Hospital Mental Health Unit.
Congratulations to our lucky prize winners Shreyoshi Ghosh, won a $200 Skoah gift card, and Brittany Paley, who won a $100 Giving ‘Pamper me’ Gift box full of locally made personal care items.
Written by Janna Meneghello