Week 15 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
This week was a time to check-in with ourselves. It gave me an opportunity to look back on the 'The Great Wake Up!' and reflect on what I've learned so far, as well as understanding what I've been gaining from the experiments.
Since December I've been taking part in the weekly experiments, each of which are designed to help us 'wake up' rather than go through our days on auto-pilot which I'm often guilty of doing. I can go from one task to another, or travel from one place to another, without noticing anything that is going on around me because I've been stuck inside my own head the whole time.
Each weekly experiment has taught me something new and different. However there have also been themes that have run throughout most, if not all of the experiments. Here is what I've learned and gained so far.
1. A small change can make a real difference - I'll admit that there have been a few times when I've looked at what I'll be doing that week as part of the experiment and thought, 'How on earth is that going to make a difference?'. I wondered how spending five minutes of each day observing the beauty around me, or the first ten minutes of each day outdoors was going to help me. After all, there are twenty-four hours in a day and this seemed like such a small amount of time in relation to that. If I'm going to do something, I usually like to go in 'big'. But that's probably why I don't always keep those things up, because they end up being a burden on my time. But taking a relatively small amount of time out of my day to complete these experiments made them do-able and helped me realise that I don't need to spend enormous amounts of time on things to see the benefits. Small changes can bring some surprisingly good results.
2. Keep an open mind - Following on from the above point, I've learned to give things a go even though I might be initially sceptical. I'll never know what I will get out of it unless I try it, and with these experiments I've gained a lot. I've also been surprised that the things I've found more easy are often the ones that I initially thought would be difficult, and the things I've learned most from are the ones I was previously most sceptical about.
3. I have become more aware - I notice a lot more, things that I'd not noticed previously. Because I've been writing about the weekly experiments it's encouraged me to be more aware of how they are making a difference to me. Some of the experiments themselves also mean that I need to notice more of what is going on around me, such as the one where we reached out to help a stranger each day, and each time I do these sorts of things it helps make that awareness come more naturally to me.
4. I feel better connected - A lovely side-effect of becoming more aware, is that I'm finding a deeper sense of connection - to myself, to others, to the things I value, and to my surroundings.
5. It is important to find a way of doing these experiments that work for me - sometimes it is not always easy to do the experiment in the way that is described for whatever reason, and rather than struggle with it, I've found that it is much better to tweak it slightly. Just because something might work for others, it may not necessarily work for me and I've realised that I can honour my own needs by amending the experiment slightly, whilst also meeting the spirit of what the experiment is trying to achieve.