I’m standing under an overcast sky outside the Fashion and Textile Design Museum on Bermondsey Street with 3 eager street wisdom participants all keen to begin. This is a fascinating area, filled with a fusion of old and new buildings combined with a mixture of local residents and tourists alike enjoying the village atmosphere in this now thriving part of London.
Each question asked and explored allows us to pay attention to something specific and unique within the environment bringing to light many new perspectives that we can learn from. This raises the question of how open are we to our surroundings? On Saturday as the group explored each of the questions we discovered what it means to find the beauty in everything. From this one question came the realisation that a suspension of judgement is required in order to be open to what’s beyond the obvious, and this is true for so many situations and perspectives in life.
Having tuned in to the street and atmosphere of Bermondsey, ideas and inspiration began flowing for this small group. Some insights included an instinctual knowing of the answer, seeing where a specific theme will lead them in the future and who best to help with a new business idea.
It’s amazing how such a simple process can encourage a whole new story to unfold in someones life leaving them with new food for thought.
All in all by lunchtime each person left with a smile on their face :)
by Angela Wells
Whilst waiting for the brave group of street explorers to arrive, I began noticing all the brightly coloured clothing being worn by Londoners and tourists alike, to frighten off the crisp cold of a Winters day! As I stood scanning the streets for my fellow adventurers, each person arrived from different points of the compass, curious and all excited to begin.
Despite the cold, there was an air of wonderment in discovering the streets around us which, until now had gone unnoticed. Amazing things happen when we take the time to slow down, relax and begin seeing the world in which we live with fresh eyes. The patterns suddenly stand out in the cobbled streets, the buildings surrounding us come into focus and the places we didn’t even know existed are magically revealed to us.
Suddenly, the bubble of routine is broken and our perspective expands in new and exciting ways. There are some questions that cannot always be answered directly though answers may appear in the following days and weeks, mysteriously popping in to our mind. And some questions can be clarified as a result of seeing and experiencing the world differently especially when one of the local chocolate shops (Rococo Chocolates) very generously helped warm us up at the end of the session with some tasty hot chocolate!
An insight from the group and no doubt many others, is that taking the time to appreciate the streets and towns we live in, we begin noticing the people as individual human beings. Then we’re no longer separated from each other, we’re connected to each other :)
A warm and sunny morning on the SouthBank greeted us amidst talk of the recent results of the EU referendum. When I arrived, 6 people were already getting to know each other, talking, laughing and eagerly awaiting for the experience to begin. Soon more people arrived and we became an International bunch of keen explorers ready to dive in and learn from the street and each other, and this is exactly what happened.
In times of uncertainty Street Wisdom is the perfect antidote in providing community spirit and shared wisdom.
Several people noticed that slowing down felt like a disconnection from the rest of the world. And yet having slowed down or stopped in some cases to ‘smell the ‘Mexican food nearby’ the sound of laughter was heard and allowed for a gentle reconnection with the world on a whole new level.
There is movement in the River Thames flowing past as there is also movement in the sea of people enjoying the river bank. Life moves and flows whether we want it to or not sometimes and creating space for ourselves to explore this is beneficial to our wellbeing. There were some poignant questions asked and answered among the group providing much needed clarity and a sense of unity.
I wonder what answers the street has for you?
See you soon
Spitalfields is a diverse market filled with a multitude of colours, fabrics and new ideas for all who visit including those of us in search of wisdom.
The simplicity and structure of the street wisdom experience is an opportunity to take some time for yourself, slow down and notice the world around you.
I began my Saturday morning with a small, yet perfectly formed group of people all showing up to explore and discover answers to their own questions, culminating in sharing their experiences with a hot drink in warm surroundings.
Each person had different insights and observations from goldfish to straight lines in an area which to some was a familiar landscape and yet they noticed that there’s aways something new to learn and gain answers from.
“I’m so glad I came” and “I’m so inspired” were some of the words I heard during those three hours of Street Wisdom warming me up from the inside out.
All of us are looking for answers about life in some way or another and there’s a special magic about this time we take for ourselves that words alone cannot convey.
As I gently guided the group through the simple exercises, I loved listening to each person’s insights and perspectives, appreciating the value of providing others with the space to slow down and connect both with themselves and the outside world.
The answers are everywhere if we choose to look for them…even on the street!