Many small tiles are slowly opening up in Zoom. 30 curious faces look at me. I signed up for the workshop “Meet Yourself!” Registered in the betterplace well:being and betterplace co:lab program and I'm excited to see what awaits me here today.
She has a pleasant, calm voice and I immediately feel at ease. Anjet leads a meditation in which we should feel the three levels of ourselves - body, emotions and mind. Then the three of us are sent into break-out sessions and are supposed to reflect on our experience. At first we are still a bit reserved. Share your thoughts with a stranger without much preparation time? After a short time, however, we are all surprised at how different our perceptions are and how quickly we manage to exchange ideas on personal topics with our counterparts.
After a few minutes we are brought back into the big "room". Anjet asks us about our sessions and different impressions are shared. “Only when we as human beings are in contact with ourselves can we also make contact with others. In everyday life, we sometimes find it difficult to access our emotions. The body can help us with this. In order to perceive this, however, we have to take the time and space,” explains Anjet. A cat runs across the screen. A child tugs at his mother's sleeve. It's kind of nice how close you get despite the digital context. Perhaps the online format is less of a hindrance than initially thought.
The next task is about listening. The two of us find ourselves in a digital space and are allowed to observe ourselves while listening. I catch myself thinking about what I want to say while the other person is speaking. I'm supposed to be listening! My partner reports how happy she is that the workshops are taking place digitally.
We take a short break. The trainer encourages us to spend this as a “real” break and not check emails. Then she asks us to move. You see 30 shaking people in front of their screens. I have to laugh.
A man shares, that he doesn't have the space at work to talk about things like that and that he really enjoyed that this was possible here.
"Someone once said to me: Your biggest problem is that you think you shouldn't have any problems," says one participant as a final word in the tiled carpet.
It occurs to me that such a workshop would come at just the right time during the pandemic. Many people are currently reaching their limits. Childcare suddenly has to be reorganized. Conflicts intensify because we have been working from home for months and can hardly avoid each other. The workshops provide orientation and help us to become more confident and sensitive in our relationship to ourselves and in dealing with others.
When asked who would be attending the next workshop, almost all participants raise their hands. I see smiling faces.
In the weeks that followed, I noticed small changes in myself. I find it easier to listen. I allow myself to create pauses in a conversation to give the other person space. During the day I allow myself mini breaks in which I consciously feel inside myself and briefly perceive how I am currently doing.
The next workshop is called “The right to exist”. I'm looking forward on seeing the other participants again and I'm curious about the upcoming content. You too?
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