Covid is on the rise, I am at home in lockdown, our loved ones are sick, we’re all tired and everyday is uncertain. The days seem longer than ever before while simultaneously fusing into one. Hello from New Delhi, India. Hello from April 2020 2021.

Our mornings start with a cup of chai and small talk, work, food, sleep and without us noticing months pass in the same monotony. When the lockdown began we were stripped of social interaction, public gatherings, of everyday life. We started missing things we had despised in our actual lives. I started missing small talk and passing smiles in the hallways. We were in quarantine with our families, most of us. Which was a great thing if we focus on a few positives of the pandemic. We talked, spent time with our loved ones and cherished every moment. However, we soon realized that our life needed a balance with the familiar and the new. Since schools, colleges, offices had closed we weren’t interacting with as many people as we would’ve normally. So I started looking for courses, webinars, anything that would be a new fun experience. That’s when I came across Enlightened Sapiens on Instagram. The ad popped about a free creative mindfulness workshop with a group of like-minded people and I signed up immediately. Why would I have not? I was looking for community interaction and this workshop seemed perfect.

It was scheduled for a Sunday at 11 in early March. I made my coffee and pancakes and logged in the zoom meeting. The session had started already and the lady was giving a detailed explanation about mindfulness and the need for it in the current scenario. I knew about the practice of mindfulness and was always in awe of it but had always failed to put it to practice. She asked us to take deep breaths and calm ourselves. “ We must be in tune with our breath first then be mindful of everything else’’- she said. Mindfulness is nothing but being present, in sadness, happiness, love and pain. To feel every moment deeply enough with that all our senses are in tandem. We started with a session of Blind Drawing- basically looking at an object in front of us and drawing it on paper using a single line, without stopping. The drawing didn’t have to be good, that was not the point -our concentration on observing the object was. Using a single line allowed us to maintain a flow and calmness in this exercise.

It’s important to slow down. We have been taught to look at slowing down, taking a break or pausing as a negative thing when it’s really not. Mindfulness teaches us to pause deliberately and take a look around to understand everything around us a little better. Focus is often linked to hustling and achieving goals. However, this workshop gave the message that staying calm and being focused are directly proportional to each-other. Being focused comes with being calm. This led to the next exercise – Music Beats. We were asked to make a stroke on every beat in a music clip. This was absolutely beautiful, it was energizing to look at about a hundred people listening to the same music at the same time with calm and focus. This simple exercise was very effective and I would highly recommend trying this.

The last exercise was one of my favorites. We again observed a simple object around us like a cup or our laptop and were told to draw it in a completely different way. We observed it and drew it using the various shapes it was made up of, almost in fragments. Then slowly through the course of 3- 4 drawings completed it. From fragments became a whole. The speaker told us to – “Break it down then build it up’’. This line has stuck with me since then. When we are in a problem or confused, or when the outside world seems out of control, all we need to do is break the problem down into parts and look at it from a distance, from a different perspective. Once we break it down and identify the source of the problem, we can find a solution. This line can be used as a metaphor for innumerable things. The session as a whole was very enlightening. Since it was free, I can only imagine the increase in accessibility this platform has created. People of all age groups attended it which created a very wholesome experience. I immediately signed up for a number of more sessions.

The next session I attended was Campfire Stories. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had on zoom. With the warmth of a campfire on our screens and moody tunes filling the air it really created an immersive experience for everyone present. It was beautiful and calming. It was introduced as an attempt to bring the mountains to us since we couldn’t go to the mountains. There were many stories shared of various lives lived. Everyone from experienced travelers to mere aspirants, everyone contributed to the discussions. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to fun, often tiresome adventures interspersed with snippets of lifelong learnings. Side note – My favorite TV show for a long time was One Tree Hill – it had beautiful quotes and literature sprinkled in every episode. A quote that stuck with me from the show was – ‘Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.’’ I heard the same quote, the same thought reiterated in this session after almost 10 years since I last heard it and it still holds true. Every story told, every experience shared, every discussion had all ended in awe of the memories made on the road, on the journey. One person trekked the Himalayas and returned as a changed being while the other had a life altering moment on a road trip with their family. I realized that it was never about where, how or with whom you travel, it’s just important that you do. The session was enriching and warm. Turns out traveling far and wide brings people more closer than you’d think.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *