The Intersection of Wisdom and Technology 2017
Last weekend’s San Francisco gathering of 2000+ mindfulness enthusiasts from around the world was a telling event. Along with the latest in coaching assessment tools, wearables, apps and endless training opportunity, there was the Eileen Fisher Embodiment Lounge — a place where breath, awareness and vulnerability took front and center.
Eileen is a personal fan of mindfulness, with a long history of starting her meetings with a quiet pause. Physically poised and articulate, she is as beautiful as the Kimono-inspired clothing her company has produced since founding in 1984, which makes her authentic transparency striking as she confesses to regular morning anxiety. Eileen shared her personal “breathe, relax, feel” practice throughout the weekend, one of several tools she uses to stay focused and present throughout the day.
The Eileen Fisher Lifework Embodiment Lounge hosted a variety of professionals using movement, breath and felt sense practices to foster workplace creativity and cultural connection. Elsewhere in the conference, Scientists Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD and Dan Siegel, MD spoke to the scientific benefit of mind-body connection.
As embodiment was an ongoing theme, technology and our relationship to it took center stage, with more ways to engage than ever. The wearable device from Spire monitors breath rate, signaling a helpful alert if the breath gets too shallow (two thumbs up on that approach!) while short burst practices of 5 minutes or less are gaining popularity with apps like Simple Habit and 10% Happier.
Deep dive connection was available through voluntarily hosted Saturday night “Birds of a Feather” dinner discussions. I held logistics for a curated group of 22 to consider Applied Mindfulness for Corporate Learning and Development over a lively two hour discussion. Personally speaking, conversation with instructors from Stanford, global executive coaching professionals and representatives from Google, KPMG and Comcast made for geek girl nirvana.
Conference recap? Mindful awareness continues to infuse the world we live in, and I continue to believe in the power of heartfelt connection, intentional curiosity, and grounded embodiment. Pause. Breathe. Repeat.
Suzanne Bigelow is an embodied mindfulness consultant and facilitator located in Portland, Oregon. Learn more about collaboration and custom learning with Suzanne at www.suzannebigelow.com