There is a thirst for what we do. Nowhere has it been more evident for me than around Lake Leman at the end of November.
The Geneva cafe met as usual in the centre of Geneva town by the main railway station. We had an excellent guest speaker who talked to us about ‘Being in Flow’ and helped to facilitate our small group conversations. Lee Eldridge is a Strength and Fitness Performance Coach who has worked with many champion athletes. His educational training and background with the Hintsa organisation has led him to a coaching approach where high performance is built upon a foundation of holistic wellbeing, from a starting point of self-awareness or ‘knowing your core’. The Hintsa method has now been extended to the business world and to the coaching of Fortune 500 CEO’s, executive teams and employees in thousands of organisations.
We were asked to remember an experience when we performed really well and felt our best. We then compared it to the things that Lee explained trigger a sense of being in flow - a state of losing ourselves in something we are doing. They are : Selflessness where our brain and inner critic shut down; Timelessness where we don’t notice time and it passes either quickly or slowly; Effortlessness where the task or solution comes to us easily; and Richness where all our senses and sensations are heightened. Being in Flow obviously brings fulfilment and contentment. In the workplace people in flow can be more productive in a few hours than people working long days and evenings.
I saw those present, myself included, discuss and understand what activities and attention helps us to achieve this lovely state of being, and then consider how we could bring more flow into our lives. We all took a lot of personal learning and resolve away from the cafe, with some people also openly expressing how much help they had received from the shared conversation about something that was challenging them at present.
The next day I had been invited to host a ConsciousCafe event at the launch of a new community centre on the lake road heading towards Lausanne, in a quaint little Swiss village called Grens. ‘La Fruitière’ is a lovingly restored and refurbished 17th Century barn where the villagers’ ‘Fruitière’ cheese was once stored. Grens is in the Canton of Vaud, not the Canton of Geneva, so this meant that ConsciousCafe Geneva is now officially on tour in Switzerland!
For this cafe we discussed ‘The Key to Happiness’ by firstly trying to list in small groups all the factors we thought lead to happiness, then comparing our findings to the Action for Happiness 10 ‘Keys’ which form the acronym G R E A T D R E A M : Giving; Relating; Exercising; Awareness; Trying out new things; Direction; Resilience; Emotions; Acceptance; and Meaning. (See www.actionforhappiness.org for a full explanation.) We considered whether we would want to have an enchanted ‘Happiness Button’ that we could press to be happy whenever we felt down, and if not why, and lastly focused on the power of Gratitude ending with the exercise of writing down each day Three Good Things that had happened.
The atmosphere at La Fruitière was electric, everyone was enthusiastic to be sharing their wisdom. AGAIN people expressed how much they had both enjoyed the event and also got a lot out of it personally – for some at a time when they really needed it.
There’s a magic in ConsciousCafe when this happens. It really is as if the cafe has quenched that thirst I mentioned earlier. A thirst for deep human connection, in a light-hearted yet profound setting, where one can ponder one’s inner world and approach to life - and receive something positive and even helpful to take away.
ConsciousCafe Geneva host
ConsciousCafe is a not-for-profit organisation, a friendly and welcoming community, a place to live life consciously.