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Mindful : October 2017
walls and irregular mounds. As I ventured in, I noticed a bust of a man on a pedestal. As it turns out I’d wandered into Jean Sibelius Square, a tidy greenspace and playground dedicated to the Finnish composer. How odd, I thought. I was aware that Toronto is famously multicultural. My granddaughters who live there attend a school that is a virtual United Nations, and yet I was unaware of the Finnish community, who in the fifties persuaded city council to dedicate this park. I’ve since taken to listening to his dramatic tone poem Finlandia, and I am transported back to the little park. In the wild Aimless wandering is not only about streets and cities. In fact, I’ve done considerable wandering in meadows and forests during retreats held in the countryside. In the wild, it’s important to ensure you’re not going to get lost, necessitating the formation of a search party. Wild ramblings are best done using some form of buddy system and establishing boundaries. Aimless wander- ing is not an extreme sport. It’s about leisure, not pushing the envelope. (That’s what base jumping and wingsuit flying are for.) If you do it in a group, you can choose a pretty well-defined open area to let everyone roam in. (I’ve usually done it in mountain meadows, with the guideline that you may venture a little bit into the woods, but not far enough to get lost.) You choose a designated timer, and everyone surrenders anything that tells time. It’s good to choose a lengthy stretch of time, like two hours, so it’s long enough for a little boredom to set in. On the other side of boredom lies wonder and awe, but it can take a little while to sneak up on you. As you wander, you begin to see and hear in a way we don’t usually find in everyday life, tethered as we are to our Global Positioning Systems. You start noticing, for example, that rocks are free, along with air and trees and sky. One participant in a retreat run by Janice Mar- turano, of the Center for Mindful Leadership, On the other side of boredom lies wonder and awe, but it can take a little while to sneak up on you. 76 mindful October 2017 insight With the right tools, we are always stronger together; but sometimes we need a little nudge. Consider the elephant. The most common name for a group of elephants is a “herd.” Another, less common, term for a group of elephants is a “memory.” We all know that a “herd mentality” can encourage unhelpful ways of thinking that stifle creativity and innovation. But the less conventional term “memory,” invokes reflection and consideration and asks, “How did we get here?” “Where are we going?” And, “What’s the best way to get there?” Mind the Moment has an inclusive suite of mindfulness training programs that disrupt herd mentality, and inspire unconventional thinking, to help you get to the heart of the goals that will lead your organization to its next stage of growth. In a world in which conventional wisdom might be flawed, let’s be unconventional together. Let’s make the most out of everything our minds have to offer. The Mind the Moment program was developed and is offered by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. email@example.com www.harvardpilgrim.org/mindfulness facebook.com/mindthemoment