By Hayley Bridgewater
The conclusion of December often has us contemplating the events of the year, reminiscing or analyzing what we have learned, and preparing for the next. Whether you are Team Resolution or not, it is often healthy and calming to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are going. On this day after Christmas, I would like to share with you a tiny moment made big for me in 2016.
Around this time in 2015, while sitting in the upstairs office of the “Beta” version of Iron Lion Performance, I was having a discussion with Tim Garkusha about “reset” time. After mentioning that part of my recovery routine seemed to entail throwing on my headphones, blasting a playlist and taking long wandering walks around the city, he responded, “ You should spend some time doing that unplugged.”
The following Sunday, I took his advice, grabbed coffee and headed out, phone zipped up in my coat, eyes straight ahead, no particular destination in mind. In a short while, colorful graffiti, city sounds, and conversations with strangers guided my 3-hour traverse and left me in a stunningly happy mood. Inspired by this feeling, the headphones and phone stayed away and the 2016 “Be Present” project was born.
Each day, I was committed to the idea of engaging with my environment. It wasn’t easy, (it still isn’t) but it has grown to become one of the huge joys of my year and something that I hope to be a continual part of my life. Commutes have turned into exciting adventures, uncovering small messages from pedestrian philosophers or hidden gems of street art and guerilla marketing. The more I see, the more I want to look. Friends and colleagues drop into my office to ask about the find of the day: tiny clues leading to research on artists, music, and social causes. This project has broadened my understanding of the layers of my surroundings, meeting incredibly lovely people while discussing an image embossed on a streetlamp or receiving serious attitude adjustment by a perfectly placed quote or scrawl.
So this Feel Good Friday post is, in essence, a much deserved “thank you” to my colleague, Tim, for helping me realize the value of presence! It has renewed my love for street art, fed a curiosity for this city, and provided that “rest and reset” moment so crucial for my personal downtime.