On Thanksgiving morning, I took a quick drive to town. With only a few cars on the road, it was certainly quiet and calm, an unfamiliar feeling in Los Angeles, but there was something else that was palpable in the air. I couldn’t quite name it, but I could feel something deeper that made me curious.
In talking with friends and family later that evening, I was finally able to put words to what I was feeling – it was our collective consciousness.
Maybe that sounds a bit out there, but essentially I could sense our shared ‘letting go’, our shared permission to really relax, to tune out, decompress, do nothing and be okay with it, and perhaps even give ourselves permission to indulge without the guilt.
As I described it to my friends that evening,
“it was as if everyone let out a deep exhale at the same time.”
We’ve all had this experience; ‘ you could feel it in the air’ we exclaim.
Yes, we are energetic beings. Sensory beings. We are felt and we feel. We impact each other at deep levels.
On this day, I was not only reminded of the power we have as a community when we unite our energy, but I was also pushed to reflect on how we can create more moments where we’re in sync, when we can reap the benefits of each other’s calm to support our own; when we can ride on the energy of our neighbor; when we can become more focused because others are focused. We see this in sports all the time; we embrace the ‘sixth man’ to rally a team to close out the game. There’s so much opportunity in our schools to do the same. Sharing a state of being. We are stronger together.
In our classrooms and in our schools, we can intentionally create moments that unite energy; whether that be cultivating calm and focus, or enthusiasm and inspiration.
In Chip and Dan Heath’s Book The Power of Moments, they describe the impact of intentionally creating moments of significance, of connection, of meaning and the long-lasting impressions they leave.
They open the book with the story of how a high school principal and VP were watching the NFL Signing Day and decided they wanted to create that type of energy and feeling at their school. So they did! They have a College Signing Day for seniors. They created curiosity, suspense, and excitement within the entire school community and therefore, it has created a much bigger, better, more energized experience for everyone! Collective consciousness.
Take some initiative this month and be the catalyst for unity!
Invite your students and staff to join you in experimenting with creating synchronized moments to deepen connection, increase presence, and inspire unity. Start simple! Try these quick practices and notice how the energy shifts.
Invite students (or staff) to:
* Sync their breath and inhale and exhale together for 5-10 breaths while gazing down or closing the eyes.
* Close their eyes and bring to mind a time when someone was very kind to them. Just remember what happened, how it felt.
* Close their eyes and bring to mind a time when they were caring or kind to another person. Replay what happened, how it felt, how the other person felt.
* Stand up and stretch together- side to side, lean back, and bend forward! Play with this! Jumping jacks are great for our younger students (they are often more willing!) Ten jumping jacks to energize, focus and move out any wiggles goes a long way.
When we intentionally shift to unite, magic happens.