Book a Coffee Call

“I know this space, but somehow I need a nudge to remember to find it.” Andy Brett

Category:
by Sian Mitchell Our last Artful Knowing webinar gently nudged its forty-plus participants into an altogether different physical and mental space than that usually occupied of a Monday morning –  into what Gestalt Theory calls “the Fertile Void”. Away from to-do lists and action plans, we were encouraged to focus on our breath, our sensations, on […]
Share this:

Sign up to our mailing list

Want to get updated on regular insights and ideas from the experts in the Mayvin team? Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out again!

by Sian Mitchell

Our last Artful Knowing webinar gently nudged its forty-plus participants into an altogether different physical and mental space than that usually occupied of a Monday morning –  into what Gestalt Theory calls “the Fertile Void”. Away from to-do lists and action plans, we were encouraged to focus on our breath, our sensations, on just being so as to bring ourselves into neutral: once there, we were to simply notice what emerged – what came up. 

Tony Fraser, who led the session, wrote some time ago of pace and pressures of working life that crowd out the space that’s needed in order to access the fertile void. As I sat in my husband’s workspace, becoming more aware of the space between my shoulders opening and less aware of the whirr of our overworked washing machine cranking into its spin cycle, it struck me how the working from home reality, a new reality for so many, has compounded these pressures. Not only are the boundaries that once constituted one’s “work-life” and one’s “home-life” now simply the alphabetti spaghetti of one’s “pandemic-life”, but gone are the watercooler conversations, the walking between meeting rooms, the staring out of the window while waiting for the kettle to boil moments (there’s always the dishwasher to unload!). Many of today’s participants spoke of the loss of these precious gaps and spaces that might have previously allowed for a restorative daydream or the holding of an empty mind. Moreover, it seems highly unlikely that key workers who continue to “go” to work have managed to preserve much of this space for themselves either.

But coming out of the session, I began to wonder if my own alphabetti spaghetti might offer a different route into the fertile void and a way of thinking about what it might actually signify for me. My eldest son is three and half, and has recently fully embraced imaginative play. I’ve been looking forward to this period since he was three and half months; now it’s here, and I’m not yet bored with Fireman Sam’s irrepressible need to call on both Thomas the Tank Engine and Postman Pat to assist with Norman’s injured ankle on the beach. The washing stays in the machine a little longer, the dishwasher doesn’t go on quite yet, I don’t insist we craft or suggest that firemen don’t usually perform first aid in the back of a delivery van; I sit and see what emerges from his on-fire imagination (and love every second of it). He plays, my 8 month old cackles at him, my mind rests, and I feel I’ve come home. 

Is the fertile void also a coming home to ourselves? A space we know, but need nudging to remember to find (as one participant commented so beautifully today)? And what does this mean when the very different kind of void – social – temporal – that the pandemic has gifted us coincides with desires to make big shifts and changes in one’s working life? I’m not sure, but in these times, while so many of us live-work at home, it seems imperative to me to find all possible ways of “coming home” to myself and, in doing so, find that zero point from which new sensations and stirrings may come to be noticed. Perhaps in this way the fallow period of Covid 19 can seed a season of growth. 

Fancy a chat? Book a virtual coffee call with our friendly team today!

Get started on your organisational development journey today with the help of our friendly experts. We’d love to meet you for a quick cuppa and see how we can help you. Just click the button to get going!
Book your call with us today
Be first to hear about our free events and resources!

We're based in the South East of the UK and work globally.

Quick Links
Connect with us on LinkedIn

© Copyright 2024 Mayvin | Site by Bozboz

pushpin