We have been experimenting with new curriculum meant to help workshop participants see how self care could have a ripple effect to family or work team members, community, and culture.
In a recent workshop, we asked participants to first think about different care giving activities that could do for themselves or for those they love.
Ideas included exercise, baking more, asking more open-ended questions, or stopping by a friends for a spontaneous visit.
We then asked people to consider how those individual actions might impact their families or their teams.
People mentioned things like improved appreciation across the team, less relational stress, greater happiness. We then asked people to consider how this would impact their larger community and the culture around care. We tried to have people really focus on tangible effects and then they drew lines showing direct “ripples” from individual to collective action.
A ripple effect noted above, for example is that if you show appreciation (write more thank you notes), you will inspire a culture of encouragement; this cultural change will drive a greater sense of influence, happiness and impact amongst peers that would then positively impact family and friends.
Expanding Our Capacity
One of the main components of our Mapping Ourselves workshops is to expand our capacity to care for ourselves and each other. We do this by helping people to see all that they do in their lives. Just as important as recognizing how we spend our energy, these visualization tools help people gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the relationships they have in different parts of their lives.
With sight, we can act. We can recognize the people we can lean on, we can modify the way we want to spend our time, we can deepen certain relationships – and we can let go of others. With more understanding of our ecosystems, we can step more firmly into our power to positively impact our own and others’ lives.
By designing an exercise like this, we are trying to show in hypothetical or real ways, how small individual actions can absolutely impact the greater whole of a community, a work team, or a family.