The environment to “Mindflick”, pig wrestle and fly…

This past week I travelled 3hrs north to a little place called Hathersage just outside of Sheffield. I worked with Dr Mark Bawden of Mindflick ( wrestling pigs. I have referenced this in the past as I read the book this summer and have worked briefly with Mark before, but what happened Wednesday was incredible.

The day job as you know, can be exhausting and I often find the whole pace of life excessive; commuting daily, running a department, being a mum, wife…finding time for myself, but thought that this was just life, for now. Mark has shown me how wrong I was.

Mark met me at the little village station and two minutes later we were in the ‘Barn’. A converted farm, Mindflick’s hub was the top of the barn with huge windows showing off the Derbyshire hills.

The ‘office‘ itself was spectacular but simple. Three distinct areas, the main being a huge worn leather sofa, and two matching armchairs separated by a small but very stylish coffee table and of course that view.

To my left was a tall, long white table surrounded by white boards on the wall, and to my right was a long rustic dining table, a bench and some lovely Eames chairs, and just the one computer.

There were little references to pig wrestling everywhere; from the solid brass pig paperweight to the framed pig pictures drawn by Mark’s children.

The warmth of welcome and homely feel to this workplace blew me away. There was music gently playing in the background and a little coffee maker to feed my city-base caffeine requirements. The lack of technology was a dream.

Mark sat me down in a large leather chair with a hot coffee, hobnobs and a view of the rolling countryside hills and so we talked and then started to wrestle my pig.

There was nothing technologically advanced in what Mark did, just simple mind unravelling. We started with my perceived problem at work and ‘cleaned’ it. Needless to say the problem evolved into something entirely different by the end of the day, but this ‘different’ problem was one I could easily see how to solve. First rule of pig wrestling (see previous blogs for link) is never to resurrect the pig, so I’ll leave it there, but I’ll tell you honestly, the day was an eye opener for so many fabulous reasons.

The environment we worked in really stuck with me. My head felt completely clear and free, and my vision for the future energised. All the plans I had for my team, I could now clearly see happening, thinking outside the box, releasing the bungee cords that for 12 months had restrained my thinking.

I left Mark at 5:30pm and travelled the long way back down south. I got home late and crawled into bed. I then had the worst nights sleep ever….. Waking at 2am full of ideas, bursting with opportunities. I got up, scrawled as much as I could then tried to get back to sleep.

The next day I had planned to work from home, to be free of the office hum of computers, phones, and general noise. I couldn’t face the office after such a mind freeing day. I needed it to continue.

(Not my office but not far off!)

It was freezing outside, so I lit the log burner, donned my leggings, a baggy jumper and my slippers, poured a massive coffee, lit a Christmas candle and put on my new favourite chill out album…Islands by Ludovico Einaudi….. I had found peace. (If you want to sample it Islands by Einaudi)

I managed to sit, plan, explore and prepare for the ‘day-job’ moving into 2018, for virtually a whole day. My mind was racing with ideas and the lack of emails and instant messages popping up, meant I could really focus and let my energy fly…. you should try it.

If you’ve a problem you have tried everything to fix you need to wrestle it. By escaping the noise I achieved more in two days than I ever thought possible.

So this Christmas think about your environment, make sure it suits you and brings out the best in you, give yourself a setting and surrounding that makes you happy.

Finally, thank you Mark you are amazing!