Upstairs at the Unley Hotel is an airy rooftop bar. The natural light lends itself well to tasks that demand close vision and hand-to-eye co-ordination. Last Sunday (December 9), my two left thumbs and I found ourselves fumbling with a slender needle with a tiny eye and some fiddly thread, attempting to embroider around four letters of a most politically incorrect nature, commonly known as the C-word.
It was an exercise in mindfulness. By focussing on a manual task demanding patience and precision, my wife and I found ourselves engaging in interesting and mutually helpful dialogue, peppered with advice on navigating cyberspace, with similarly occupied people around us. It was an activity dreamt up by Sips and Giggles founder Cheree Taylor. With afternoon snacks and a nice jug of Pimms, we had a very agreeable time.
Cheree is a switched-on advocate of mindfulness, the practice of engaging in constructive tasks as a way of relaxing the mind, having fun and – as a result – easing the 21st-century stress from our minds and muscles. Cheree dreams up activities like this and they are surprisingly effective. Watch out for her Fringe events: learning to swear and mastering seduction … in French.
Cheree's LinkedIn page sums up her somewhat related and innovative work with Young Catalysts, where she uses mindfulness and positivity as a part of innovative ongoing training designed to develop secondary student leaders. The science of well-being in this pressurised age cannot be dismissed lightly. Well-being can be taught to the young and the not-o-young, often via seemingly unrelated activities. A pleasant Sunday embroidering naughty words led to connections and possible new friendships.
Cheree Taylor's Sips and Giggles uses fun and a healthy disregard for political correctness to promote positivity. It gets a thumbs up from me, despite my two left thumbs.