According to mindfulness.org “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we're doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what's going on around us.”
However, this basic human ability is becoming less practiced as the technology we possess and the hectic lives we live have our minds and thoughts focused on the past and future rather than living in the moment.
For me, my journey toward practicing mindfulness began when I started feeling enormous amounts of anxiety in college. Between juggling academics, collegiate golf, and settling into a new town, I noticed I started feeling stretched thin. I had a sports psychologist but felt more of a pull to resting and taking better care of my mental health.
That’s when I was referred to Leigh by a family friend. Her official title is kind of funny because she’s in between an old friend and nurturing mother but has this magnetic mystical, warm energy. Half healer, some would say life coach but that’s kind of cliche. She was a social worker and in hospice care prior to opening Purposeful Living, her private practice of sound healing, discussion, meditation, and ritual. But in her entirety, she has taught me how to practice mindfulness. Leigh is pretty connected in the healer, yogi, and spiritual world - she knows people as far as Australia and Thailand. Her teachings revolve around the work of many life philosophers and other healers such as Eckart Tolle and Tara Brauch. It was when I found out I was moving to San Francisco in September 2021 that she mentioned a friend of hers who hosted a conference pertaining to mindfulness and technology in the workplace.
Wisdom 2.0 has been around for over 10 years and connects technology leaders with wisdom traditions to explore how we can live mindfully and wisely in modern life. Founded by Soren Gordhamer (the friend of Leigh’s), Wisdom 2.0 addresses the great challenge of our age: to not only live connected to one another through technology but to do so in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world.
Companies in attendance include Google, Ford, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and more to spread positive thought leadership and philosophy on technology. One of the keynote speakers this year was Tristan Harris, former Google Design Ethicist who stars in the Netflix Documentary “The Social Dilemma,” Tristan is a Stanford graduate who rose to fame when he realized the monetization of data and human attention by technology designers was having catastrophic impacts on the ways in which designers were creating technology: He has gone on to do several Ted Talks and help create the Center for Humane Technology.
My experience at the conference this year was highlighted though being a volunteer. I was fortunate to have meaningful conversations on multifaceted topics with experts in education, regeneration and climate, and spirituality. I also joined a roundtable discussion specifically for sales and marketing teams and ways to utilize mindfulness in our organizations. One of the biggest takeaways from the conference was first being able to join this community of authentic and hopeful people. When discussing hot issues like social media addiction and climate crisis, people can tend to be melancholy yet these people spread so much hope and offer actionable solutions. Second, being able to receive feedback and intrigue on Crosschq and how our solution is a technological means of understanding employees and being able to make meaningful decisions based upon people's insights was immensely rewarding.
Amber West, our in-house IO, and AE at Crosschq said it best in her Webinar with Data Scientist Josh Ruf, “Talent intelligence is a way to optimize people operations with the usage of a technology platform and the high need to understand your employees and candidates. The best way an organization can do that is through data and one of those ways to collect data means employee listening.”
In full, I feel grateful to be a part of an organization that is promoting the usage of meaningful technology and values employee learning, supports self-growth, and facilitates thought leadership and mindfulness in and out of the organization.
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