Throughout this course, wicked problems of industrial practice, there were many goals. One of the main was to think about wicked problems in a compassionate, understanding, and curious way. Now, as we have reached the end of the course, I have seen changes in my life intellectually, emotionally, and even somatically. One thing that had greatly affected all of these changes was the practice of mindfulness. It is interesting to look back on and reflect on how I used to understand wicked problems to how I do now.
The practice of mindfulness was one thing that helped me think about wicked problems in a compassionate way. Just like how I mentioned in my previous blog, I was very timid about mindfulness at first. This was mainly because I found myself being easily distracted and not willing to push through at the start in order to see the benefits. Bedsides doing yoga occasionally another thing I would do to focus and practice mindfulness was just quiet time in nature. I actually first started doing this not too long ago on a fall retreat with my Bible study. In the morning we had thirty minutes to either walk or sit outside and observe nature, pray, and do devotionals. I found this so beneficial for me. After a while of doing this I would feel peace and all my worries would go away. This is similar to what I felt in class when we would do ten minutes of mindfulness at the beginning of class. However, with this, I felt more grounded and less distracted than in class. I mainly think this was because I was outside. Now, In the morning usually, I have also found that reading scripture and meditating on that throughout the day also keeps me at peace in the same way mindfulness does.
Intellectually, I have seen changes in my life in the way I think about wicked problems. I have become more understanding of others and more willing to hear what they have to say. This is because my mind is more open as I have become more aware that everyone around me has different point of views, especially in the way they may have grown up. Being with nature really clears my hear and ultimately makes my views more willing to expand.
In an emotional way too, I have changed the way I think about wicked problems. By practicing mindfulness, mostly in nature now, it has really made me more vulnerable. Just as I mentioned in my last blog, I have always had a hard time opening up to people and saw being vulnerable, especially with emotions as a weakness. However, after a long time of reflecting, people who are emotionally vulnerable are the people I want to be more like. Nonetheless, after mindfulness it did make me more compassionate and feel empathy toward people and their views on wicked problems. This helped me learn wicked problems better too as I could see all sides of a problem or solution.
Somatically, I have also seen changes. This year, during school especially, I have been finding myself getting extremely overwhelmed. Because of this, my body’s response now is to go outside and clear my head with some form of mindfulness or just a walk. This is just one way in how its shaping my initial response physically. I also have more of a call to action to talk to other people about what is going on in my head. I feel like the action of talking to someone about what you are feeling is a huge stress reliever. By practicing different forms of mindfulness, it makes me want to share with others how it is changing me, especially in how I feel in my body. This is because another thing that I have seen and reflected on is the amount of energy I have. After a session of mindfulness, even the ones in class, I feel rejuvenated and have a lot more energy physically I noticed.
Another thing mindfulness did was help me have humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems. I used to find myself in class often times judging others’ opinions that were not my own. I also learned how to respond to them in a compassionate way. This included getting my point across but empathetic toward other responses. Mindfulness taught me how to put aside my own thoughts and have a compassionate response to others’ proposed solutions to wicked problems.
Considering my experience in this course, I can see how I have and will continue to create a positive change in my circle of influence. After having changes in my mind, heart, and body, I have seen myself reach out to more people. It has almost become a chain reaction from mindfulness to my response. I have had a few people I have told about this class and how we practice mindfulness, and how I even do it on my own. These people in my circle of influence become so intrigued and I have even started teaching them about mindfulness. For instance, one of my roommates one day was extra tired from just an overwhelming amount of schoolwork. I told her that one thing that helps keep me energized is practicing mindfulness. She was immediately intrigued, and I told her one thing I do was go outside and have quiet time with nature. She then went on a peaceful walk and the next day did more research on mindfulness. This is just one way that mindfulness caused a change in my mind, heart, and then therefore caused a response for me to reach out into my circle on influence. Along with this, I have not visited home yet this school year, but when I do, I can definitely see myself telling my family about this practice. Because of this, I have seen mindfulness become apart of the way I think, even beyond wicked problems.
Overall, this class and mindfulness has really changed my way of life, even in just a short eight weeks. I can already see how I will use this in the near future in a positive way. To begin there were many goals of this course. One of the main ones being to have a compassionate curiosity to the ways in which one understands a wicked problem. I saw this affect me intellectually, emotionally, and somatically. Another goal was to develop humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems. At first my progress towards these goals was slow to start but eventually became more natural. When I started to practice mindfulness regularly, that is whenever I started to see these changes. Moreover, because of my experience in this course with mindfulness and discussing wicked problems, I am now able to create positive change in my circle of influence. Even though it was hard at the start, I found a wat that works for me and now I can share that compassionately with others. Understanding wicked problems and being compassionate to others and there responses was most certainly not easy. However, with mindfulness and tools given to us throughout the class, I have now changed my way of thinking and am excited to share that with others beyond this course.