Today's blog in the #BeTheRippleBlogs series is a lovely piece from one of the Co-Founders of the #BeTheRipple movement, Jen Sullivan. The piece tells us how kindness is at the heart of the Working Out Loud program and serves as a fabulous announcement of the upcoming launch of our #BeTheRipple Working Out Loud program, which will commence on 8th September this year.
Jen is a learning and development professional and she is also a finalist for 'Student of the Year' in this year's CIPD People Management Awards. I was fortunate enough to have been her tutor.
You can find Jen on LinkedIn: Here and you can also find her on Twitter: @JJensullivan.
Over to Jen:
Kindness, at the Heart of Working Out Loud
I wrote this post originally for Mental Health Awareness Week, this year’s theme was Kindness.
Kindness is a funny thing, defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:
It’s easy to see why Kindness was this year’s theme, COVID-19 basically turned our world’s upside down, anxiety is high, even the most resilient are struggling.
It’s so easy to be unkind to yourself, being kind to yourself is a far harder skill to practice.
When I started to write about Working Out Loud (WOL) Circles I wasn’t thinking beyond the positive experience it’s had on my life. But on reflection, why it was so positive? Kindness, the method relies on it to work.
After seeing a post from Simon Fogg inviting people to join an upcoming circle I jumped at the chance to learn something new. Groups were formed by Simon and an introductory session was facilitated, we were then left to work together.
I can honestly say it’s been the biggest, positive surprise and an anchor during these uncertain times. I’ve made some great new friends, learned so much, and achieved the goal of getting my website up and running.
Stepper, J It relies on each participant being, friendly, generous, and considerate of each other. By definition it’s a kind program.
Stepper, J: Working Out Loud Circles
John Stepper has created a 12-week self-guided program for the group to work through, the weekly tasks are generic enough to be applicable to any goal but specific enough to make it achievable.
This was really apparent within my circle, some of us were working on personal goals, others on a specific task but the goals weren’t important part (All of us changed, tweaked, and re-evaluated our goals by the end of the program).
What was important was that at the end of 14 weeks all of us moved in a positive direction.
Yes, the program is 12 but we took breaks, we were kind to ourselves as COVID-19 hit and agreed as a group how to progress. It could have been easy to drop it all when the world stopped, but we didn’t, we just adapted to each other’s needs. Just one small example of the way this amazing group of women supported each other.
We shared ideas and expertise, never expecting a return on the information freely given, nor judging each other’s progress or adherence to the rules.
Just arriving talking and listening, with attention, and being kind to each other, and ourselves.
Openly admitting when we were off track, too exhausted to talk and worried about our changing lives.
We also laughed a lot!
Without the program, and without the kindness of the Circle, my website wouldn’t exist (https://jensullivan.co.uk/home/about/).
So to John Stepper for creating the program, Simon Fogg for inviting me to join and to my amazing Circle, for all the giggles, support, and most importantly for always showing true Kindness:
Thank you so much to Jen for sharing this lovely piece that tells of her own personal experience of the Working Out Loud program.
As Jen discusses, Working Out Loud is a fabulous program based on the core concept of kindness and #BeTheRipple is super-excited to be running the program with a launch date of 8th September 2020.
If this is something that you would like to find out more about and/or if you would like to take part in our program, please take a look at our website for further details: Here.
Thank you once again to Jen for sharing this lovely piece.
If you would like to submit a blog for this series, please send your work via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you all soon for the next blog post!
Have a great week and stay safe!
You can find PDFs of all blog pieces: