Last night we kicked off our first networking event of the year with a refreshingly interactive talk on Mindfulness. Led by guest speaker Juliet Adams, a professional coach who trains leaders across the country – not least the Houses of Parliament – we learnt how mindfulness can help us to manage pain, make smarter business decisions, and become more effective leaders. In a room full of decision makers from across the charity sector, it was no surprise that the event was one of our best attended yet with over 60 people turning up to hear Juliet speak. Hosted by Brown’s in Leicester Square, the talk got started after an initial 45 minutes to give everyone a chance to enjoy their free drink and get to know each other. Juliet made clear from the beginning that she wanted her talk to be as interactive as possible and just moments after introducing herself, she set us our first exercise of the night. The audience, half of whom were sat on the floor, made themselves comfortable as they followed Juliet’s instructions to clear their minds and focus on a single thought. Over the course of the evening, they learnt how to concentrate their minds solely on the sensations experienced by each individual part of their body from their big toe up to their lips and nostrils. In between the exercises, we were treated to an in depth history of mindfulness from its origins in ancient meditation techniques to its modern applications, particularly in mental health with Mindfulness based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy recommended as the treatment of choice for depression by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Juliet also spoke at length about its relevance to the modern workplace, taking us through several different studies that demonstrated the link between what she called ‘meta-cognition’ and improved decision making. After another hour of drinks and chatting, the evening eventually drew to the close. Asking our departing punters what they thought of the evening, almost everyone reported feeling relaxed yet invigorated. We were also heartened to see how well everyone got on with each other, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for our first-timers, many of whom had come along because they were considering or embarking on a career in the charity sector. All in all, a great night and we’re looking forward to doing it all again with our next networking event taking place on Wednesday 25th February where we will be learning all about storytelling through video. Meanwhile you can find out about all our other upcoming events between now and then, including our expert panel on finding a job in the digital age, our first CV workshop of the year, and a how to guide to fundraising, right here. What is I Am all about? What do we do? We love connecting people in charities, social enterprises and not-for-profits to learn, share knowledge, make meaningful connections and find jobs! We organise regular social networking and learning events and help people find jobs through our recruitment services. Looking for work? Check out our vacancies here. Keep in touch. The best way to reach us is on LinkedIn or twitter@theiamgroup. You can subscribe to our mailing list and blog here (and if you’re interested in writing a guest blog post for us get in touch). Visit our website here.