The Journal

by (re)vision society

Beginning the day with a Brainstorm Breakfast

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Beginning the day with a Brainstorm

Breakfast

 

“We need enlightenment, not just individually but collectively, to save the planet. We need to awaken ourselves. We need to practice mindfulness if we want to have a future, if we want to save ourselves and the planet.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

Last week we hosted a Brainstorm Breakfast in collaboration with our friend Lauren Yates of Ponytail Journal.   As part of the idea of building a (re)vision society, we wanted to begin the first of what we hope will be a series of Brainstorm Breakfast events in collaboration with creative people who have forward-thinking ideas to make change in our world.

Starting off gently like most (re)vision projects, we took a step-by-step approach putting our heads together with Lauren to co-host Brainstorm Breakfast #1 in our kitchen at (re)vision society HQ (aka Frank and my house in London fields). The goal? To bring food and “food for thought” to the table. To discuss sustainability and mindfulness and to share with other people from different backgrounds a moment, and an approach to making the time for mindful meals in our lives.

The idea came about for the topic one day when I was scrambling to tie my shoelaces whilst spooning mouthfuls of smoothie bowl down my throat on the way out the door.

Smack bang in the middle of multi-tasking, consciousness kicked in. As a team as well as individually we are constantly trying to make an effort to be more present in this fast-paced world and aware of our impact on it. It’s a journey – one we constantly have to take a step back and be in check with. It got us thinking how interconnected mindfulness and the path to sustainability really is.   

Mindfulness is a practice of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment. It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much, always onto the next thing. But paying more attention to the present moment in our own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around us can improve not only our mental wellbeing but potentially have a knock on effect on the environment around us by influencing the way we make individual decisions. If we are constantly checking in with those thoughts and feelings in an almost observational way we suddenly start to see more clearly the bigger picture, sparked from an inward attention.

2-brainstorm-breakfast-1-revision-ponytail-7013 Good and Proper Tea brewing and Coleman Coffee beans crafted in a creamy cappuccino by Frank

If we are more mindful and conscious of the sensations that surround making a meal as well as eating and sharing it, then it is hard for it not to have a ripple effect on our choices regarding sustainability as a whole. When we are more conscious of what we put into our bodies we shape our decisions around this. Having gratitude for what’s in a meal connects us to the ingredients – to nature and all the elements and people who made it possible for us to have that food in front of us. It creates a connection.

                                                                                                                                                                                             

So what we are saying is, whilst mindfulness helps connect us to the present, it also connects us in a greater sense with the elements that made the present actually possible.

Since we all begin our day with breakfast (unless you are skipping it then we advise otherwise folks) it seemed a fitting place to start our round the table discussion with the aim of cultivating change in our daily lives and ultimately the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                             

3-brainstorm-breakfast-1-revision-ponytail6946Setting the table with Momo’s vintage crockery

Whilst Brainstorm Breakfast #1 officially kicked off at 9.30am on the day with us all sitting down to share a moment and a meal, it truthfully began when we commenced carefully making decisions about what we would serve. We reached out to our friend Momo who runs her meticulously curated store Momosan Shop just a hop skip and a jump down the road from us. Momo offered to contribute her beautiful vintage crockery for the meal. She also connected us with some great local producers – Alex from Today Bread who delivered warm fresh bread to our door by bicycle on the day; Lillie from London Borough of Jam from whom we sourced preserves crafted from seasonal fruits sourced in the UK and Europe; local coffee maestro Jack of Coleman Coffee Roasters who supplied the caffeine fix; and a real proper brew made from responsibly harvested and crafted tea by Emilie and her crew at Good and Proper Tea Co.

We scoured our stockpile of rescued materials to handstitch versatile napkins out of left-over fabric from luxury production each hand-stamped with rescue numbers which we wanted to gift to everyone to take away as a memory, a gentle reminder for each of us to stay mindful. 

On the morning bright and early Lauren whipped up a taste of home with her incredibly delicious classic black sticky rice with salted coconut milk (recipe here minus the mango) and we contributed to the table spread Kale and Pear Smoothie Bowls topped with homemade Granola the way my mum makes (recipes available here on The Journal).

 

 

4-brainstorm-breakfast-1-revision-ponytail-6980Seasonal fruit jam crafted with natural unrefined sugars and hints of unexpected herbs by London Borough of Jam

 

 

5-brainstorm-breakfast-1-revision-ponytail7002Today Bread’s Scrumptious Sourdough  

With laughter and light-heartedness, conversation commenced with the custom of introductions, and we realised how easy it is to fall into the pattern of social norms, the rituals of asking about what we do for work in life and filling space between mouthfuls with words. We joked about some of the haphazardly clumsy moments which in the most organic and serendipitous way brought to our attention how easy it is to be unmindful when we are in the midst of living. When the subject of sustainability started we talked about waste and how it being out-of-sight-out-of-mind can have negative effects on our culture.  We touched on the little tasks that we all could do everyday to contribute towards our planet – Maria from Suitcase Magazine told us about how she picks up rubbish on some of the most beautiful beaches she visits around the world simply because she feels it’s the right thing to do. 

As part of the concept of our Brainstorm Breakfast series we want to always have a “takeaway” (yes pun intended), a call to action to let the ideas ripple beyond the table. Lauren wanted to run by everyone her idea of a campaign to stop people using plastic straws unnecessarily and posed it to the minds at the table. It was unanimous “go-strawless” seemed like the perfect strapline! We can’t wait to see what she comes up with in the coming weeks and support the action, we hope you will too.

 

6-revision-society-offcut-napkin-7015Versatile offcut napkins hand-sttiched for each guest to takeaway

Everyday we set ourselves the mission of incorporating more mindfulness and sustainable  practices into our lives. It’s a journey, one we certainly don’t have all the road maps to but that doesn’t stop us contributing to something we believe is worth investing in; each other and this place we call home.

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Alongside Lauren, we invited our guests to share a meal and share their minds. Gratitude goes out to Maria from Suitcase Magazine, Garek Druss, Amy of Denim Dudes and Momo for being a part of our Brainstorm Breakfast #1.

If you are interested in more on mindfulness you may also enjoy reading Getting Some Headspace.

 

Written by Stacey Cotter Maniere

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