Tight deadlines. Never-ending emails. Back-to-back meetings. Squeezing into the Tube during rush hour. Beeping smartphones with notifications that never stop. Frantic news headlines proclaiming the end of civilisation as we know it. Added pressures at home—like caring for kids, sick pets and elderly parents. Every day, you face a constant barrage of stress. Hour by hour, the stress adds up, and the consequences are serious. Rather than ignoring the problem, take action to avoid burnout.
Notice your life
This is an invitation to stop rushing, to move through the day a bit differently, and to reclaim time and headspace for the priorities that really matter. In this course, I share the myriad benefits of slow, unplugged, mindful walking—a simple daily practice that can transformed your whole life. If every city-dweller took a mindful walk once a day—even for just ten or 20 minutes—marriages could be saved, sales of prescription anti-depressants would plummet, millions of scrunched shoulders would unclench… our entire world would change.
One step at a time
This a course, too, about the life-changing power of curiosity. When you begin to explore your city with fresh, curious eyes, it changes every aspect of your life. You begin saying “hello” to neighbours that you’ve never greeted before. You remember creative dreams and ambitions that you pushed aside long ago. You start noticing your life instead of just rushing through it. Surprising connections and synchronicities materialise. Even your daily commute feels magical instead of mundane. The transformation is profound.
Who is this for?
A stressed, exhausted corporate ladder climber or freelancer who checks her email first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and who can’t remember the last time she left her home without her phone in hand. A frazzled mum or dad who hasn’t had a full night’s rest in goodness only knows how long, and whose daily routine (carpool, groceries, laundry, dinner, TV, Facebook, bedtime) has become unbearably monotonous. A lifelong city-dweller who is fantasising about moving to a deserted island because urban living is beginning to feel oppressive, exhausting, and repetitive.
Anyone who is curious about mindfulness and meditation, but who doesn’t necessarily feel drawn to the “typical” modalities—like sitting cross-legged on a cushion on the floor, or chanting in a yoga studio. Really, this is a short, manageable course for anyone who feels stressed, discombobulated and overwhelmed by metropolitan life. Anyone who craves more time and headspace to focus on the priorities that truly matter. Anyone who wants to fall back in love with their city, create healthy new habits, and thrive.
What you’ll learn:
- find out what “mindfulness” actually means, and how mindfulness can shift your mood and boost your creativity and productivity (without throwing your computer into the bin or meditate on top of a mountain!).
- cultivate your curiosity
- learn about the creativity-boosting power of walking, the art of dawdling and the joy of getting lost
- enjoy prompts and quests to ignite your imagination and hone your powers of noticing
- discover how to create a more balanced relationship with technology, so that technology becomes a helpful tool, not a perpetual distraction and energy-drain
- explore how to listen to our intuition and reclaim time and headspace for the priorities that truly matter so that you can achieve more in less time, but without burning yourself into the ground
- hear yourself think, rediscover your street and re-write the future
- capture it all in your notebook. Simple creative and observational exercises such as word sketching, colour hunting and the alphabet game. No writing or artistic skill is required. Just your curiosity and openness to explore. You will feel inspired, re-energised, full of ideas. And you’ll appreciate the benefits of city walking to reconnect to your body and your dreams.
Registration Open Now
The three-week course starts on Monday 15 October 2018. Course includes:
- 15 lessons, stories or reflections delivered to your inbox each weekday morning in a short, manageable email with an invitation or prompt to help guide you through the rest of the day
- 5 worksheets
- 1 video per week with insights and thoughts on how to avoid burnout, become more present and make time for projects and work that matters
- 1 written, audio or video interview per week with an urbanite whose perspective will inspire you to reconnect to your body, mind and dreams
- 1 audio meditation
- 1 Urban Curiosity Walkshop guide in pdf format.
Scroll down for FAQs, praise from past participants and a note from me – the teacher.
duration: 3 weeks
location: In Your City!
What do you really want?
Curiosity unlocks your healthiest, happiest, most meaningful life, and taking a mindful walk through the city is one of the simplest ways to bring more of it into your day – trust me, I know. Hello, I’m Clare Barry. I’m a Londoner and the founder of Urban Curiosity. I describe myself as a “recovering overachiever.” I’ve always been ambitious and driven, always ready to schedule “one more meeting” or take on “one more project.” At one point in my career, I was so exhausted, frazzled, and out of balance, I wound up with an excruciating back injury that required weeks of sick leave and emergency surgery.
Post-surgery, my doctor recommended that I take a slow, gentle walk once a day. He told me that walking would reduce my pain levels and accelerate my recovery. With some skepticism, I followed his instructions. Each tentative step was painful. At first, moving at a snail’s pace felt awkward and annoying.
After just a few weeks, I noticed several profound shifts: my mind felt clearer. I could hear myself think. My stress levels dropped. I felt optimistic about the future for the first time in a long time.
Slow, mindful walking restored my health, and brought me the time and headspace to consider what I truly want out of life. Ultimately, I decided not to return to my fast-paced, hyper-demanding job. Instead, I took a leap of faith and reinvented myself as a full-time writer, speaker, and workshop leader. I began to create and lead Urban Curiosity Walkshops (aka: walking workshops) all around London, open to anyone who wanted to attend. You may not leave your job or move to a tiny village after taking this course. But you will give yourself the gift of space for thinking and reflection, for noticing the small ordinary details, enjoying every day wonder and feeling alive.
Let’s explore together!
Will Street Meditations help teach me how to meditate? No, not in the conventional sense. It will give you tools to welcome more peace and calm into your days.
What if I can’t keep up with the emails? No worries. Go at your own pace.
This course is supposed to help me get off my smartphone and out of my inbox but it’s an e-course! Many people want to attend an Urban Curiosity Walkshop or wish to delve further into the themes and lessons I teach on them. This e-course allows people living all over the world to participate. I encourage you to read the emails each morning and then get out into the world as you begin your day. Print them off or note down key things that emerge for you and allow them to guide your day.
I’m too busy to fit a walk into my schedule. Street Meditations will entice you to take a gentle stroll each day, if only around the block. If you drive everywhere or take public transport, then this course will help you, too. It’s about mindful movement and reflecting on how we spend our time, energy and attention. By the end of the course you might make different choices about how you schedule your days.
How much writing or drawing is required? As much or as little as you wish. And talent isn’t required. There are observational exercises, creative writing reflective practice and some doodling/sketching tasks to steer your attention BUT you can do what feels good and if you simply want to think about these instead of applying ink to paper, then that’s okay. If there is no attachment to the outcome being ‘good’, you’ll embrace how the process makes you feel (which is more valuable).
I learned such a lot in such a short time. The ‘sonder’ definition has really sparked something for me in a project I’m working on right now.
– Rachel Connor, novelist and senior lecturer in creative writing
The Urban Curiosity founder was far from the tie-dyed, dread-locked, ‘I spent one week in an Ashram’ mindfulness leader I had been expecting. She was an everyday Londoner, someone who had been there, done that and could talk to us without being condescending. ‘Mental health’ is still a scary phrase despite its obvious importance but the tips she gave us were easily applicable and relatable to everyday life.
– Faith Strickland, Design My Night
It felt empowering, like we were doing something novel with public space.
– Shireen Shaikh, lawyer
Really insightful and thought-provoking. I came away with lots of notes and tips to work on further.
– Ithaka, Australian in London