Never would I have imagined, not just eating but actually savouring and enjoying chocolate, as preparation for a new job. I’m not sure what I expected from the training, but let me tell you, it was not that.
26 Nov 2013
It was a bit of a ridiculous request, considering everyone in that room had already mastered effortless breathing, but we indulged the man with the horseshoe moustache. We wiggled our toes, to remind ourselves where we were. We breathed in through our noses and out through our mouths. We were de-stressed and grounded.
I was one of four attendees from the NOISE team and so “Be Your Best Self” was an excellent opportunity to meet the other interns, as well as other young people taking part in the scheme. It’s been a while since I’ve been in that kind of environment so perhaps it’s just me but when I was in school, breathing exercises were something often scoffed at. There was a comfort in the room, however and everyone seemed willing to take part.
So when Lee, our trainer, emptied a bag of Kit Kats onto the table, everyone jumped in. Never would I have imagined, not just eating but actually savouring and enjoying chocolate, as preparation for a new job. I’m not sure what I expected from the training, but let me tell you, it was not that.
So what was the point of this wonderful exercise? Well, to be present. To take a break and actually be fully invested in this wonderful little window of time where you’re thinking of nothing else. So we were slowly unwrapping the chocolate. We were smelling it and snapping it, eating it in pieces, perhaps letting it sit on our tongues for a while. My own method consisted of eating the chocolate around the wafer before working through each layer.
It wasn’t all O2 and chocolate, however. We broke ourselves down into our strengths and weaknesses. We figured out what we were to improve on – how far will we have come by the next training day? It was a helpful exercise, though requiring slightly more thinking than some of the other things we had done that day.
Then Lee passed around some “golden tickets”. We were to write where we would be and what we would be doing, if we had no limitations. I can honestly say that I had never thought about it before, but I knew as soon as he handed me the little slip of paper. I’m not sure how this exercise was supposed to benefit us, but I’m glad to have taken part. It gave me a little bit of focus, helped me realise what I actually want and more importantly, what I need to do to get it.
It was an unconventional day, that’s for sure. But I’ve been breathing ever since and I genuinely believe I’m better for it. I am thoroughly enjoying my internship and though some of this stuff is a little new to me, with my targets in mind, I haven’t allowed myself to freak out yet. So all in all, it was a super informative and beneficial day.
The Creative Employment Programme is an England-wide £15 million grant fund delivered by Creative & Cultural Skills using lottery funding from Arts Council England. The Manchester Creative Employment Programme, run by a consortium led by Manchester City Council, received additional funding from the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and other grants to support apprenticeships and jobs for young people.