I went trampolining last Sunday. Trampolining? What’s that got to do with this blog I hear you say. Well quite a bit. I was at Trampoline Day, an unconference where people share ideas and come to learn from others. It was my first, and it won’t be my last.
I first learned about Trampoline a while ago. I think I’d heard about the first one happening (this one was the tenth), but I was too late to get a ticket. I’d no idea what I’d have shared back then, and so didn’t consider it again until earlier this year. I’d written a paper about my belonging to take to an academic conference and saw Trampoline was on the week before it this April. My thinking was that I’d try out some ideas from it to gain some confidence.
Despite buying a ticket, I crumbled. I failed to make it along, and stayed home to make some revisions to my paper. I was a bit disappointed in myself – that’s really not like me. I suppose the subject of what I wanted to share was difficult and I felt I’d probably leave myself vulnerable. The conference the following week went very well though. I gained the confidence I needed to discuss thoughts and feelings that came from deep within.
I was so inspired, I began to look more inwardly. I realised from writing the belonging paper, there’s a much deeper tale to tell. So I’ve been reflecting, pondering and jotting for the past six months or so. These are shaping into what I think may need to be a book. When I got an email a few weeks ago from the Trampoline team saying that there’d be another unconference this past Sunday, I signed up immediately. This time I was definitely going, and I had something I needed to share, to gain thoughts on whether this is a project I should take on, and how it could pan out.
So on Saturday I went through my jottings and re-scribbled them onto my blackboard to give me a clearer picture of what I’d share, and from which I put together a short film to show (and hopefully take the spotlight off of me for five minutes). Then at the eleventh hour I was filled with trepidation. I wasn’t sure I should go. It was only on waking Sunday morning I took a deep breath and knew I needed to do it. It was after all just a few blocks from home, and I knew there’d be people I know there.
Sure enough, As I crossed the road to the venue, Sarah from the Hub came bounding over. Then Juan passed us with fresh coffee, and inside at the sign up, I met Philippa. I’d made the right decision. There were some good people there.
Soon we were into the day’s proceedings. We were given a run down of the principles for the day and each began stepping up to take on a 30-minute session (three parallel sessions and eight time slots across the day). I thought I’d aim for a late morning slot but was beaten to them (although there was no obligation to take on a session; participation alone is cool). No worries; I’d try to get to the head of the cue at the post-lunch ‘step-up’. We broke and headed off to our first sessions.
The first session I attended was an invitation to play. We warmed up by jumping around like big kids and didn’t stop moving. It was awesome. I’ve not mucked around like that for quite sometime. It wasn’t just for fun though. We were learning too. I learned so much more about me, space and my embodiment. I felt so much freer, and I was set up to keep looking for fun through the day.
I then learned about space exploration and that so many people are doing it for themselves. It’s not just a NASA thing. My favourite session of the day though was with Graeme. He invited us to a group storytelling session. He kicked us off with an opening scene, a car chase. It was then up to us to take it wherever we wanted, each taking a scene, not necessarily in any order, and without any constraints. From a pretty dark car chase we discovered mafioso mice, Tony Abbott as life saver, and a dog in a cocktail dress. More fun. I was quite inspired. I loved that Graeme gave us permission to explore. Without rules we did, and nobody objected to where it went. We laughed a lot and our imaginations went off like fireworks.
After lunch I jumped up and got my slot. I was happy but a little worried again. I was about to share some ideas that no one else had heard. I’d learned from the morning though that everyone there was open to ideas, willing to explore, and keen to have some fun. My topic was a deep and could have been a little intense so I asked Jana to lead us in some yogic laughter after I’d given the initial introduction and passed my short film around the group. I found I got a lot of questions and some suggestions. It was something like what I’d hoped for. There certainly wasn’t anyone saying don’t do it. Sarah asked if this book was coming from here (points to head) or here (clenches fist at heart). It’s the latter. So I was told I should do it. After much discussion, Sonya asked me whether I was seeking permission to begin writing. I suppose I was, so said so. She quite rightly said I didn’t need to. The funniest thing about this is that permission is something I’ve always sought. It didn’t feature prominently in my jottings or blackboard scribbles though. It is something that needs to go in the book somewhere. Thank you Sonya.
So I got what I needed from the day and so much more. Trampoline day was heaps of fun. I got to play, share with and learn from a gathering of awesome people. Most immediately, I got some great ideas and plenty of encouragement to begin the book. A few people even commented on how much they appreciated my vulnerability in opening up such a difficult topic, but that I needed to. I’m not sure I’m yet ready to share the short film or anymore of the book here, but at some point I’ll blog about it. I’d like your thoughts on it too. As for the belonging paper, it’s in revision for a journal. I’m hoping it’ll be accepted and published early next year.
And why is the day called Trampoline? The team behind the concept were at a Trampoline ice cream stand when they came up with the event. I like the metaphor. It works. For me, the thought of bouncing ideas around invites the fun we all had. I can’t get to this week’s Sydney Trampoline Day but will look forward to the next one in Melbourne. Thanks to Pat, Mel, Aida, Steve and Caroline for a top banana event.