Living in San Francisco it’s easy to become ignorant to how the rest of the country thinks especially when talking about topics related to the mind, body, and spirit. We are lucky to live in a spiritual mecca but it can often be sheltering as well.
A few weeks ago was Wisdom Week in San Francisco. A whole week dedicated to Wisdom 2.0 activities across the Silicon Valley leading up to the largest Wisdom conference in the country. I attended Wisdom 2.0 for the first time last year in 2013, it was eye-opening. Not only did the speakers, break out sessions, and general audience blow my mind with brief conversations but I had never imagined a conference space could be so chill and inviting with a yoga room, a meditation room, dim lights, and still yet buzz with high energy and intellect.
Wisdom 2.0 made a “traditional” conference look behind the time. Bright fluorescent lights, sugary foods, and barely buzzing with excitement… ya no thinks.
This year I decided not to attend the main conference and instead explore the “Un conference” taking place at Google headquarters in Mountain View. I hadn’t ever been to an “un- conference” before and had no idea how it worked. Once again an eye- opening experience. There was no set agenda, rather the agenda was co-created by the 200 some attendees at 9am. All topics related to wisdom and mindfulness were accepted and then added to a 5 by 12 time grid and wah lah there you have your agenda for the day. 60 topics equally amazing and appealing. PLUS, a massage and meditation area (of course).
I posted about Wisdom Week on my facebook and twitter and shared stories with friends of the various “wisdom” activities going on in SF. As soon as I said the word they stopped me and asked “what does that mean?”
BEing in the Yoga/Mindfulness world it’s easy to assume that everyone knows these words I never stopped to wonder if the word held meaning in reality are they industry jargon? about the word truly understood what wisdom was (and for that matter if I truly understood it). It didn’t occur to me that I didn’t truly understand it either until a friend I was telling about wisdom week responded with “that sounds great, what does wisdom mean?” I knew her intention was not belittle me but rather to genuinely understand. I stumbled to find the appropriate words and piece together an acceptable explanation. But it got me wondering… What is wisdom? In the SF bubble I live in these words have become commonplace but have they lost their oomph? Is this a word people outside of the “woo woo” community, the other 99% of the world, use?
I set out to better understand what Wisdom means to the other 99% and posted a question to my Facebook community.
“What does WISDOM mean to you? Does the question leave you stumped or do you immediately get a sense of this word? I closely followed the Wisdom 2.0 conference a couple weeks back and shared stories with friends of the various “wisdom” activities going on in SF. As soon as I said the word they stopped me and asked “what does that mean?”. BEing in the Yoga/Mindfulness world it’s easy to assume that everyone knows these words but in reality are they industry jargon?