The notion of balance is an elusive one which we all pursue and yet, are constantly renegotiating. Every aspect of our lives requires balance but none is more innately personal than the balance of our body and mind. BERNIE CURRAN reminded us that ancient principles aren’t necessarily outdated, GERRY BOBSIEN spoke of the pleasure to be found while drowning, literally and metaphorically, DAVID LUBANS urged us to consider Dora the Explorer as a positive role model and THE NAKED RUNNERS suggested we all strip down to basics.
Inaugurating TEDx Newy‘s stage was BERNIE CURRAN, Executive Officer for the University of Newcastle Foundation, who spoke about the Greek ideal “Kalos kai agathos” and its relevance to our modern lives. Literally translated as “beautiful and good”, this ethos promotes the notion of “a healthy mind in a healthy body.”
Highlights from BERNIE CURRAN:
– In order to experience what it means to be Human, we need balance, nourishing both body and mind equally.
– “Some of the most significant ideas come in the midst of exercise,” when our minds are free to wander and our bodies feel the most alive.
– In Ancient Greece, the Gymnasium (very much like the Merewether Baths) was a place to get naked and exercise, as well as to discuss the matters of the people, congregate, educate and socialize. The matters of the mind and the body were inextricably linked.
– Every morning, Bernie Curran and other Novocastrians meet at the Merewether Baths for their daily exercise routines. One 86 year old Chinese lady warms up by doing the splits while a 95 year old man wishes he were still 90 when he could swim a few more laps.
GERRY BOBSIEN touched a nerve with anyone who has ever tried doing “his/her own thing”. People who work independently or change careers find themselves constantly ‘reinventing the wheel,’ learning things for the first time and making lots (and lots) of mistakes. Gerry, a writer and surfer, compares being a novice to the overwhelming feeling of drowning, and she loves it. She might even be a little addicted to it. Most importantly, Gerry is constantly in search of the right balance, between thinking and making, learning and doing, mental and physical. Sometimes, on top of the wave and sometimes, under.
Highlights from GERRY BOBSIEN:
– Gerry is pretty good at fly-fishing, surfing and writing. She has also worked as a communications manager, industrial blacksmith, curator, librarian and copywriter. As a result, she sees herself as a “qualified novice”.
– A novice has the “ability to take on new challenges, embrace risk and has developed a capacity for humiliation”.
– Being in a “constant state of learning” and the ability to embrace mistakes is the only way to move forward.
– Early in her career, Gerry found that she sought multiple interests rather than a single ‘specialty’. Her favorite working year was split evenly between working as an industrial blacksmith and a communications manager.
DORA THE EXPLORER is an underrated role-model and that is the idea DAVID LUBANS shared with us. Dora is constantly running, walking, jumping and eager to learn and help others. She demonstrates great resilience, she is not afraid of failure, will not give up until she succeeds and last but not least, she never waits for a man to come and save her. This is the kind of teenager David would like to see more often.
Highlights from DAVID LUBANS:
– Issues facing adolescent girls are physical inactivity and excessive screen time which contribute to low self-esteem and low resilience. Teenage girls are constantly bombarded with images of how they should look and behave. Women are portrayed as the weaker sex waiting to be saved by a stronger man.
– Physical activity declines by about 80% in girls during adolescent years.
– Excessive screen based recreation contributes to decreased fitness, higher body fat, lower academic achievement and lower self-esteem.
– Active transportation (riding a bike to school, walking), household rules regarding TV use, encouraging physical challenge & risk-taking, switching off from the world (TV, Facebook, Mobile phones) and face-to-face communication all have a positive impact on the development of teenagers.
I wasn’t able to take a lot of notes during THE NAKED RUNNERS‘ talk. First, we had to take our shoes off and stand up. Next thing we knew, 200 people were running barefoot in unison. By the time DAVE ROBERTSON and SILAS MOSS explained what “running naked” is all about, I didn’t really feel like taking notes anymore. If “ditch the distractions” is their motto, then I figured I would ditch the pen and just listen…naked.
Highlights from THE NAKED RUNNERS:
– Children run because it’s fun. They run with emotion, playfulness and exuberance. At some point in our lives, running stops being fun and becomes a chore for some or a long lost memory for others (that’s me).
– The modern runner, totally decked out with every possible gadget, expensive shoes and loud music to keep him going, is a “broken runner”.
– By “ditching the distractions” and “running naked”, our body and mind get a chance to reconnect.
– “Stop running, start running naked.”
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- TEDx Newy Reviews – Part 1 – SMALL Actions, BIG Changes. (interviewsaloud.com)
- Friday quick links: TEDx Newy (interviewsaloud.com)