I have been running Online Origami Workshops now for over 2 years and have been so suprised and satisfied to see how effective they are to bring teams together virtually from all over the world – here are a 5 things I often hear from participants as to why they work so well – some of them might suprise you!
1) “I didn’t think about anything else for the whole hour!”
This is one of the most common comments I get, and it thrills me every time!
We live in what’s known as an “Attention Economy” where every second it seems someone else is vying for our attention – a recent study suggests that the average adult’s attention span is now less than 8 seconds, which is less than that of a Goldfish! Not good news! (ed, turns out this study was a bit of myth! See the debunking here!)
I love that for the 60 mins of the session I can engage with people to the extent that they don’t think about work, family, other commitments, etc. They are simply engaged in the moment, in the “here and now” – a process that is known to reduce stress and promote a healthier lifestyle.
And do you know what’s magic about taking a break from work?
When we get back after a break, it’s often the case that the subconscious has had an opportunity to sort things out “under the hood”, and things often flow so much easier than before. A creative break honestly can move things forward in quite an incredible way!
2) “I feel so Zen!”
I am no Buddhist, let alone a Zen monk, and while I do practice mindfulness in one form, I do not spend hours a day meditating; it’s often hard to find the time in today’s busy lifestyle.
And yet, in these Online Origami Workshops people honestly come away feeling so relaxed! I always focus the sessions on those who have never folded paper before (it’s meant to be fun!) and remind people that there’s zero shame in asking for a hand (a digital one at least!) if things aren’t working.
It thrills me even after over two years to think that in some strange way my workshops help people to feel more relaxed and hopefully go back into their work and family lives with something of that sense of calm.
3) “I tried Origami before and it was so hard, but you made it so easy and fun”
Another classic comment I hear regularly! And I know why!
I’ve been doing Origami since I was 6, and so have grown up with Origami notation in books so origami diagrams never really phase me – in fact, they were an early introduction to the Japanese language too which has become another interest of mine.
But they can be confusing and cryptic, and to be honest, YouTube videos are often not that much better – you certainly can’t ask YouTube for help halfway through!
In the models I teach, I know the danger points where things can go wrong, so participants rarely if ever, don’t manage to complete the models! I love that some people even come away from the sessions with “a brand new hobby!”
4) “My Origami heart has been on my desk for 6 months now!”
This made me happy to hear! I have a little special feature with the heart I teach in the sessions, and it is also a custom model with an incorporated stand so it can pop on the desk, and from some of the comments I get, there it stays!
It can act as a reminder to take a moment for yourself, or to think of a friend, or to remember the workshop, or just as a moment to raise a slight smile during a busy day – all really valuable things to help us relax and make life that little easier and softer.
5) “I never get to make anything physical anymore so this was great!”
The final of our 5 comments for this blog post is something I am very passionate about – in today’s world it’s very easy for all our work to be computer-based, or at the very least, brain-based!
Yet we must be physical and use our bodies as well as our brains. Of course, we now have yoga and people are very aware of the importance of physical well-being alongside more cerebral work, but I love that in the Online Origami workshops, in the middle of the day, people get an opportunity to create something they can touch, hold and even give to another!
Even those in creative jobs and roles can still find themself glued to Photoshop or Illustrator, and so the opportunity even for creative people to make something physical often comes as a very welcome break!
So that sums up today’s blog of 5 comments I regularly hear in my workshops. Do drop us an email if you have any thoughts or feedback – love to hear how you experience creativity in your life!