Making Space: Love is rising in Ashton-on-Makerfield

Teamwork makes the dream work. Installing a public display of affection in the storefront window of Making Space. A box of love notes and pens on the exterior with an invitation for all to participate.

July 12, 2018 I joined Making Space and Wellbeing Teams in Ashton-on-Makerfield in England for a day long workshop talking about cultivating compassion at work. I presented on thirteen ways love notes have been used in work spaces. We then shared a potluck meal, a ritual the Wellbeing Teams use during their recruitment days and staff retreats to cultivate community.  Following lunch, we all worked together to install a public love note writing display, inviting all the passersby from Ashton-on-Makerfield to participate, and an altar of love notes inside the office building for staff members to share their highlights and lowlights.  In the afternoon, Emily McArdle from Wellbeing Teams presented about the numerous ways they have integrated compassion into their organization – from recruitment, to client care, to staff retention.  We concluded with deep conversations around the facilitators and barriers to integrating love and compassion into our work. We challenged each other. We changed our minds.  Finally, we each made a commitment to a personal change we will make moving forward, wrote these commitments on LoveYou2 postcards that will be mailed out to each participant in a month.

The lead up to this event included a virtual 30 day love note writing campaign, #30LoveNotes,  aimed at increasing our interactions with our family and community.  This build up allowed us to more deeply explore during the workshop how we interact in the workplace and what compassionate leadership might look like.

This event was masterminded by the inspiring Helen Sanderson, founder of Wellbeing Teams.  The week before the event she sat down with Making Spaces Executive Director of Human Resources Phill Orton to talk about his experience with the #30LoveNotes campaign.  Their conversation is worth a listen – both vulnerable and actionable.  Helen created a video following the event summarizing the ripples of compassion.

A few days following the event, I saw this beauty on Twitter:

Indeed, love is rising.

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