On January 27th, I attended Pure Performance by George Mumford, a mindfulness and performance expert. Despite the event beginning with a video montage of Mumford giving televised interviews, speeches and other professional settings, his entire lecture was unplanned. He repeatedly stated that he doesn’t plan his speeches and lets “the moment” dictate where the conversation will go. He started the night guiding the full Ukrop auditorium through breathing exercises and then spoke in a storytelling manner for about forty-five minutes. His overall message was to be loving to one another and several of his mantras were rooted in religion such as, “Be still, and know…” and seeing “self in other, other in self”.
He did not use a presentation, which at times made it difficult to follow along, but my favorite part of the event was the Q&A. This is where his wisdom and expertise shined, and where I learned to think of the world around me in different ways. For example, a student asked for advice on how college students can be kinder to themselves and Mumford responded by saying, “Treat yourself the way you treat others…realize you’re a masterpiece…believe who you want to be (i.e. generous, patient) is who you already are.” In the end, I felt it was a refreshing message given the state of the campus community and appreciated his emphasis on how we should treat others.