Wellbeing Spaces for Acumen Fellows 2019

Welcome to the Wellbeing Spaces! On this page you will find activity details and resources related to each month’s wellbeing session. We are so glad you’re here.

View the invitation

July 10, 2021: Moving forward in reflection


Breakout #1: reflection in narrative

Narrate the story of your past 6 months to your group.

  • Acknowledging how covid has affected you
  • Including other aspects of life: moves, relationships, changes, work

Wellbeing does not always mean the absence of stress, or a simple experience of “feeling good”. It can be the contentedness and vitality that come when we live out our values, even in the midst of immense challenges.

Breakout #2: Noticing moments of wellbeing

  • What has wellbeing looked like for you in the midst of this year’s ups and downs?
  • What do you hope to take with you as you move forward?


June 12, 2021: Finding stability through the observing self


Part 1: Meditation

During our session, we did a meditation together. We have created a printable version of this meditation for you to read and use. 

Part 2: Reflection & Discussion

  1. Think back to the mountain. When the mountain has a period of really bad storms— monsoons, wildfires, avalanches— does that change its essential being? Is it not still the same mountain?
  2. If stress, pain, to-do lists, or even important thoughts and feelings didn’t define you… what would?  
  3. If the mountain knows it is still a mountain regardless of what storm hits it, does it feel as threatened by the storm? How does this knowledge impact your ability to live life in alignment with your values?


Ongoing Practice:

  1. Practice the mountain exercise and/or observing yourself across various points in time to increase your awareness of your observing self. 
  2. Whenever you start to notice thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations, ask yourself, “…and who is noticing that?”

May 8, 2021: Holding grief through crisis


Part 1: Naming

Review the examples of grief reactions in the pink box below. Then reflect with the group:

  • What are the reactions that I’ve been experiencing in this particularly stressful moment?
  • In what ways have I tried to deal with my reactions?


Part 2: Opening

Letting come and go: prompt for journaling and private reflection

  • What do I want to drop the internal struggle with?
  • What do I want to practice letting come and letting go?

Part 3: Orienting

Consider these prompts for group conversation:

  • When I look back, who do I want to have been at this time?
  • Imagine that you are in the wilderness; you have a compass, but not a map. What might be your true north?
  • What core value will guide you this week?

Part 4: Acting

In the midst of grief and crisis, our values can lead us do what matters— within our contexts, within our constraints. Reflect as you move forward beyond this space:

  • What’s my next right thing? Not the destination, not the result. Just the next meaningful step.
  • What step can I commit to taking even if my reactions don’t stop coming and going?

April 2nd, 2021: Leading and living while under pressure


Breakout #1: External pressures internalized

Discuss the following questions with your group. Help your group members reflect on their experiences.


  1. What is one recent source of external pressure for you when it comes to your work? It can be a system, structure, cultural norm, historical event, family member, colleague, boss, community, etc.
  2. When this external pressure feels particularly urgent or heavy, how does it affect the way you see yourself?
  3. See if you can create a statement that describes this self-story. For example, “I can’t fail” or “I am the only one who can do this.”

Breakout #2: When the self-concept doesn’t serve you


  1. Think about your current self-concept that is entangled with the pressures you face. In what ways has this internal pressure created a rigidity that has kept you from accessing your true self?
  2. For example, how has your self-concept affected your relationships, imagination, creativity or courage?

Breakout #3: Releasing internal pressure and freeing your true self


  1. Who would you be if you could release yourself from this self-story?
  2. Reflecting back on your values, how would you treat yourself and your work differently?
  3. What would you say to your fellow cohort members here in response to their self-stories?

March 6th, 2021: Making room for challenging experiences


Breakout #1: What is your unwelcome guest?

Discuss the following questions with your group. Help your group members reflect on their experiences.


  1. What is your unwelcome guest? What challenging thoughts and feelings have you been struggling to keep out of the party?
  2. How have you have tried to keep them from the party?
  3. How have your efforts to keep them from the party affected your own enjoyment or engagement in life and work?

Breakout #2: Letting your guest in


  1. What would it look like if you let the unwanted party guest in? 
  2. Imagine that you let in your guest for long enough that you are able to drop the struggle of wanting them gone. What might you be able to learn from your guest?

February 6, 2021: Creating values-driven spaces

Breakout #1: Listening exercise—what values do you hear expressed?

  1. Partner 1: Share a recent story or experience when you felt fully alive, passionate about something, or deeply connected to someone.
  2. Partner 2 and 3:  Listen to the story carefully. Identify 2-3 personal values you hear in the story. Why do you think it was meaningful?
  3. Switch roles— Partner 2 tells a story and Partner 1 and 3 listen. Then Partner 3 tells a story.
  4. Reflect on what you have heard from each other. Do the identified values resonate? What other values would you add to your own stories?


Breakout #2: Shared values definition and commitment

  • Prompt: Now that you have heard each other’s personal values, which values would you like to shape the wellbeing space? These can be the personal values you have already discussed, or new ones.
  • Identify 1-2 shared values that you both agree are important for this space. What do they mean to you?
  • Prepare a short description or definition of 1-2 values to share with the broader group.