New ways of sharing the 16 guidelines
Sharing Wisdom
Sharing Wisdom

Building on the Basics community projects can often inspire new and creative ways of sharing the 16 guidelines with others. Here you can read two accounts of the most recent BoB graduates: one personal, another public.

Sharing the 16 Guidelines with my daughter
By Diana Wallace

I introduced the 16G to my daughter after my Building on the Basics group decided our community project would be to share the 16G with someone we know.

I chose to share them with her as I knew she was struggling with an issue at work and thought she might find them helpful. I first went through the wisdom themes with her and we talked about how she could use them in her daily life.

We then focused on the issue. She works for a large organisation that welcomes visitors to stately homes and grounds around the UK. One of the tasks allocated to her team is to talk about the history of the building to people arriving on coach tours. However, she had found ways of avoiding this task, and also had been less than supportive of her colleagues who were giving the talks. She also felt she was shrinking from the challenge and not developing her skills or experience.

Using the pre-framing and reframing approach we revisited the last opportunity she had to talk to a group and worked through her feelings, as well as the potential benefits to her relationships with work colleagues and the public if she had volunteered.

After doing this we talked about reframing and using opportunities the following week to volunteer in a positive way to give the talk to a coach party.

She chose a card to motivate her. It was service.

She set herself a challenge, and the following week when a coach party arrived she was the first to volunteer. Instead of seeing the 50 or more people in front of her as a frightening group she welcomed them as people who were worth investing her time in. After the talk people came up to her to thank her and tell her how informative it was.

As a result she felt that she had overcome her fear and lack of courage and extended her connection with people. She also stopped feeling guilty about not doing her fair share of this task and is now happy to do this and in fact really enjoys it now.

Personally I have kept the 16G alive by reciting the four wisdom themes on my walk to work each weekday. I use this time to walk mindfully and prepare myself for the day ahead by choosing a card before I arrive at work. This has helped me to deal with some difficult challenges at work and maintain compassion for others and myself.

The clear and structured framework has given me a robust toolkit to keep me grounded. When I feel I am struggling I go back to the card, breathe, and carry on with the wisdom themes uppermost in my mind. It's a very powerful, positive toolkit.

Wisdom Sweets: a small treat can go a long way when given with kindness
By Hillary Mc Michael


It took some courage and lots of patience to overcome the technical difficulties, but the joint French Building on the Basics groups managed to complete the eight weeks of the 16 Guidelines follow-up course online. It was all worth it is as the wisdom of the participants was invoked and they reported how using the 16G had really changed their thoughts, behavior and motivation.


As we reached the end of the course a clear plan emerged for the community project: Wisdom Sweets that would be distributed to family, friends and strangers. The ‘sweets’ were inspiring quotes on the 16 Guidelines, written on colourful paper, rolled up and held with a ribbon.

A basket full of wisdom quotes!

So off we each went with our baskets and started to distribute the sweets. We noticed how randomly receiving these inspirational ‘sweets’ encouraged long conversations around the themes of the quotes, or about how picking out that particular quote had brought light to a situation or to their day.

It was a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Some of the feedback received from BoB participants includes:

“I am in the middle of a bridge and I now know what direction to take: cross the bridge to Newness, a new start, a new place to live in 2017. Where? A happy surprise, maybe thanks to the 16G?!”

“Thank you for these sessions. Each one allowed me to become more and more present in my mind and daily life, and with practice I have noticed how the guideline for the week appears as soon as a situation comes up.”

“During a train trip I found the ‘courage’ (my card for the week) to offer a wisdom sweet to an unknown passenger. What has been more challenging is to offer them to members of my family. Certain people refused them, but I was ok with it (phew !). That is proof that the journey with the 16G and the BoB has been respectful of my rhythm.”