Pocket Poem: Daring Enough to Finish by Rumi

seal-2469335_640

Daring Enough to Finish
By Rumi

Face that lights my face, you spin
intelligence into these particles

I am. Your wind shivers my tree.
My mouth tastes sweet with your name

in it. You make my dance daring enough
to finish. No more timidity! Let

fruit fall and wind turn my roots up
in the air, done with patient waiting.

(from The Glance, trans. Coleman Barks)

Posted in Pocket Poems | Leave a comment

Music Team Building Trivia Challenge

Play the Blues Team Building 00009
Here are some fun music trivia questions from our Name That Tune team building program! Scroll down to find out the answers.
The Questions
  1. What song did the FBI determine is unintelligible at any speed?
  2. In which Madonna song were her vocals pitched up to make her sound younger? (She was 26 at the time.)
  3. What song was written after the lead singer and his friend, Marty Jones, got drunk at a bar and were too chicken to talk to a couple of girls (before the lead singer was famous)?
  4. What is the name of the duo featuring the brother of Dan Seals, who was “England Dan” of England Dan and John Ford Coley? What was their most popular song?
  5. What song made Eminem want to give up rapping?
  6. What was the orginal song from which Sesame Street made a version called “(I Can’t Get No) Cooperation” about a school kid who couldn’t find anyone to play jump rope or seesaw with?
  7. What song was used in commercials for Bud Light beer in the 90s, featuring 4 guys dressed up as women to take advantage of a promotion at a bar?
  8. What song was inspired by the German singer Nina Hagen, when the lead singer of the band came across one of her jackets that he liked? She insisted he take it, explaining that giving stuff away creates good energy.
  9. What song did this band’s record company not want on their album because they thought it was too long and that no radio station would play it?
The Answers
  1. Louie Louie by the Kingsmen
  2. Borderline
  3. Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
  4. Seals and Crofts, Summer Breeze
  5. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
  6. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
  7. Ladies Night by Kool and the Gang
  8. Give It Away by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  9. Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s music team building activities:

Play the Blues – As featured on NPR and in The Meeting Professional 
Learn to play the blues harmonica in just two hours! Each team member will receive their own harmonica, a copy of Blues Harmonica for Beginners book and play-a-long CD. Within minutes you will be playing a real blues song together. The grand finale features your team as the stars performing an original blues song that you have created together!
Give the Kids Music – Learn to play and build musical instruments and then give the gift of music to underserved children.

Posted in Music, Play | Comments closed

Get small, get calm, get happy with a purpose pause

pink-roses-2533389_1280

If a problem, worry, or anxiety looms large, pause for a moment. Find a way to either tangibly savor something larger – take a walk in nature, talk to a loved one for example – or simply take this moment to fill yourself with appreciation for something bigger than yourself, wherever you are. Feel the larger space that is holding the current issue. Get right-sized.

Here are twelve ideas for you to get small, calm and happier. Pick one right now and try it.

  1. Nature
  2. Your breath
  3. Co-workers
  4. Family – mate and/or children
  5. Community – friends, neighbors
  6. Spirituality and religion
  7. Pets
  8. Meditation
  9. Big Time – geological time, glaciers, the time it takes for the stars to reflect the sun’s light, the time it takes for a tree to grow
  10. Realizing how often you’ve made it through something similar in the past
  11. Exercise
  12. Make something up

What usually helps you most? What will help you right now?

Posted in Purpose, Strengths | Comments closed

Quix Picks: Anne of Green Gables

Laura began reading this wonderful book from by Lucy Maud Montgomery out loud to me when we visited Prince Edward Island in July and we’ve continued into the fall. Each chapter contains one of the orphan girl Anne’s many misadventures as she tries to make her way in life on rural PEI at the turn of the nineteenth century. This deeply feeling book alternates between humor, empathy and gentle heart to bring you (and Anne) to a better place. If you can’t convince a loved one to read it to you, try to get it as an audio book.

Posted in Quix Picks | Comments closed

The Journey To and From Home

geese-2494952_640

“Sometimes it takes a journey to come home.” -Stephen Levine

Life can pull us away from the ‘home’ inside ourselves. The daily grind tends to keep us on one static level – roughly chest-high and above. The increasing speed of deadlines and demands, news, technology, advertising, traffic all seem to conspire to keep us hurtling faster through a cluttered life.

Journeys and vacations give us a way to cut through the increased complexity and speed, to slow down, enjoy simpler pleasures and reconnect with our internal home and source of energy and delight, what Yeats calls, “my deep heart’s core.”

“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” -Henry David Thoreau 

The next time you travel, either for vacation or work, you may wish to take the opportunity to travel lightly. Time away from a complex and often messy life is a wonderful opportunity to live more simply for a few days. This simplicity, this little oasis of emptiness, holds within it the promise of being ‘found’ again. Here is an opportunity to return to yourself, your truest desires, your playfulness, your quietness. This is definitely easier to begin when away from the office, the home, the clutter and clanging of everyday life. In fact, research has shown that you’re more effective at changing a bad habit if you change your external situation at the same time.

“You and me Sunday driving, not arriving, spending someone’s hard earned pay…we’re on our way home.” – from Two of Us by the Beatles

Simple, humble pleasures may be more likely to renew – quietly sitting and watching the waves as they break over the shoreline vs. paragliding then jet-skiing then going out to restaurant after restaurant then…you get the idea.

Stripping your day down to what’s most important to you both invigorates and eases the heart. You may find yourself focusing more on connecting with your spouse, your kids, your health (going for a walk or a swim or stretching on the beach), your mind (reading a book, writing in a journal), your heart (watching those waves and breathing with them).

On your journey to and from home you may find yourself revisiting both the bigger picture and the smaller. You may see with fresh eyes what few things are vital and enduring as well as what gifts are waiting to be opened right in this very moment.

You may notice more connection with the others around you, more time to notice sweetness and a clearer focus on you (and not in the self-loathing way).  This giving yourself the best, allowing yourself to be at your best gives you a touchstone to refer to when you’re back at home and allows you to give your best to everyone whose lives you touch.

And you may reintroduce a confidence that can come only when you are at the helm of your ship, when you are steering the course. And then you can say, just as Walt Whitman did, “Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me…henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing…strong and content I travel the open road.”

Posted in Persistence, Purpose | Comments closed

Get small, get calm, get happy with purpose

IMG_8798

Standing on the dock at night, I could hear, but not see, my friend Gabby returning on the paddleboard. My eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the darkness. We exchanged places and out I paddled.

No wind, the water was utterly still. It was Sunday night and late in the season, very few lights from houses along the shore and only night crickets sounding. Quiet, slow dip of paddle in the water. The strongest stars seen in the sky only. Out to the middle – and turning back to the west…over the hemlocks – a waxing crescent moon hanging bright and low in the sky.

I felt very small among all of this openness, all this space. And it felt great. Freeing.

Whatever background concerns or worries my mind might have been chewing on unnoticed slid away into the dark water. I felt in that moment ‘right sized’ – what the poet Mary Oliver calls, “your place in the family of things.” This is the power of purpose – an opportunity to get ‘right-sized’.

The links between self-absorption and depression are now well documented scientifically. But it’s not just depression. Dr. Leon Seltzer says, “From a variety of phobic, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive impairments, to many depressive disturbances (including bipolar disorder), to various addictions, to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and to most of the personality disorders, self-absorption can be seen as playing a major (if not dominant) role.”

When we’re anxiously peering in, each problem appears vast. What other size could it be? We aren’t able to get the benefit of connecting with something larger than ourselves to ‘right-size’. And we’re not able to give our best to a world that needs it so sorely now.

Instead, what we need most in moments of anxiety is space. Connecting with something larger provides that space.

I probably spent no more than 20 minutes out on the lake that night. Yet weeks later, I can immediately feel its calming, centering ‘rightness’ that helps temper my perspective even as I write these words. A small time investment, a huge payoff.

Here’s to you cutting through your background noise. And here’s to you finding the peace and connectedness that a right-sized perspective and larger space provides, right her, right now.

Posted in Purpose | Comments closed

Yoga Resources Part 3: Books and DVDs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yoga Books

Moving Toward Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga With Rodney Yee
by Rodney Yee with Nin Zolotow

Ashtanga Yoga – The Practice Manual
by David Swenson

Yoga the Iyengar Way
by Silva, Mira and Shyam Mehta

Awakening the Spine
by Vonda Scaravelli

Yoga Anatomy
by Leslie Kaminoff

Light on Yoga
by BKS Iyengar

Yoga DVDs 

We recommend Rodney Yee DVDs. Look through this list and pick one or two that strike your fancy. They’re available at Amazon.com or his website www.yeeyoga.com. We especially like Energy Balance Yoga, Intermediate Yoga, Yoga Burn, and the Hip-opening segment on the Advanced Yoga DVD.

Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners

Yoga Burn DVD

AM/PM Yoga DVD

Back Care Yoga for Beginners DVD

Intermediate Yoga DVD

Power Yoga Strength and Flexibility

Power Yoga Total body Workout DVD

Power Yoga: Flexibility

Yoga Conditioning for Athletes DVD

Abs Yoga for Beginners DVD

Strength Building Yoga DVD

Power Yoga: Strength DVD

Power Yoga: Stamina

Back Care Yoga DVD

Energy Balance Yoga DVD

Family yoga DVD

Advanced Yoga With Rodney Yee two-disc DVD set

Sports Conditioning Mini Yoga Workouts DVD

 

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

Office Yoga – Learn simple techniques to stay productive at your desk or energize your off-site.

Posted in Passion, Persistence, Positive Psychology | Comments closed

Yoga Resources Part 2: Yoga Multi-Media

Yoga 00003

Yoga Multi-Media

We recommend developing a yoga home practice to fully experience the benefits of yoga. If you have an iPod, the best tool by far for developing your practice is Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman’s Yoga Club (www.gaiamyogaclub.com).

With this self-paced 12-week program, you receive a combination of nine online yoga videos and 63 podcast classes covering over 75 poses. At the beginning of each week, Rodney and Colleen introduce you to a category of yoga poses (forward bends, backbends, twists, inversions and more) with modifications for different levels, and sequencing principles for personalizing your own yoga program.

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

Office Yoga – Learn simple techniques to stay productive at your desk or energize your off-site.

Posted in Passion, Persistence, Positive Psychology | Comments closed

Yoga Resources Part 1: Yoga Classes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Yoga Classes

We are often asked about yoga and what kind of class to check out. There are literally thousands of iterations of what people call ‘yoga’ out there and some will be for you and some won’t. Here are two classic branches of yoga that we recommend:

Iyengar Yoga – Recommended if you’re starting your yoga path. The focus on proper form and technique will give you a solid grounding that will serve you for the rest of your life. It’s also recommended if you’re interested in going beyond just the physical benefits to explore the breath and balance in your life. Rob has moved through many interests in yoga but always returns to Iyengar-based yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga – Recommended if you’re extremely active already and want a challenging ‘yoga workout’. This set series of postures will especially help you to become leaner, stronger, and more flexible.

Email us the name/description of a class you’re thinking of taking if you’d like our perspective – info@quixoteconsulting.com

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

Office Yoga – Learn simple techniques to stay productive at your desk or energize your off-site.

Posted in Passion, Persistence, Positive Psychology | Comments closed

Questions for the Journey

seascape-2444029_1280

On your next journey you may wish to ask yourself these seven questions:

What would I like to quest for on this small journey?

What simple pleasures can I really allow in today?

What will help me recharge my batteries?

What will it take to soften a little bit more in the belly, to breathe more slowly, deeply and freely?

What will help me bring a sense of ease back into my day?

How can I be more fully alive and present to all the delights that are around me right now?

What will enable me to give my best when I return?

Posted in Happiness, Positive Psychology, Quix Tips | Comments closed