Recent Events & Articles (Our blog)


  • Three things the Olympics taught us about life

    Every year, the world goes all atwitter over an international sports event.  This year, it’s the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.  Suddenly, sports most of us rarely give thought to are in the forefront.  We find ourselves becoming sudden fans of bobsledding, figure skating, and skiing.

    As fraught with sensationalism, drama, and heartbreak as these events may be, they have a lot to teach us about life.  Similarly, these are also lessons I’ve learned over the years as a drummer and drum circle facilitator.

    Trust and authenticity are absolutely paramount.

    Did you see Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s gold medal-winning ice dance routine?  Even if you’re not a fan of ice dance, you can’t help but be captivated by their charisma and energy on the ice.

    I can’t even imagine the level of trust required for this type of event; you’re literally putting your life in someone else’s hands day in and day out.

    Do you want to be seen as trustworthy in your line of business?  People trust you when they know you, and people do business with those they trust.

    The best way to be trustworthy?  Be you – unequivocally you.  When you’re your authentic self, and you highlight your strengths (and accept your weaknesses), people will get to know and trust the real you.

    I know that as a facilitator, my strengths are my extensive music and dance background, as well as my energy and playfulness.  When I play to those strengths when facilitating a session, I know people will see the real me, and trust me to guide them through a memorable and valuable experience.

    Repetition, repetition, repetition.  Repeat.

    As a musician and a drum circle facilitator, I’m familiar with the concept of practice makes perfect.  Just as Olympic athletes need to run a course or routine (or simply a specific component) over and over again, we musicians need to develop a similar type of muscle memory when playing.

    Guess what? It comes in handy in other instances, too.

    Giving a presentation?  Better make sure you know your speech, your slides, and even your dramatic pauses backward and forward.

    Getting a certification to bump up your pay grade?  The more you go over the material with study groups and practice exams, the more confident you’ll be on exam day.

    Humans are creatures of habit.  Once we establish a nice flow state, we tend to notice that things are a little less stressful.

    How you communicate may be the difference between success and failure.

    As I watched the Olympic events that rely on teams and partners, I often wondered about how well those teams communicated among themselves.

    From the first Nigerian women’s bobsled team to the Knierim-Knierim figure skating pair who failed to medal but won the hearts of Americans, it’s clear that communication is key when you rely on each other to get the job done.  Whether that job is lifting a skater through a series of flips and catches, or working with a team to complete a project for a client, how well you communicate with each other determines your level of success.

    When I facilitate rhythm events, I introduce simple methods of non-verbal communication, first between the participants and me, and then among the participants themselves.  As the facilitator, my job is to introduce these simple tools, encourage the participants to recognize them, and then further, encourage them to utilize them with each other during the drumming.

    Typically, a breakdown in this communication means a breakdown on the rhythm.  When the tools work, we sound better, and we’re more in tune with each other’s strength and challenges – and better able to support the group.

    To sum it up

    So, thanks, Olympics.  Thanks for reminding us every other year that we need to get off our you-know-what’s and make a difference in our lives – whether it’s athletic or work-related.  Thanks for highlighting those skills and disciplines that we need to hone so we can excel, and to nudge ourselves to be our very best.

    Want to learn how to utilize rhythm to help your organization or team function at its best?  Get in touch with us!

    Curious about rhythm and how it can help you relax and re-focus?  Check out our upcoming events in Jax.

  • Corporate wellness programs – better health equals better bottom line

    Companies are turning to corporate wellness programs to improve their employees’ health as well as their own bottom line.  It’s a win-win situation, and the cycle feeds itself – when employees are healthy and happy, their productivity goes up, which means reducing turnover costs for the company, and potentially earning them more money.

    Corporate wellness research

    Edelman Intelligence did a meta-analysis of corporate studies in 2016.  As reported in Natural Awakenings’ January 2018 edition:  “corporate wellness programs are linked to a 25% reduction in absenteeism and sick leave, 25% reduction in health costs and 32% reduction in workers compensation and disability costs.”

    Some areas of focus in the study included:

    • mental and physical benefits of meditation
    • “digital detox” from everyday technologies, including a “Be Unplugged” optional program at the Quincy Hotel in Washington, D.C.
    • adult play and re-discovering your inner child
    • the concept of food as medicine
    • being well where you are, including things like hotel yoga classes and airport farmer’s markets

    You can read more about it here.

    Drumming to unplug and discover your inner child

    Corporate drum circles and rhythm-based events are now not only for team-building, but also encouraging personal wellness.  Drumming is a natural way to get people to unplug, because you can’t hold your phone while playing a drum (and you most certainly can’t talk on a phone over the joyful noise of the drumming).  Also, drumming provides such a mental workout that your brain naturally puts aside those anxious or scattered thoughts and to-do lists, and focuses on the task at hand (pun intended).

     

    Additionally, drumming is a great way to bring out your inner child.  Forget “adult coloring books;” drumming fosters creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and stress reduction all in a single session.  Research shows that weekly or regular group empowerment drumming sessions provide these benefits in the long-term.  One study conducted by Remo HealthRHYTHMS(R) even concluded that regular sessions boosted immunity by increasing natural killer (NK) cell activity (just as they sound – cells able to bind to certain virus-infected cells and kill them).

    How implement it

    Companies can implement drumming programs in a variety of ways, including:

    • weekly stress reduction drumming sessions after work
    • daily or weekly lunchtime programs
    • monthly workshops focused on certain topics – reducing stress, improving communication, finding more joy and intent in daily life
    • one-time or regular team-building sessions for certain departments
    • one-time or multi-session change management workshops during a challenging transition
    • a workshop at a conference other large event

    Let’s get started!

    Whatever way you feel is best for your company’s employees and culture, we’ll help you implement it with ease and purpose.  Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation!

  • Team-building and personal growth at Rethreaded

    “I’d like to get my own drum and do it, because it really, really…I don’t know what it did, but it did something in me, and I never expected that.” – Rethreaded participant on personal growth experience

    New beginnings.  Exciting career paths.  Gorgeous, quality, and fair trade merchandise.  I’m describing, of course, Rethreaded, where we recently led a team-building and personal growth workshop.

    About Rethreaded

    If you’re not familiar with Rethreaded in Jacksonville, you should be.  Their mission is “to unravel the effects of the sex trade by fighting business with business on a global and local level.”  They provide “safe, viable, and dignity-giving work to survivors of the sex trade allowing them to be who they were created to be.”

    What we did

    Our workshop of about 20 women focused not only on building and reinforcing unity (of which they already had much), but also encouraging personal growth.  Some participants remarked that they felt gently nudged to step out of their comfort zones, with the knowledge that their team was there to support them.

    Participants took turns standing in the middle of the drum circle, leading and listening.  They made up their own rhythms.  Then they partnered up to discuss their key takeaways.

    Most importantly, they never stopped supporting each other.

    Check out some additional photos below taken by talented photographer Mary Atwood!

    “It wasn’t just me personally that made the sounds, it took a group.  It took all of us to make this beautiful sound.” – Rethreaded participant on team-building experience

    To learn about our corporate social responsibility opportunities, contact us.

     

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