Is singing the new exercise?

No matter what type of work you’re doing, finding a “like” community can help you accomplish more and have more fun with what you’re doing.

In Daniel Pink’s book, When, he writes about the benefits of choral singing – a unique kind of community. If you’ve ever sung with a group, you know how it lifts your spirit even more than singing solo. “Happy” countries, like the Netherlands, have regular gatherings where everyone sings. And I think group singing is why so many of us love theater – both participating in it and being part of the audience.

It’s not a stretch to think that singing makes you feel good. But check out the other benefits Pink lists for choral singing: Continue reading

Stay humble. Stay grateful.

As you may remember, a couple of weeks ago,¬†I wrote about how important it is to take breaks and how hard it is for me to take a break. And if you saw my post from last week, you know that my refusal to take a break resulting in the¬†Universe knocking me flat with a broken ankle. Won’t take a break? How about a nice, quiet week in bed?

I’m going to take a risk here and admit that as bad as I am at taking breaks, I’m also terrible about asking for help. I love being efficient and independent. I’m the one who is here to help you! You do not need to help me.

Except that I’m in a cast for 8 weeks and can’t drive!

Here are my organizational lessons, and lessons in humility, from the past two weeks: Continue reading

When the Universe grants your wishes

As you may recall, I did a post a couple of weeks ago talking about how important it is to take breaks, and how terrible I am at it. I ended the post vowing to try to take breaks during the day. I went another week and did not make any progress.

So you know what the Universe did?

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New business goal: Make the workplace great for the workers

I spoke at a “Lean” conference on Friday. Lean is a way of doing business where you do everything you can to run a business efficiently while still deeply respecting the people you work with. You’re making improvements that may help the bottom line, but your focus is on creating a better workspace. This conference was a great fit for me!

The last speaker was my favorite. His name is Kevin Hancock. He’s the President of a huge lumber company here in Maine, Hancock Lumber. As you can probably tell from the name of the company, he is family – 4th generation. What was fascinating about Kevin’s talk is that he hardly has any voice. He suffers from a rare ailment that makes his throat spasm when he talks. He’s been dealing with this for a couple of years, and while it was painful in a way to listen to him, he assured us it doesn’t cause him pain – it’s just hard for him to communicate. Continue reading

Mind the Gap

I love when I’m traveling in England and the government courteously reminds me to “mind the gap” when exiting a train or subway.

As a life-philosophy, you also want to “mind the gap” between what you say and what you do. When you meditate or spend quiet time with yourself, it’s easy to think kind, generous thoughts. To feel connected to the earth. And to will the energy of the Universe to allow you to do your best work.

But if you’re cross when someone crosses you, or immediately feel disconnected when things don’t go your way, then it’s time to mind a gap in your life. If someone crosses you and you snap, practice stepping back mentally from the scene and sending that person loving kindness for whatever is going on with them. And see yourself from a distance, like a loving angel, and think, “That poor girl! I wonder what made her cross?” It takes practice to be non-judgmental with the world and with yourself but what a nice practice it is.

If you struggle with this, here are four things that may help you close the gap. Continue reading

“Mind your business”

When you “mind your business,” you’re doing a couple of really important things.

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Picturing your space

As I get to work in our yard and gardens, I’m reminded how calming it is to get your hands in the dirt, to actually get “grounded.” Being outside in a garden touches on most of your senses – from the feel of the dirt in your hands, to the look of freshly trimmed perennials, to the smell of cut grass and early spring flowers, to the sound of surrounding birds. It’s a whole-body experience.

If you’ve never gardened, even a small flower box or barrel planter will give you the taste of setting a plan, purchasing what you need, and creating something beautiful.

AND if you don’t have room outside or know you don’t have time to keep up even a small garden, how about creating a paper one inside? Continue reading