Read about what’s happening behind the scenes at Flow Circus including events, current projects, and human interest stories.
Coaching Session via Skype
Do you have a Flow Circus Skill Toy Kit at your company, college, camp, or library? What questions do you have about skill toys?
Last week, we had a Skill Toy Skype coaching session with teen librarians in Gaston County, NC. We brainstormed ideas for their upcoming Skill Toy Relay program, reviewed instruction for the diabolo, and demonstrated getting the top started.
We enjoyed the session so much that we want to do more! June 6-7 are open for us so if anyone wants to schedule a Skype session (or google hangout) with us and members of your team, email email@example.com with your preferred time on one of these dates. We'll try to fit in as many as we can.
RTI International Health Fair
Employees at RTI International learned new skills while refreshing mind and body at our Invigoration Station yesterday. As you might imagine, we don’t have the traditional health fair booth - people expect to see massage therapists and chiropractors, but not skill toys!
We love watching the initial reactions to our interactive station from “oh yay - this looks like fun” to the skeptical look of people wondering why there’s a table of “kid stuff” or those with the “I’m too uncoordinated” mindset. We quickly adapt our method of engagement to meet people where they are and help shift mindset when needed. For example, one RTI employee started out doubtful, but after playing with the kendama told me “Wow, I really had to focus on it which made me forget about everything else I was worrying about. I feel better now.” Success!
Grounded for Good: 5 Year Anniversary
November 2010, I successfully completed the Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. A year and a few months later and 5 years ago this month, we published Grounded for Good. It’s a story of a boy learning to juggle (of course!) More importantly, throughout the events in the story he develops a growth mindset and learns to see beyond the assumptions we often make about others.
Some of my favorite comments from people that have read it range from “I was up late last night because I couldn’t put it down” (from an adult) to a parent that told me reading it with their 5th grader lead to thoughtful conversations to this Amazon review from someone I don’t know:
"I gave this book a five star review. The reason I did was because this book portrayed emotion and how different people can be from others and get judged. Derek reminded me of myself. Everyone in my family loves to run, play or do something with a sport, even watch sports, but I prefer studying, reading, band, being in the woods, etc. I think you should make this into a movie. I will be your director when I get out of high school. Thank you for the privilege of reading your book."
We haven’t put a lot of energy into promoting the book, but happy to see it has still had an impact.
Leading to Well-Being Conference at GMU
We are thrilled to be partnering with George Mason University's Center for the Advancement of Well-Being for a third year. In addition to having worked with professors to create experiential learning opportunities in classes such as Foundations of Resilience and Well-Being, we will be engaging attendees at the annual Leading to Well-Being Conference being held on April 7, 2017.
The Flow Circus Invigoration Station provides conference attendees with an opportunity to get their blood flowing, battle conference fatigue, and engage in stress-free networking while embodying the conference theme of Building Resilient Organizations in a playful way.
Hope to see you there!
Gaping Void Meeting
We have been fans of Gaping Void and the artwork of Hugh MacLeod for years because they focus on themes such as culture, creativity, and connection. One of his prints hangs in our office inspiring us with: "Don't be the best in the world at what you do. Be the only one in the world who does what you do."
Last week, we had the opportunity to have coffee with Hugh and learn more about how he went from the NYC advertising world to blogging to co-founding a successful business with Jason Gorman. A main theme of our conversation was the importance of finding meaningful work.
We're looking forward to getting together with him again and teaching him how to juggle!
NC to Malawi
We're all about helping people step out of their daily routine to shift perspective and replenish. Although we prefer juggling and skill toys, there's lots of ways to step out of our comfort zones and foreign travel is a big one. My niece recently decided to spend the summer after her freshman year at UNC Wilmington participating in a service learning trip to Malawi.
Paul and I are on board to help her raise the funds she needs to get there this summer. We've helped her get a Go Fund Me page, Paul donated a performance, and we taught her how to twist balloons. I don’t know if she realized how many skills this project would teach her even before she leaves the country.
I can't wait to hear stories about her trip and see how she grows from the opportunity.
Interview with Erik & Sarah
Over the holidays, my cousin and his partner visited with their instruments providing Celtic music during lulls in Christmas present opening. A few days later, Erik and Sarah graciously offered their time to come back for a video shoot and interview with us. We wanted to learn more about their creative and collaborative process.
In Irish music, the fiddle player typically leads so when things get too far off track or a player loses their place, they look to the fiddle player for grounding. I thought that an interesting way to think about other collaborative projects: who's playing the lead and who's playing accompaniment? By defining that up front, it might clear up or eliminate derailment.
In this clip, they share more about practice and what learning music has taught them.