Here’s an idea to make your work more livable and vibrant: start every morning with a game of Sticks. I played Sticks every day with my colleagues on Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo, right after we sang a song together. Sticks made me happy, made me a better person and a much better colleague. It was the way the cast tuned up together and found the rhythm of the day. Sticks begins with a group of any size standing in a circle and about half as many sticks as you have people (four-foot pieces of dowel work well).
To start, everyone breathes together, getting centered. After that, the rules are simple:
- Throw your stick to anyone at any time,
- Catch any stick heading your way.
There is no talking. When a stick falls, the action stops and everyone breathes. It hurts to get hit with a stick coming out of your blind spot so you try not to have any blind spots.
When it’s going well, Sticks feels like a dream sequence in your favorite musical or the Golden State Warriors on an 18 – 0 run; it feels like every working team wants to feel. Sticks needs to be voluntary and inclusive so some groups will simply sing a song or do a line dance or breathe together. However you do it, try to tap into the age old power of moving together in rhythm, every morning.