Jazz Living – Collaboration

Collaborations with Leah Skurdal

When have you collaborated on a project for a better result than you could do alone? Maybe something simple like pulling off a surprise birthday party for a loved one, singing in a choir, or playing an instrument in a music group. I experienced a rush of joy singing the Hallelujah Chorus in a hundred-voice choir. The collaboration created a magical result that gave me chills.

When has your participation in a collaborative effort given you chills?

This is an example of where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

When you bake a cake, for example, you have the individual ingredients of flour, butter, egg, milk, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. The individual parts each have a unique texture and flavor. Combine them together and you get a batter. Bake them together at 350 degrees and you get a cake. No heat, no cake. The interaction of the ingredients plus heat creates a synergy and a response that changes the texture and flavor of the ingredients to make something unique that wasn’t previously possible.

That’s similar to jazz musicians interacting. Each jazz player attunes their instrument to the greater good of the music. Players take turns stepping forward to improvise in the spotlight. By listening and responding to each other, they create a synergistic conversation through music which becomes better than any individual contribution.

Business Strategist and Jazz Pianist, Frank J. Barrett advises business leaders to take a lesson from jazz bands, “taking turns as leaders and supporters, just as great jazz leaders do.”

Barrett says, “This new era demands focusing on teams rather than individuals, encouraging ongoing learning and innovation rather than compliance to preordained plans.”

We can also apply five jazz principles to daily living and practice the Art of Jazz Living:

  • Find your rhythm—get present in your body.
  • Reconnect through your heart to your inner wisdom.
  • Listen for the groove and align with the highest good for all.
  • Share your voice as the best you’ve got to offer.
  • Step back and collaborate get curious, ask questions, and look for areas of shared experience to riff on.

In the complexity of real-world jazz living, we can create synergy and harmony through shared experience.

Our Wellness Universe collaboration on Resilience For Every Day: Tools, Tips & Exercises for Well-Being created something better than any one of us could have created alone. We looked at multiple aspects of resilience: intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual, and self-care.

We learned so much from the presenters in 90 minutes. Each speaker had their twelve minutes in the spotlight, then stepped back for another to shine. At the end, our Q & A panel members built on what each other said. Here’s a snippet:

  • Elizabeth Kipp gave us the science of resilience.
  • Lisa Charles shared the power of connecting through our hearts.
  • Jo Ann Wenner led us in a breathing exercise.
  • Ilene Dillon encouraged us to identify what our emotions are teaching us.
  • Janette Stuart offered us six simple, free, practical tools for self-care.

For me personally, some of my takeaways from Resilience for Every Day were:

  • Elizabeth explained resilience is not about “pushing through” but staying connected to others.
  • I want to show up and speak as passionately and heartfully as Lisa Charles!!
  • I heard Jo Ann say to “befriend my challenges as a reminder that I am alive.”
  • Ilene pointed out that feeling lonely is having more energy going out than coming in.
  • Janette shared the tip of swaddling in a shawl when I feel sad or overwhelmed.

Have you seen the Resilience for Everyday event yet?

Event Link: Here’s the event link to listen to the recording:

I invite you to contact me with your feedback. https://www.thewellnessuniverse.com/world-changers/leahskurdal/

What did you especially like about the event? Where can we improve next time?

This is the first of four quarterly resilience-building events. I’m already making plans to host the next event, Resilience for Harmony: Tools, Tips & Exercises for Well-Being, Saturday, September 10. 

Mark your calendar! I hope you can join us live for the next resilience-building event.

At our first resilience-building event each of the presenters gave away a free gift to all those who registered for the event.  And six lucky participants attending the live event won a signed copy of The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self-Care: 25 Tools for Stress Relief or 25 Tools for Achieve Anything. I wonder what freebies will be given away to live participants next time.

*Reference: Barrett, Frank J., Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz., p. xiii, p. xiv.

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