Building a Strong Core (Mission)

Many fitness experts would say that building a strong core is the first step in making maximal gains in strength. Many business experts might say the same --- that establishing a strong core mission is essential in setting up a company for growth.

In business, while you may be 100% sure of your mission out of the gates, it may take a little time for it to coalesce. The first year of a new business may provide new insight as you hone your model and understand the marketplace. In the first year of Wanderlust, we produced a large-scale festival that contained a big line-up of expensive musical artists and highly recognized wellness leaders and yoga teachers. After limping through our first event, we realized that the resonant part of our event was the yoga scene and all of its lifestyle components. The music was the desert to the meal. This was a great revelation for us and it also aligned with our own values personally.

A Middle Way for a Polarized Washington (via Huffington Post)

We’ve all seen what the dig-your-heels-in, stick-to-your-guns approach yields: extreme polarization, government shutdowns and legislative paralysis. Whatever your political inclination, the Nancy Pelosi / John Boehner congress where literally every vote (when there actually is a vote) is completely down party lines is failing us. Our government has become so dysfunctional that it cannot even make progress on critical issues where there is general consensus like immigration. The American people have expressed their dissatisfaction with congressional approval ratings hovering at 11%, but still extreme division prevails.

10 Ways to Build a Mindful Company (via Fast Company)

Wanderlust's core mission is to create community around mindful living: yoga, personal development, organics, sustainability and ethical consumption. Our festivals offer a wide variety of "mindful" experiences for attendees from yoga classes to meditation sessions, from nature activities to farm-to-table dining. 

Internally, Wanderlust is committed to building a  conscious company and culture that reflects and aligns with our mission and the experience we create for our guest. However, things like creating corporate retreats and providing the best 401k packages can be quite challenging while you're experiencing rapid growth and in mid-transition out of the bootstrap stage. In 2014, Wanderlust is expanding to 17 events around the world and we are all working long hours to meet the demands of growth.

Election Day with My Daughter (via Wanderlust)

On Tuesday, November 4, I took my daughter, Phoebe, with me to vote in Brooklyn, New York. Phoebe is 4 years old and has learned a lot about politics and American government this year – mostly through forced osmosis.

I’ve been voting in the sleepy basement of an elementary school in Brooklyn Heights for many years. At 9 AM, I figured we’d avoid the mad rush of voters. From blocks away, though, I was disabused of this notion. People of all sorts cascaded down the streets, fresh with the sheen of casting their vote.

As we turned the corner on Henry Street, there was an explosion of people. This little polling place was spilling over on to the street. There were lines splintering off in numerous directions, up various staircases and out into the playground. People ate donuts, sipped coffee and talked with great energy to one another.

Living in the Moment (via Wanderlust)

Last fall, I became assistant coach for the Purple Panthers, my 8-year-old daughter’s soccer team. I didn’t really intend to become a coach. I was just there every Saturday morning, often in the bitter cold, helping out, playing goalie, running drills and making jokes. After Hurricane Sandy hit, Robert, the head coach, spent a number of weekends at the Rockaways helping out and I took over the top job.

The Purple Panthers are part of GWYSL, an unwieldy acronym for Greenpoint Williamsburg Youth Soccer League, which holds weekly games at McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Lady Liberty must have cracked a smile from the other side of the river looking down at this portrait of America. The 8-member Panthers (Naire, Syncere, Madison, Zoe, Jocelyn, Tessa, Elizabeth and Phoebe) were of 5 different ethnicities and multiple neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Some odd mix of fate and American magnetism put these girls on the same field every Saturday running, yelling and working together to beat other equally diverse teams.

Wanderings V: Time (via Wanderlust)

I turn 40 (the new 30) tomorrow. And time is on my mind. 

I was in the Delray Beach Tennis Center waiting for my partner and on the coffee table lay a magazine called “Fabulous 40ties.” Never mind the questionable spelling, the cover was an assortment of vibrant pinks and oranges and a “mature” model – most likely actually in her 30’s – smiling at me as if to say, “it’s really not so bad, it’s just different.” Or “you’ve got such a good personality.” So, I picked it up and discovered that I’m not old, I am actually distinguished (and there are a plethora of spa vacation packages available to me). 

Wanderings IV: Vermont (via Wanderlust)

I would fish around in the bottom of my mother's purse for stray pennies and nickels until my brother and I each had a fistful. We'd cut through the back of the yard behind the tennis courts to get to the general store. Inside there were endless goldfish bowls filled with double bubble, pieces of fudge, swedish fish, smarties and every other imaginable candy. Everything was marked one cent or a nickel. We'd grab a little brown lunch bag, fill them up and bring them up to the register where we would spread all of our coins across the wooden bar. Miss Jacuzzi (we loved that her name was jacuzzi) would sit there with us and count every last penny. We'd sit on the sun-drenched porch and horse trade bubble gum the rest of the afternoon.

Wanderings III: WanderLaugh (via Wanderlust)

Yoga, organics, conscious consumerism, environmentalism, spirituality --- Wanderlust has a lot of idealistic underpinnings and we talk a lot about the mindful life and other “serious” topics. Sometimes we even forget that, at its essence, Wanderlust is a festival and it’s about having fun. So – from the home of highfalutin idealism also comes these inspired new festival experiences:

Beertan (noun: from Sanskrit/English) a call and response musical form sung with inspiration provided by large frosty pints of lager

Kareyogi (noun: from Japanese/Sanskrit) a mix of kirtan and kareoke where brave souls can channel their own Krishna Das over instrumental tracks (see also: beertan)

Wanderings II: Positive Thoughts (via Wanderlust)

In a relatively somber week that included losing the House to Tea Party extremists and a hacking cough I can't shake, I’ve decided to accentuate the positive. So let's hear it for California! The San Francisco Giants took home their first World Series crown since they left New York in 1957 (I credit Yoga Tree). On the political front, the California Dems pushed the CEOs back into the boardroom (where, unfortunately, they have more clout anyway). Senator Barbara Boxer defeated HP CEO Carla Fiorina and old Jerry Brown took out eBay mogul Meg Whitman giving the blue party one of their few governorship pick-ups. 

Wanderings I (via Wanderlust)

Before Wanderlust, chop wood carry water. After Wanderlust, chop wood carry water.

Thankfully, we truly enjoy the process of building and shaping the event. Otherwise, it would be quite irrational to work 361 days for the sake of four. I have a little sticky on my desktop of the Patabi Jois quote "practice, practice, practice." I've (deferentially) crossed it out partially to read "process, process, process." I suppose it's really the same thing.  

That's where we at Wanderlust HQ are right now --- deep in the process.