Numerous are metaphors instructing us to unite for outcomes both lofty and anchored ~
Many hands make light work.
Two heads are better than one.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Reaching oceanic depths and Himalayan heights only happens with linked arms, minds, and legs. Consider the top headlines from 2011 - Arab Spring, the Wisconsin public employee protests, Occupy Wall Street...collective uprisings that reveal discontent and not so dormant frustrations at the state of our present realities.
While I'm not carrying a placard or camping in Zuccotti Park, I am participating as an agent of change. I believe many of us are transforming the world as we contribute our talents, skills, and passions more fully along the spectrum of our potential. For some, that means consciously raising children to be kind, loving, and curious. For others, it's sharing expertise as teachers, public safety officers, business owners, or blue collar workers.
For me, it's writing...developing my voice...discovering what's meaningful and essential and building that into lifelong, sustainable revenue streams. I've plunged head first into the creative class.
I believe that the more of us who come alive and come together collaboratively will allow a just society to bloom and prosper. The smaller the better, for now, so that we can truly see and hear each other...in order to understand what's meaningful and essential to us, our families, and our communities - and what's not acceptable anymore.
After decades of conveying what was not wholly mine (not necessarily a bad thing if the environment is wisely chosen) or either reflexively reacting to other perspectives or swallowing my own point of view, I'm learning to listen more deeply instead. What's tricky is I'm formulating ideas of my own and giving voice to them - maybe my most courageous act so far. Yet, sometimes these two dynamics are at odds: curiosity for what lies within another versus what lies within me. I'm not always successful with navigational balance. Ah, the joys of toddling...
Yes, it's all about listening...and gathering. Co-creating community. Organizing a like-minded alliance to support our individual efforts.
I had the good fortune recently to attend a few gatherings of changemakers: one, a Marianne Williamson-inspired spiritual powwow, another, a combination TED talk / dance party / professional women's conference. The most intimate happened around a Brooklyn dining room table, over a lovingly prepared meal. Four of us shared our growing ventures and their inherent challenges, and we gained valuable insight ~ in the spirit of those opening metaphors.
1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = Mini Mastermind.
What do you get when you mix a kick-ass red-carpet photographer, a heart-centered personal trainer, a radically optimistic writer, and a hands-on healer steeped in both spiritual and academic methodologies? A base camp of golden insight with a view of grand peaks. Care for a crampon? Here's a few takeaways to grab an entrepreneurial foothold of your own:
1. Invest with your competitors occasionally. See how they're doing what they're doing. You'll learn something new, keep an eye towards new ideas and trends, and most especially, you'll feel better about YOUR work - because no one ROCKS it like you do!
2. When your guiding force is to help others, becoming a financially healthy business or organization allows you to continue providing value for your clients and customers. Charge what you're worth. This may be the most responsible action we can take for the work we believe in. "Sustainability" is not just an overused mainstream ploy - it's LIFE.
3. When we're in tune with our deepest passions, we are a tidal wave of power, enthusiasm, and magnetism. This makes us irresistible to people, and our future prospects. This is soul-centered marketing, when we're just being our fabulous selves!
4. Social media is your friend. It's permission marketing at it's most widespread, it can be fun, and...it's free. Use it to promote your good work in the world, and to support those who are, too. Reciprocity rules!
5. Set daily, weekly, and longer term intentions. Do it out loud, preferably within a support network. Follow up with actionable steps and a timeline. Be very specific.
However you're engaged with making the world a better place, know that millions are doing just the same, in diverse and convergent directions. In gratitude for the collective energy & wisdom, I'd love if you shared one of your mindful masteries below. I KNOW you've a gem or three in your pack.
See you at base camp!