THE ART OF COLLABORATION
Collaborations that don’t work are all around us. Here in the U.S. we have only to look at congress and our politicians to see an inability to collaborate brought to its highest and most inactive level. When people can’t collaborate, nothing much gets done and it is frustrating for all. At its worst, you see the dysfunctional family on the national stage.
So why is collaboration important? Because you don’t really accomplish anything on your own. If you are married and have children then you are in a collaboration of family principles, child-rearing rules and shared goals. If not . . . well you don’t need a crystal ball to see where parents who can’t collaborate with each other end up!
Today’s technology offers all sorts of tools that promise to help you collaborate and social media is one of those collaborative tools as long as you recognize the same personal boundaries as you would when collaborating with someone in person. It can all go horribly wrong as you see on the news on a regular basis.
Collaborating well requires good boundaries – ones that recognize and honor each person’s space and limits. It also requires leaving behind rigid ideas of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and the need to be the voice that everyone else listens to. A good collaboration challenges any one set of ideas and challenges you to grow and expand through seeing things through another’s point of view.
If done well, collaborations yield results greater than those that could be achieved by the single individual. If not done well, they become the old joke about a horse designed by a committee – legs over here, head over there and the finished product impossible to figure out.
I would like you to think about the most important of collaborations – the one you have with your higher mind (your higher soul self). This collaboration is the one that helps you create the life you most deeply want to have. In order to make the most of collaborating with the deep wisdom of your higher self here are three tips:
1) Be honest with yourself. Honesty is a necessary part of good collaboration in order for real work to happen. And that is especially true when you collaborate with spirit and your soul self. You need to own your shadow as well as your light if you want to realize the life you desire.
2) Honor your boundaries and limits – set aside time to connect with the deep wisdom within – for any collaboration to work you must devote time to it and make it a priority in your life.
3) Be open to inspiration. Look around you – find inspiration in the ordinary and extraordinary. Keep asking for guidance – it is there for you just waiting for you to receive. Inspiration triggers the flashes of creativity that elevate collaborations to new levels of genius and transformation.
Think about all the ways you collaborate at work and at home. Think about whether or not you are allowing time to collaborate with your beautiful soul-self. Take some time each day for that most precious dialogue.
A writer needs to master the art of collaboration in order to be successful. As a writer you may need to collaborate with editors, illustrators, publishers, agents, beta readers, film companies, journalists and many more. So embrace collaboration as a beautiful adjunct to your work. Make it an art!
Cathleen O' Connor
Writer, speaker, teacher, coach and intuitive.