The Jigsaw of Collaboration

In my last blog I wrote about how I am finding that the best place for me to be in life is in my heart.  I discovered that by living in the heart I find more peace, centeredness, clarity, harmony and flow in life and that I worry less and, actually, achieve my goals more easily.

Today I wish to add that for me “living in and from the heart” does not mean sitting in meditation for hours at a time, it does not mean letting anyone walk all over me and it does not require me living on a mountain top isolated from the rest of the humanity.  Infact, living from the heart is an extremely practical, and necessary, way of being in today’s world.

From one perspective modern life is only possible because we rely upon the good will and kindness of so many other people.  Personally, I don’t know how to fix my car or washing machine, I haven’t got the space, time or skills to grow all the food that I eat, I can’t even sew or make clothes, I have no idea how to produce electricity or build a safe house to live in – for all this, and so much more, I rely on the knowledge and expertise of others.

We can even go one step further, based on the Kindness of Others Meditation I learnt whilst living and studying Tibetan Buddhism at The Bodhisattva Centre in Hove, which states that regardless of their motivation and the fact that I may pay for these services my reality is that I depend upon and benefit hugely from the contribution others play in my life.  Although, much of our culture prompts the image of the independent individual the truth is a polar opposite we are totally an interdependent collective! This belief has the potential to turn the way we treat and interact on its head as we understand we are all part of the same jigsaw.

One way I experience this is through an observed shift from the “dog eat dog” style of doing business, where our step up the ladder to success means treading on the heads of someone else, to a much more supportive and encouraging (perhaps more feminine) way of conducting our business relationships.  I have never worked in the corporate world, so can’t talk from experience, as I was not drawn to, what I saw as, high powered, long houred, slightly soulless and competitive way of approaching work and life.

However, recently I begun to establish my own business and I am so delighted to report that this is happening at the same time there is a rapid increase in viewing collaboration as an important and even vital way in creating success.  In 2013 The Harvard Business Review published an article entitled “Collaboration is the New Competiveness” and in 2015 Forbes discussed “Why the Ability to Collaborate Is the New Competitive Advantage”, thus indicating an understanding that cooperation can bring greater benefits to the parties involved then when working solely for their own interests.

Of course, in intellectual and academic fields I am sure this is an issue of huge debate but at the grass roots level here in Brighton what I see is a rise in initiatives, projects and groups that advocate and utilise the principles of collaboration and mutual support.  Promoting Brighton & Hove Business Woman, Brighton & Hove Stressbusters, Hub for Female Entrepreneurs, Branch at Jane’s Place, Inspiring Talks and Pamper Day for the Soul just to name a few of the excellent ones I am aware of.

There is clearly a growing number of us who wish to live and work from the heart.  And whilst recognising the challenges of working in collaboration (just goggle the phrase “challenges of working in collaboration” and to find a long list) we obviously feel the rewards of creating healthy, enriching, soulful, successful lives and businesses whilst communicating authentically, negotiating compassionately and making decisions through tuning into what feels good is worth those challenges.  We realise we are all an essential part of the puzzle with something of value to contribute.

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