We are all in relationships with others. Some days they may be powerful and uplifting on others they may be challenging and frustrating, and anywhere in between. One thing about true relationships is that they are multi-textured and demanding. Rarely do they flow in a straight line of ever-increasing positivity though of course, it’s lovely when they do? Another thing is that they demand a lot of us in the way we show up, in how aware we are of ourselves, our own patterns and mechanisms, and the degree to which we enter them with openness, vulnerability, and honesty.
If we examine our lives, I imagine we will see that we have a relatively small number of real relationships – those where we are ‘all in’.
Not in a romantic, heart-swooning way, but in a way that accesses a deep and profound level of love. Love that is willing to see and be seen, to understand and accept, and to give endlessly, not in the doormat sense but in the intentionally unconditional sense.
If we think about entering into these types of relationships in the workplace, the prospect often becomes even more challenging if not scary. Culturally, organisations seem not to be set up to cultivate openness, vulnerability, and deep transparency between people. The metaphorical ‘armour’ finds its place instead. We play a role. We find a level of connection that is just enough to smooth the way of the transaction and getting things done.
My belief though is that by settling at these more superficial levels of relationship in organisations we are failing on a number of levels. We are missing out on the depth of creativity and new ideas that flow when we have released the energy used in protecting ourselves from another, to deeply collaborating and joining the other. We fail to mine the full depths of our own potential and to access a level of confidence that develops not through the admiration of others, but because we have been able to be fully accepted by another – warts and all.
I have the privilege of being part of many groups where ‘seeing’ each other is something we invest time in both in meetings and as a core philosophy and therefore part of our daily interactions. It doesn’t make for an easy life and for sure it takes courage. Courage to be fully open and courage to understand and accept another without judgement.
The payback is huge. Personal and spiritual growth for sure. But also the fact that we not only transact and get things done, but we also build a community. A community that is centred on the power and significance of livingness and supporting all beings to access the highest possible level of joyful living. Imagine organisations where joyful participation was at the centre of the culture.
Then we’d really be ‘cooking on gas’!