Yesterday, I spent two and a half hours talking to my good friend Alexis. We didn’t mean to. We meant to only talk for one hour—which we do every Tuesday. A sort of accountability partnership or mini-mastermind. But somehow, before either of us knew it, we had talked for two and a half hours.
It wasn’t that neither of us had anything to do—believe me, there’s an endless list of to-do’s waiting for before I leave for Israel. But somehow I pushed all that back. To just talk. For two and a half hours.
After we hung up, and I sat in front of a mind-numbing show on TV, trying to integrate epiphany after epiphany that we worked through on the call, I started to think about just how much of my days are spent talking to brilliant insightful people.
In fact, I’d argue that less time in my business is spent on actually creating or even teaching than it is on speaking with brilliant people and integrating those experiences.
I have a four-hour meeting with Sherri every Friday—and that doesn’t include the Facebook messages that fly between our computers daily. I have what’s supposed-to-be a one-hour meeting with Alexis, who happens to be the most brilliant strategist I know (in fact, she used to create strategic frameworks for the government and now does it for people’s lives). I spent an hour Monday—as I do every other week—talking to the most advanced energy worker I’ve ever met. And I’m regularly making space for conversations with new really fascinating people that friends or clients tell me I have to meet.
Could I be more productive and efficient instead of taking these calls? Sure. But the work would never unfold the way it does. I’m constantly listening to what others are working on and where our work intersects. I’m constantly learning about topics that my work extends into. Two weeks ago, I read four books on social class, white supremacy, and racial dynamics. This week I’ve been studying the power dynamics of sexual assault.
I could totally fill up the Sacred Circle without doing any of that. But the work would never grow. It’d suffer and stay limited. And this work wants to expand.
It’s funny—yesterday, during our conversation, I was thinking about how grateful I am for my friend Alexis. About how utterly brilliant she is, and how her perspective has helped to guide so much of how I view my work.
And then she told me that she has so many epiphanies after our calls together but feels like she can’t possibly share them. Because I gave her the initial idea. Or I led the conversation. And she’d feel like she was taking over my idea and capitalizing on it.
And it made me think about this idea of ownership.
I’ll admit that I’m an external processor. And so, when I’m really unpacking something, I tend to do a lot of talking. I try my best to always make sure I’m leaving room for others’ voices. But I need to speak out an idea to fully understand it. And sometimes that means that I talk more than the other person, and it can seem like I’m coming up with all the ideas.
But the truth is I never have downloads and insights alone like I would with, say, Alexis (who’s incredible about building energetic containers and speaking energetically). Or Sherri, who can just say one word and give me infinite awareness of something.
And how do we quantify ownership of any of that? Why would we want to in the first place? Isn’t ownership just another place of lack—and another exercise in objectification?
Sure, there are some ideas that are deeply entrenched in my work and tied directly to my livelihood. I get that. I’m actually in the process of trademarking right now. So I understand that I’d be devastated if someone stole a term like Sacred Branding™.
But there’s a big difference between unpacking and teaching. It’s one thing to be taught my exact methodology and want to run out, steal the name, and pretend it’s yours. It’s very different to explore ideas together and allow our respective works to grow and expand. To allow the community to foster your own evolution.
I can say with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t have anywhere near this level of understanding of my work if it weren’t for these incredible conversations I have regularly. In fact, I’d say that one of the biggest keys to my own success is simply who I interact with daily. Not necessarily in a paid way, like a coach, though it could certainly be. But just in the people I surround myself with and the people I make time to chat with.
I’ve always believed that unstructured conversation is vital to a person’s creativity. But I’m coming around to believe that it’s actually vital to their success, too.
If I didn’t have brilliant people around me—and that includes the Sacred Circle (which, by the way, seems to attract in the highest caliber of people I know)—then I wouldn’t be even close to where I am today. Or where I’m growing into. Because community matters. Because this journey isn’t meant to be made in isolation. And because people strengthen and expand one another.
I’m grateful for the brilliant people in my life. They hold the container for me to step into my brilliance.
How’s your community supporting you?