Diana Rowan

Diana Rowan

an excerpt from
The Bright Way

Sacred Reciprocity: Collaboration, Not Competition

Creating win-win situations.

Posted 4/9/20

Night Sky

Photo: Pexels

By its very nature, Sacred Reciprocity fosters a spirit of collaboration rather than competition.

We spoke earlier about how connection drives human creativity. The Bright Way is an example of collaboration across time and space. When I review all the energies that have come together to make this book possible, it's clear that very little would have happened if a stance of competition had prevailed. So how can we invite more collaboration into our lives?

For many, the workplace is the venue of most competition and strife. If you've been struggling to feel more fulfilled and creative in your job, how can you apply Sacred Reciprocity so that connection is restored? How can you be in greater Sacred Reciprocity with your coworkers, your customers, and your vendors?

Take this stance: create win-win situations. When you negotiate, try to understand what the other side wants and what has meaning for them. Ultimately, what currency has value to them? Acknowledge and try to meet those needs within Sacred Reciprocity, remembering that for balance to be attained, you must benefit, too. So when you draw up a contract, spell out the benefits to both sides. When you write an email, be sure to start with a pleasant acknowledgment so that you're giving as well as taking or requesting.

Bright Way Activity

One Small Act of Kindness

Your human creativity enables you to wield massive power, a power that affects almost every element and living thing today.

It's true that we live in a competitive society, so sometimes it's up to us as individuals to go against the grain and get collaborative energy flowing. Today, try one of these techniques: give a stranger a smile, say thank you with meaning, make eye contact. What other small act of kindness can you perform to show people that we're all in this together?

Go big picture. Look beyond the surface and give something that has genuine meaning for you, no matter how tiny it may seem to the outside world. It could be as small as making someone a cup of tea. Step aside from linear time: Sacred Reciprocity isn't impatiently transactional, and it can be rebalanced at any time. You have much to offer this world besides money and time, both of which can be in short supply on occasion.

Besides showing you what you genuinely value, Sacred Reciprocity also highlights the many valuable energies you possess inside. Examples could be your compassion and enthusiasm, both of which have the power to turn around someone else's day when you share them. Take a moment to turn the kindness toward yourself, and acknowledge the beautiful qualities you possess inside.

Sacred Reciprocity even applies to things we might consider inanimate. For example, how do you approach:

  • Your musical instrument/tools of your art? Do you embrace them as respected allies, or do you grab them as objects to do your bidding? Meet your instrument in a spirit of Sacred Reciprocity, and whole new dimensions of artistry, support, and motivation will open up to you.

  • Food and cooking? That's always a challenge for me until I acknowledge where all my precious ingredients came from. I think of the people, places, and elements that came together to make this moment and this dish possible. Magically, when I remember these sources in this way, I'm able to connect from a place of positivity and stop feeling as if cooking is merely a mundane task to be performed.

  • Other things in your environment that perhaps you can increase your Sacred Reciprocity with?

Creativity and Sacred Reciprocity: The Fuel-Fulfillment Loop

While the concepts explored here may seem lofty, it's easy to know on a heart level when we are creating in Sacred Reciprocity. When we marry creative engagement with Sacred Reciprocity, we experience the heart-centered sensations of faith and courage. These can only be felt via direct experience. This is why active engagement in life is key. No amount of reading can substitute for experience. It would be like trying to describe the taste of an apple to someone who's never eaten one, as my mum once said.

When you're in Sacred Reciprocity, you're functioning from and sharing your highest self. Your true self comes from a source, however you define that mighty energy, whether as God, spirit, higher power, or life force. Your creativity gives form to this great life spirit. Given the magnitude of this, your creative urge must be fulfilled, and your message must be heard, even if by only you.

A void opens in our hearts when we ignore our creative voice. This hole often gets filled with external activities and expectations misaligned with our true selves. We fall prey to the mercy of goods, substances, and other people, immersed in fearful living. We've all been there and will be there again. Yet there are reliable routes out of this dead end. The Bright Way is one of these routes.

Throughout human civilization we have pondered whether the universe is friendly or hostile, or perhaps even indifferent. Living in Sacred Reciprocity, we affirm that the universe is friendly. We know the universe as our beloved collaborator, a perspective that in itself can transform our life for the better.

Allow in the positive energy that wants to reach you: lower your shield of fear. Imagine yourself as a solar panel, effortlessly attracting sunny energy. This is available to you right now. We're in this together. My story is your story. Let's make our stories shine bright!

Excerpted from the book The Bright Way: Five Steps to Freeing the Creative Within. Copyright © 2020 by Diana Rowan. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

The Bright Way: Freeing the Creative Within

The Bright Way: Five Steps to Freeing the Creative Within

Diana Rowan is the author of The Bright Way. She is a professional harpist with an MM in classical piano performance and a PhD in music theory. more

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