Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Collaboration



Back when I lived in New York, I went through a short phase where I got into fights with cab drivers. It was during the time I lived in Greenpoint, a place that most drivers didn't seem interested in going. The final straw happened when I was trying to get home from E. 38th St on the evening of my birthday, my favorite day of the year.

Getting in a cab always felt like such a treat, I would relax, sit back and space out. On this particular night, my relaxation came to a screeching halt when I realized my cabbie was taking us on a tour through Queens. When we did finally arrive back at my apartment I refused to pay the entire fare and some nasty words were said.

Talking to my teacher Jen about the incident shortly thereafter, she spoke of collaboration and how sitting in the back seat of a cab is not an opportunity for passivity, but for teamwork. Thankfully, striking this balance ended my chapter of cab driver clashing.

Some of us believe, for some reason, we have to do everything by ourselves, some of us even think that's the only way things get done properly. For me, this belief system and acting it out for many years, created a kind of hangover: I was tired. The net effect of this was often a refusal to participate when things needed my attention.

There's an Al Anon concept that states, "Participation is the key to harmony." It's been a pretty mind blowing practice for me to collaborate in scenarios where I would normally defer, and to ask for support in situations I in which I used to soldier on solo: to think of each meeting with one other person or many other people as a collaboration.

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