I’m blessed to have not one but two best friends. Both know and keep my secrets, both have seen sides of me that would send a professional acquaintance or potential boss running.
These two friendships, while one of the great blessings of my life, take some time and effort to maintain. They are both like mini-marriages. I’ve taken or been on call and available to drive to emergency medical appointments. I’ve been there when it really wasn’t that convenient, to listen attentively and actively, to an issue or problem that I didn’t see as having the weight that they were thinking it had. I’ve shown up to hug it out.
I’ve been dead tired, then realized I had “a thing” tonight, rallied, shaved my legs, and gotten dressed up to go out to an event that was important not to me but to one of them. I’ve been to their children’s weddings and baby showers.
For all three of us, during all of our sons’ teenage years, we’ve been on calls with each other in the middle of the night about police showing up and walls punched. I’ve been a shoulder to cry on probably a hundred times. I’ve cried another hundred on theirs.
We’ve had ridiculous fun. We’ve laughed until we cried and gotten dizzy so had to take a break.. “ok stop. stop! omg..” We’ve been to parties and drank so much to where someone forgot large patches of the evening, and the other had to fill in the blanks spotted with many pauses to say “are you kidding me right now?”
We’ve got each others’ back, always.
Out of the three of us, I’m the only one married so my husband gets dragged in pretty frequently. He and I have moved refrigerators, helped with loans, and screened new boyfriends over dinner. The boyfriends of course are never good enough but we try to not let them see that at the actual dinner because that would be rude. I’m a little too sarcastic though, and it’s a giveaway, so working on that. Sort of. I guess.
We’ve had amazing experiences together. Most of which are probably material for another article, but experiences that I would categorize as once-in-a-lifetime, profound, deeply emotional, spiritual, and bonding. I feel like I would not have had these experiences had I not put in the time to cement these ties and develop a level of deeper trust with my friends.
I’ve noticed that some people don’t choose to cultivate these deep friendships, and while I can understand not having the time to devote to something that is not directly benefiting you right at that time, to me the benefit of these friendships over the long term is exponential to the amount of effort I’m putting in.
Now that I’m in law school both of these relationships are basically on auto pilot. I can’t at the last minute go out for tacos at 9pm on a Saturday because someone got stood up, and I can’t show up with a bottle of wine and some dark chocolate, for a shoulder to cry on for each and every little issue. I’m having to actively schedule and carve out time to make sure I am in the physical presence of each friend at least once every 14 days. And while our specific dynamic has changed in that way because the logistics are different, the bond between us has not lessened.
They’re both having to field questions when they are out and about, socially from our mutual acquaintances, “Where’s Kathi” usually is the go-to. And they are offering repeated explanations that I just can’t stop studying for anything right now. But they keep my connection with others in place by being there to speak for me. “She’s killing it!” That type of thing.
And if I’m having a particularly difficult day, when I’ve submitted what I think is exemplary work and my instructor is going to say “You’re an amazing law student Kathi; I’m tap dancing on my desk after reading your assignment, you get an A!” then my assignment comes back with comments in red: “No. no, no, no, no!!” and a ‘D'”..
Well, then I know that I can call either one and they drop whatever they’re doing to pick up the phone and talk. Sometimes they listen to me cry and choke out some sentiment that I’m just not smart enough for law school. Then they literally laugh and say, “Really?” or “You’ve got this… You know you’ve got this, it’s just one grade.” I’m not sure how I would navigate my life right now if it weren’t for the relationships I have around me for support.
I’ve never been able to build these types of relationships at a workplace, but I wonder if it would be possible to cultivate them. I wonder what it would look like if instead of tending toward backstabbing, co workers would tend toward standing up for each other.
I wonder what it would look like if instead of trying to push someone else down because their own work is being classified as substandard in a meeting, peers would build each other up because they know that our relationships with each other are more important than any temporary issue. And how would it be if instead of staying aloof and protected, we could all forge real connections with the people we interact with professionally.
I think that if I had to go back into a Corporate workplace, of course I’d approach it professionally by doing excellent work, but I’d also spend an equal amount of time cultivating close relationships with my co workers and staff. I’d try to create a real team.
I’d be legitimately interested in what is going on with them. I’d take it slowly but eventually be vulnerable in the hopes that they would feel ok about opening up to me, because when both people open at a heart level, a connection forms pretty naturally from there. It fills a human need and we’re just built this way, to become vulnerable and connect from the heart to others. I’m not talking about romantic love, I’m talking about human bonding love.
This is never something that I’ve tried in the workplace.
In fact I’ve run from relationships at work after being hurt by someone, and eventually just learned how to run my own business in order to avoid the whole Corporate scene. I’ve explained to others that I did this in order to be more productive, that 80% of my time at work was taken up with Corporate politics, and now I get much more done by myself in a fraction of the time. And while that sounds really great, it’s not exactly true. It’s partially true.
The truth is that I’ve opened up and become vulnerable to others, who have then used that vulnerability to gain traction at my expense, and smiled while doing it.
Is it possible to create businesses and corporate environments that are conscious and creative? If we provide a place of business where people working there feel safe and valued, and are free to contribute what they are meant to contribute, I’m not sure exactly what would happen. I imagine that a place like this would be wildly profitable because everyone is happy, protected, caring, connected to each other, and open to considering all possibilities. Success and abundance thrives in the natural state of being heart-open, so it makes total sense.
For me right now, it’s all about the studying. Law school is literally ridiculous, but after I pass the bar I’ll still continue solo, opening a practice and holding a space open for this reality to manifest.
I’ll keep seeing a creation consciousness law firm, and I’ll keep feeling it within the boundaries of my close connected friendships. I’ll keep imagining how this would look in my workplace scenario, with people wanting to develop healthy relationships, being there to help solve problems, caring about each other, laughing together, crying together, bonding, and being happy for each others’ successes. I think we’ll do a lot of pro-bono work, and I think that this will take away exactly nothing from my bottom line.
Creation-Consciousness can be described as each person taking full responsibility for what they create, whether it’s a relationship, or a method, or a business, or a work of art, or a situation, or a product, or a family. You become conscious of what you’re creating, and you’re creating all the time. If you don’t like what you’ve created, then create something else.
That is the only thing I want for my business and I’m not settling for anything less.