Halloween, Corporate Culture and Burning Man

My friend pointed out to me last week that he was “beginning to hear a theme” in our conversations. I am willing to bet if you asked five other people I speak with the most, they would tell you they hear my theme too. Everybody has a theme, it is the stage of theme that differs. A theme might be based on insecurities and fears, some you are willing to conquer and others that might be too hard to face. A theme can be based on passion and purpose; you might be in the process of gathering your thoughts or you might be laser-focused on certain actions and activities that are helping you visualize your life purpose.

Because my theme is a driving force for SocialBling, I thought I would start using this blog to recap weekly conversations that have inspired me to think differently, reflect on what is important to me, and/or act on new information that has been shared with me. You might relate to my thoughts, you might disagree completely…both are perfectly fine with me. I just want to get you thinking: thinking about your own themes, thinking about the value in conversations. I believe, if you are willing to communicate your themes, opportunities for positive development will come your way. The SocialBling network is all about this advancement. For every person that takes the time to communicate their intentions, the stronger the network becomes and the more mutually beneficial connections we can make.

Conversations from Oct 25th – Oct 31th 2009

Conversation #1 – Halloween. To participate or not? I was talking to a friend who was pretty excited about Halloween this year. I admitted to her that although I had been invited to nine different Halloween celebrations I had not thought about celebrating. To begin with, the effort to come up with a costume seemed like a large undertaking. She pushed back to me, “Yes but the reason why you think it is hard is you are working too hard and need to let go…put on a mask and be someone else for a while.” Hmmm, she makes a good point. I started to think what would I dress up as? An image of an image of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz came to mind. Why? Well the thought of putting on an adorable gingham checked blue dress and red shoes while throwing my newly adopted dog in basket sounded like fun. Who doesn’t want to go on adventure with a favorite furry companion dressed like a child out for picnic? I asked myself, is that really putting on a mask or is that who I desire to be the most right now?A woman on an adventure out to make new friends? Yes, that sounds about right.

Conversation #2 – Corporate Culture.  I had a meeting with an impressive professional in the hospitality industry. The meeting started like any other: both of us communicating within the realms of business speak and both us trying to understand what value each of us brings to the other. Then it shifted.  Our “Business Masks” came off and we started to talk freely. Why? – Because we found a connection that inspired us to open up personally. In this personal space we found comfortable common ground. We talked about motivation, connection, intention and goals. We talked about the effort that goes into creating positive work cultures and networks and how the benefits far outweigh that effort. Did we have to remove our business masks to get there? Absolutely! When you can let your guard down and speak freely knowing you are making a connection that works for both people, it is like taking in fresh air, it never gets old.

Conversation #3 – Burning Man. For those of you who do not know what Burning Man is I encourage you to Google it. The annual event takes place in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada at the end of August every year. I have not attended yet, however several of my friends go every year. One of them is an entrepreneurial friend of mine. He understood immediately what SocialBling is about. He said, “You want to help people meet people without it feeling like networking…sounds like Burning Man. You want to create a safe place for people to express who they are while simultaneously showing them that other people connect with their passions and viewpoints…yes, sounds like Burning Man.”  He talked passionately for hours about Burning Man. From an outsider’s standpoint, Burning Man seems like a week long costume party that takes place in a carnival-like atmosphere. It seems like people go to escape life and play in their masks. Yet my friend sees it completely differently. He says the whole event inspires people to be who they are and express themselves freely creating a powerful energy of connection that generates kindness and generosity. The friends he makes at Burning Man become a deeply connected group that he respects, trusts and he can count on. I love this!!! If this is being done 7 days out of the year, what will it take to build a network where it is happening 365 days out of the year? That is the journey I am on. If the adventure leads me to Burning Man 2010, so be it. If other people see different paths to the destination, I want to hear/experience those as well. Everyone in the SocialBling network benefits when we take the time to connect with each other’s passions.  I am learning, I am listening…I am on the adventure.

Authors Note: I did attend Burning Man in 2011 and loved it! I can’t begin to sum of the experience here but all I can say is I will go again and highly recommend it.