Howl for me, Wolf-Woman!
How do I hold space when co-creating? I work a day job, but am trying hard to change the direction of my life to do what my heart really wants to do, but I find myself, every time I get into a collaboration with another person, that eventually, I will be triggered by them. I try really hard to figure out what is my projection, and what isn’t. I don’t do well when micro-managed, or when others can’t meet deadlines. I keep trying to self reflect every time I am triggered, and I am not looking for perfection out of anyone, more, I want to learn how to hold myself steady, so that the person or people I am working with, feels supported and that our collective genius is being activated, instead of blocked when one or both of our shadows emerge. Any thoughts?
Your words ring so true for me that I feel I could have written much of your inquiry myself! I have a simple, sweet, one-shot medicine for you first and then a much more complex elixir that may taste bitter and take time to digest.
Firstly, I believe the best sacred work partnerships are those with clearly drawn boundaries from the get-go. In an ideal world, we are all tasked with doing our own work in the world, not someone else’s, and gifting our unique passions, talents, and skills to the global community in a way that only we can. When I collaborate with someone in my work successfully, it is almost always because they are bringing something to the proverbial table that I do not have in store. By extension, anything we co-create together is going to embody the best of what I have to give and they best of what they have to give. I tend to only work with those I know very well, particularly if it is to be a lengthy working relationship with inter-mingled finances; this way, each of us already understands our roles because we know not only each other’s strengths and weaknesses but also our deep loves, desires, and wounds.
A truly sacred work partnership is a divine relationship in its own right. If your work partner treats you in ways you would not tolerate from a romantic partner, then it is time to cut ties. Set clear boundaries and role definitions at the start of a project, and, should those boundaries be crossed, manage that action as true violation. Poet and writer David Whyte says “work is the conversation we have with the world,” and I know this to be true. I also believe that the way we carry out our work, the mode of delivery, speaks volumes about where we are in our work’s evolution. We may be speaking very articulately to the world through our work, describing with eloquence the type of world in which we want our children to live, but if our voices are being muffled by another’s loudly spoken vision, perhaps we need to distance ourselves enough so the world can hear us speak our truth.
You are speaking of co-creation as if it were your only option for moving away from working for survival and toward working for a love of purpose; I am wondering if this is true, or if there is an undergirding belief that your work cannot stand on its own. As human beings, we have a divine mandate to carry our work into the world; in order to do this, we must spend those lonely nights pondering our unique stories. We must curl up on the couch and stare at candles for hours listening deeply for the answers. Figuring out your soul’s purpose and your mode of delivery for that purpose is, in my experience, primarily a solitary act.
While co-creation is a beauteous sacred work practice through which two change-agents come together and fuse their gifts in order to birth something majestic and new into the world, it cannot happen if those change-agents have yet to discover and hone their individual sacred dance.
Famously in my inner circles, I prefer to create alone. I am as in love with my work as I am with any romantic partner. I was blessed with an apparently inexhaustible storehouse of ideas and, when my physical energy is high, I can work from dawn until past midnight; not necessarily fruitfully, mind you. I joke that I would never want to inflict my work ethic on anyone else, and this is partly true. My work cycles, as all things do, between committed solitary work and successful co-creations, but I have developed a keen sense of intuition with respect to my work that serves me well.
Know when you truly feel called to collaborate; distinguish this between a lack of self-confidence. Know when a particular project is screaming for an infusion of gifts that are not yours; distinguish this between the projects that are absolutely yours and yours alone, those that no one could birth better than you. Know what your boundaries are in sacred work relationships, and know when these boundaries have been crossed.
One of my go-to pieces of advice in yogic, new age world is this: Sometimes you are facing your shadow, sometimes you are facing projection, but sometimes you are just facing an asshole. If you would not let this person spend a day at the beach with you, even if they are blessed with “genius,” do not work with them. I highly recommend reading David Whyte’s The Three Marriages for his description of sacred work relationships as tantamount to marriages.
Co-create with those who deserve your genius, have enough confidence that your work can stand alone, and, when all else fails, take a breath and howl moonward. I am howling with you, my love.
Recommended reading: The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist.
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Woman Most Wild (New World Library, 2017)
In Woman Most Wild, author and proud witch Danielle Dulsky debunks the stories we have been indoctrinated with and reveals the true nature of witchcraft: an ancient spiritual path that rejects religious dogma in favor of female empowerment and a reverence for the Earth.
In a collaborative, conversational tone, Woman Most Wild offers three keys to liberating your inner witch and owning your power.
➵ Submit your howl to firstname.lastname@example.org.
➵ Find our guidelines for submission to the Wolf-Woman here.
Read more Howl for Me, Wolf-Woman!:
Howl for Me, Wolf Woman! Self-Worth And The Truest Currencies
The Soul Curriculum & The Inherited Mother-Wound
The Spiral Dance of Selfhood, Judgement And Soulwork
Substance & The Visible Feminine: Selfie Culture & The Crone’s Perspective
The Wild Woman’s Body-Prayer For Rage Release
The Wild Woman’s Circle: Handcrafting Space For Sisterhood
The Hand-Crafted 2017: Wild Resolutions Before The Quickening
The Dark Feminine And The Maiden’s Loss
Winter Solstice & Yuletide Medicine For The Rootless Witch
Mothering The Wild & Becoming The Bad Daughter
A Ritual For Betrayal — When You Have No Choice But To Become Someone New
The Great Learning: Social Acceptance, A Challenge An Awakening Wild Woman Faces
Wild Wisdom For The Bleeding Woman
The Guru’s Crime Against Soul
Looking For Some Guiding Wild Wisdom
Deep Loving In The Darkness
Sip a little more from Danielle’s medicine:
➵ Witch, Howl Moonward:
The Timely Salve Of The Dark Primal Feminine
➵ The Wolf-Woman’s Book Of The Dead:
A Samhain Benediction
➵ Invoking Artemis: The Liberation Of Our Wild Spirituality