Friday, July 16, 2010

Networking and the Spiritual Search

I've finished reading "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm glad that the author placed "eat" first in the line-up. It's important to satisfy our material needs before we can evolve up the chakra. I'm not sure I want to see the movie with Julia Roberts although I can't think of any one who could better play the leading role, a free spirit who knows what she wants. Maybe I feel that the film version would trivialize the spiritual searching aspect and replace it with a love story. On second thought,  maybe the soul-mate kind of love is the result of a spiritual search, so why be put-offish?

These days I'm trying to be frugal.  I can always wait for the DVD.

But movies are not uppermost on my mind. I'm on my own spiritual quest. I want my job to find me.  I know that's easy to say and an excuse for sitting around the pool with one hand holding a good book and the other wrapped around the cell phone, but not really. Here's why.

Depending upon who we are I think we create a network according to our own fish ponds. Simply put, my network is different (and maybe bigger, smaller) than your network. But who cares? I may like lagoons. You may like waves off the coast of Maui.   

"Hi," I say to the meeting coordinator after the event as everyone else in the audience scrambles up to the podium to hob-nob with the high-profile guests. "I'm writing up this event for my blog and I'm wondering if you can give me the speakers list? I want to spell their names correctly." And so might ensue an exchange of paper, including business cards. And more often than night, I can send the speakers a link to my blog post and engage with them in a short dialog.

I try to keep the waves rippling outward. None of this was intentional.  Duck because here comes that word authentic which is bandied about in many job club meetings. The demands of looking for a job have burned away my detritus, otherwise known as bullshit. I don't have time for my own games. I've cut back to chasing myself.

On a weekly basis I reference lists like to see what's happening and plunk these meetings into my calendar, always scheduled around visits to the gym.  Actually it's been wonderful not being required to sit in front of a computer for seven straight hours a day. Maybe I won't be visited by carpal tunnel syndrome any time soon. I've made a mental note and want my new position to allow me to work more with people and sit in front of the computer less. In scheduling my calendar I pay attention to the kinds of meetings that interest me.  After all, this is the Bay Area and there's a virtual sea of meetings. What I choose is information about me.

What I'm saying is about "taking inventory," the kind of advice Richard Bolles, job-hunting guru, and his heirs insist upon.  The primary dictum is "know thyself,"  or as Shakespeare put it, "to thine ownself be true."

If I'm like anyone else, it's difficult for me to be my own mirror. But my interactions with the world can serve as that mirror. Like when I went to a women's networking session hosted by FoutainBlue in Palo Alto and experienced the great generosity and openness of women who were all trying to be helpful, not embarrassed but simply asking, "What are you looking for?"  Yes, I enjoy working with women managers.  I made another mental note.

Every week I bobble along in my hand-made boat. I'm hoping that after being at sea with the elements, I will arrive on the other shore tanned, fit, and with a sharper knowledge of myself.

For right now, it's time to address basic needs. I fold up my towel, rinse off the chlorine, and make a favorite dish.

Avocado Row-Boats
One avocado
One lemon (or lime)
Cheese or salsa, your choice
Corn chips

Here's a quick version of guacamole. Cut an avocado in half. Scoop out the wonderful green stuff by sliding a spoon around the outside of the shell. Save the shell.  Mash up the avocado. Think like you're making devilled eggs.  Now fill each skin with the mash.  Squeeze a half of fresh lemon (or lime) juice over each half.  Top with a dollop of cheese or salsa. Serve on a plate with enough chips for scoopers.  Serve with some lovely bubbling water.

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