We’ve spent the last few weeks working on seeing the light in others. How did that go for you? Did you find deeper connections with colleagues and neighbors? Did you experience more gratitude and ease with your family and friends?

For our team, focusing on the light in those around us, and being intentional about narrowing in on the good and letting go of the frustrations, definitely resulted in more appreciation and connection. Now, none of us quite succeeded at the challenge to go an entire day without expressing a complaint or frustration with someone else in our life… but we were much more mindful of it and it resulted in a lot of pause, self-reflection, and shifting our focus from those complaints and frustrations to the light of others. We recognize it’s always going to be a work in progress, one we hope you’ll continue to join us through.

The natural progression from seeing the light in others, which was last month’s theme, is to start working more collaboratively with others.

As we like to say, collaborate, don’t compete.

A lot has been said about collaboration, to the point where it now can feel like a buzz word of the moment. So, what does collaboration mean to us?

The actual definition means to work together, to cooperate. We interpret this to mean that we can do so much more together than we can separately.

Many of us associate collaboration only with the workplace, and while yes, there is a definite application there, you can collaborate in so many other ways too.

My neighbor is a sweet 85-year old Haitian woman whose health is starting to ail her. Last year we came together with 2 of our neighbors to create a plan for ensuring her sidewalks would be shoveled any time it snowed. This meant less work for us all, a quicker result in the end, and a safer path for a neighbor we cared about.

Can you collaborate with your siblings to better take care of your aging parents?

What does it look like if you partner with other parents from your kids’ school to share the load of childcare during school vacation week?

Are there other businesses in your community you can come together with to raise money for a need in your community, such as cleaning up a playground, planting a community garden, or opening a new community center?

Regardless of how you choose to collaborate, or on what type of project, we think there are a few key ways to do so:

Show Up: Be who you are and be willing to share that with others. Offer your resources – be it time or money or expertise or connections. Each of us have something we can offer if we are willing to show up.

Ask for Help: Recognize that others have different experiences and talents than you and the project can benefit from, and be willing to ask for help. Once you’ve shown up yourself, it’s much easier to ask others to follow your example and do the same.

Click to tweet: Recognize that others have different experiences and talents than you can benefit from, and be willing to ask for help.

Give Praise: The joy of collaboration is that a community of people (even 2 can be a community!) have come together to make something happen. AWESOME! You can give yourself a pat on the back for that. But also be generous in sharing acknowledgement and kudos for others and of the team effort that accomplished the task at hand.

What are some ideas that come to mind as ways to collaborate with others? Is there a project you’ve been wanting to undertake that feels daunting on your own, but that might be a little more manageable with the support of others?

My list of ideas and projects I want to undertake always feels pages long, and I never quite know where to start, so I’m going to start small. I LOVE having dinner with friends, but I often get overwhelmed with the thought of cooking a big meal, all the preparations that must occur, cleaning the dishes. So this week I’m going to invite some friends for dinner, but ask everyone to help out… a few extra hands to assist with prep, someone else to take care of dessert, and a willingness to say “yes, I’d love your help with the dishes” will make it possible for a great dinner with friends and less stress overall.

What’s one small thing you’ll do this week to collaborate? We’d love to hear about your ideas on Facebook or Instagram.

With Optimism,

The Davine Team