Networking with a Purpose

So the next question from a seminar attendee has to do with networking…

  • How do you create situations in life where you can find a friend for each petal? 

I love this question! This is someone who is planning ahead…

Here’s the backstory…

For those of you that don’t yet have my book, in the bottom right hand corner of every scenario response, I encourage you to journal about the areas that you need to grow in order to be in what I call “Full Bloom”. Abraham Maslow might call this state of readiness “self-actualized”.

To help simplify the process, I divide the areas of bloom into 5 petals – physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual. The second encouragement I offer is for you to find friends and colleagues in each petal so that when you need their help and support, perhaps even their services, you already have a relationship you can count on. It is very difficult to be in the middle of a sexual harassment situation and THEN go out and friend your trusted friends and colleagues. So this is what our beloved seminar attendee meant in asking for advice on how to find a friend in each of the petals.

5 Petals in Full Bloom

5 Petals in Full Bloom

Physical, Emotional, Social, Intellectual, Spiritual

The Approach

The approach to making friends and finding trusted confidants is different for each petal and will vary from person to person. But I can offer some general advice that worked for me.

  • Know yourself
  • Be authentic to yourself
  • Trust but verify

In order to know what kind of support and friendship you need and want, you have to know what you like and what you don’t like. Once you know what you like, then you can authentically put that out there for others to engage with you or not. Once you find people that want to be friends with you, keep testing that relationship to see how much you can trust them with the things you hold precious and dear.

For example, I love to swim in the ocean. Swimming in the rough water swim at La Jolla Shores has been on my bucket list of things to do for quite some time. I actively journaled about it. Put it out there for the universe to work it’s magic. Next thing I knew, a new store opened up just a block from my work and the lady owning the shop gives free guided swims in… you guessed it!… La Jolla Shores. I haven’t swum in the rough water swim yet, but I have a swim buddy that is helping me get used to the water, it’s rhythms and she is a good friend. And come to find out there are LOTS of groups and people that swim the Shores and that are willing to be colleagues, friends, mentors – in the water, in life and everything in between.

Be open to the possibilities with cautious optimism. You know the old adage about finding a husband… you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. The same is true for trusted friends and colleagues.

Some ideas, petal by petal…

First of all, this website is designed to be s resource to help you find that trusted friend, colleague or professional. Peruse the Access Resources page and take a look at the people who have put themselves out there for you. Yes, these are professional people. And these are professional people who have a vested interest in helping women and men deal with and heal from sexual harassment. This is not all that they do, but what they do can certainly help.

Start with them. Ask them if they can meet you for coffee. Everybody likes to be helpful and if they don’t, then they are not right for you. Once you have their attention, then tell them what you like and what you need. Ask them if they know anybody who… has a support group close by, or what books to read, or what advice they have for you. Anything to get the conversation started and then be open to their suggestions. This kind of 1-1 with a professional is easier than going to a big crowd.

The resources on the Access Resources page break down into the 5 petals. In addition to the resources there, look for groups, associations, meetups in your area. Is there a free newspaper with an events section. Take time to review it every week and see what’s happening and how you can connect with people that have the same likes, interests and needs as you. Meetup.com and Nextdoor.com are two locally-based resources available in most neighborhoods that post events, interests…

Physical

The physical petal includes all activities you can engage in to ensure you have a healthy body. This includes nutrition, exercise, meditation, etc. To develop this petal, look for workout partners, people to exchange good recipes with, people to help you with your organic garden. The sky is the limit!

  • Health and Wellness Professionals (nutrition experts, trainers, etc.)
  • Self-Care Professionals (manicures, pedicures, facials, spas etc.)
Emotional

The emotional petal includes all activities you can engage in to develop your emotional intelligence about yourself and others. This includes talking out your issues with a mental health professional. Surrounding yourself with positive affirmations of who you are, what you want in life and what you need to stay strong and focused. To develop this petal, look for people who will help you be your best self. You must do this for yourself as well!

  • Flower Shops
  • Healers
  • Inspiration and Insights
  • Mental Health Professionals
Social

The social petal includes all activities that support your sense of belonging and self-worth. Do what you love. If that’s painting, find people who paint or who go to museums to appreciate paintings. If that’s cooking, find a cooking class, help in the kitchen at a homeless shelter, come up with an excuse to invite friends over for a meal! I love the movie Julie and Julia – she had 365 reasons to invite people over for a meal.  Be creative.

  • Groups, Support Groups
  • Life Coaches
Intellectual

The intellectual petal includes all the activities you can engage in to be informed about the situation you face and the options you have available to you. If you are thinking about filing a sexual harassment report, you might want to consult an independent expert in HR. If you are financial insecure, you might want to talk with a financial planner.

  • Advocates, Speakers, & Trainers
  • Books and Movies
  • Financial Planners & Services
  • HR Consultants
Spiritual

The spiritual petal includes all the activities you can engage in to keep your soul intact. For some, this is the church, temple, mosque. For others this is nature walks and vision quests to feel the spirit that moves through all things. For others, this means finding support from support groups. Whatever your belief system is, reinforce it by finding others who can offer you guidance on the path.

  • Healers
  • Groups, Support Groups
Summing Up

I’m not sure I totally answered the question about how to create situations to find a friend.

This blog and this website resource started because I did not have the 5 petals covered when I had my “hiccup” and I wanted to provide people with a way to get the help they need. The more I watched the #MeToo movement grow, I realized that more people than ever need to find people to help them through their “hiccup”.

I would love your feedback on whether this helped or not, and, if not, please help me know how can I be of more help.

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