As part of my year of being agile, I'm going to explore each of the four values in my Agile Magic Manifesto in order to a) help create actionable items and b) define my own plan for the year (one of the secret benefits to blogging is that writing about stuff helps you get shit straight in your own head).
Lets say you are in the midst of a project and you need some information or a decision or some help, from a stakeholder. Which tactic do you suppose is more effective:
1. Call legal for a contract review, create a formal addendum for the interaction you are proposing. Send it to their legal department. Babysit four red line versions between the lawyers. Get the appropriate signatures and then move forward.
2. Pick up the phone and talk to the person you need help from and just ask.
Obviously in an agile project, the latter is going to be more effective. But it's also probably only going to work if you have a preexisting relationship. Now, a preexisting relationship may involve a contract (few business projects completely ignore them) but without the action interaction and trust, everything gets bogged down into contract negotiation. Better to just work directly and frequently with the people in your project, so that you can collaborate efficiently.
This is true on a spiritual level as well.
I've always had a strongly relational approach to spirit work. Not only do I feel like I want to have ongoing connections to the non-corporal folks in my circle, I want to focus on those connections and not spread myself too thin.
Note, this made me somewhat unpopular in my early Pagan days (what do you mean you're calling on Kali and Hermes? Do they even like each other? Do they like you?).
After my first serious interaction with Deity (which was initiatory, important for my growth, but also completely non-consensual and NOT FUN) I take the position that I'll call on Gods I'm interested in and if they seem cool, we can hang out. But I don't take calls from numbers I don't know and I don't do favors for people I don't like.
I've called on gods and spirits and gotten the spiritual equivalent a fanmail response letter (Thank you for contacting the offices of Inanna. Her Ladyship very much appreciates your admiration. While the Lady of Largest Heart regrets that She cannot respond personally to all inquiries, please find enclosed a signed portrait...)
I've also called on these folks and gotten very intense responses. I have working relationships with a couple of entities where I initiated contact (St. Brigid/Brigit of Kildare for example) that have had a lasting impact on my life. And there are beings that I've had what I call a situational acquaintanceship with (I made a series of offerings and asked for something in return and we were cool). And not surprisingly what I bring to the table has a lot to do with the results I get.
If you want to get the attention of a capital-G God or Goddess, then go to the source material and find the most hardcore sacrifice or ritual you can get away with without being arrested or hospitalized. Then do that. But make sure you want that attention first.
In the mean time, your own ancestors could probably use some more love, not to mention the local spirits. And as you build up your posse you'll find that issues with your personal projects get resolved more easily and quickly. When trouble strikes, you don't have to do the spiritual equivalent of looking someone up on LinkedIn, you'll have someone in your corner that can help right away.
The action item here is simple -- build and nurture those relationships now before you need them. And if you do a good enough job, you may end up not needing them to begin with.
A year ago on the blog: Sustain-ability: The Anti-Rant Rant
Labels: agile, PMPM