Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino
in last week’s blog i told you the beginning of my personal story about “hands and knees, ” a song i wrote with my friend, stuart mathis. the song was about standing in our truth and the effects i saw corporate america having on the women i worked with as my days at philosophy came to an end.
“honey i’m beat” was the “battle cry” in each chorus. and truly we were. i saw it suddenly and profoundly one otherwise ordinary morning as many of us gathered around the conference room table. we were highly competent, dedicated, with and with without children and lives packed with responsibilities to be met even before we entered the office. like women in offices around the country, we were grateful to be employed, enjoying our work and at the same time torn and teetering on the brink of exhaustion. we were on our way to what i saw then as an invisible breaking point. what i could not see then was how mightily that point was also heading toward me.
for thirty years i had been a skin expert but i couldn’t see that over the years my own beautiful skin was slowly morphing into something more like a suit of armor. what was once soft was now a false, impenetrable shield between me and harm. but the problem with a shield is while it keeps some bad things out it also can not possibly let other good things in. in my case these were more love and self awareness. as philosophy grew bigger as a company my skin along with my co workers kept stretching as we pulled on imaginary fire hoses to put out fires every day. the stress is collective but so also are the rewards.
and that is the good part – the wonderful things about corporate America. i loved creating and birthing philosophy. i love philosophy today and am so proud of all of those who create and continue to grow philosophy without me. i am eternally grateful for the joy and relationships and all i have learned and earned for all of my efforts. but i hope you will never assume that there is not a price paid for each and every dollar we all earn regardless if our jobs are in an executive office or in shipping. because there is. and i was no exception.
and throughout, creating was the happiest and most exhilarating thing i got to do on my job and on too many days to count only for five minutes. it brought me great joy. joy is creative. it fills our hearts and lights up our faces and lifts us from our hands and knees. i believe it is our job one responsibility to ourselves. so i’m curious to hear how you cultivate your creativity at your job today. in what small or bigger ways. either alone or with a coworker or team.
do you allow yourself to daydream? (it’s a great tool for problem solving)
do you let yourself enjoy your skills and talents without judgment?
do you celebrate your successes with each other? the little and big ones?
do you trust yourself? your instincts? do you believe that creativity is trusting?
now i spend several hours a day at home creating from a visionary place in soft skin with an equally soft heart. some ideas are pretty good. most will never see the light of day. it doesn’t matter. either way i’m here on the floor often stretched out on the floor with pen and paper in hand or, you got it, on my hands and knees. the song and lyrics to “hands and knees” indeed ended up being the prelude to the invisible breaking point i could not see coming. that moment did come for me. and with it another song and a transformation that i am excited to begin sharing with you in my next blog.
peace and blessings,