Are you the chicken? Are you the egg?

Do I look and sound like you? Do you look and sound like me? Are you the chicken or are you the egg?

There is no new thing under the sun. All ideas now are recycled and repackaged from times before. What makes them unique is you and when we get bogged down on feeling graspy and greedy over clients and knowledge we distort our ability to authentically offer what is ours to give this world.

Does this mean we shouldn’t check with each other when our paths cross in the land of knowledge? I think we should. In the rush to get our own work in the world does it not make us all stronger if we open conversations when our work is inspired by or directly springs from someone else or a conversation that was had?

Near as I can tell Hiro Boga has been delivering her, what to me is a totally unique way of looking at the world of business, for over 35 years. When I found her, as I was reading her words, I felt like I’d discovered an original source for a lot of other people’s work sometimes word for word. Jody England is another one who presents a certain twist on information that makes it hers alone and also people told me to look her up because we were saying, and still say, a lot of the same things even though we are quite different. There is a large group of people who thematically are saying the same things. Jody covered this concept on her radio show awhile back and discussed the difficulties that arise when someone is copying vs someone who happened to be open to the Idea Stream at the same time you were.

Is that plagiarism? Have other people “stolen” her work, my work, yours?

Well, it depends. Sometimes in the case of word for word copying or direct taking of images for personal or professional use yes – that’s theft and it’s not ok. As an artist, poet/author, blogger, coach, etc doing business online I had to come to terms with this awhile ago when a few of my images were stolen and used elsewhere. I had to decide for myself was it more important to me to get my work out there where it might touch one heart or lose sleep over which Russian T-shirt outlet or agency in another country was using my stuff? I chose hearts and I sleep fine.

When I started Livestreaming on Periscope and now on Facebook everyone on there can see that these things happen all the time. On Periscope a lot of teachers started at the same time when the app was new. People contacted me to say they’d noticed they had said similar things as I had that day. They were concerned that I’d think they were swiping my ideas. There were times I talked about an issue and a few hours later someone would be talking about it too. Our Big Ego can get upset about things like that until we educate ourselves about the Idea Stream which by the way is also not a new concept: collection unconscious (Jung), the Everywhen and The Dreaming (Australian Aborigines), well documented instances of multiple discoveries in science and Elizabeth Gilbert’s conception of creative ideas being disembodied life forms roaming the planet until they find a willing vehicle to birth them into the world. The Idea Stream is just the image I use to calm my sweet uppity Ego when she gets all territorial and shit.

So all that said to the point of nausea, when do we, as an industry of online coaches, mystics, spiritual teachers, etc. fight for our work’s right to Its unique expression and how? Can we ever entirely say, “This is mine!” Not really but then what to do? Too often we stew, fret, talk smack behind the scenes rather than simply getting better about naming our heroes and giving them credit and/or by contacting someone and opening a conversation.

What’s wrong with making a phone call or sending a message? Here some real life examples of how this has gone for me:

Hey, I had an idea that came directly out of our conversation for your business. I really want to move forward on this what do you think about it? Is there a way to have peace with it? Is there a way to shift the timing, adjust the content? She said yes within these parameters and thanks for asking.

Hey, I really like this drawing can I use it to practice learning with? She said yes and thanks for asking. And note – this actually happened when I was new to internet copyright issues. I had actually done the drawing first, then had the thought uh-oh, sent her a photo of it and she generously still said yes and said in the future please ask before actually drawing it. I was so damn embarrassed at my ignorance and also so grateful for the learning.

Hey, I love your photo may I use it once for a drawing that I will then sell? He said yes for $50 which I gladly paid.

I love your photo may I use it once for a drawing that I will then sell? He said yes for $250 which I politely declined. Not that the image wasn’t worth it, it was, it just wasn’t in my budget at the time.

Hey, I noticed you’re using my drawing as your agency’s Facebook page cover photo. Glad you like it would you please add my website to the image before using it any longer? They said no so I said take it down or else.

Hey, I noticed you have my exact wording from my website, would you change that, please? She said yes and it was done within the hour.

What stops us from opening those conversations and instead “stealing” copy or direct ideas or not moving forward with our own spin on any given topic because “it’s already been done by so-and-so fancy famous pants person? Fear of being told no? Possessiveness and wanting to own a piece of information that in essence cannot be owned?

Certainly, it would be disappointing to hear the answer no and yet can we not trust ourselves enough to know that if something is directly related and that person would prefer you not act on it then another idea from the Idea Stream can emerge right behind it? Is this idea really the make or break of your business? What if that no sends you back to floating in the Idea Stream and you come up with something better? It could happen!

Ask. Always ask. The worst that can happen is that you have to go fishing again, opening your mind to the Divine Beloved for another conversation and who doesn’t love chatting with the Divine? If you have issues asking or speaking up (think throat chakra) schedule a complimentary discovery session with me and let’s see what we can shift together.