Accessing Off-Menu SpecialsAug 28, 2023
I’m recently back to work after a marvelous time out for four weeks for my wedding ceremony with Michael and our honeymoon in Costa Rica.
More to come on this + Love Power, Ceremony Power, and Family Power in a future message 😊.
While we were in honeymoon mode, we made a lot of friends in our travels and our interactions with Ticos, which is typical for us because being curious about other people and weaving genuine connections is one of the most fun things in life.
All along the way, we accessed a waterfall of “off-menu” offers.
From an astoundingly special connection with our Lyft driver at 2:50 am that fruited many hugs, tears, and an enthusiastic offer to pick us up upon our return at midnight in 15 days free of charge to special smoothies and transcendent improv craft cocktails by a master mixologist, custom woodwork pieces from a regeneratively stewarded forest not typically sold by the restaurant where we enjoyed them, and a 1-hour private petroglyph tour that turned into a 3-hour far-ranging adventure… we were showered with love and special offers from these new connections.
And let me tell you, it wasn’t just because we were a couple on our honeymoon.
Photo: Petroglyph adventure with Alberto on the slopes of Miravalles Volcano near Bagaces, Costa Rica
What is the magic in the off-menu item exchange & why is this so important?
From a transactional frame of Disconnection Consciousness, off-menu items or experiences are leveraged from Shadow Power and ultimately serve to reinforce false perceptions of dominance or victimhood. Everyone who’s worked in the hospitality industry knows this in their bones and as a former waitress, professional cook, caterer, and housekeeper, I could see all the nuances of the parallel reality experience we were often having one table over from other patrons stuck in this perspective. It is exhausting to people delivering service, not to mention much less delightful for patrons themselves.
- Example // A customer feels entitled to get a custom creation or special access because of their Resource Power, Privilege Power, Positional Power, Magnetic Power, Erotic Power, etc. (*This is an example of moving from Shadow Power - Power Over)
- Example // A server perceives their customer’s power (in whatever form) and offers an off-menu item to ingratiate themselves, hoping to get something external from the customer that would increase their personal sense of power (*This is an example of moving from Shadow Power - Power Given Away)
Compare this to the relational frame of Connection Consciousness where off-menu items become accessed, shared, and enjoyed in reciprocity through the weaving and tending of genuine care and intimacy — aka Love Power and Trust Power as Power that Serves the Whole. The warm, genuine friendships and buoyant energy of connection we had with people on our honeymoon sourced from the oceanic love we’d generated and been waterfalled with through our wedding ceremony.
Yes, this resulted in us getting offered lovely “off-menu” items, but it also involved our own generous spirits and giving. We did experience scouting for our hotel’s concierge, advocated for tour providers to raise their prices, celebrated and mirrored people’s mastery, literally embraced people in their grief and exhaustion, shared and translated practices for regenerative body healing, and texted countless resources to new friends.
The origin of the cycle of generosity and appreciation doesn’t matter nearly so much as the mutual effort to keep it flowing in reciprocity.
From this frame, not only is the essence of transactional extractive nature erased, the whole exchange becomes a joyful, ongoing, art of creative mutual care that uplifts everyone's Power that Serves the Whole. So, yes, the off-menu experiences were awesome, but the relationships and joy that resulted from these reciprocal exchanges of care, service, and appreciation are the true, enduring gifts.
It is one thing to prioritize delighting your teammates or customers.
It is another to find meaningful ways to weave deeper intimacy, connection, and care.
Take a moment to reflect on your own form of service:
— What is one relationship you feel inspired to water with greater appreciation or generosity without attachment to the outcome? What can you do in the next 7 days to take action on this?
— What is one relationship where you’ve been withholding appreciation or generosity in which you’re ready to soften and bring more care? What can you do in the next 7 days to take action on this?
I hope this was helpful :)
Warmest wishes of wellbeing,
Ps. We have an off-website special this Fall available only to the Wayfinding community to parallel our growing organizational offer of Team Power Coaching: Group Power Coaching Cohorts for Individuals.
The first one starts soon and we have 2 spaces left.
Called to learn more and perhaps step into a community space of power transformation?
Reply here and we’ll send you the details 🌊
Join the Wayfinding Community
Sign up for insights about wisdom-based leadership and systems healing at work