A few years ago, before I had kids and had the time to read important books, I read a book called Wherever You Go, There You Are. It was basically a zen approach to not living in the future and not living in the past, but rather taking note at all times of where you are right then and there. What does it mean to be present? What does it mean to be fully in the NOW and to be open to receiving the experience that is happening NOW, how little it may be. I remember it gave some kind of statistic that we live about 70% in the future and 20% in the past and so only had a little nugget left over from all that thinking for the very present. Don’t ask me how they quantified this, but it made sense to me. And this little formula, if correct, was not good at all.
The idea was not to miss what was happening right then at that moment and soak up that experience as important and valid in your day and in your life. Of course one way to do this is to concentrate on your breath. Breathing is in the now. It happens now….and now…and now.
This sounds like another reminder of how to approach our little, creative businesses, yea?
You may not be where you want to be. You may be starting off small and with no money to really invest in your ideas. Chances are if you are doing something creative this is you. You may not have the clientele that you need to sell your pieces. You may not have the time or energy at the end of your “real day-job” to work on your creative projects. You may be envious of someone else living out their creative dream. You may be sick of having to wait. You may not have a support system encouraging you. But, instead of thinking about where you are not, which can get really depressing, could we think about what is happening right now?
Say you are starting a business painting vintage signs. Well, you weren’t born into the world knowing how to do this. So, here you are and maybe you are not selling everything you’ve done to date, but are you practicing the craft? Is your work getting better? Are you finding cooler wood to work on? Are you exploring the world of fonts and sizes? Are you researching more clever quotes and ideas to use? Does your mind feel relaxed when you are working?
(image from the Happy Housie)
I was reading about meditation recently and the author of the article said something to the affect of, “No one knows how to meditate, you just get up every morning and try again.” Living in the present and acknowledging that space does not come naturally. It’s hard and it takes practice. But, what if we could feel that contentment for 2 mintues a day? or 5 mintues? or maybe even 20 minutes if we tried really, really hard? How would we feel about our businesses then? Like it was more than just a business?
That the process was just as important as the sum of how many pieces we’ve sold? That we are healing & loving and creating by doing the work with our hands? I wonder if we would feel a little more compassion towards ourselves. And patience. And love. We try to offer this to our kids and our neighbors, but what about ourselves? This is super hard for me because my self-worth is all tied up and confused in busily working at something every minute of the day. But, what if….
(This makes me feel like I definitely need to find myself an antique compass.)