Being British has it's advantages. Tea, for one thing, is something I really miss when I'm travelling the world ... good old fashioned tea the way my mum makes it just can't be found! And hobnob biscuits ... mmmmm!
There are some tendencies which aren't so great though, one of which is carrying on in the face of adversity, pushing through difficult times, and coming out the other side better for it. I say this isn't so great, because what happens if the other side never comes?
Today's quote from 'Meditations for women who do too much' is:
"You need to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality."
~ Flonda Scott Maxwell
We often find at some point in our lives the need to take stock, look back on our life and review who we are and what we have done with our lives. The effect can be quite strong, and for me it has led to an ongoing reflective process, through which I'm working on really being in the moment and seeing that I am at this point in time as a result of the conditions that arose in the past, and that where I go in the future is dependant on conditions yet to arise.
Through this process, I've found it's all too easy to get into the habit of beating myself up about all the bad decisions I made and the times when things didn't go so well. I've definitely been in this place many times (it's a recurring theme!), and I regularly get mini 'flash-backs' of memories where I did or said something really awful, which I often feel great regret (and often embarrasment!) about.
I do also sometimes slip toward the opposite end of the spectrum, patting myself on the back for all the great things I have done and the way I have lead my life - less so than the negative end but sometimes it can be more destructive.
A while ago, a good friend of mine gave me a lovely book of hers, slightly in jest but also out of compassion, at my busyness and tendency to do too much, called 'Meditations for women who do too much' by Anne Wilson Schaef. Ironically, it's mostly sat on my bookshelf (you guessed it, because I've been too busy!) however today I was reminded of this book in an evening on friendship and thought I would dig it out and revisit some of the reflections.
I retrieved it, dusted it down, and I'm going to make the effort to reflect on each day's meditation, and post a blog each day with the reflection or meditation of the day. I may not manage every day, but I'll see what I can do!
Today is my first day back from the winter break, probably the longest proper time off that hasn't involved chasing kids around the mountains for DofE or being on retreat since I started running the business full time three years ago. It's also the first time I have returned to work from a vacation and felt like I had truly had the chance to kick back and rest.
Yesterday a thread started in one of the local business networks I contribute to expressing surprise that business owners who had no necessity to close down until today (necessities were suggested as having children who didn't start back at school until today, for example) had kept their businesses closed. It made me wonder just how hard we sometimes push ourselves when we are running - or indeed working in - small and medium sized businesses without thinking about the consequences of not taking the time to properly rest and recover.
Today is an important day in the Buddhist calendar - it's Sangha Day, where we celebrate one of the 'Three Jewels' of Buddhism. The Three Jewels are at the heart of Buddhism, and include:
- The Buddha (The person who gained enlightenment for the sake of all beings, and shared his experience with others) - Yellow
- The Dharma (The teachings through which the Buddha shared his experiences of enlightenment, making it possible for others to achieve) - Blue
- The Sangha (The spiritual community who have gained enlightenment, and the people with whom we share our lives) - Red
Community plays an important part in my life, both in my Buddhist practice but also my interest and roles within the Joomla! Community, so I thought it would be helpful to unpack what my thoughts were on why community is important in today's society.
Things have been a little busy in the past month, with lots of international speaking engagements and of course, being part of the team behind Joomla!Day UK which took place at the beginning of October.
After the experience in Kenya I was hoping that the travel would be a bit easier - and thankfully it was! First stop was Joomla!Day Switzerland where I gave a talk which busted some common SEO Myths, followed by speaking at Joomla!Day Spain the next weekend, and running (and speaking in three sessions!) at Joomla!Day UK the weekend after that.
Unfortunately I had to draw the line at three consecutive speaking events, so when I was invited to attend Joomla!Day South Africa rather than decline the invitation, we arranged to do a presentation via Skype, which worked really well!