The love of business
“What would happen if you loved your business with the same deep feeling you were in as you observed the baby at the table next to us?”
At least that’s what I heard my new Phoenix friend ask as we shared a lovely dinner on the patio of a local eatery, enjoying great food, the sultry desert night and the fog swirling around us from the cooling misting machines.
My friend is very present; she notices things. And she had noticed that I was utterly captivated by the precious little boy’s gusto as he ate his food and by his interest in the adults around him as he enjoyed their conversation. He reminded me of my teeny grandson. I was filled with a deep, beautiful feeling as I watched him.
What would it be like if I nourished my business from that same depth of feeling? The question seemed to open a portal to my soul; it riveted me. And still did, this morning, as I floated around in the pool after my swim.
Six insights came to mind as I reflected on what I feel as I watch children through loving eyes: tenderness, wonder, curiosity, delight, freedom from judgment and rest.
Tenderness is a word I haven’t associated with work, but I realize that I often feel it when I am writing or working with clients. But what if I found tenderness more as I considered my business in general? Tenderness and inner pressure, driven-ness, are incompatible. The thought of considering my business, my work, from a space of gentle kindness brought tears to my eyes.
When my little grandson is around, I pace him with wonder. Where does he want to go next? I go where he wants to go, redirecting him only when needed to keep him safe. I don’t know that I’ve has as much respect for my business. Where does it want to go? As my wise friend pointed out, “it, too, has an identity that is unfolding.”
I’m so curious about children. I love watching as their individuality is revealed. I don’t think I’ve brought the same depth of presence and regard to how love wants to unfold uniquely in my work.
Delight just bubbles up inside when I’m around my grandchildren, just as it did when I was raising my daughter. Do I let myself find the same joy when it comes to my work? Or do I dampen that joy with far too much thinking about the “hows” and “whats” of work?
As I watched the little boy in the restaurant, my mind was quiet, there was no judgment, no criticism. Have I brought the same level of open-heartedness to the progress or lack of it in my business? What would happen if I was utterly free of judgment? More energy? More space for wisdom? More insight and foresight?
When I’m with children, I rest more. Part of that is practical as I don’t have the same stamina I once did when it comes to keeping up with the energy of youngsters. But rest refreshes. I’m learning a lot these days about resting my mind, knowing that the next business idea is much more likely to occur in a refreshed space.
It’s not that I haven’t loved my business to this point, but my friend’s question helped me see that there is a greater depth of feeling to find. I am curious to watch that insight evolve. A big thank you to my friend for noticing.