How am I ?- well at one level weary - at another fed up - at another hanging on in there -are you getting the picture? Keeping engaged with my work has been difficult, I've kept drifting off into bored day dreams. There has been an awful lot of deep sighing, internally and externally, going on. On Friday I awoke feeling drained of even the motivation to get up, I was in an extremely negative state of mind. It was no use talking about it, giving it the oxygen of publicity would only ratify it and thus makes it worse, not better. Meditating helped in restoring some balance, but it wasn't at all suitable for me to be on the phones, and talking much to customers that day. This all feels uncomfortably similar to how I was before I went to Padmaloka. It seems I was being a little presumptive in thinking I'd done with feasting at the table of dissatisfaction. There is a teaching in here somewhere, about the transitory nature of my moods, that I don't always remember. Though I have to acknowledge that when I do feel most at ease, comfortable with myself, feeling positive and capable of so much more, I am always some where else other than at work. As any week progresses, it's effects can be slow acting surreptitious poison.
I can see that I'm an OK Manager, obviously I could always do better, of course. Things have definitely improved in the team since last year or so, in some part due to me, I know that. But I'm finding I don't care for, or take much pride in it as an achievement. It feels a bit like accepting an award on behalf of someone else, who is unfortunately out of the country,so cannot be here to receive it in person. I guess this just shows that some part of me (probable my heart) isn't in it. But, is it really only a sense of duty and financial necessity that is keeping me here? Surely there are also aspects of it which are a spiritual practice - often feels as if its only ksanti ( forbearance) . This doesn't appear enough to prevent it becoming hollow and empty of meaning at times. I feel a bit like a house plant that, from time to time, doesn't get enough essential nutrients from the soil its in, nor enough sunshine for it to fully grow or blossom.
This weekend David and I started the prolonged ritual of Christmas shopping, and preparing for the festive season. I got most of my families presents sorted out today, so hurrah!!! I'm going to see my folks early in December, so I've had to get my act together much earlier than usual. The sooner we get everything else sorted the better. I don't enjoy shopping at the best of times, but particularly so when I'm surrounded by this hurried throng of anxious consumerism. But I suppose they are as concerned as I am to get all the preparations over with pronto. There feels something quite sad and poignant about it this year. What with all the bad economic news, some people who shouldn't do, are being plunged into more expense. So much expectation of us,to buy stuff, any old stuff. Christmas is a time when conspicuous consumption becomes compulsory. I should complain, Windhorse, and my job, are dependant on this time of year. Little wonder people outside of Windhorse, in the FWBO ,and even the wider world, must look askance at us and wonder how on earth a group of Buddhists ended up creating this ethical gift company. What a strange position, to find oneself in as a Buddhist. But then buying and selling gifts is just a means, and that is not the whole story of what Windhorse does by a long long chalk.