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A Weekend On The Water & In The Gutter

Well not exactly in the gutter but it got your attention.

Laura and I went for a Kayak Tour on Saturday with Alberni Outpost around Newcastle Island.

That’s not me; I thought that I would just throw that in. But it is exactly what we were doing 10 days ago on Salts Spring Island learning how to do assisted and self rescues.

At the turn of the 19th century Newcastle Island supplied some the best stone for building and is famous for supplying the stone for the San Francisco Mint.

This was our 3rd Kayak training tour in the past 3 weeks and with one more out on Georgia Straight, we should be good to go out on our own.

On Sunday I installed an aluminum gutter at the edge of my upper patio. The rainy season will be here soon enough and the water just pores off the edge of the patio onto the lower patio during heavy rain and all of this goes on right outside of my office window.

My quip about being in the gutter was about me being mindful and awake to stay out of the gutter of my ego mind while I fabricated and installed the 23 foot long gutter complete with end caps, hangers and downspouts.

So here I was, yet again, hooked into an unmet need based weekend activity which took about 5 hours by the time I went to the building supply store and completed the installation.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I have no negative charge on the gutter installation. I am reporting that I used the gutter installation to practice staying mindful and awake of how I was feeling through the entire process.

I suppose the only charge that I have is in reflection, I should have outsourced this to a tradesperson instead of wasting my time. Then again, with the building boom that continues on Vancouver Island, trades people are hard to find for small jobs … so I went ahead anyway.

The outcome of the entire process was successful because I;

• Could have outsourced this
• Took the 5 hour job on
• Made a few mistakes
• Spilled my glass of fruit smoothie all over my workbench
• Made a few mistakes in measurements and cuts to the gutter and down pipe. One of the mistakes was somewhat significant as I messed up cutting the new gutter and downspout into the existing downspout
• Stayed mindful, awake, paused to feel how I was feeling through the process, breathed through the feelings …
• Compassionately felt the pangs of pain in my heart after I made the mistakes because I was hearing the echo of my deceased father’s voice saying “You will never be any good” which was what was often said during the many mechanical debauteries that I experienced with my father growing up while fixing his old cars that had seen their day before he got a hold of them
• Let my ego mind’s past pain and stories flow through me without getting hooked into a trance
• Stayed out of the trance of anger and resentment for starting the job in the process
• Enjoyed the whole process

That is what I call success because I can feel it in my heart.

How do you get to Zen? Fabricate and install gutter. What do you do when you get there? Fabricate and install gutter. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this old Zen saying it is actually “Chop wood and carry water”.

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory states that we or rather our ego mind invests an enormous amount of energy trying to get our unmet needs met and these unmet needs range from food and shelter to our spiritual needs. What is sad for many of us is that an unmet need is almost impossible to meet outside of ourselves … it must be met from within.

When we are in our ego mind we are not mindful and awake … addicted to outside of ourselves and disconnected from within.

The ego is addicted to finding some form of activity to prove that it is worthy and to disassociate us from feeling the pain from not getting our unmet needs met in the past.

The ego can’t let us sit still; who would we be if we were not obsessing about something?

So we work and work and work and think and think and work and work and …

Create busy work.

How can this relate to the work that I do with financial advisors? Whether you are installing a gutter, or asking for a referral, or creating a business plan, or prospecting a high net worth client, or studying a new product or service, or …

There is beauty in the work.

The question is; are you mindful and awake when you are doing the work whatever the work may be?

Whatever your work, remember to stay mindful, awake, pause to feel how you are feeling through the process, be compassionate, breath through the feelings whatever they may be.

The pleasure and the pain are both parts of the joy of being alive.

So for me, it is being mindful and awake of the Zen Of Outsourcing.