Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Clean Your Bowl

A few weeks ago, the writer of one of favorite blogs posted this under the heading "The only leadership advice you will ever need".

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

Tao Te Ching chapter 9

It has stayed with me ever since, especially in the past week or so when every single one of our days has been full to the brim and I know there are all sorts of things spilling over the edge. I hate that feeling! But where do you make the cut? What, exactly, is my work? Mother? Home educator? Artist? Knitter and spinner? All are full time jobs if you do them correctly.

Sometimes, in my weaker moments, I can't help but think: sure, it was easy for the Buddha. He wasn't a mother. He didn't have laundry and meals and children and schedules and clean-up and work on top of all that.

You can be on the path and still be mountains and rivers away.


island sweet said...

i think there is only ever the moment so no matter what you're doing - that's all you can be doing. it's how you do it (well theoretically anyway...) xxx

dorinalouise said...

well, i have to agree that it WAS easier for the buddha. he WASN'T a mother! and i also agree with island sweet . . it's all the moment . . but i also know about scheduling not only for myself as a mother/home educator/artist/knitter, but for children that have needs also . . places to go, things to do. and i (and we) have had to make cuts (oh that's a harsh word) and i've, or we've, had to let it go . . just to take the moment back again. (sigh)