A is for . . .

image ehow.com

image ehow.com

It’s almost here at last – our next board meeting – and it’s been a long time coming, what with all the external demands made on our time, and having to lie down on our own mats sometimes with a sprinkling of fairy dust.  We’re a small board, admittedly, but a board nevertheless, and tomorrow we have a very long agenda to get through. From accounts to yoga pants, we’ll give the alphabet a run through although, as you’ll see, not in any order.

M is for money. We have to remind ourselves of this.  We have cash cards that look like it but we also have a full tin labelled ‘receipts for money we used to have’. It’s in short supply.

Coincidentally, M is also for marketing and we’ll talk about this quite a lot – what’s worked and what hasn’t. With more of the latter probably.  We really need a way to get people to understand our products and what they represent.  But it’s a B hard world out there in the ether.

So, U is for understanding.  Bill Gates once famously said that it’s OK to celebrate success but you learn more from failure (or something like that).   So F is for failure but we don’t even contemplate that possibility because . . .

. . . A is for attitude and we believe that a positive A doesn’t leave room for F.

C is perhaps the most important letter tomorrow because, of course, it stands for . . . cake! At last! And as Lent is over, it can be Chocolate Cake.  Mmmm, CC also stands for cold calling, cost-control and credit crunch.  Oh dear.

Afterwards, we’ll share some of our thoughts with you in the hope that like minds and businesses would like to do the same. After all, a P shared is a P halved, even if we do have to call them challenges these days.

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Busy fools?

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We’ve got a full on week ahead – two new outlets for our books and we take our first delivery of MyogaMarzipants (this year’s coolest look – on and off the yoga mat. Pictures soon). Admin mounts and so the iBook version of the MyogaManual will have to take a bit of a back seat (despite the fact I’m up to chapter 11 of 13) as we’re both pretty much occupied by the day jobs too.  It’s hectic. And it would be so easy to fall into the trap of becoming busy fools, running frantically around getting frazzled and enjoying very few of the little treasures each day offers if only we could slow down enough to see them.

My promise to myself?  To perform two activities a day with mindfulness. My favourites are (1) my morning shower and (2) eating cake – and of course my yoga practice.  Here’s hoping this will help with the busyness and make us more productive.  We can hope.

Crumbs

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So, no cake yesterday – a shocking state of affairs that will be remedied at our earliest convenience (which might be some time actually).  In the meantime, we’re reflecting on our first 6 months in business. It’s early days of course, and in yoga terms, we’re still mastering Dandasana. But we’re amassing crumbs of wisdom that, one day, might make a substantial cake of their own.  This is some of what we’ve learned so far:

  1. People will only engage with you if they like you and what you stand for
  2. Selling is harder than mastering Hummingbird
  3. Saturdays and Sundays are pretty much like Mondays
  4. Yoga may be magic – but it’s not an instant fix and that’s what a lot of people are looking for
  5. Wisdom isn’t highly rated. Handbags are
  6. Cake is a must at meetings. It can make or break your day
  7. A little bit of fairy dust goes a long way.

In summary, I think we can say that, after the first few months, we pretty much know what we’re up against.  And we’re grateful for these little wisdoms we’re picking up on the way. The challenge is ours. Everything is sent to you for a reason.

time thieves

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We both have day jobs, us Myogis and for me this involves going to an office sometimes.  Yesterday, we found that we’d had a burglary over the weekend and thousands of pounds worth of equipment had been stolen.  The subsequent investigation showed that it had been hidden from sight, secured with a combination lock of stout manufacture in a heavy cabinet behind shuttered windows and doors and was, thankfully, insured.

And it made me think about the efforts we go to in order to safeguard the materials things in life while leaving other much more treasured aspects at risk of loss.  And I’m particularly thinking of time.  As we get older, the value of time increases exponentially yet we seem to be able to do little to safeguard it. And in the face of the growing hoards of time thieves that stalk us malevolently, this is reckless.

‘Improve my time management’ is always at the top of my to-do list.  But the new wireless router that installs in 3 simple steps takes almost two hours (53 minutes of which are taken up on the ‘phone to the ‘experts’ who also struggle with the vagaries of the subnet mask), and the journey to work and back takes a further hour each day because of long-term roadworks.  No longer can I visit my bank, instead spending endless afternoons in a ‘phone queue listening to the hits of the 80s (which I didn’t appreciate even then), and I’m also, don’t forget, relentlessly formatting the incompatibilities of various ‘new’ software packages.  They’re always there in the shadows those time thieves, and sometimes it seems that nothing less than an entire withdrawal from battle with them will do.

Thankfully, there is yoga.  Focus, presence, space, breath – and gratitude.  And as soon as I spread my mat before me, the shadow retreats and with it, the clock-watching and the fear. One small strip of latex has this effect – oh, and the little bit of fairy dust.

truly, everything is suffering

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Yoga texts teach us that we’re all one – part of and not separate from our environment.  And modern science confirms this.  According to Professor Brian Cox, it seems that we are, indeed, no more than little creatures of carbon, once part of subterranean rock, having the same energy sources as mouldy bread and sharing 60% of our DNA with chickens (ponder that next time you see a family bucket of KFC).

So you might be forgiven for thinking that, intelligent creatures into which we have evolved, we could have developed our man-made world along the same lines?  Apparently not.  With the task of creating the MyogaManual as an iBook, my latest technological challenge is one where publishing software in the printed world has absolutely nothing in common with that for provided the electronic one.  I could therefore spend the next 5 years of my life trying to upload existing files into their entirely new environment with all the formatting errors and incompatibilities that would entail. Or I could just re-type and re-image the entire publication.

Ah well, as Brian Cox sang in an earlier incarnation “Things can only get better . . .” And if my karma’s good, he’s right. I love this world really.

press any key to continue

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Setting up a business is one thing but starting an online business is quite another.  Of course, we have a website . . . and a Facebook page . . .  and (proudly), we Tweet.  But really we weren’t prepared for the hard stuff. The back office of the virtual world (and I’m not talking programming, the really techie stuff) is a bewildering world of Gravatars, RSS feeds, tags and meta tags; bookmarks, rankings and keyword density.  Such is the result of a global marketplace where we have to compete with everyone else in the world.  And in the midst of all of this I’m trying to remain calm, mindful and grounded. Fat chance.

But, of course, there is help at hand.  There are apps out there that will play relaxing music and whisper softly to me when I can’t find a way to change the website’s navigation or, dare I say it, master Word Press. Some can even measure my heart rate and blood pressure to let me know how bad a day I’m really having (like I wouldn’t know anyway).  And there are other apps to help me to be better organised and achieve more (with less of course) but really they just leave me feeling entirely inadequate.

I’ve yet to find an app that can go to the Post Office for me or make a steaming cup of Chinese rose tea – both of which would contribute to a quality of life befitting a yogi.

I’ve put ‘corner shop’ on the agenda for the next board meeting.