A ritual often performed at the Auckland Buddhist Centre includes the following lines:
My personality throughout my existences…
I give up without regard to myself
For the benefit of all beings.
I’ve been thinking about my various existences because the company I work for just published a really useful resource, A guide to financing your business.
The content is top notch, it’s beautifully laid out and illustrated, the writing is clear, the whole thing flows well, and it’s easy to navigate. While it doesn’t really take a stand on the ethics or of any of the options and I’d have loved to see some case studies, it’s far more complete than I was expecting, and I’m really impressed!
And I had absolutely nothing to do with its creation, which feels incredibly strange. I was legitimately obsessed with this topic — my expertise in that rapidly-evolving field paid my bills, I got a massive grant to write a book about it — for more than a decade. I can’t pinpoint exactly when that particular obsession ended, but it’s been a HUGE relief to let go of the need to stay on top of the latest crowdfunding legislation or alternative lending innovations or who’s launching what new community investing fund… thankfully, we’ve got people like Jenny Kassan and Amy Cortese all over those 🙂
This shift in my attention makes me think of all the different identities I’ve embraced and then drifted away from over the years: uni student; field scientist; traveler; climber; entrepreneur; mountain biker; sustainability MBA; foodie; West Marin-ite; speaker; surfer; business consultant / coach.
These days the identities that feel strongest in me are: immigrant; Buddhist; partner; friend; homebody. And then there are those that have always felt true: writer; sister; ocean lover; one who enjoys looking out at the world from high-up vantage points; glad scientist; introvert who needs lots of time alone to recharge.
To look at all these different labels I had for myself I feel a combination of nostalgia for what used to be, compassion for the challenges that person (they hardly feel like me!) faced back then, relief at having made it to where I am now, and curiosity about what might be coming next… not to mention a hope that these all might, somehow, actually benefit any beings, much less ALL of them. It’s a lovely thing to imagine.