The Art Of BEING in My Own Business – Part 1

When is it my Business?

In our introduction to this series, we discussed the idea around CONTROL or
the feeling that somehow we are in charge of our surroundings.  In fact, we are not really in control of all that much!

What we do control (or what is our business) is ourselves from the inside out (at least partly), and that is the topic of discussion for today.

Here are 5 things I can list that are my business, and therefore to some degree, are in my control.

1. How I feel about going to work in the morning.
2. How I respond to unfair criticism
3. How I choose to relate to my neighbors
4. Where I spend my grocery money
5. What I say I want when I am asked, “what would you like?”

Let’s take a closer look:

How I feel about going to work in the morning:
Here is the truth of the matter: I don’t really dig going to a job in the morning.  I much prefer my work at home lifestyle.  But, due to unforeseen circumstances, there have been times when “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go!” has been my theme song.  How I feel when I go to the closet, slide my jacket on, and grab the keys as I head out the door, is totally mine to own.  I can be grateful for the opportunities I have to make some progress and learn while I do, or I can choose to be miserable because I hate the job, and suffer my way through.  It is my business.

How I choose to respond is my businness
How I respond to criticism:  
It hurts or maybe it doesn’t have too?  The only reason it hurts is because somehow I give it power to hurt.  Unfair criticism is after all, someone else’s opinion.  Is that my business?  What I think of myself and the person who spoke, that is my business.  I can choose, as Eckhart Tolle suggests, to be transparent. Their words find no matter, no resistance, no one to hurt.  If I know who I am, and I am in connection with myself, I am able to allow others their opinion without it having much to do with me.  It may sting for a second, and then I remember, who I am.  That’s all I need to know.
How I choose to relate to my neighbors:
I read a wonderful post this week by a woman who was discussion intention.  She offered to the readers that one of her daily practices was to offer 85 “Rakas”, or intentions or prayers for her neighbors.  She intended that gentle rains of blessing would be theirs. She said she never has to work on peaceful relations with them, because after you pray for them every day, with 85 repetitions, YOU are peace.

No one can drive me crazy.  It is my business to choose, and I can choose to hate, resent, bear grudges, be intolerant, be rude or to ignore, if I want to.  That is my business.
(Of course, I can choose to enjoy also.)

Where I spend my grocery money:  
I personally cannot control global economy, but I can make choices about how I spend my money. I can shop where they supply local options, organic selections, and sustainable solutions.  That is my business.  Or, I can choose to eat at fast food joints and sip on milkshakes while driving to work.  If I want to go to a concert, and money is tight, I can choose to shop economically, and save enough to go to the concert, or I can complain to everyone I know that there is never enough money to do what you want.  How I respond to my bank account – that is my business.  Where I spend my money, is in my control.            
What I say I want when I am asked, “What would you like?”
I personally have struggled with this one most of my life.  I remember when I was married and raising children, my husband would be driving, and the kids would be in the back seat of the mini van.

“Where would you like to go to eat,” he would ask respectfully.  You could hear the kids sigh in the back seat.  They knew we were in for a ride- and not in the van!  “Well, I don’t really care.  Let’s go where you and the kids want to go,” I replied with modesty and charm. 

“Okay, Dad, let’s go to Burger King!”  My daughter loved the fast food joints.  My immediate response was, “Oh honey, not tonight.”

“Anyone for Denny’s?”  Silly husband suggested.  He thought I really meant it when I said I didn’t have a preference.  He assumed that when I said, “not really”, it meant not really.  

I remember years of me not saying what I wanted when asked because I wanted to please others, but really, I didn’t want to take responsibility for pleasing myself.  I wanted someone else to do that for me.  The unspoken deal was this: I please you – you please me. 

Taking the time to be honest, to say what I want when I am asked is my business.


You must have some “doosies”.  Let’s save the ‘What’s not my Business’ for next time, and this time, share your list of ‘What is my business’.  We could learn a lot from each other.

In the Grace of the Moment,

PS. Interested in learning about TRIPLE WIN STRATEGY?  Learn how business is being reshaped through consumersim to global citizenship. Find out how at one of my other blogs: THE BEST LIFE blog for business.

Many thanks to Lynne at flickr for the money photo.  See her photostream at   And thank you to Casey Broadwater for the photographic look into a “neighborhood.”  See her work at


22 Comments Add yours

  1. neyellen says:


    These are great practical suggestions for staying present. I especially like the neighbor suggestions because I have had a “problem” with my neighbors. So I had to laugh about sending prayers to your neighbors and having no time for animosity towards them because you are giving out all this love! Good one.

    And what you put in bold – is so true, especially for women. Not wanting to take responsibility to please myself. I please you, you please me. Interesting. It is hard to let go of that.

    I still have a long way to go. Ha!

  2. Beth says:

    First of all, Harmony, this is a well-written post. The parts about responding to criticism and asking for what you want resonated with me, because of the way those things were handled in my family.

    I’ve reached a point in my life at which I can ask for what I want. What’s hard is telling people when I don’t like something.

    I would like to add one suggestion about receiving criticism. I think if one’s response is truly visceral, it’s important (and yet very difficult) to spend some time exploring why. Usually, the visceral response has to do with some cherished worldview being threatened.

    What else is my business:

    1. How I feel about the aforementioned “way these things were handled in my family.” I once wrote a poem about my father titled “No longer in opposition,” because finally I had given up fighting him about the things he was doing “wrong.” It was a great relief.

    2. This is going to be controversial, but I feel that when people make remarks that are truly offensive to me (and by that I almost always mean racist or sexist remarks, not political remarks), I should say something. Let them know that I’m not going to go along with it. Otherwise I feel that I’m agreeing with them, in a way. As Sheryl Crow says, “weak to watch without speaking.”

    3. Related to #2, I can choose how to respond to any kind of comment I don’t like. In the past, I’ve kept my negative, angry, or hurt feelings in until they had to come out. Then the response usually seemed all out of proportion to the remark or behavior I didn’t like. So I can choose to blurt something out right away, or I can choose to let my fears rule. Either way, I can choose to let go of the problem later.

  3. goldenzen says:


    And I thought I was the only one! 🙂 You know the biggest problem with my people pleasing, is that it doesn’t really please anyone, and it leaves me resentful, which is such a good waste of my energy. Thanks so much for your thoughtful read and comments.

  4. goldenzen says:

    Beth: WOW – very good comments! Yes the choice is ours!
    I think if we choose to let others have their own opinions, we can verbally state our disagreements, and yet still be able to walk away empty handed – of anger, resentment, hurt etc…
    I enjoyed your comments and appreciate your visit.

  5. surjit says:

    A wonderful post.
    “When criticized, consider the source.”
    Thanks for sharing.
    Good luck.

  6. bethpart says:

    Yes, verbally stating the disagreement without getting too invested in it–that’s key, and very hard to do on a regular basis.

  7. Davina says:

    Ah, the neighbours! I have a fanatic cleaning lady who lives above me. She vacuums more than I’d like to hear. Our apartments have hardwood floors and she doesn’t use a brush on her machine. I hear the rolling back and forth over and over for sometimes an hour. It drives me crazy!

    I have spoken to her about it but nothing has changed. I guess it’s a good thing that she is clean.

    Over the last while I’ve taken to blocking it out by listening to my mp3 player. Today I decided that no, I would try an experiment and accept that this is going to happen and that I can’t change it. And? I forgot to listen to the noise and I don’t even remember when it stopped. 🙂

  8. Wow Harmony,
    These are quite intense.

    Here are a couple for you.

    1. Being aware of thoughts.

    I would say that I own my thoughts. I despise the sheep consciousness and people’s complacency with it. I have dubbed it the “sleep” consciousness. There is nothing more exhilarating than an original thought to perk up the brain.

    2. Giving love to the unappreciated.

    I always make a point to speak to any service worker, (postal worker, security, delivery people, waiters, etc.) I find out their name, ask about their day and make sure that I thank them for their service. We both usually walk away with a smile.

    Great post. 😀

  9. Lance says:

    I’m not sure if this is a little too broad for what you’re looking for here – but I control my choices. I have the power to decide how to respond to any given situation. I choose. And I control how/what/when/where/why I choose. And with that power can come great responsibility – responsibility for myself and my actions (on inactions).

  10. Okay first of all I’ll be honest here (because I’m a very honest panther). If I took the time to say 85 prayers for my neighbours each day I would be less than peaceful. I would resent my poor neighbours! *grin*

    It is very much my business to be sure of and true to me. And that sums everything else up. It guides my every thought and action. It took me a long time to get here, but now everthing that comes out of my mouth, and every action I perform, is a reflection of who I am and what is right for me. Otherwise, I don’t say it and I don’t do it. It has made my life so much easier.

  11. goldenzen says:

    ^/> Surjit, Yes: what others say about us defines who they are – not me. Thank you.

    ^/> Bethpart, you are so right. That is why living right in the NOW and learning to romance silence helps…it fuels the tank.

    ^/> Davina, WHAT A GOOD STORY. What we focus on expands! (Just dont’ be looking at my bum!)

    ^/> Alexys- Thank you. Those are great points. It is especially powerful if you get nothing back or hardly noticed. If you can feel nothing then, but that love and kindness..something wonderful was given.

    ^/> Lance – Yes you are right. It is why i started this whole series with a post about “Would you eat Lemons?” The choices, even for happiness despite the circumstances are ours.

    ^/>Urban Panther – Well little missy. First I can say that if you were not hanging out with the SOTUD over at the “other” blog, you would have more patience for prayers! :-))))) I applaud you on your authentic self and integgration of your values and perspectives. I won’t make you say online, but I am guessing you have passed a age barrier that allows us to be who we are in our own skin…IF WE CHOOSE TO. Thanks for being so playful.

  12. Rita says:

    Ironic…I just blogged on a similar topic today – about control – being controlled by disease, or having it control you.

    It is so wonderful to be able to even FEEL in control of anything in my life after years of passing that control off, that I revel in the most mundane of choices: because they’re mine!

    Thanks for sharing this,


  13. goldenzen says:

    I hear you! Trapped in a bed for months with illness can turn you upside down and give you an amazing perspective of living. Thanks for sharing!

  14. @Harmony – 45 years old and proud of it!

  15. goldenzen says:

    UP! I just knew it! Me too (+5) Love life from this lofty tower!

  16. Hi Harmony – I was reading the part about pleasing others and not wanting to speak up. In the past I would do that and then be mad because I didn’t like the choice another person made. It didn’t take me long to figure out that if I didn’t speak up, I only had myself to blame. Now…I say what I think and what I want or don’t want to do. It’s made all the difference in the world.

  17. goldenzen says:

    Barbara – I discovered my lack of authenticity didn’t help matters…course, I am not saying everyone in my world liked the new speak for myself me. 🙂

  18. I live in a beautiful area, but there is a lot of motorized weed control going on all the time because it’s rainforest area so it has to be done, between that and the endless dog barking, it hasn’t turned out to always be the idyllic country retreat I wanted. It’s my business to be grateful and not let the noise get to me.

    I don’t always manage to do that 😉

  19. goldenzen says:

    Hey Seamus,

    Now I will admit, that could get to me too. I love silence. Whether you are a REBEL ZEN or a Goldenzen…silence is in our makeup. Hmmm. I would like to hear about your progress on his one…hits lose to home! 🙂

  20. Hi Harmony,

    It is my business how my relationship is going with my husband.

    It is my business who my children are friends with.

    It is my business how I handle my own financial future.

    It is my business how well I take care of my body.

    Blessings, thanks for the post.

  21. goldenzen says:

    Hi Defying Gravity,

    I REALLY like the way you comment on how your business is what you can take responsibility for.

    Good to see you again.

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