No good deed goes unpunished?

Have you ever felt as though no good deed goes unpunished? I have lately. My quest now is to find some lessons to be learned....without having to wait until my next lifetime for the good karma to (hopefully) find its way back to me.

For the last year or so since buying a villa and turning it into a yoga retreat center, my days are a hodgepodge of running our yoga retreat center in the Caribbean from Boston, leading yoga retreats on St. John, raising money to support the charitable work we do for families of fallen firefighters and wounded troops, promoting my new book and building an on-line community for the book's authors, planning the fall 2009 trip for wounded soldiers to the retreat center, establishing our charitable organization as a formal "non-profit 501c3 organization" and working on my next book.

Unfortunately, all of these activities barely produce enough money to cover the cost of the yoga retreat center. This gets stressful, even with my yoga and meditation practice.

I continue to remind myself the words of my yoga teacher, Diane, "Do the practice and all will fall into place."

Do these words apply to those of us who are spend a disproportionate amount of time on unpaid work relative to our cost of "existing"? Doesn't quite seem rational that it would. And yet my heart keeps telling me the financial stress will somehow resolve itself.

I've tried manifesting, praying, and chanting mantras for prosperity and of course every marketing strategy know to the modern world- but the financial situation has only marginally improved. And yet I still feel a sense that sometime in the future things just HAVE to get easier. Is that feeling the positive side effect of my yoga practice, does my yoga offer me that inner knowing that I will be "ok" somehow, sometime? Or perhaps just knowing that things will get easier makes me ok RIGHT NOW.

So short of having Yoga in America selected as the next Oprah's Book Club Pick...I will probably be in this situation for a little while longer, so I might as well learn some lessons.

What can I learn? Well I'm not sure about the lessons to be learned yet...so for now I'll remind myself of some things that I've been taking for granted while wallowing in financial self-pity:

1. I'm alive, healthy and upright at this moment.
2. I have my yoga practice and it feels good...plus it doesn't cost anything to roll out my mat
3. This too shall pass...
4. I have a roof over my head and a meal on the table
5. I can get around just fine without a car (I sold it last summer to pay the mortgage during a month that was particularly tough...obviously, this was before I knew our new president would bail us all out of our mortgages :-) )
6. Not buying new yoga clothes hasn't had any negative impact on my yoga practice...who knew I didn't NEED new lululemon pants every month!
7. Being on a tight budget while running a business has "forced" me to learn a bunch of new skills - web design, wiring the villa for cable TV, cooking for 13 people for 7 nights, planning weddings, cleaning swimming pools, using a tile cutter and countless other power tools.
8. I'm alive, breathing and healthy at this moment too.

Ok, back to work....

8 Comments:

Lindsey said...

Kudos to you Deborah! I'm thrilled somebody put it into words. Feeling very pinched myself, with all my yoga endeavours and very little money--but not willing to give them up. I keep feeling that it will be okay, but there are moments, especially today, when I wish I had it in me to go back to a full-time job. That lasts for about one second. ;) I have the feeling it does get easier, and will. Thanks for reminding me to remember the positives.

Florian said...

Thanks, for the feedback and validation, Lindsey. I too spent about 5 minutes on monster.com today, right before writing this post. I either lost the courage, or found the courage to not go down that path...not sure which one yet. For 15 years I worked in an office and vowed to not spend the rest of my life behind a desk...but on days like today, I lament the security of a steady paycheck. It's both tempting and scary to go back there. We're in this together girlfriend and I'll support you with wherever your endeavors take you!

miro-gal said...

Hi Deborah--it felt good to wake up to this, my thoughts and feelings exactly. While one part of me is saying I should be in front of linked-in or the want ads all day, the other tells me to be excited by a new art direction I am going in (non-paying for now, but who knows??), do a variety of things in moderation(including being pro-active in looking for paying work--I freelance as an illustrator). But at the end of the day, be grateful for what I have. One day at a time, I do this.New yoga clothes?? Had to laugh at that one! The lilac buds are emerging--who needs lululemon?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely no go deed goes unpunished. It is almost like the harder you work the harder people work against you.

bob said...

I also believe that no good deed goes on punished. No decision sometimes is the best decision.....

callscott2000 said...

Yes how many times have you tried to do something good and you came out much worse than in the beginning. Although not a yogi, I do believe that you can neither go back or go forward, you can only live today as it is ( from the book Taming your Gremlin ). If that is the case, enjoy your friends and family of today not that of yesterday....

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

So glad I checked in. I, too, am dealing with financial stress these days as I got laid off at the end of last year. And I know that what I am about to say won't change your financial situation in any way but I want you to know that I still think nostagically about the Saturday morning Slow Flow/Yin class that you used to teach. It was pure magic and I miss it immensely. None of the instructors that replaced you touched me as deeply. Your class was the first and only space that made me believe that everything in my life would be ok. I can't tell you how special that was...and how much I miss it!

If you ever feel like meeting for coffee, please let me know. I am home with my 6 month-old son (thanks to ivf!) but my mother helps a couple of days per week so we could meet either with or without him....

All my best, always,

Lady In Waiting (aka Alicia)

Bob W. said...

Hi, Deborah. I'm finally getting around to catching up on your blog. Great stuff here. Please let me know if you ever want to brainstorm business and financial stuff. I'm in good retired shape right now, but I have lots of experience dealing with the opposite.

Bob W.