The pieces are coming together in our new soap space and it’s looking great. Excitement alternates with alarm as we push to be ready for the December 8th opening of our shop.

During such a busy time, a lot of healthy things have gotten dumped from my life, but I’ve kept up with my morning meditation practice. It keeps me sane.

One thing I see when I’m sitting is how many  “What if….” thoughts I have – fill in the blank with some major or minor disaster – followed by strategies to prevent  this bad thing from happening. To a certain extent, this kind of forward-thinking is important in running a business. In the last few months, I’ve had to deal with negotiating a lease, buying insurance, and a host of other things that are all about imagining what can go wrong  and trying to mitigate the risk. And as the business grows, the process cannot stop.

What practice does is help interrupt the anxious clenching that accompanies these thoughts.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a Zen Master who was visiting the Cape Cod Zen Center how he dealt with this kind of anxiety in business. Until recently, Mark and his brother ran a big industrial company. What he said went something like this:

“Over the years, our business has grown to where we have millions in revenues and seventy employees. By outward standards, we are a success. But at any moment, an ill wind could blow, and we’d be out of business in six months. You are never really in control of what’s going to happen.”

Strangely, his words were comforting. They reminded me for the zillionth time about one of the core teachings of Buddhism. We constantly grasp for security, for control over life so we can be safe. But it’s not possible, so me might as well relax a little.

Of course we can try to make wise decisions, but there are no guarantees.  All we can do is enjoy the ride.