Experiments in Mobile Working



Yesterday I took a stroll down to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas – a stone’s throw from the coworking space I often inhabit many days of the week (Union Cowork), and set up my mobile office – wifi hotspot I brought with me, Ellipsis Jetpack, a Neso beach tent and a Helinox beach chair in hand. They are small and light enough you can carry them and your shoes in one hand. 

When the tide came up and the sun started going down, I walked back to the co-working space. 

The first vision I had was of working at the zoo. It just hit me one day: wouldn’t it be great to get outside and be in that beauty of the zoo, amongst all the beautiful greenery (I’m a plant freak too), not to mention animals, and be able to write or work at the computer? Some of the best writing I did in college was at parks, sitting at a picnic table. So I made it happen…  

Mobile working at the San Diego Zoo, in an aviary. Nice tropical-like environment. You can people-watch and bird-watch too:



In the Laguna Mountains, 50 minutes East of my home. I could enjoy the fresh air smelling of pines, and the only sounds a gentle breeze in the trees and the sound of birds. I found a picnic table with just enough cellphone signal to connect via the mobile Wifi to the internet, and work on a software prototype a client wants.
Back to the beach a second day. After I got settled in and was just starting to relax, a woman came up to me and said “You have the perfect set-up”. But I’d had a beer and was a bit tired and it was hard to be heard over the sound of the surf, and so it wasn’t much of a dialogue given that it was an the interruption of my woozy nice warm beach reverie haha, though I liked the compliment or, er, “validation” I guess?
There were a lot of people that day walking by, and the tide was up high enough that there wasn’t much beach in front of me to act as a buffer from the stream of folks. I did manage to meditate and write some. 
This photo distorts the space but hey, it’s cool lookin’:
Just another day at work. 
A warm day, I decided, after a morning at the dentist and afternoon errands, to take a shot at going to the zoo again. I was hesitant because of summer crowds, but got there at about 4 and there was plenty of parking – a good sign. Right away found a nice cool canyon, with a waterfall swishing and gurgling off to my right. Shady tropical beauty. 
The main challenge I’m finding here as I write this is the comfort of the seat. I brought a pad, which I found is necessary for the back against the concrete edge, but the seat is totally hard for my skinny butt. Ah well, a bit of movement helps.

A friendly young zoo worker named Liz volunteered to take a picture of me:


Back To Reality?

Just back from a retreat yesterday, I go into the bank and am chatting with the cheerful teller, telling her how I’m just back from a week retreat and am adjusting, and she commiserates about vacations saying, “back to reality” twice in our conversation. What? I walked out, wondering, what on Earth was she talking about? I glance over as I write this and see a book with a sub-title “A Real World Design Guide”.
I suppose it’s an indication of some clarity of mind that I don’t see any division between the reality or real-world-ness of life here at work or at home and the one on a spiritual retreat or vacation. It’s all the same, to me. Mind and Reality. Making it up as we go along…
So am I *supposed* to be unhappy and uptight at work, and only allowed to relax and Be on vacation?
If your work isn’t feeling like a vacation often enough, or your vacation is too much work, there’s something you’re not understanding. You need to vacate your mental premises and let life work through you.

OK back to work …

(This posting is purely for your enjoyment…).

Happiness in Work

“Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You are’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t … you aren’t.
– Wayne Dyer

This applies to work and business, dating, sports, gardening, anything we identify with, that we think we have a stake in, that matters to us. Keep perspective. Know who you are; it feels good to be selfishly self-less. It’s all made up (from thinking).

And we spend so much of our time at work, it makes no sense to be unhappy there. Most of us probably spend more time work than we do with our family or personal intimate relations (if we have one).

What keeps people from seeking to make their work happy? Fear is one. Or attachment to the perks. Or their pride, or ego. Which is not to say it’s an easy thing to change, if you feel there’s a lot at stake. But is it practical to be doing work in which you aren’t fulfilled? You will pay a high price in health and happiness.

I found because of a negative corporate culture and atmosphere I found myself in (this was 15 years ago), the people that survived in it were defensive, knew how to play politics, and people learned that to be honest they paid a huge price: either get fired or reprimanded or some negative. So they learned to be two-faced and hide what they really thought and felt. And they were not happy. But they survived. Until they got a disease form the on-going stress over the years, or quit, or were fired.

I’ve also hear the attitude that “That’s why it’s called work: because you don’t want to do it. You work so you can play later.” Or some variation on that: it’s work because it’s not fun, it’s hard (painting is hard but I am engaged and enjoying it).  It’s nonsense.

But of course unless you know how to be happy in Life, it’s going to be impossible to be happy at work. But to stay in an unhappy job when you are happy otherwise, maybe for the pay or your reputation, makes no sense.

Will a vacation solve it? Not if you back to the same craziness. Change yourself, then you will see how to change what you need to change in the world.

It’s taken me a long time to learn to have faith (I’m still learning – it’s a lifetime journey!). This means trusting your intuition, knowing everything will work out, that we are part of a bigger mind or intelligence, that the “small self” is not who we are, and it plugged into a bigger system, that we are all part of. Not overthinking and over-analyzing.

Enjoy your work.


Related article (by Paul Ricken – external link): about making choices, throwing yourself into what you do (selflessly): http://paulricken.nl/to-choose-easily-514/