Friday, April 26, 2013


This comes from a friend of a friend, actually. Lisa-Jo Baker's blog was discovered by me, this morning on Kerry's blog. And I decided to take her up on her invitation to spend five minutes of my morning just writing. On the topic of "Friend"... 3... 2... 1.... Time starts... NOW:

I am an odd sort of person when it comes to friends. I have to really like them. That sounds odd, considering everyone really likes their friends, right? What I mean is - like them to the point that their eccentricities, darkness, bad days, let downs, letting me downs don't matter as much as just loving them as my friend.

I am incredibly luck in that I can count some family members as friends too. Not everyone can say that.

I have several friends who have been around a long time. Twenty-five years for two of them. Sixteen years. Fourteen years. Some, fourteen months. And I love them all.

They are all excritiatingly diverse in personality, but they do share just one thing in common: if I haven't seen or spoken to them in ten years, ten months, ten minutes, whenever we get together, it feels as though no time has passed at all and we can simply pick up the thread of the last conversation and reconnect. For that, I am blessed.



Now it's YOUR turn. Go visit Lisa's blog, read the instructions and do your own "Friend" inspired post. Stick a comment on my page so I can go read your stuff.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Have To / Must.

So here's the thing. I am  undoubtedly very stressed out. In March, I landed my arse in the emergency room with chest pains that I thought were the start of a heart attack. Turns out that I was only having a very severe anxiety attack. And I say 'only' with a tinge of sarcasm.

As a result I have decided to cut all my 'crazy makers', 'have tos' and 'musts' loose. Because they are fucking with my head. First to go was Facebook. Then a few ideas hit the dirt: "I have to become a chiropractor. I have to listen to this idiot. I have to keep my mouth shut. I have to be nice/perfect/thin/go to gym five days a week."

Yesterday I was given a freelance editing job that came with no brief, changing of goal posts and a ridiculous deadline. My reaction was:

I am now going to take a break and drink a nice hot cup of tea and I am going to take however long it takes. Because I don't  have to get stressed out about a job that I wasn't given all the pieces of the puzzle for.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Change of Direction

It was in either 2005 or 2006 that I received Gohonzon from the SGI (Sokka-Gakkai International), a lay organisation based on Nichiren Buddhism.

For some time now I have been practicing independently, and this morning I had a revelation while chanting with new friends who practice in the Nichiren Shu tradition: it is time to return my Gohonzon to the SGI.

As was pointed out to me today, the Gohonzon I received from the SGI is still property of the SGI - it doesn't belong to me per se. Which means that it was never mine and only on loan.

So now begins an interesting process, one that is undertaken with seriousness: the process of returning my Gohonzon.

I didn't even realise I had that decision to make until in a flash it was there, fully formed and my mind already made up. It was instant. It was like believing the world was only made of darkness until someone switched on the lights and it changed everything you thought you know. That dramatic and that instantaneous.

It seems apt. The past year has been a journey through a number of different forms of suffering and now as I stand at the precipice of 40, a lot of things in my life are looking very different.

On 11 March I went into the emergency room because I had chest pains so severe, I thought I was having a heart attack. It turns out that what I was experiencing was a rather severe form of an anxiety attack. I have been making changes that benefit my life since then. I deactivated my Facebook account, I now take lunch breaks. I speak up for myself when I would have remained silent in the past. And here it is, another decision that I didn't realise I had already made: return Gohonzon, keep practicing Nichiren Buddhism and learn more about the Nichiren Shu practice and Buddhism as a whole.

I know I will be fine. Yes, there are other changes to make. One at a time. And this change feels 100% right and in line with my life and in line with respecting myself.