trustyourjourney

 

When I first started putting words on mugs, I needed some inspiration so I posted on facebook asking people what some of their favorite sayings were. I got a great response and this one, in particular, has always stuck with me. I have probably styled it 20 different ways because nothing seems to do it justice.

Recently, I have struggled with this kind of trust. Everything seems to weigh down and there is no light at the end of the tunnel and it feels like everything is falling apart.

As it may seem that way, I still wake up every day. I still go thru the motions of what I need to do, want to do, am expected to do. Day in and day out. The amazing thing is that nothing is permanent. So what seems like the end of the world today, in 3 weeks or 3 months or 3 years, will be resolved.

The calm that comes over me when I think about things that have happened and that I have already gone thru, how happy I am that those things are over, that is the calm I wish I had while the shit is happening. Trusting your journey means that the bad times will not last forever, but at the same time, nor will the good.

I truly believe in appreciating the good for however long it lasts but knowing that it will not last forever, and trying to endure the bad knowing in my heart that I will grow from this and it too will not last forever.

Once we get thru an obstacle, it is the biggest relief and we want to bury it, be done with it.

But remembering how good it felt to get thru that thing, might help us trust and have faith that whatever the current thing is, will end too and we will eventually feel that way again.

 

Not Retreating From What Works For You

Good morning! Happy Wednesday! It is a Happy Wednesday. Even if yesterday’s were not so happy. If you know me on facebook or real life, you know that yesterday was a hard day for me.

Not even the whole day! Most of the day was great! Dinner time. Dinner time ruined my whole day. My son is almost 3 and like any other almost 3 year old, he refuses to eat dinner. Breakfast and lunch? Sure! Dinner? Definitely not going to happen. Unless it is a hot dog and mac n cheese, which is what he will be having tonight.

Ok so last night, as soon as he saw what was for dinner, he decided he did not like it. I started to feel super overwhelmed with anger mostly. I cooked, he should at least try it. We will sit here until you eat it. Ok, no movie after dinner, no toys after dinner, sit hear until bed time.

None of these threats worked. In an effort to not lose my shit, oh yeah, I say shit, hope that is ok. In an effort to not lose my shit, I took to FB live in my favorite mom group. Drank my wine and vented about this whole dinner nonsense. Most the women totally got it and talked about their own dinner related struggles.

One mom, however, pointed out that I am probably making a bigger deal out of if than I should be. I put pressure on myself to make my son eat. Is it a “worry” thing? Sure, but he eats all day, I know he is ok, not going to starve. Is it a control thing? This… this is probably more of what it is.

I have noticed my tendency to get angry. I instantly feel icky about myself when I am aware I feel this way and do not know what to do.

So I did what every parent does once in a while. I googled it. How do I stop being an angry parent? I found an amazing article that broke it down step by step, from the very beginning of feeling that inkling of rage. Rage may seem like an over exaggeration, but I assure you it is not. I remember feeling the same type of rage 7 years ago when I was in the worst time period of my life. I also call her, my dragon lady. Hello dragon lady, I feel you still in there and trying to control me again.

stop%e2%80%a8breathe%e2%80%a8listen

The articles steps were clear: Stop, Breathe, Listen.

Stop when you feel it. Breathe to let it go. And listen to yourself, listen to the things you want to say before you say them. Listen to your kid. Listen to the reality of the situation and is it as
bad as you are about to make it seem.

Doesn’t sound too bad. Sounds like how I learned to control it 7 years ago. How did I stop 7 years ago? Magically right before I met my husband, I had been introduced to Buddhism which was like nothing I had ever been taught before.

Talking with a friend who also practices last night, reminded me that one bad dinner should not have taken away from how great yesterday as a whole was. She was right. I had let it take down my whole day.

I say all this to say that if you find something that works for you, do not stop. Even when it seems you have everything under control. You don’t. And that is ok! If you are like me, you might need that support by something bigger than yourself. I chant. Maybe you pray. Maybe you meditate. Good! I am glad you have those things! Your family is glad you have those things!

What solidified it for me was the other day when my husband said to me “Everyone knows when you are not chanting.”

 

And I know too. I feel it. I feel depressed, I feel angry, I feel impatient. Getting started again is so hard. I feel like Spider-Man fighting the venom stuff that takes over his whole body. But with resources and daily practice, we can fight back!

Here’s to fighting for our happiness!img_4359

 

 

 

Stopping the Cycles of Unhappiness

Happiness.

I want people to become happy. Not just my family, friends, so on, I want strangers to be happy. I am unhappy that so many people are unhappy.

I know unhappiness. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was miserable, angry and did things to make others unhappy. Because well, misery loves company.

You know who loves company even more? Happiness.

I was raised by my mother who did the very best she could! She also happened to be an alcoholic. For years I didn’t know what made her the way she was sometimes. I didn’t know why she would tell me “Shut up, God, your voice goes right through me.” I didn’t know why she was violent toward my step dad or not warm and fuzzy or affectionate. It wasn’t until freshman year of high school that I realized I was being raised by an alcoholic. I swore up and down I would never touch a drop of alcohol because I didn’t want that to be me.

Unfortunately, those years of not knowing and too few years of knowing that did make her do it and that I saw my mother drunk more than I saw her sober, all made me exactly who she was drunk, while I was sober. My nature had become my mothers drunk nature. I didn’t need a substance, I just had that anger and misery in my heart at all times.

And it reared it’s ugly head at every single situation in my life. I do not know how anyone hired me, kept me, dated me, loved me or even liked me. I found the worst in everything, everyone. All day. I became abusive, emotionally and physically.

At 22 years old, moved out of my mother’s house for 5 years, I realized I had become what I didn’t want to be, which led to self hate and depression because I didn’t want to be this way but didn’t know how to stop. Should I go to AA? But I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t doing anything.

There were no meetings for “I wake up like this.”

Now, at 27, I am happy! Like stupid happy. I married the man of my dreams. I have a wonderful little boy who I just love to watch grow up and learn and explore. We just moved into the perfect house for our little family. I am lucky enough to stay home with my son. And just started a new business that landed a pretty big account two weeks ago!

What happened?

I woke up to the fact that I was the problem. I had let my whole person become a victim of my environment. I was sucked into believing that this is just the way things are, the way they will continue to be. I now know the truth, and I wouldn’t wish that stuck, unhappy mentality on anyone.

I found Buddhism. I learned about cause and effect. I learned about karma, human and family revolution. I learned that I could stop the seemingly never ending cycle of unhappy marriages, horrible parent-child relationships and substance abuse in my family. I have the power to stop years of unhappiness.

I am about spreading happiness. I am about enlightening people to the fact that their happiness is theirs to take control of.

The power that moves the universe, is also the power that is inside of you.

Use it for good.

 

Thank you Universe!

It is 8:02 pm. I am waiting for 8:30 to roll around so I can jump on a conference call.

A conference call, I am stay at home mom, what on earth am I talking about?

Well I am a stay at home mom but I am also a member of the SGI (Soka Gakkai International). It is a Buddhist organization and a few days ago, I was asked to become a leader in my area. I said YES.

Holy crap I said Yes.

I did. And I am excited and nervous. But it is also impeccable timing. My little sister who lives 800 miles away from just became a member and is doing a wonderful job at maintaining her own practice- so good that she just got a new job. A little background here, she had been unemployed for almost a year. So that is pretty big!

Also, I have started to actually get serious about fitness and doing good stuff for my body.

Now, I am hesitant to say that because my past experience is very wishy washy. On again, off again, great for 2 days and then a rest day becomes 3 months.

The difference this go around is I know I will not see results in a week. Or maybe even two weeks, or three. Hopefully by four, I mean c’mon. But knowing that I am doing this to feel better, knowing that I am doing something to be better feels incredible.

Yesterday, I had all the energy in the world and I think it was because I did my yoga in the morning, today, I focused on photographing some items in the morning, kinda was feeling sluggish. So I made myself do it in the afternoon! Three days in a row! And now here I am, writing my 500 words before the conference call.

I have also recently seen the absolute protection from my practice.

Have you ever had a car accident? Its panic right? Was it your fault? That is even more panic! In January, I did and it was totally my fault. I knew it, they knew it, I told the cop so he knew it.

Once the panic subsided, I was scared my husband would be mad, how will we get everything taken care of, how will I take my son anywhere to do things?? Our families live 800 miles away.

Except, when I had the accident my mother in law and aunt were both here to watch my son while my husband and I got a rental car, made sure the car got to the collision place, and talked to our insurance company a million times. Which, while we were in the rental car place, we were laughing! Joking with each other about how the car needed maintenance and this was its plea for help. The young lady who helped us said we were “her favorite couple because of how we were handling this situation.” It was a good day. It was a good day getting a rental, a rental we needed because I crashed the car.

When our family left, everything was pretty much taken care of.

Fast forward a few weeks, still have the rental car. My mother and sister come to visit. We got a call from the rental place saying we needed to return the car because it was reported to them that our car was fixed and ready to go. Our car insurance was maxed for rental so we had to drop it off. Luckily, my mother had driven her car from Baltimore so we were able to use her car to take my husband to work.

Miscommunication was handled, we pick up the car, get a warning message that we need to pull the car over right now. Clearly, this was the last thing we were expecting as it had just spent a month in the shop. Again, luckily my mother was here so we had a car to use while we re-dropped the car off to get the insides checked out. It was no biggie, and now she is really all better.

We had family visiting from the start of the accident, and then again at the conclusion. Family just so happened to be here and go above and beyond for us, they live 800 miles away. These dates were set in stone and planned weeks in advance, before the accident even happened!

THAT is protection from the universe, my friends. And it is just one of the many reasons I practice with SGI. I am honored to be asked to fill a position of leadership. I hope to continue growing and developing. And now the call is in 7 minutes.

Wish me luck, good night!

away we go

So that title may be very typical but it does capture how I am feeling about this blog thing. And I do happen to love the movie as well, so really, it is a win win. So ok, why a blog?

I am pretty comfortable writing pen to paper. I love paper. I love watching ink strokes and pencils make their mark but I am in dire need of practice on a keyboard. Just these few sentences have resulted in an embarrassing number of typos and misspelled words. However, no grammatical errors (yet). < That might be one.

Ok hello, my name is Shirley. I am a stay at home mom to an almost 2 year old who in increasingly independent. I am a wife to my wonderful husband who works his butt off so that I can stay home with our son. We met 5 year ago this year.

I am also a Buddhist. Guess how long? 5 years! Yes! I met my husband right after I started practicing Buddhism. Coincidence? Some might say yes, I say no! The universe knew what I needed and walked him right into my store of my miserable job. And even in all my misery, he still thought I was pretty, funny, adorable and asked for my number! In all honesty, what was assumed to be a fling, as I was moving to DC from Philadelphia for a new job, and I did. So it was a fling, then long distance, then only a few months later I was packing everything I owned into the trunk of my car and driving to move in with him!

Here we are, 5 years later with a wonderful toddler and a lovely house in GA. If you had told me my future 5 years ago, I would have yelled and screamed and cried at you because I did not deserve to be this happy, so I thought.

I had made so many mistakes, as I once saw them, but now I see that I needed to do those, to end up here. And here, I am happy. Goofy, stupid happy.

I owe it to my husband and my practice. So now! Ok I am a stay at home mom living the dream! But it is lonely! OMG, so lonely! And finding moms you click with and finding kids your kid clicks with is a circus. I am not sure if there is a perfect balance out there.

Born and raised in Maryland, photography school brought me to Philadelphia, where I met my husband. Photography gave me a few different jobs that I now appreciate everything I learned from each one. My most recent job was a product photographer at a high end consignment eBay store. That is a mouthful.

It was fun, mostly because of my coworkers but all in all, I was not a right fit for the company. I was not as fast as they would have preferred. They were nice enough to move me to a different department when I got pregnant, but alas, pregnant me was most certainly not fast enough at that job either.

But, the highlight of those couple years there was I fell in love with product photography. I fell in love with angles, the challenge that everything was different, the manipulation of the lighting, the fact that a vase didn’t have double chin to be concerned about!

It was fantastic. I got giddy when they brought in plates, paintings, fun vintage toys, oh the list goes on!

My heart was just not in the indulging of consumerism. Discounting a $40,0000 handbag to an affordable $500 was not my idea of helping people.

I am a nurturer. I am not a salesperson. If you don’t need it, I don’t need it and I am not going to make you think you need something you and I both know you do not. That is not where my heart is. Never was. Never will be. So how do I combine both worlds? My love for product photography and helping people?

Etsy. Etsy and even Amazon now have spaces for people who are putting their hearts and souls into creating, designing and making amazing things by hand and bravely putting them out into the world! I want to help them. I want to use my photography knowledge and my love of product photography to showcase their items in the best way possible. So this is my mission. Photographing the well loved and made things that make the world go round with all the love and space I have in my at home studio!

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I really appreciate it.