Acclimatise your heart…

08-07-59-542_640Life…. it can take on many shapes and forms. It can grab us by surprise. It can make us feel defeated and sad or joyful and happy. It can do anything. In any one moment, life can change in an instant and take us to places we have never been before.

With so many roads to take and so much left untold, I do wonder sometimes what to do for the best. What would be the right course of action to take? How can I ever know if I’ve made the right decision? Would the decisions I make propel me forwards into my dreams or lead me back to the beginning to where it all started?

Sometimes tough choices have to be made, or in some cases, forced upon us, making us feel like there is no choice at all. There have been a number of occasions that I have felt like that especially in dealing with my health. What I faced was forced upon me in a really big way and in that moment it changed the course of my entire life. It changed me.

When everything feels like it’s swept away from underneath you, it leaves you with nothing but yourself. There is nothing left to hide behind anymore and no corner left untouched. It was a hard place to be at first. There was such darkness and deep pain that I thought I could never come back from. However, if I’ve learnt anything, it’s that wherever there is darkness, there is always light. There can be beauty in our sorrows that goes beyond skin deep. It seeps right into the core of who we are to reveal the truth, to open our hearts to a place of hope and possibilities.

Feel the fear and do it anyway…

With less than 7 weeks to go, I am about to face my biggest challenge yet and the reality has really set in of what I’m about to do. I am climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the fourth highest mountain on the planet. This has already tested me in new ways as I continue to train for this. I’m putting my body through so much and with constant aches all over and issues with my feet, it has felt like a big hurdle and I’m not even on the mountain yet.

I come home crying sometimes from exhaustion with my mind telling me how crazy this is. Who are you to even attempt this with no previous experience of hiking and after so many years of ill health, it says. I don’t really have an answer for my mind so I just keep going. I literally put one foot in front of the other, for each step I take is a step closer to where I want to be. I become stronger and more prepared and in the process it helps to reveal parts of me I never thought existed. It’s all good learning.

“Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.”

(Jim Rohn)

When it’s all said and done, with any journey, the most important thing is the person you become at the end of it anyway. That is the goal and the destination. It’s about what’s in our hearts for there is only love.

I believe in life.

I believe in miracles.

Lisa ♥♥♥

 

 

The Butterfly Effect…

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What is my life purpose?

Who am I?

Where do I belong?

Have you ever gone through a period in your life where you question everything and why things have happened as they have? Then out comes the BIG questions which causes more confusion and more questions to arise.

That’s where I’m at right now and it’s an unfamiliar place to be.

I’ve gone through some huge life changes, especially in the last year or so, and as a result I have left so much behind. A big one for me is my old career which I spent most of my life studying for, nurturing it to success – only to say no to it now. It was so unexpected but I felt I had no choice. My heart had changed and I couldn’t go back. I wanted more. I wanted answers to this thing called life and to be in an environment that would bring me closer to myself and my purpose.

Sometimes when you go through something like this it can be so easy to get wrapped up in what your mind is telling you, which constantly tries to put you in a state of fear and stop you from taking risks. After leaving a profession that would earn me a huge income, my mind was going crazy. I felt like I had lost my way and that I wasn’t helping or serving anyone anymore. I was just this hermit that was on the road to nowhere. However, what has helped me lately is to focus on something else completely.

I feel so much love in my heart and gratitude for what I do have, I wanted to spread that around and for others to feel that in their lives too, so I decided to embark on a quest and spread some random acts of kindness.

This came about after reflecting on the time when I was unwell. I was so sick I ended up in hospital for three months about seven years ago. That’s a story in itself and probably one of the worst times of my life but looking back at this, it’s the good parts that really stand out. I never thought I’d say that but yes there was good, so much good, amongst the bad.

I remember being in such a state especially in my first month of being in hospital. I was still in shock and my family were too far away to visit me every day so I was mostly on my own. What I remember about that first month is a work colleague coming to see me and she helped me sit up on my bed and started brushing my hair. It may seem like something small to someone else but it was such a huge act of kindness as I was too weak to even do that or care about my hair at the time as I was in so much pain.

During my hospital stay I had key-hole surgery too and was transported to another hospital for a week for this. Again, I was in a state and couldn’t do anything for myself, but then a family friend came to support me. She would come every day to help me shower and also to help feed me because I couldn’t do any of it on my own. Although I couldn’t keep anything down, the fact that she tried to feed me meant a lot to me. It was such an act of kindness and something I remember to this day.

The hospital became my second home in a way because I stayed there for so long. My skin was as white as a ghost from lack of sunlight and I’d also forgotten what it was like to step outside and breathe in fresh air. That’s all I knew was the four walls that was staring back at me every day but then another work colleague came one day and took me out to the cinema for the afternoon. I was stable enough and was granted leave from the hospital for a few hours and I had the best time. Those few hours were precious to me and made me feel almost human again. It was a huge gift.

I also had a friend, who didn’t know me well at the time, but phoned me every week and brought some much needed humour into my life. My family also made a decision between them and my auntie came to support me so I wasn’t on my own so much. She gave up time away from her life and her own family and that didn’t go unnoticed. I was so grateful to her. It was an even bigger act of kindness and it got me through, knowing I didn’t have to go through this alone anymore.

So all in all, despite the pain and suffering I endured at the time, when I think about it now that’s all I can feel is love. With all the kindness that was shown to me, it was all love – the natural state of human kind and it costs nothing to give. My experience has shown me that every act of kindness counts no matter how small it may seem. It could be something as simple as a smile or helping someone with their groceries – just anything. One simple act of kindness could change someone’s life forever.

I may not be any closer to figuring out what my ‘life purpose’ is but maybe this is the key. Perhaps this is even it!! We’re all interconnected and in this thing called life together so wherever possible we may as well give each other a helping hand along the way. We are all beautiful in our own unique way and by sharing that beauty it creates a ripple effect… a kindness that will sustain our planet for many years to come.

It’s what I’d like to call the butterfly effect where love is always the answer.

Thank you for reading.

I love you.

I believe in you.

Lisa ♥♥♥

Sugar me senseless…

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What has candy floss (cotton candy) got to do with life? It’s a question I asked myself during my sugar infused afternoon on Sunday and I have to laugh because of all the big questions I could ask, it had to be about candy floss :)

I was at a vintage tea party and there were sweeties and candy floss available so Baby Buddha was very happy. It reminded me of being at the fairground as a child as I watched the sugar spinning around in the machine and turn into pink edible fluff. It used to fascinate me. I was even more fascinated on Sunday when I found out you could have many different flavours of candy floss. When I realised this, my excitement went off the scale. That added in with the sugar rush I must have been ecstatic! I still had no idea what candy floss had to do with life and by the end of the afternoon I was enjoying my pink edible fluff too much to care but I was going to find out…

I decided to buy extra bags of candy floss to take home to share with family and also my new found knowledge about candy floss. It was breaking news in Baby Buddha’s world.

As I drove up to my cousins’ place I strolled into their house with two bags of candy floss in my hand, greeting them with a big ‘helloooo’, except something was different this time. The place looked unfamiliar and I couldn’t see my family anywhere. I thought to myself, ‘what’s going on here then?’ It took me a second to realise I walked into the wrong house. I couldn’t believe it! I felt sorry for the poor unsuspecting neighbour. Can you imagine relaxing on the sofa one Sunday evening and in walks this random hyper Chinese woman waving two bags of candy floss at you. It was so embarrassing.  I apologised and made a very swift exit. That’s all I could hear was laughing as I left so I think the neighbour saw the funny side of it thank goodness. I have to admit, once I got over the initial embarrassment, it was rather funny. What a thing to do and it’s typical that I would be the one to do it as well. I must have had candy floss brain that evening :p

This was definitely a case of ask and you shall receive the answer, in the most unexpected way. When I think about my afternoon of fun filled sweets, life can be a bit like that sometimes. It can start of joyful and sweet, whether it’s to do with a new relationship or job or maybe something else like buying a new car or something you wanted for a very long time. Things go well for a while and then something comes along your path to take you off course, except you may not realise it straightaway. And then when you do, you may wonder how you ended up in this unfamiliar place. It’s happened to me many times over and there were moments I didn’t think I would survive.

“Everything passes. Both soaring joys and crushing sorrows fade away like a dream.

However, the knowledge of having lived one’s life to the fullest never disappears.”

(Daisaku Ikeda)

 

Even now as I go through many endings in my life, I still wonder sometimes, will life ever be sweet again? The answer is, of course it will. As I lay down the blank canvas before me, life is more unfamiliar than ever and like the candy floss, there are many flavours to choose from. Which way do I go? Which flavour is the right one to choose? More questions.

I continue to live my ever increasing list of questions. I don’t have all the answers and for me it’s about creating value each and every day. Some days I do more than others and that is ok. In life you have to have compassion for yourself and love yourself no matter where you are. I find a sense of humour helps as well. Normally I would have been mortified at what I did, walking into someone else’s house like that, but sometimes you gotta laugh at yourself. Laughter can shift the energy of even the most seemingly dire of circumstances. And when you really look closely beneath the fluff, there is always sweetness to be found. It can be any colour or flavour you choose or wish it to be and will be absolutely right for you every time.

So there you have it, this is Baby Buddha’s candy floss guide to life :)

 

Happy eating,

Lisa xo

 

 

 

 

Relight my fire…

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“Winter always turns to spring.”

(Nichiren Daishonin – WND-I, 536)

When I first starting practicing Nichiren Buddhism back in 2010, winter always turns to spring, is a term I heard over and over again but at the time I didn’t quite believe it. I was so beaten down by my illness that the words could not penetrate into my mind. I could barely get out of bed let alone fathom the idea that spring would come back into my life ever again but here I am. Spring has arrived and I can hear the sweet song of her whispers as I listen closely and let her in.

These are times of great change and with that I felt it was time to let a few, well quite a few, things go. I don’t know about you but every year I love a good spring clean. It prepares me for newness and the great things that have yet to come but I know are coming. Although I have a good declutter every year, this year feels totally different. I feel ready to step out and live a new story. So with that I did something that probably shocked the hell out of poor Mildred (my perfectionist self). As if the sock saga wasn’t enough for her?! Bless!

I burnt all the journals I hand wrote prior to going to Bali. Out of everything I let go of, this was one of the hardest things for me to do, especially being the crazy journaholic that I am. When I was first entertaining the idea, I felt really sad about it. I looked through my journals before burning them and felt a deep compassion for what my old self went through. Contained in these pages was so much pain and grief but at the same time there were inspiring moments that made me smile too. I decided to keep some of these gems of wisdom and discarded the rest because it was just shit. No matter how you dress it – shit will always be shit. I mean who wants to carry smelly shit around with them.  Certainly not me! It was time to burn that shit and so that’s exactly what I did.

“Our life itself is the foremost treasure…

Believe in your own life! It is the

source of unsurpassed power.”

(Daisaku Ikeda)

As I threw the pages into the fire I felt a huge release inside of me. My body felt like it was getting lighter and lighter as more and more pages turned into ash. I was mesmerised by the sight of the fire. It was strong and powerful, just like the author of the pages that was feeding it and keeping it alive. As I continued to watch the flames it turned colour a few times with varying shades of green and blue. It was as if it was speaking to me and showing me that there is colour and light within me. Not only that but it was always already there. I just needed the power to set it alight; to set it free.

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Baby Buddha eating sexy food @ her local bar restaurant :p

I am so grateful to my Buddhist practice. Without it I may never have seen the potential that I had. Winter does indeed always turn to spring and I can safely say I am well. I am well. I am well. I am well and I will keep saying it each and every day throughout the rest of this lifetime.

No matter what happens it is never too late to start again. There is always hope.

It is always the beginning…

Love and blessings,

Lisa xo

 

It’s a pancake life!!

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been one year already since I started this blog. At the time I had no idea what I was doing and to be honest I still don’t know but here I am, still showing up. It feels good to be here and I feel incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved. It’s something I wanted to do for a long time and I didn’t at first because I was scared; scared of not being good enough, scared of being judged but most of all scared that perhaps the thing I feel most passionate about is something I’m not good at after all. My love for writing lives through me and I cannot imagine my life without it. It makes me feel at home especially living in a world that doesn’t make sense to me anymore. It’s how I’ve felt since returning from Bali in December 2012, after experiencing such a profound transformational shift that has changed my entire being forever.

Coming back into my life has been interesting to observe. It’s been a whirlwind since Bali, with major ups and major downs too. It got so busy last year I didn’t have time to really think about any of it properly and it’s only in the last month or so I’ve had the opportunity to really stop and reflect, really reflect, on everything that has happened. I’m not sure where I’m at or how I feel right now so I’m trying really hard to practice a lot of self-compassion and be patient with myself; never forgetting that the love that I found will always be there, shining a light upon my beautiful life.

“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.”

I must admit I did doubt this beautiful life of mine. Have things really changed that much? On the outside I can’t tell but then that’s all it took was a day of pancake making yesterday to bring a different perspective. Yes really, pancakes!! It came as an unexpected surprise but I find these are the surprises of the best kind. It was a dry sunny day yesterday so I went for a short walk and called in for an impromptu visit to see a friend on my way back home. As we were talking, we thought it would be fun to make pancakes together. It was Shrove Tuesday and we were already equipped with all the basic ingredients so we thought, why not!! We found a recipe online (thank you Delia Smith), gathered the ingredients and let the kitchen fun begin.

It was my first time making pancakes so I was very excited. We measured and mixed all the ingredients together and started cooking. The first few attempts did not go so well and I was laughing because whatever was in the frying pan could not be called a pancake. I was still excited though and as we cooked more and more of the mixture, it did improve and we ended up with round tasty pancakes in the end. I was ecstatic!! There was hope after all for some sexy pancakes :)

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This whole experience got me thinking about my current situation and what a metaphor my pancake making afternoon was for my life. Bali stripped me down to the very core until I had nothing left but me. The big question was, who is this me? I can’t say have all the answers but just like the pancake, all the basic ingredients are already there. It’s about experimenting with them all and having the courage to keep on mixing it up. It’s a completely brand new mixture so I may not get it right the first, second or even third time but the more I practice the better I’ll become. And eventually I can add even more to what I already have.

There is a world out there full of wonderful ingredients from syrup and chocolate to the more exotic but for now I have to focus on the basics because if that falls apart then everything around it will fall too. The foundation is always the most important part. It is the basic structure where dreams are built upon. From thereon, anything is possible and we are possible.

Lots of love,

Lisa xo