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

Cat and seek…

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Those of you who saw my post last week will know about Mildred (my perfectionist self) and her need for control in her life. She loves organising and it gives her a real buzz. I spent most of my years like this with my whole life planned before me but then there’s that saying, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans, and it’s so true. That’s all I can say is that Mildred certainly did not plan for me to put on those mismatched socks last week, that’s for sure. I can report she’s happier this week. I’m wearing matching socks again. Mind you, I don’t know how long it will last. I quite liked the randomness of last week.

It was another cold night so I was about to put on another pair of fluffy socks (matching ones for Mildred of course) but only got one sock on this time. My cat, Yasmin, managed to get hold of the other one. She was in a very playful mood and being a cat, she loves fluffy things. She was happily purring to herself with my sock in tow. It was funny to watch.

Yasmin is a black and white cat (also very fluffy herself) that came into my life in May 2012 at just 10 weeks old. She was the last of a litter of kittens that nobody else wanted and I couldn’t understand why. She was so cute and adorable and I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. She is such a sweetheart. She had an accident a few months ago so she hasn’t been very well. We don’t know what happened to her but she is unable to walk at the moment. My family and I are currently doing our very best to nurse her back to health.

It hasn’t been easy the last few months and the whole situation caused a lot of tension at home for a while. It was just down to the fact we were all exhausted. Yasmin needs a lot of care and attention and it’s been like looking after a baby. Day after day I was feeling this huge burden upon my life, trying to cope with the demands of looking after a sick cat. But then one day, something suddenly clicked with me. I thought to myself, what’s the point of any of it if I keep thinking like this. I couldn’t control what happened or change it but I could change my reaction to it.

A change of attitude to gratitude…

This really changed everything and from that moment on, the joy returned. Even when I have to do daily tasks like emptying her bladder for her and cleaning up after her, I feel immense joy. I feel a deep gratitude to have this cat in my life as she is. I look at her and I see beauty. Although she is not walking yet, she has improved a lot and keeps improving. This is a cat full of spirit and the glint in her eyes tells me she is determined to live and have fun in the process too! Judging by all the purring tonight, I think she loves fluffy socks!

Yasmin is definitely teaching me a lot about life. Just the other day we thought we lost her (literally!!!). We couldn’t find her anywhere and I thought perhaps she sneaked out of the house somehow. She may not be walking yet but she has adapted to her situation and can move around really fast. My mind was wandering and thinking all sorts at the time. Eventually, after nearly two hours of searching I found her happily sleeping under one of the beds. In typical cat fashion, she was totally oblivious to what was going on around her. She was hiding in a small gap behind a box which is why I couldn’t find her at first.

I was laughing not only at the situation she caused but also at myself. It taught me a few things… For one, don’t listen to everything that your mind tells you. Mine was catastrophizing and telling me all sorts. Also, to really look around and see… because sometimes what we seek is right in front of us the whole time and that’s all it takes is for us to open our eyes and let the love in our hearts guide us.

Yasmin eventually came out from under the bed but on her time naturally. I knew what she was after. It was kitty grass time again! We started growing some indoor grass for cats so she doesn’t miss out. She is a really fussy eater but she loves grass. She happily munches on it several times a day and it’s the cutest thing ever. I think if Yasmin were to choose her sexy food then this would probably be it – it’s Yasmin’s sexy grass :)

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Well, I don’t eat grass lol, no matter how sexy it might be, but Yasmin is definitely feeding the crazy cat lady in me. I don’t know how it’s going to plan out with her but that’s life. That’s all I can do is focus on the now and appreciate this beautiful cat and the joy she brings – it’s a joy that will last for many years to come, bringing a lifetime of love, laughter and happy memories.

Lots of love,

Lisa xo

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