Whenever a new year begins, there’s always a feeling of hope, the promise of change, the possibilities of new beginnings. This year, I know all these things will manifest in my life.
Among many other things, 2 very significant changes happened in my life at the end of 2010. Because of these things, I already know 2011 will be a year of tremendous growth and evolution.
As some of you may already know, after over 3.5 glorious years, I’m leaving my MAC family. It’s hard for me to conceive – even now. Leaving was never a thought I even entertained, but it seemed Universe had different plans for me.
Even though Beauty is one of my passions (there’s something so powerful about making someone feel better about themselves, even if it’s just looks), I received an incredible opportunity to focus on another one of my passions: Social Media.
So next Monday, I’ll be embarking on a new professional journey. Am I excited? Yes. Nervous? Hell ass yes. But I believe that there is no growth without challenges and discomfort, and I’m truly excited by this opportunity to grow.
I’ve never been a religious person. Yes, I went to Catholic school when I was younger (complete with plaid-skirt uniforms), but there was always an oppressive air and exclusionary nature that I found inherent in all religions… So after my stint at school, religion was never something that was a part of my life.
Like so many around me, I claimed I was spiritual, but not religious.
Back in November, a good friend was telling me about how her heart got broken. When I asked her how she was coping, she told me her Buddhist faith really helped her turn this “poison into medicine” — meaning it helped her turn this horrible situation into something valuable for her. I was fascinated how something like a religion could possible do this.
She started telling me about chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which loosely means, “I devote myself to the Mystic Law of Cause & Effect through the vibration of sound.” OK, I thought…I can dig that. Tell me more. She explained that SGI Buddhism was a lay organization — no priests, no hierarchy. It was based on the belief that everyone has the equal ability to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime, through their practice, faith and study.
The more I heard, the more I found myself thinking…”OK…OK…” as opposed to my normal reaction of “WTF kind of religious BS is this?!”
So I went with her to my first meeting on November 7, 2010. Even though I didn’t understand it fully, I started chanting the following day: just 5-10 minutes in the morning, then 5-10 minutes at night. I didn’t even know what to chant for…I just did it. Then — my life started to change.
In addition to getting my first interview for my new job the FOLLOWING week, I experienced resolutions to unresolved heartaches, courage, a higher capacity of compassion for others, and an overall sense of unshakeable happiness that I had never felt before.
I didn’t even realize what was happening. But now, I know that this practice brought something to my life that was missing — FAITH. Although I considered myself very spiritual, which included a deeply devoted yoga practice and regularly reading spiritual texts…there was no FAITH in my spirituality.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda said about Faith: “In Buddhism, faith means a pure heart, a flexible spirit and an open mind. Faith is the function of human life to dispel the dark clouds of doubt, anxiety and regret, and sincerely open and direct one’s heart toward something great.”
On December 5, 2010, I received my Gohonzon (the object of devotion/mandala) and have since instated a dedicated practice in my life. I’m really looking forward to developing my faith this upcoming year. Just from practicing as a novice over the past two months, my life has already changed leaps and bounds. I can only imagine how my life will continue to grow as my practice does.
Sorry for a very lengthy post, but I had a lot to share and get off my chest. Let’s bring in the new year with joy and positivity!! Yay, 2011!!