At the moment I'm reading "Buddhism For Busy People" by David Michie and last night had a major epiphany which kept me awake till nearly midnight. I always say that my life lesson is patience. I seem to have to wait for important things in my life- usually for years. In his book Michie mentioned that patience is the opposite of anger and that good Buddhists try to cultivate this in order to negate any feelings of anger that can create bad karma for the future. Looking at my life at the moment I realize that I am angry at many of the things that have happened in the past few years plus I was worrying as I was losing my equilibrium and obsessing a wee bit too much over what was done and not done. As the Dalai Lama says that our enemies are our greatest teachers perhaps I have to turn my way of thinking on its head and be grateful to those who have caused problems in my life as it has given me the opportunity to cultivate patience.
The other message in the book is if you look back to a time when you've been terribly miserable it usually is when you've been thinking of yourself and dwelling on your own problems. How true! Perhaps you're not able to go out and save the world but if you can immerse yourself in some activity, particularly a creative pastime such as writing or art, then your spirit lifts and the day becomes much brighter and easier to bear. I know my danger times are mid morning and also just before sleep. At the moment gardening helps (even if it's just for 15 minutes) and of course I keep a few books by my bedside to dip into in order to take my mind off my worries. They're still there of course (I have my second migraine of the month to prove it) but I am hoping by taking this major life lesson and working with it as a positive rather than something to fight against I can become more settled.
Last night I was talking to someone about how important it is to have humour in your life. I have always said that if you can't laugh at yourself you could be missing the joke of the century. Not only that but who wants to spend time with an old misery guts (Kiwi term)? We don't laugh enough during our day and I'm sure that's why there is so much illness in modern society. We spend so much time in pursuit of material possessions we think will make us happy that even when we achieve that new TV or pair of shoes that happiness only lasts a moment. It means nothing.
Happiness (which equals peacefulness in my opinion) does come from within. A new house, boyfriend, job or more money will not bring you joy but just lead to more dissatisfaction. The more you have the more you want. Unfortunately we live in a world where this is seen as a good thing.
Onto art- I am enjoying painting at the moment. The stress of being just a few weeks away from the exhibition has not hit home yet. We finally finalized the name "Mystic Mermaids and Fantabulous Felines" which covers my friend's wire and bead sculpture and my animal art. Also I returned to The Craftsman yesterday but the owner has not returned from holiday so haven't a definite answer on my work. Have to cultivate some more of that patience and go back next week.
Received another assignment back from my journalism tutor Monday just as I mailed another. I was worried as I had to write two articles "What I Think of Today's Children" and the other on a subject of my choice (rabbit illnesses) and I was not confident I had done a good job. However my tutor liked both and suggested the bunny one should be submitted to some publications. Fingers crossed!