At the end of the day yesterday I typed up a new list of goals for 2012 to put on my altar. They include my mental health goals (managing the voices), financial goals (earning a steady income with commercial writing), and relationship goals so that my husband and I have a happy marriage. If I write my goals down and put them on my altar, I focus better when I am chanting, and my prayers are more concrete. Mulling over my goals and dreams in my head doesn’t accomplish anything, and they only end up becoming more vague over time. Writing things down takes my thoughts and ideas out of my head, and puts them on paper where they are real. In Buddhism, we are encouraged to be specific with our prayers. This can be hard sometimes, especially when we aren’t sure what we want. This year, I have written more specific goals for myself. I believe that I will be able to accomplish my goals.
The New Year is finally here! Happy 2012! I’m getting back into my routine after the holidays and visits with family and friends. We were happy to celebrate Christmas with almost everyone on John’s side of the family. His brother’s family drove up from L.A. He hasn’t been here in 4 years! I called my mom and dad, and both my brothers on Christmas and New Year’s, so we had a little phone celebration. We used FaceTime on Christmas, so we could all see each other too!
I chanted an hour this morning, and am going to set new, more specific goals for 2012. I have health goals, financial goals, and relationship goals, although I haven’t written them down yet. I want my mental health to continue to improve. As long as I continue to ignore any voices I hear, and not let them affect or influence me, I will be fine. I’m also planning to ask my psychiatrist about reducing my medication next month when I have my appointment. I still tend to worry quite a bit, and occasionally shut down when I get angry, but I am continuing to work on this. I talked to my therapist about this yesterday, and I told her that instead of getting mad and shutting down, I talked to John about what I was thinking, and why I was upset. I didn’t want the same thing that happened in Estes Park, to happen again. This time, we didn’t get into an argument, although I still need to work on my communication skills quite a bit.
I found another Buddhist quote that I liked last night while I was writing in my journal. It reads: Human revolution is the process of changing our way of life by manifesting our Buddha nature – all people have this highest state of life within them. One’s human revolution concerns the total reality of life. It is fundamentally an invisible reformation taking place within and behind our consciousness. In other words, it concerns our ways of thinking, our judgment and both our physical and spiritual strength. In discussing The New Human Revolution, SGI President Ikeda said: “Mahatma Gandhi proclaimed that the ‘power of the spirit’ is stronger than any atomic bomb. To transform this century of war into a century of peace, we must cultivate the limitless inherent power of human life. This is the ‘human revolution,’ and it will be the theme that flows consistently throughout the novel”.
I read a Reuters news article posted online a few hours ago stating that a November U.N. report shows that Iran has sought to build an atomic bomb. In an effort to stop Iran from building an atomic bomb, the article states that the European Union agreed to an embargo on Iranian crude oil, and that new U.S. financial sanctions, if imposed fully, would make it all but impossible for many refineries around the world to pay for Iranian crude oil. It’s reassuring to know that the U.S. and other countries are working hard to prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb. Gandhi’s statement that the power of the spirit is stronger than any atomic bomb might seem foolish or blindly optimistic, but I believe that the human spirit, and each of our lives has limitless power. Our lives do have more power than an atomic bomb. All we need to do is tap into and use the spiritual power of our lives to create peace, rather than war.
I woke up early this morning, and chanted for an hour. Afterward, I went with John’s parents and his brother to a Catholic mass in Morgan Hill. I said a silent prayer for John’s sister who died last summer. I also said a silent prayer for John and both of our families. I read a message from President and Michelle Obama earlier today. At the end of the message, Michelle Obama encourages us to spend the holidays with our friends and family. I liked her message, and I think the holidays are a great time to get together with family. My parents and brothers will be together in DC, while my husband John and I will be here in Gilroy with his family. The last Christmas I spent with my family was 3 years ago. We met at my brother’s house in Jackson Hole. It was a great Christmas with tons and tons of snow. We went hiking, snowmobiling, and swimming in Granite Creek Hot Springs while it was snowing!
My husband and I are hoping that my mom and dad, and maybe even both of my brothers will visit us next year after we move into our new home in Sunnyvale. We’ll finally have a guest room! We’re looking forward to moving next spring, and inviting over our friends and family to visit. We’ll also have an office so that I can work on my writing from home! If I can continue to ignore the voices, and not allow myself to be influenced by them, I think everything will go well for us. Happy Holidays!
Honim Myo. In Japanese, this means “from today onward”, or “from this moment on”. Honim myo is one of my favorite Buddhist sayings. It is especially encouraging to me, because when I think about living “from today onward”, I am able to start each day with a renewed determination. I renew and refresh my hopes, goals, and dreams for my happiness, and for the happiness of others. This morning, I specifically chanted not to hear voices anymore. I’m not sure if this will happen, but I’m going to keep chanting not to hear voices in my head. Maybe some day I won’t hear them!
I am also going to make a new list of goals and determinations for 2012. The last time I made a new list was in July of this year, so I think it’s time to make a new one. I type up my list, and put on my altar so I can see it while I chant. This helps me to stay focused. I will include John, myself, and both our families and friends. I am also going to include some financial goals, as well as health-related goals. I try to be specific, but it’s hard to write down every little detail. It’s also hard for me to prioritize my goals, because everything is equally important! Maybe that’s a good excuse to chant more! 🙂
I’m looking forward to Christmas dinner. John’s brother is driving up from L.A., so we’ll have a full house. I’m very fortunate to be a part of such a warm, loving family. I used to be nervous when John would bring me to his large family gatherings. Now, I look forward to talking to everybody! Merry Christmas!
I started off the morning by chanting for a little over an hour. My goal is to chant at least two hours a day. I hope to do most of my chanting first thing in the morning. That leaves me with the rest of the day to focus on writing, cleaning, and miscellaneous shopping. This morning I was chanting for John’s excellent health. I am also going to chant to be able to earn a stable income with my writing, and to continue to improve the way I manage my illness. When I chant, I try to be specific about my goals. I want to set a financial goal for myself for the new year. I started reading the book I bought on how to achieve financial self-sufficiency as a commercial freelance writer. I’m going to finish reading this book, and then set a monthly and yearly income goal for myself. I am very confident that I can do it!
I haven’t decided how much time I’ll spend working on my memoir. I have a few pages written, but I’m going to continue writing my blog posts every day, and also start freelance commercial writing. John wants to start a home-based business that we can work on together, but so far we haven’t thought of very many ideas. If I earn enough money writing, John can retire early and do whatever he wants! I think that if I can manage my illness, ignore the voices when I hear them, and not worry excessively, then we’ll both be able to move forward in 2012.