Decisions, Decisions

13 Jun

It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon here in smalltown mid-usa.  The temperatures are acting like summer and they are quite hot… but after my year in Thailand, in some ways I think I know better of what hot REALLY is!  There isn’t much to do today.  An SGI Buddhist meeting this morning.  The rest of the day a lazy and casual afternoon and then a bit of preparing for… work.

Yes, that’s right.  I said work.  After 5 years of international life and travel, I have myself a little work here in the USA. It’s a short-term assignment and in earnest that gives me some peace as I am still considering, exploring and open to new options regarding what I might like to do next.  It seems these last few days the decision of “what to do now?” has been weighing on me pretty heavily.

I attended a great SGI meeting this morning.  It’s such a comfort to me to connect with the friendly SGI Buddhist members down the street in the comfort of their country home.  To relax and read and discuss and learn.  And also to be offered a change in perspective from the one I entered with.

One of the greater themes of this practice is to never give up and to approach challenging circumstances with the spirit of “turning poison into medicine.”  The lesson today shared that when we face challenges and obstacles there are two choices… 1.  complain and be defeated or 2.  live in invincible spirit blazing your own way regardless of your environment.  That is quite a choice.

These past five years with the help of SGI, it’s practices and other groups and communities I have made that choice to find my way, miraculously at times, around the globe and through a myriad of my own personal challenges and triumphs.  And now that I am here back in the States I find a whole new set of challenges in considering and exploring what is next in the midst of my current circumstances, interests and priorities.

I reached out to my trusted friend and advisor, Reiki Master Elizabeth Ohmer Pellegrin, and shared some of my current concerns.  Her reply was to send me this video and suggest I watch it from beginning to end… It is nearly an hour but it went down quite comfortably and easily.  And while I can’t say it relieved me from all of my present anxiety it did offer a panacea or two worth taking into consideration.

The first idea that I am taking with me is that there is no such thing as a wrong decision… but that any decision we make can be turned into something useful for ourselves and our lives.  And that sometimes taking this pressure off ourselves can put us in a relaxed place to more easily make our decisions.  The other morsel that stood out among many was that we often have an urgency to make decisions for our lives.  And that instead a useful practice is to let it go for a few days, to wait and almost forget about it and see what ideas come to us.

I have to admit I have been wrestling with the possibilities of my considerations, priorities and what’s next in a way that is far from peaceful.  So for today, for now I am going to practice letting go of these attachments, letting go of some of my fears and worries around the circumstance and see what that offers.  And I will also continue on my SGI journey and trust in the path and journey that unfolds.

There was a short story shared in the SGI meeting today that I particularly liked.  It went like this:

“Suppose you are lost in the jungle.  You want to find your way out and reach the ocean but don’t know which way to go. What will you do?  The answer is, keep moving ahead along any course until you come to a river.  Then follow the river downstream, you will eventually reach the ocean.

Move forward.  As you struggle, chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and keep pressing ahead even if only a millimeter, two millimeters.  If you keep that up all your life, when you finally look back, you’ll see you’ve made your way out of the jungle.”

So here I am in the jungle of my current transition and in unexpected territory in many ways!  But for now the mission, the goal is to keep pressing ahead on the course that is before me.  And, to relax a bit, to practice being at ease and “turn over” some of the big decisions fighting their way in my mind.

The sun has just gone away outside my window and some grey skies and wind are rolling in.  We have had a lot of grey skies and storms here in these past few months.  I have enjoyed this and appreciate the comfort of being safe inside and watching the approaching rain, wind and storms roll in.

And in just a few minutes I will prepare a few things for my workday tomorrow. After 5 years of international travel and nearly 15 years in New Orleans, I find myself truly in unfamiliar territory pressing ahead in my journey out of the jungle.

Featured image:  Can you see them?  The two little orange beaks poking their way out of the nest?  We have a few baby birds arrive a few weeks ago nestled in a tree outside my mom’s back door.

Additional Note:  The blog page has a featured image at the top of every post. For some reason, this image cannot be viewed through the facebook and other links but only when you visit the main feed of this blog.  I have tried to troubleshoot this, but it seems it is just “one of those things.” So, if you don’t see a featured image… click here and hopefully you will see the photo.

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