Today – <3

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July 20, 2015 – I wrote this at work today but I’m posting after 8:00pm so it will say July 21st.It’s not. It’s Monday, July 20th. 

I woke up not in the happiest mood. Last night I was hit with a depressed mood, not the kind almost everyone experiences now and then but my real depressive disorder flaring up. First I was just angry over nothing and everything. Angry and exhausted and kind of numb. Then the pain began to sink in later. I was having dark thoughts and a night of fitful sleep and anxious feelings all over me. I kept being jolted out of my sleep, like jumping up not knowing why. It was nothing external, but in my head. There were no dreams that I know of. I usually remember my dreams. 
I kept thinking of all the negative things that ever happened to me, all the people and animals I ever knew who died(this brought me so much anxiety and pain), thinking that anyone I know can die at any second (more wretched anxiety and pain), every wrong thing I ever thought someone did to me, all of the mistakes I ever made, all the flaws I thought of in just about everyone I know, I felt jealous, lonely, and other negative emotions…i just wanted to end it all. I’m only like this when I’m very depressed, it’s not a general thing but when I get like this, it feels like it was always constant. 

Then there was this serious physical pain in my head that came out of nowhere(for a few seconds I thought something was rupturing and that I was dying. And I was happy about it. Thinking, good, just end it all now. So yes, my depression was bad.). But I wasn’t going to succumb to this vicious disease (or whatever you want to call depression).
It is a serious sickness that just devours me like being consumed by some vicious entity. It can flare up out of nowhere and linger on for months or end quickly. It has to be managed like with physical diseases. 

I decided to get to work, kick this depression in the balls, whatever it takes.
Being able to recognize it like this, that it’s depression, a true condition, and not just me being worthless is a gift. I do not always realize when I’m depressed and believe I’m just hopelessly flawed and worthless and that my life is nothing. Through the years, I learned to often detect this as depression and realize the pain or numbness and emptiness, along with other symptoms, is really the disorder and then I can do whatever I have to do to ward it off or cope as best as I can.  

 Last night/early this morning, I practiced Buddhist meditation and Mala recitation which helps greatly. The mantra I chose for these specific beads, the Mala, which I made at a workshop at the Center where I attend classes, is, 
Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ, the mantra of compassion for all sentient beings. 

Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ – dharma-haven.org

We can recite various mantras using one set of Mala beads but Buddhists believe that each recitation, positive energy goes into the beads and every recitation session with that mantra, adds more power to them. When we use a different mantra on the same Mala, all the energy for the previous mantra is obliterated and the power of the new mantra goes into them, then we have to start all over again if we want to go back to a different mantra. This is not that good for people who have been using one Mala for very long with the same mantra! You can just get a different Mala for each mantra. I have two, the one I made myself and one I ordered online (not as pretty! Lol)

Here’s the one I made:
I chose the colors and the beads. 

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Gorgeous, right?!

I get lots of compliments on this beautiful thing! 

Here’s the one I ordered online to help me cope with my cluster-like headaches. It only came in black. 

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Not quite as lovely but I still love it!!

The mantra I chose for this is: 

Om ah hum

This is just a quick one to keep focused and used for purification of the body, speech, and mind.

I love the idea of compassion for all living beings of sentience (even though I don’t always live up to it as much as I intend and want to) so I chose the compassion mantra for my main Mala. Also, I attended the Empowerment for the Buddha of compassion, Avalokiteshvara, last month, where the mind of whatever Buddha the Empowerment is for(like Tara, the medicine Buddha,…)in this case, Avalokiteshvara, is believed to enter our own mind,empowering us with that Buddha’s wisdom and light. So during our Empowerment (they occur once a year I think, here at the center in Philadelphia and maybe two a year in NYS at the Temple, I don’t know where else, and until we receive one by an ordained monk or nun, we cannot engage in certain Tantric practices, it’s believed we aren’t strong or wise enough and will make us sick), the mind of Avalokiteshvara is believed to enter our own minds,empowering us to love like he does, flawlessly, deeply, without condition. We still have to practice to get where he is but the Empowerment helps us get there.
His compassion for all living beings is so complete, so flawless that he can handle anything. No problem is really a problem and nothing is insurmountable when your compassion & love for the world is boundless. We look to him for strength and wisdom and love, as his flawless love runs so deep that nothing can break him. I also wear his necklace. He has four arms! Two of them are folded in prayer at his chest. And he holds a crystal Mala in one hand. He is beautiful! 

Here is my necklace:

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And here is me a couple weeks ago, wearing it but it got turned around in the pic. 

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And here is a song about love & compassion:

Compassion – mobile

Compassion – desktop

When I woke up this morning  it was better but not completely and I consciously, forcefully made lists in my head of all the good things I can think of. And tried to actually feel how good they are, not just list them.  And I read writings by Orison Swett Marden, and philosophy texts by Plato and others, and am much better! It wasn’t a full blown episode yet so I was able to work on it before it got too bad. With my condition which flares up now and again for hours, days, weeks, or months, I had to develop techniques to fend it off or just cope with it when I can’t. I’m not letting this thing get me for months now! No way! I may have to battle it for a while now until the threat of it becoming a full blown episode ends and I’m doing a good job! It’s just what I have to do and is a blessing that I can do this and learned to. It’s like a real disease with symptoms and like a whole entity inside and all around me. Crushing me in complete darkness. Way more than just a mood or attitude. But I have come a long, long way…and am here to stay! lol j/k that’s not what I was really going to write but it sounds cheesy and funny in my head so I went with it! I was really going to write I have come and long, long way and that itself inspires me to keep going and not allow the vicious darkness to consume me when I can help it! 😀 There was a day when I couldn’t do this because I haven’t yet learned how or even realized it can be possible. 

I’m reading a wonderful book by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, “How to Solve Our Human Problems” about how to always maintain a calm, peaceful, and patient mind no matter what pain or problems we have. A problem is only a problem if we allow it to be. No matter who doesn’t like us, rejects us, or even attacks us physically. How to respond with compassion, not anger or any other unpleasant emotion. It’s a Buddhist book but much of it can be helpful to people in general. It’s entertaining and can be read philosophically for intellectual purposes but is also intended to be very practical. I am usually very patient (I have been told I have the patience of a saint! Lol) but even I can work to strengthen my virtue of patience. The book is helpful for all kinds of problems, even handling physical pain. 

I drank a cup of hot cocoa with whipped cream and chocolate syrup! Yum! 

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I’m also reading two fictional horror books! One takes place in a snow blizzard and these people, two brothers who are very close, and their girls, get trapped in it somewhere in the woods, I think, and something evil lurks there. Thrilling! I only read a few pages.  
😀
And I realized even more how empathetic I am. I’m not referring to compassion at this moment but a deep ability to feel and understand a person or situation. I’m at work with a broken air conditioner and four freezers blowing HOT air on me while it’s 90 something degrees out but is said to feel like over 100. Drinking hot chocolate. It’s like torture in here! In the book it’s Winter in Virginia and the group of friends are in a car with the heat on, all warm and cozy. Then the traffic got backed up because of an accident and a police officer came over and they had to put the window down and the author describes how a blast of bitter cold Winter air blew into the window and overpowered the heater keeping them warm. I’m serious when I say I literally felt the blast of cold air on me. Right in the face! 
For a split second I thought the air conditioner may be working again, and looked up to see if like the air conditioner came on suddenly and was colder than ever. Unfortunately no. It was just this empathy of mine. It is beautiful but it can also be a nuisance. Like when someone takes a blow to the face, even just a character in a book/movie, and I’m keeling over as if it’s me it happened to. :-/
I think this book is called “The Snow and the Darkness” but I don’t feel much like checking at the moment. Lol Just a warning, it has great reviews but someone wrote a review saying it’s overly, unnecessarily, disgusting, dark, and disturbing. I don’t like stuff that I think is that dark & disturbing but this person may have a different view about what is “overly” dark. Horror and thriller is one thing but some stuff goes overboard, imo. I don’t know what the person means by this and I already got the book so I’m reading it. But I have read books that I found so disturbing I regret reading them. I hope this isn’t one. So if you’re planning on reading it, watch it! lol

A customer at the store I work at told me I make life so complicated! Ummm…whhaaat?! lol 
He was saying it mostly in jest but he was kind of serious! I was just trying to be helpful! Lol I like to give people exactly what they want and pay for so I ask for more details than I really have to. He wanted two different flavors of water ice together so I asked in which order. 
He took so long to answer I thought he did not hear me then realized he really couldn’t decide if he wanted lemon on top or blueberry and it was a distressing dilemma! It just added another problem to his day.
I find the whole situation to be thought-provoking. And funny too. As simple as I am, I am also deep with wonderful analytical skills! But I don’t go overboard with the analyzing either. It’s a positive thing! Yes, I’m bragging! Lol 

I realized even more how one person can think something is amazing and thoughtful(my desire to get as many details as possible about how someone wants the person’s food prepared, for example) while someone else can find that same trait to be a hassle! It’s all how you look at it. Which brings me back to the book I mentioned at the top, by Venerable Geshe Kelsang, how nothing exists inherently. It’s all how we look at it. Some people find my cheerfulness to be pleasing, I get compliments on it a lot, while others find it annoying(i have been told I’m so cheerful it’s disgusting! Lol).

I’m eating Moose tracks ice cream! It has peanut butter cups! I don’t care much for food pics. Unless the food is pretty. This isn’t very pretty and it’s all melted but it’s delicious. And part of my day. So, why not?! 

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I was the stereotypical girl when I woke up. I was getting ready for work after a shower, trying to decide what, out of my like 500 shirts, to wear and thought all frantically, “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!!” while flinging my clothes everywhere. :-p

I came out without an ounce of makeup on, my hair all ratty and pinned up wet after the shower, sticking up every which way. And don’t care if I look like hell to everyone. Lol I think I look alright. And even if I don’t, whatever. I’m a confident girl, even with ratty looking wet hair and absolutely no makeup, not even mascara or lip gloss! Confident in two ways, first, I still know I look good or at least ok. And even if I don’t, who cares?! Lol There’s worse things than someone judging my appearance. I really just can’t force myself to give a shit. oh yeah, and my hair often looks kind of wet in my pics because it is. Because I have ass-length hair that has to be put up for work and when it’s very hot or windy I put it up before going out just after a shower then when I let it down later, it is still wet. eww. I promise it’s not oily or anything! lol Ass length hair just tends to get in the way and has to be put up and I don’t wait for it to dry.

Here’s a pic of me today!

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I’m in the closet at work! Lol

And…here I am again! 

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One of the things that cheered me up is reading funny/inspiring blog posts. Just one simple uplifting/funny quote or post can do wonders for someone! If you have something to say/write, pics to share, don’t hold back! Post it now, it can really help someone immensely! Not everyone will appreciate it but even if just one does, that is enough!  And if no one does, at least you have the motivation to try. And even if no one sees it now, maybe in thirty years someone will stumble upon it! Who knows?! Once you put something out into cyberspace it’s there to stay! Even if you “delete” it. This can be good or bad. So watch what you put out there! 

My coworker came and fixed the air conditioner, something to do with the breaker and switches in the closet! I’m not the one you call if you have a practical problem. While I’m great at remaining positive in problematic situations, I’m not very independent in this sense. My automatic thought when a problem occurs is “who can I call to fix this for me?! I NEED someone!” instead of getting creative and assertive and trying myself, I run to someone else. It’s kind of embarrassing because in many situations, (like today) kids have been the ones I relied on to fix stuff for me. Like my sister and my coworkers. My sister is over ten years younger than me (like my coworker who just fixed it) and she’s a great problem solver. My sister can figure anything out and fix it, phones, exercising equipment, any kind of technology…. And I work at a store so my coworkers have been various ages, some decades older than me and some over a decade younger, through the years. And I had sixteen year old girls, take charge, and know what do do during a problem/emergency before I did! I think it’s not just about practical skills, that too, but a mentality. My mentality is “I need someone to come and help me and fix this problem…i can’t do this myself!” or “this is a man’s job/i need a big strong man to help me out, my job is just to stand here and look pretty!”  (I’m sure the rad feminists just love this one! Lol) I often feel relieved knowing someone can come and solve all my practical problems. lol oh well! I’m just not miss independent! Never have been, probably never will be. But it’s ok, we can’t all be good at everything now can we?! ;-D

I discovered some old forgotten songs by Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, and some oldies but goodies and am now a very happy girl! ❤
I'll share a few! 

What a Fool Believes – mobile

What a Fool Believes – desktop

You Lost That Loving Feeling – mobile

You Lost That Loving Feeling – desktop

Love & Compassion – Parachute Club (mobile)

Love & Compassion – Parachute Club (desktop)

She’s Gone – Hall & Oates (mobile)

She’s Gone – desktop

Takin’ it to the streets – mobile

Takin’ it to the streets – desktop

I hope you will be happy listening to some of these too! I listened to these songs frequently when I was a young girl and some I have listened to more recently and somehow forgot about. 

I listened to a song called “The Power of Your Name,” which is a Jesus song about compassion that I discovered last night but my wifi wasn’t strong enough to let me play it. Then when I got to work today I listened to it.  You don’t have to be a Christian or Catholic person or even believe in Jesus/God to be inspired by the message. It’s about taking the compassion Jesus has for everyone and putting it out into the world, loving others as Jesus does. I love it! ❤ This message can apply to every single person, religious or not, atheist, christian, or whatever you are. 

"And I will live to carry Your compassion, to love a world that's broken
To be Your hands and feet
And I will give with the life that I've been given
And go beyond religion to see the world be changed…" ~ Lincoln Brewster 

Awww ❤ so beautiful!!

mobile:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AwKpbbnWPgs 

desktop:

I would classify today as a good day! It did not start out very happy but I was able to take control and turn it happy by focusing on the good. Of course that will likely not always completely solve all the problems and pain we have, merely focusing on the good. But it sure helps! 

So you see, even if our day doesn't start out well, it can certainly end well! And it's not even over yet! 😀

I'm sending you lots of love & compassion today and always! ❤ <333

😀

xoxo Kim 😀

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