To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings.
A month ago, I put an ad on Craigslist to be a mother's helper. My mother-in-law, Nancy, gave me a book by SARK which suggested that you put an ad on Craigslist for whatever job you thought would be perfect for you. Since I already tutor and have the painting thing going, I thought the best use of my time that allows me to stay close to home, would be to be a mother's helper. This was my original ad:
"I'm looking to be a "mother's helper" in the Southside, Carytown, Northside, VA area. I have about 5-15 hours a week to dedicate to such services.
I am well educated, a mother and find myself in a position to make my own hours and offer my own services. I can help with household chores, cleaning, children (just to give you some sanity), and household management.
I have computer skills and experience with plants. I can be your personal shopper or help you out at home while you shop. Basically, I'm offering what I wish I could afford- a little mother's help!
If this sounds like something you can afford and need--shoot me an email. I have the ability for flexible and minimal hours and offer a reasonable hourly rate."
Well today, I got a response back from a lovely couple who used to own a local string of sports stores here in Richmond. They need help grocery shopping and we exchanged information. I encouraged them to look on this website to familiarize themselves with my work and style before meeting and when they came across my interior design, he mentioned he may be buying his wife a new home and she'll get to redo everything and there may be some potential for me to help there! How fun would that be to have a flexible schedule, teach, paint, raise my kids, tend to my husband.... AND decorate!
I also traded a painting today for a hand knotted Turkish rug at Epoch! I put it in my music room (the foyer!) and it fits perfectly! The colors are great but I do need to balance the deeper colors in the living room by adding them to the foyer. My husband, however, does not share my vision..... YET! He told me the other day (after I finished covering our dining room benches with THE perfect fabric that I found for a steal!) that I have the gift of color- even he was surprised at how well I can memorize and retrieve color images from my mind! I am so happy with how our home renovation/redecoration is coming along!
After all of these blessed events today, including being able to clean for a former client, I started thinking about the beauty of hard work. My body and mind are tired but I've always believed in karma--that what you put out, you will receive back, threefold.
Tonight's quote was special to me because it examined life past karma.
"To go from mortal to Buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings."
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk from the 5th/6th century. Throughout art, he is depicted as a surly bearded man, described as a barbarian. I love what he says about ending karma and accepting what life brings. The adage, "when life brings you lemons make lemonade" is perhaps trite but goes along in my life with what Bodhidharma has said. There is something magical about forgetting yourself and doing manual labor. Life may have given me a ton of education but I am humble and grateful to run errands and clean. I would have never expected as much for myself 15 years ago but by doing so, I get the blessing of a flexible schedule for my kids and I do not know of anything more spiritual than having the freedom to be there for your kids for every play, holiday and occasion that may occur.
I've been working so hard these past three months and it seems like the benefits are coming and I am so excited and grateful to accept what's coming.
Tomorrow is little Z's birthday party.... I think I'll start there! Here's a new piece of art that I entered tonight at Art Works Gallery.