Samsara

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth) since my last post.  Samsara is when you are continuously reborn into 1 of 6 realms (human, animal, hungry ghost, hell, demigods, and gods) which are in 1 of 31 different planes of existence.  Now, this seems far-fetched to me.  But some of the planes of existence I can get behind…like 5 or something of them are mental states you achieve through meditation.  But what if, just what if, they got their numbers wrong?  Instead of 6 realms of life, there’s actually 10?  Just hear me out here.  In SuperString Theory there are 10 dimensions (which could be considered the same thing as a realm…see where I’m going with this?).  Nine dimensions for space and one for time.  1-3 are what we’re currently in and the 10th is time.  But the remaining 4-9 have shrunk down to subatomic levels according to SuperString Theory.  But what if, it’s just a matter of misunderstanding of the cosmos.  What if you get reborn into another dimension?

And those 31 planes of existence?  What if they’re merely mental stages you go/grow through as you transcend time (the 10th dimension)?  You obviously may not grow through all 31 planes as a human in these 3 dimensions.  But what could you accomplish in the 7th dimension as time effects you differently?!  Just think of what you could learn throughout time!  Since time is a dimension and not linear (like we’re used to thinking), we could easily flow all around it multiple times as we are reborn in various dimensions learning new things about the universe, gaining these new mental states.  What if, just what if, this is what the Buddhists mean by samsara?!

So, if this is what Buddhists mean, then I guess I’m a Buddhist!

Except for one small little problem.  Who am “I”?  Ah, now we get into philosophy!  I don’t believe in the concept of the soul.  Much less it’s ongoing after life.  This is one of the things that drew me to Buddhism, the concept of anatta.  This idea of non-self.  We are merely five free flowing aggregates come together in this life through the miracle of conception and birth.  It is as if we’re each a river, no part of us is stationary but instead flowing together through this world.  So what gets reborn if there’s no soul?

That still leaves the question of “Who am ‘I’?”  Perhaps, I will research this and come back with another post!

Anyway, in the meantime, look at this answer forum I found about the possibilities of an exact copy of you coming back to life (TIP: EVEN IDENTICAL TWINS AREN’T 100% PURELY GENETICALLY IDENTICAL!!!  HOW CRAZY IS THAT???!!!).  Genetic rebirth.  Fascinating shit, man!

 

With Love & Peace!

Love

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Everything.

This journey I’ve been on?  I haven’t been doing a very good job of documenting it.

I haven’t told you everything that’s been going on.

There’s just so many different facets of my life that I want to tell you about.  But I’m so scatterbrained that I can never put all these aspects into one coherent post.

So, here’s my better attempt…

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First of all, my husband and I are good.  We’ve been together for 12 years almost (I’ve never really written about our relationship.  But it’s good and strong.  We’re both as stubborn as asses to leave).  And we’re preparing for our next PCS (Permanent Change of Station).  I’ll write a post about that later.

Then there’s the gentle parenting aspect.  I really just do not know how this is going right now.  I mean I started out great with good intentions.  But ya know what they say.  “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  So yeah.  I started off with buying and reading lots of parenting books.  But that slowed to a crawl.  Then I found one parenting book called Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids that did not jive with me at all.  It blamed everything on the parent not being peaceful.  “Let your kid lead the way with your parenting!  Kid’s a terror on the playground?  It’s your fault because you’re not peaceful inside!  Oh, you’re angry and yelling?  You get a sticker chart!”  Seriously.  That is what it said.  I finished out the first chapter and DNF it.  Now I’m scared to pick up another parenting book unless it’s by Dr. Dan Siegel.  His books have scientific backing.  I can get behind that.  But now?  Now I’m just slagging on learning more.

Also, I supposedly took away electronics from the children for one month and television for two weeks just for being naughty rule-breaking little shits who don’t clean up after themselves (see previous post HERE)…and that’s gone down the fucking tube.  I found the Tobias and Aurora playing with their GameBoys just a couple of days after the edict.  And Gaia I caught playing with their phone like a week after (she must have found it where I hid it…not good).  I didn’t do anything to correct them.  I was done entertaining them.  We’ve gone through 4 kits at the library and 1 kit at the library.  So, I’m just at my wits’ end.  Like just permanently.  I’m just constantly and always will be at my wits’ end until my kids, or I,  are dead.  I’m pretty sure that’s just how this motherhood thing works by now.  And if anyone tries to tell you any different, I’m pretty damned sure they’re lying to your face and shouldn’t be trusted.

So, I will just accept my lot in life and move on with it.  I’ll make do with what I have and try to do my best with what is dealt me.

Perhaps this is my dukkha (suffering)?  See, I started out studying mindfulness to help with my anger issues (post is HERE) but mindfulness is originally a Buddhist practice.  So, being my curious self, I *had* to start studying Buddhism as well.  I mean you can’t just not!  So I’ve been going through a clicksepedition on Wikipedia and even joined a group on Facebook where I met a lovely fellow who is sending me free books on the subject!  Free books!

Anyway, I sort of let go of studying the subject.  But it’s kept coming back to me.  For example, I killed a spider in my house the other day and the first thing I thought was “Bad Buddhist!” (One of the core precepts of Buddhism is No Killing.  Period.  Of any sentient being.).  Why would I do this if I don’t classify myself as Buddhist?!

I stopped studying the subject because I just couldn’t come to terms with some of the beliefs.  Dukkha being one of them.  Dukkha is commonly translated as suffering.  But it’s every type of suffering.  It’s a broken heart, it’s those 10 loads of laundry you still need to put away, it’s going crazy over that missing sock, it’s a terrorist blowing up a building, your own government tearing families apart, or stubbing your pinky toe on your end table.  It’s all of these things.  But my problem with this concept was that in Buddhism, dukkha is life.  Life is dukkha.  Whereas, I view life to be a duality.  There is suffering and evil but there are also things that are benevolent and virtuous.  And the Buddha, well, it’s not like he didn’t say take pleasure in or enjoy these good and happy things.

It’s just that they aren’t going to last.  Anicca is the word for impermanence.  Basically, that nothing ever lasts.  Even that 75 year marriage ends when one of them passes away.  That Cajun Navy can’t run forever. Even Mr. Rogers, Steve Irwin, and Bob Ross all had to pass away.  Now there’s only one of The Four Horsemen of Wholesomeness left! (LeVar Burton)   Things will, and do, invariably end.  Even dukkha ends, but as my old band teacher use to tell me, “Perfect practice makes perfect”.  Dukkha ends through Enlightenment or Nirvana.

And that’s the other thing, if you don’t reach Nirvana, you get recycled into another life.  Samsara or rebirth.  I don’t believe in this.  Plain and simple.  I believe in just death and that’s the end.  I am an atheist first after all.  So, how do you reconcile a belief such as samsara or rebirth when you don’t believe in it?

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Buddhism that I’ve been studying.  All because I’m trying to be more mindful.  Oh, speaking of being more mindful…did I ever mention that I became a minimalist?  I got the idea because well, quite frankly, I’ve got too much shit and I needed to purge the whole house before the PCS anyways.  (This is when CPS decided to show up at my doorstep) Besides, I always chose like the same outfit over and over while ignoring the other 95% of my closet.  Now, I have 10 of the exact same outfits and like 3 dresses I wear.  I have like 5 other t-shirts but I never wear them.  I really should put them away for sentimentally’s sake.  I also have 1 LBD and 5 business outfits.  That’s all I need!  Oh, other than my coat and jacket and sweater.  All black.

And speaking of that CPS visit…it is now going up the military and my husband’s chain of command.  Lady said she understood but clearly she didn’t.  Or she’s just a bitch.  So now, my husband’s first shirt and his commanding officer know about this debacle staining our good name and reputation.  Isn’t that just fucking lovely?

Well, that about sums it up other then the elephant in the room…money.  Nah, I ain’t broke.  But I ain’t filthy rich, rollin’ in piles of money either.  I’m what I always heard called genteel poor.  Which means that I’ve got the means to make the ends meet but that ya don’t have any extra leftover for fun or leisure things.  Now my husband and I are in a medium amount of debt.  There are people with more and there are people with less.

The problem is that we couldn’t or didn’t make our minimum payments on our credit cards for a while.  And they ballooned up.  So instead of a standard $100 payment, now we owe $400 for this month.  Now, once we can get these payments down, we’ll be golden again.  We’ll be snowballing our debt and be done.  I already cut up all but three credit cards.  And one of them is only temporary.  It will only stay open while my husband is active duty.  The other is our highest balance card in case of emergencies (heaven forbid, my Gramma dying I need to get back home).  And the third is only open because it’s needed by our bank to obtain shit.  Seriously.  You need one of their credit cards in order to have an auto insurance policy or renter’s insurance, or direct deposit or potentially get a VA home loan.  Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing?!  So, those are the three.  And one will be cut up upon my husband’s DD214.  Slowly, but surely, we’re digging our way out of debt.

And even though I don’t “work” in the traditional sense of the word, I’m still doing my part.  I’m reeling in frivolous spending (which is me.  I’m an emotional spender and will get on a buying spree of just junk mostly).  But we’re also cutting back on eating out.  The kids are having to participate in this although Aurora doesn’t like it.  She refuses to try the new recipes I make.  And I’ve started “going natural”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some off-brand spaghetti-o’s and Pop-Tarts.  But there is so much you can make around the house using simple household ingredients.  You really don’t need all these different types of soap, ya know.  Just one in different forms will work.  Really.  You can use the same soap in your washing machine as you do in your dishwasher as you do for your hands and your face.  Just varying amounts and maybe mixed with different things.  So I’ve started making these all natural things for use in my house.  And I’m trying to build a business off of them to boot!  Technically, it’s up and running…but I ain’t got any inventory listed yet.  But feel free to take a look around!

Momma’s Natural Living

 

Well, folks that’s a wrap!  Peace out!  Let’s all have some TACOS!!!!!

 

islKfo0n

New News…

Well, I couldn’t stay away…

I am a Millennial after all.  An older one, but still one nonetheless.  I reworked my Twitter account* and started using it again.  Plus I created a new Instagram account*.  I tried to get my old Insta account to rework but I didn’t want all of those people following me and you can’t just make people unfollow you.  So, new account it was!  No more social media dry spell for me!

*Twitter: @mlbonk87

*Instagram: @beyond_mothering

I also had an Invisalign appointment today with my dentist.  Last check-up, my teeth weren’t tracking properly.  I had already back-tracked by 6 weeks (3 sets of aligners) because of it.  They hoped that would help get me back on track.  Well, it didn’t.  So I got a whole new set of Invisalign retainers/aligners.  Like, from the very start sort of whole new set.  17 new sets of retainers to go through.  But!  No new barnacles!  Barnacles are what I call these attachments they glue to your teeth to help the aligners track properly.  They notoriously catch food, especially bread products.

You’re supposed to wear these aligners for 22 hours a day, every day!  Now, I fully admit that I don’t wear them a full 22 hours a day.  I eat more than 2 hours per day.  Or what will happen is I’ll eat and then I’ll leave them out for like an hour or two while all of the gunk gets off my teeth and barnacles naturally with saliva and drinking water.  I really should just get in the habit of brushing my teeth after eating.  Here’s my confession:  I’m really bad at brushing my teeth.  I don’t do it every day.  I really only do it in the shower.  But the good news is that I brush with a Sonicare toothbrush and Listerine toothpaste!  And I don’t use regular floss, instead I use a WaterFlosser with warm water mixed with regular Listerine mouthwash!  I just need to use them both more often.  Gotta get better about that.

Other than that, I mopped the floors and am doing laundry, so I consider it a productive day.  Maybe I’ll throw in a little dishes to boot.  Life of a housewife, after all.

 

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Oh, and that business I wanted to open?  I DID IT!  I just said screw it and went for it!  Momma’s Natural Living is now open for business!  However, please bear with me while I get product on the shelves!

 

Oh, and another thing…

I have an announcement to make!

I’m only in the beginning stages right now.  Planning and reading and what nots.

BUT!

I plan to open my own business on Etsy called Momma’s Natural Living!

 

In Phase 1, I’ll be selling reusable items that are handmade such as tote bags, cotton rounds (for applying toner or removing make-up), snack and sandwich baggies, waxed fabric, unpaper towels, family cloth, etc.

Then in Phase 2, I’ll be selling homemade natural soaps for body/hands along with shampoo bars, body butter, non-beeswax chapstick, natural shaving cream, make-up remover, natural deodorant, etc.

Then in Phase 3, I’ll get into household items.  Dishwasher tabs, laundry soaps (both pods and liquid), shower cleaner, a basic household cleaner, etc.

And I will be having recyclable containers or reusable ones.  So if you buy something from me and need more, send me the container back and I’ll give you a code for a discount!

Momma’s Natural Living

Changes, They Are A’Comin’…

No one knows what it’s like to be me.  You’ve never walked a mile in my shoes.  You’ve never parented my children (babysitting doesn’t count).  So what gives you the right to judge?  Is God hiring a right hand man?

But today, as I asked for a simple favor (what are some of your rules and consequences) on Facebook, and I had an *acquaintance*…literally, I’ve met this woman a whole of 5 times…try to inadvertently accuse me of being a bad mother because I won’t get my autistic son (who is high functioning, btw) some ABA therapy which will apparently fix every problem we have in our family.

I’M DONE.  I’M SO DONE.  I’M SO FUCKING DONE.

I already dislike…read that has having a mild hatred of…people that I keep my circle small…very small; as in 3 people and 1 is moving and the other doesn’t know she’s in my circle.  So that leaves one person who is in my circle and knows it.  One person!!!  But I’m done with Facebook.  At least for the rest of the year.  I have moved the FB app on my phone to like the fourth page of my screen.

So yes, my mild hatred of people has gotten the best of me and that’s one big change.  I now have no more social media.  I was bullied off my bookish social media and I don’t use Twitter.  I’m got more important things to do in my life.

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Now, I bet you’re wondering why I asked about rules and consequences on Facebook to begin with.  Let’s address that.

The next big change is with how I parent.  I’m naturally a pretty lax mother.  I have a few rules (no food outside the kitchen, use please and thank you, shoes go in the shoe rack, etc.) but I don’t expect anything super out of my children.  I allowed them to be children. I’ve run my house the exact same way for 8-almost 9-years.  Nothing is new.

But they have continuously disobeyed the few rules I did have in place.  They are constantly sneaking food and drink into their nursery and leaving it to rot.  They are never cleaning up their messes or their dishes after eating.  They leave belongings laying around.  Trying to get them to clean up their room every night is nothing but sibling fighting.

And guess what?

I’M DONE!  I’M SO DONE!  I’M SO FUCKING DONE!

So things around here are changing.  We now have written behavior guidelines, complete with what will happen if you do and do not follow the rules.

Then there is a chain with a padlock around the kitchen gate (the gate is to keep the dogs out) in order to prevent the children from sneaking food into the nursery.  I had a lapse today where I left the gate unlocked while I napped and they did sneak food.  So clearly they can’t be left to their own devices.

I will be more strict and involved.  I will be called Ma’am.  And consequences will be doled out.  They currently do not have access to their phone (only plays kids’ YouTube and games), GameBoys, or Switch for one full month.  And they lost television privileges for 2 weeks.  The only way they are allowed to use the television during those 2 weeks will be to do yoga.

 

THINGS THEY ARE A’CHANGIN’…

 

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4 Weeks & A Visit

So, as of this morning, I have been cigarette free for four weeks!  A whole 28 days I have not had a smoke!  I might be wrong, but isn’t it only like 21 days to break or form a habit?  I might have actually kicked this thing in the butt!!!

But that’s not all the news in this household, I got a visit a few days back from CPS concerning my mental illness and the state of my home!  And I have a sneaky suspicion about who called on me!  I had to explain to the lady that I was decluttering and therefore saving all of the cleaning until later; plus with it raining for two weeks straight my dogs are pooping inside the house.  Well, all of that is a problem apparently.

I finally finished decluttering and tidying.  Then I got down to business cleaning.  I knew it was gonna be a big job but I had to go the extra mile (especially on the floors) because of CPS visiting!  I dunno if the CPS lady is gonna come back around.  I really hope she doesn’t.

2 Weeks

I have been cigarette free for 2 full weeks now. 14 days total.

I’ve given away all my smoking stuff. And today I’ll be stripping my laundry.

2 full weeks without smoking. I must say I’m actually rather proud of myself.