Currently posting selfies and thoughts until I finish my dissertation...
Subscribe to this blog
join the mailing list
Walking with Buddha
(Reposted and updated with pictures from 4.13.14)
We landed in Phuket around 10:30 this morning. Our driver picked us up and took us strait to our private villa.
"This is all for us? No one else?"
"Ohhhh my gosshhhh.."
"This is beautiful!!!"
We all were in awe and couldn't believe our eyes. The place was amazing. I was sold from our front door's entrance. There was a rose bush and a birds of paradise garden. As soon as we walked in, the first thing we saw was the bronze chandelier. It was such a work of art, with closed flowers and some in full bloom. I wish I could take it back home. It's symbolic to the process of life itself.
The villa had 2 bed rooms and 2 bathrooms.. A kitchen and a living room with a plush white couch and big screen tv.. I was excited about the jacuzzi bath but that excitement was totally trumped by our pool! Our villa has it's on private pool. I'm laying in it right now as I type this reflection, staring at the moon.
This villa is by far the best place I have ever stayed in... And in all actuality, it should be. It's like Marika always says, "I work hard!" And we do work hard.. Too hard not to live like this.
Man, I was so excited about this place that I stripped off all of my clothes and jumped into the pool naked! Screaming and laughing, like I had no sense! The girls followed right behind me. It was a trillion degrees out here, we were directly under the sun, with not even a care in the world.
"This is crazy guys. We're really in Asia! Living like kings!" I said to the girls.
Thing is, just last night, we stayed in a hostel. The progression of this trip from one night to the next is synonymous to our progression as women. Starting small and then moving on to bigger and better things.
We always try to do a hostel and an upscale hotel in every country we visit. Hostels keep you humble and allow you to experience the culture like a local. 5-star hotels and villas are a reward. Our very own reward to ourselves that say, we deserve this and nothing less.
We stayed in the pool for as long as we could before we had to get out and get ready for the day.
Our driver was friendly and seemed even more excited than we were. We told him we were starving and he took us to a local restaurant. Just like the food in Bangkok, it was really good. We also went to some local fruit markets to get some exotic fruit such durians and dragon fruits.
As soon as we were done, it was time to explore the city.
Our first stop was to Khao Khod Point. I was a park full of butterflies, flowers, and plants.
Nikki took some of the flowers to make us some bracelets.
We walked over the bridge and to the top of the stairs. When we finally reached the top, we could see the entire city. It was so hot up there. The girls and I didn't stay long. We held hands as we went back down..
I spotted a life-size aloe plant. Shelly insisted that I take a picture with it. It was really big and I pricked hand on it. It was worth it though. One day, I'll have my own lawn with an aloe plant of my own. For now, I am my garden. I'm tending myself and growing strong. And I will prick anything that comes to harm me in order to protect myself.
Our second stop was to Chalong temple. I left the girls and went in by myself. I always leave them when we go to spiritual places because I like to meditate on my own.
I took off my shoes and allowed the woman at the entrance of the temple to cover my legs with a long wrap around skirt. This is done out of respect for the temple. The temple was 3 stories high.
When I finally got to the top, I said a prayer and thanked God for every thing that I have been blessed with and everything that I have ever learned from my mistakes. I asked Him to continue keeping me in His grace.
When we were about to leave, we saw two brides. They were having a photo shoot with their husbands. It was special. They both smiled at me and all I could think of is that fact that one day, I'll be doing the same .. Taking pictures with my husband.. And smiling at a pretty little girl who walks by too.. I see it ...therefore I know it will be.. Probably sooner than I think.
Next, we headed to the Big Buddha. I'm not a Buddhist but the spiritual connection that I felt when I got there was overwhelming.
I couldn't even breathe when we reached the top of the mountain. I had to take some time to take it all in. Nikki and I held hands and silently prayed.
I'm 27, with my best friends, looking over the entire city of Phuket. Who would've ever thought that this would be me.
I began to cry. I just couldn't take it.
As I walked around, I let myself listen to the sounds of the wind chimes. It felt like every time I got close to them, they began singing to me. I started to read the inscriptions on each of them. I could only understand one of them. It said, "Health, happiness, and protection.. Good in.. bad out.." Again I just cried. That's all I ever pray for. I just want to be happy. And Lord knows, I really am.
I thought about everything I have been going through. Over the last few years, I've battled with depression and boarder line bi-polar disorder.. I'm not bipolar but members of my family are and I have always feared that I would be like them. But I have come to realize that I am not them. My life's torch is made from a different fire that burns for a cause greater than I even understand. Even with my multiple mood swings and such, I am not like anyone else. I am who I am and I am proud of that. Some call it crazy but I just call it me, being me.
So I have stopped fearing what I thought I would become and began realizing that I can be what ever I want to be. The power to be me, and I'm talking about the best me that I can be, is truly within my hands and within the actions of my heart.
I also learned, over the last year, that I am an introvert who needs solitude and reflection... I learned that I'm not lonely because I am single but instead, I am working on myself ... Bettering myself and loving myself .. Forgiving myself for things that I used to regret. I thought about all of this while listening to the chants around the Buddha. I felt all of the things I had been praying for coming over me. I felt God's presence. I felt my soul saying, "This is all you will ever need.. You just need to always be grateful ..and take time to appreciate the moments that you are given. Look around. You are in heaven ..heaven on Earth."
Before leaving the Big Buddha, I picked up a couple of rocks to take home with me. I needed something from that land to always have a piece of. I told the girls to do the same. I wanted them to take something away from this whole thing as well.
We started riding to our next destination when we rode pass a family of elephants. We fell in love with the baby. Especially our resident nature girl, Nikki. She wanted to feed the baby.
The baby, whom we named Pynk, ate all of the bananas and then wanted to show Nikki some love by hugging her with her trunk. It was the cutest and funniest thing. But the baby's grip was too tight for Nikki. We had to get her out of there!
After rescuing Nik from the elephants, we went to the mountain top to see the sunset. It was so beautiful. I got down on my knees and prayed. I asked God to help me be a better me. Give me more self-discipline and to teach me how to love. I asked Him to send me a companion to enjoy these things with.
I stared at the shimmering gold that created a line on top of the blue. That gold symbolized my life. How much of an impact I have on things.. As a leader... Wow ... Seriously, I am a leader.. And my work is going to leave a visible mark on something great, like that great blue sea. Then, I laid down, closed my eyes, and fell asleep. I let the sounds of the waves from the deep blue river sooth my spirit.
I began dreaming about my future. And I could see it all. But the one thing I have to do in order to attain it all is be humble. I must always remain humble toward others. Grateful ... And loving. I have to show others how to love, by loving them first. Just like I have been doing with my own mother. And our relationship right now is better than it has ever been.
When the sun got to it's lowest point, it turned red. It was perfect. The girls and I started to walk back to our car saying, "Bye sun, see you tomorrow."
We went to dinner at this fancy restaurant that sat right on the water. The seafood here is the best. The girls and I were so tired though. We were supposed to go to a party but we decided just go back to our villa and relax in the pool.
Nikki and I laid under the moon.
"Look how the moon is lighting the sky. You can see the light around it." I said.
"Wow! I've never seen anything like this before."
Neither had I.
This morning, Shelly came into my room and said, "I woke up in paradise." And thanks to her planning this entire trip, I did too.
I was sad to see that my hibiscus flowers wilted this morning but I knew that it was God's way of reminding me that all things come to past and end in their due season. I was grateful that I was able to see them yesterday. And amazed at the new flowers that bloomed since yesterday.
Right now, I'm laying by the pool. We just had an amazing breakfast that our maid cooked for us. But I couldn't wait to get out here and write. Im watching the sunrise and just smiling. Smiling at God.