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 My goals are numerous and never-ending, it seems.

The number one overall goal is this:

In 2009, I want to have the courage to be fully myself.

To integrate all parts of myself into one big shining diamond of a life- to reveal all parts of myself, to accept all parts of myself, to allow all parts of myself, to see all parts of myself, and to be exactly who I am, as I keep changing and growing.

To love myself unconditionally and to blow up the chains I've weighed myself down with for so long.

And lucky for me, I know exactly how to do this. Chant to the Gohonzon. Ahhh, thank you Ikeda-sensei! Without you I would not have the Gohonzon today! And I'd be depressed and hopeless and self-hating... Maybe worse.

Happy birthday, Daisaku Ikeda! You will live forever in my heart!

So so so so so so happy I encountered Nichiren Buddhism. Damn. Thank you, Nichiren Daishonin!!!

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

Karma change!: MONEY
So last night my checking account had a little over a $1000. I was thinking about how I had negative balances in August, just 3 months ago... It was fun to see a 4 digit positive balance! Very happy, indeed.
Then this morning my rent check and paying off the AT&T debt (I had negative balances IN ADDITION to bill debts) took out a nice chunk of change, around $900. I misread something last night and thought that I had $300 more than I actually had in the account... So this morning I bought a ticket to go to the super-important, i-gave-my-rent-money-to-pay-for-this Youth Conference at the FNCC (Nichiren Buddhist Conference Center in Florida)- this cost $191. I was excited to have some money left over and some bills paid off and finally a ticket! Woo!

Then I go onto online banking and I see -$80.


This is so amazing. My happiness does not depend on my bank account. I'm starting to really see that idea/principle manifest in my actual response to things. It's not just a fluffy idea that doesn't translate into real life. My happiness from last night to today has not done a 180 degree shift, not even a 90 degree shift. It wavered for a couple minutes, and then settled right back to where it was. Of course I'm still in the process of this transformation. But I feel so so so encouraged! Like, I'm NOT screwed. I have a sure way of making this seemingly bad situation turn into an opportunity to see where my happiness truly lies, to challenge myself to keep on growing, to not slacken in my chanting, to just keep on expanding. Nichiren wrote something to the effect of, "If when you're making a journey tthe capitol Kamakura, which takes 12 days, and stop on the 11th, how can you admire the full moon over the capitol?"

Yes, I've had some awesome experiences with money growth because of my Buddhist practice. The unexpected check of $370 I got last Sunday for example! But my journey isn't over.

I want to change my financial karma. My family has always been on the brink of poverty, barely balancing on it. Both my mother and my father. I have grown up with the mentality that I cannot afford things. I definitely have had a ceiling as to how much money I can possible have at any point in time. Thinking that I could have $10 000 to my name is so bizarre. I always hear my parents talk about things we can't afford. So we all share this financial karma (which is patterns of thoughts, words, and actions. in our case, they are thoughts, words, and actions of feeling poor).

Well, it stops with me.

President Ikeda, in his book "Faith into Action", says that some people are born into poverty to have the opportunity to prove the power of the Mystic Law [Nam Myoho Renge Kyo] by becoming secure and comfortable financially in this life, changing the course of your own destiny.

I feel like he's talking right to me in that passage.

And that's my journey. Not just paying my rent and bills and having a roller coaster pattern in my checking account. I will remember where my true happiness lies-in nothing but my true self- and I will change my money karma to be a living example of how powerful Nichiren Buddhism really is! Woo hoo! 

And as a last note, the motivation for this is not some power trip. Like, woo woo, look at me, i have the key to the universe!
It's the fact that lately I've been filled with hope and excitement for my life and the life of others and I see many people suffering and feeling really lost and cynical, and I so so so want to people to become happy, I want people to find a way to find real happiness and fulfilment that cannot be taken away by anything, I want people to think that they have a viable option that they might never have heard of before-this Buddhism, this chanting of one simple phrase- NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO- with all your heart... I want to inspire hope in others through my own stories of victory.
Compassion, that the fire behind all this. Wanting others to be happy, too. (This is a victory in itself-i chanted to feel compassion for others because I used to feel really detached from everyone)

This is why I spent 2/3 of my rent on a Buddhist conference a couple days before my rent was due. I know this conference is going to deepen my understanding and my connection and my everything regarding my life/my Buddhist practice/my sense of determination and mission. I know that attending this conference is going to help me become more myself, become more happy quicker, which in turn helps me to encourage other people to become happy better. Everything is very connected and I'm excited.

I'm starting to glimpse the truth that when you live for the happiness of yourself AND others, when you put your true self/Mystic Law in the center, the physical and spiritual landscape of your life shifts for the better in ways you never thought were possible.

And all this in a matter of 10 months of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo.
I'm so so so happy and grateful....
This is the best thing to have ever happened to me.

I can't wait to update on how my current money situation has changed for the better! On man. :D

TaTu videos...
...got me wanting a beautiful girl to kiss <3

Pretty women, how I love them! Teehee ^.^

Speaking of pretty women...

I miss Beata. She is in Poland and I want to be there too!

 It's funny, I love her so so sooo much, but serious romantic feelings for her are nowhere to be found! I guess that's a good thing because we will never "break up"... or get together, for that matter- she ain't no queer like meee. :D I can't see us ending our friendship because of a fight. We've never fought. I think the only way we would end is through slowly slipping away, like elementary/high school friends... Fond memories, and that is all, you know?

Sometimes I think that maybe I am feeling something close to romance for her... But on closer inspection those feelings seem to be intense gratitude for her existence and a bit of enchantment because she is simply perfect.
That's right. She is simply perfect.
And I am not referring to any notions of perfection- like she has perfect morals, or perfect hair, or perfect (fill in the blank)... I just think she is a perfect person. And that's it.
I love, absolutely love, everything about her. Everything that I know about her so far, that is. I don't want to sound like I just know everything about her, like she's some book or something. I have a feeling there are lots and lots of things I have yet to discover about this lovely lady, and I am in no rush to interrogate her! When she has something to disclose, she will. So far I've seen only perfection.  To find something "wrong" with her would be such a surreal experience that I think I would love it as well, just because it would be so new.

She is also beautiful... So so so beautiful! And not just physically, she is just a beautiful soul.

I won't list things that I love about her, that would be a daunting and time-consuming task. There's just too much, and it's all so complex that I don't think I would find the right words to properly say what I might want to say.
I will mention that she is a talented musician, a passionate lover of all forms of art, is full of quirky interesting thoughts and little things she does, gets extremely excited about things that I get extremely excited about, is super easy to talk/not talk to, LOVES tea, LOVES me, and is the only person who understands my semi-S&M inclination to squeeze, and scratch, and skin-twist body parts until it's orgasmically painful and no further. That's a weird sentence. But she knows what I mean, as far as the semi-S&M thing goes... She loves it too! O.O

See? Why it's funny that i'm not in love with her, in the sexual romantic way?

I will not lie, sometimes I wonder how it would feel to kiss her... A lit flutter of excitement stirs in my stomach somewhere. But it has never been an overwhelming desire that leaves me feeling torn up or anything like that. A curiosity, that's what it is. But not a curiosity that I would act upon, no no no. I value our friendship too much to ever taint it in any unnecessary way... If she ever makes the first step, i will make the second. That is all.

I do wonder if sometmes a person or two think we're "together" when we're walking around Chicago because we always seem to be in a perma-embrace of some sort, smiling ear-to-ear, and LITERALLY squealing with delight.
I am so serious. That seems to happen every time. We just SQUEAL and SQUEEZE each others arms. Who else can I do that with without feeling retarded? No one that I know of!

Basically, she is perfect for me. We're on the same frequency, so when we resonate, it's like WHOA powerful.
I get stupid and dizzy and sooo relaxed and comfortable when I'm with her. Life becomes a big book of mesmerizing fairy tales and everything kinda shimmers... That's how happy my Ata makes me. <3 Perhaps way happier than a friend should make another friend. (I wonder if this is how married people who love each other dearly but don't feel the urge to have sex feel...) Or maybe this is what true-to-the-core friendship is? Or just maybe this relationship is unclassifiable. However I might decide to "file" it, I'm glad I get to experience it! ^.^

She is my bosom friend and I am so happy that we met and have remained close and on the same page for the past 3 years... And so far, it doesn't seem that we will be finishing up anytime soon! YES! Ohhh, the attractions to come, how lovely and exciting!!! Argggghha;dfa;oiei;fad;foi;!!!! Teehee<3!

Heaven?  When I'm with her, yes. <3

Cosmic gifts la la la... ^.^
What a good day! <3!!!!
Woke up happy, to the point that I greeted my studio because I love talking to "inanimate" objects. It makes for a good start of the day!
Didn't go running by the lake, ran up the building stairs 2 times and did some leg work on the yoga mattt. Then shower, BIG breakfast, reading some Buddha wisdom from one of my favorite letters, chanting, and running off to see Akilah!
I love that girl. Time flies when I'm with her. And I can talk to her about psychology and social behavior type stuff in a very blunt way that is freeing. I love honest probing yet fully respectful conversation. It's hard to do, but we somehow do it very naturally, which is such a GIFT! <3 Today the main topic was perception. And the true nature of real acting. I've become enamored and fascinated by acting since reading "Strokes of Existence" by Mari Gorman, an acting teacher/actress. I never really thought about how genuine actors are artists whose medium is life itself. I guess that's obvious but i never really thought about it. Reading this book, I'm simply in awe. And since Akilah is a theater major, we for the first time talked about acting and the process and what she's learning and I'm so damn proud of her. I knew she was really into it and she was good, but today I realized she is really good. She seems to understand the subtleties of different characters/people and she's sooo aware of detail... I wouldn't be surprised if she directed at some point. Wow. Becoming closer friends with someone you've known since freshman year of high school? GIFT! <3
We talked and walked for some hours and then she had to go to her job at the Goodman. (That's right!)
Then as I'm getting ready to go do whatever, she says would you like to see the show. And she gets permission for me to see Ain't Misbehavin'. Just like that. O.O i kinda freaked out from happiness a little bit, umm... GIFT!!!<3
I had some time before the show started so I went to Sanrio and got an amazing pen. The point is super super thin BUT the pen is comfortable for me to hold which is so unlike most super thin pens that I've used in the past. I love it. And of course it's adorable. GIFT!!<3
I then got some intuitive nudge to go to Borders to get a new planner instead of getting the Sanrio one. I followed the hunch and found a purrrfect cute but more functional planner at Borders. I totally view that as a GIFT.
Stopped in at Sephora to get the blending brush #29 which I've been eying for some time and I got free Philosophy Purity facial cleanser. Obviously, GIFT!<3!
Now i'm inside the theater, and the seat is great considering it was given to me just because. I set next to a couple and I talked to them and during the show we sang and moved with the music (not quite dancing, though) and we LAUGHED AND LAUGHED. That was huge for me since in the past I've been much more people-shy, especially if I was by myself. Good times..... :D GIFT!!!<3!
That about wraps it up for July 25th. Oh, except that I got a letter from my mother after some weeks of silence AND I got  my first letter from Beata since she's been away! I was so psyched to see those in my inbox! Love love love! GIFTS, GIFTS, GIFTS!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
So pretty much, I'm in love with myself and life and the people in it. Just love. Love love love!
PS Gift from yesterday was getting my Owl painting from Anjali!!! I stared at it the entire ride home like some art zombie. It is so beautiful. And she is so beautiful. Beauty creating beauty. O.O Need I say it again? GIFT!!!!!!!!! I'm so thankful.

PPS Speaking of thankful, Hayao Miyazaki has my undying love for all eternity. Infinitely. Forever. His films bring the happiest emotions. I love them all. And there are some I have yet to see! aka Gifts waiting to be had. Gahhh, <3!!!
Whenever I feel the most profound lovely happiness I remember the moment at 5:40 in this clip from Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro. Imagining how it would feel like to fall asleep on Forest King Totoro's magnificent soft warm belly in his magical tree and all that green life around and pure air and absolute security and comfort... It gives me goosebumps. It's perfection.

Domino Magazine
 I love interior decorating. 
I also love how magazines that I want to leaf through but can't, due to being in a foreign country, have websites!!! :D
Domino Magazine
Article on decorating small spaces! Hello!

Right now we're going out with mom and Ivan so I can't read it. But I will later! How exciting, I can't wait to see what I'll new thoughts I'll get! I love drawing inspiration from others ideas. I notice that I never want to actually follow the tips exactly as they are, I aways want to make whatever they say my own. Points for me for originality, woot woot!

Random photo from a while back:

  Metro Art

Studio dreams contd. ;D

Cuckoo clock! With cuckoo bird, leaves, and SQUIRRELS! $205.05
What is there to say? LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE.

Sewing machine table! $39.99 in red and in light pink, don't know which one yet! Yes!

Piano keyboard table! $28 I want this only in wire. We shall see. I might just stick with the regular stand. The reason I want the legs on the side is extra storage. Pondering, pondering.... :D

Closest to the clear thing I want... Teehee<3. $155
I don't even want to talk about what this is really going to be used for until my studio project is completely DONE. Oooooh, shits, it's gonna be exciting! 
I'm thinking this one is better as it is taller. Eeeeeeep ^.^

I'm dancing for no reason and I'm loving it. Har har har! 
Ok. Today was awesome. My sister needs the computer so I won't talk about it. Maybe I'll throw something in later. 

More studio design... <3!!!

Ikea armchair in beige. $149.

It's nice a simple. I plan to not make it look so neutral, easiest way would be with pillow detail. :D But hoorah Ikea! Nice looking armchair, low like I want, comfy-looking, and a good price! Woo hoo!

Ikea birch folding table. $179.
I've been eyeing this baby for like a year. I love it. I love that it's made of birch wood, that's the tree of Russia!  I love how raw it looks! I'm going to get a nice little Ru-style tablecloth for it and then I'm just gonna be in love. Yesss. 

Ikea black bracket. $4.
Ikea white wall shelf. $10.

It's true I want the wall shelf to be white. I plan to do fun things with it, and I need it to be white. Nice nice nice.

Altar cabinet! I'm in love! $399.
Like the table, I've been eyeing this beautiful piece of work for some time. It's perfect for my Gohonzon/Buddhist altar! It's more beautiful and grand than any other piece of furniture and it's going to be surrounded by other beautiful things once I'm done with it, it's gonna look like a mini-temple. I'm so excited to work on it all! ::explodes::!

I have to get a number for an antique repair place so that Jane's secretary desk can be fixed and be used in my humble abode asap!

Alright enough for today! I'm jumping like a little bunny with anticipation. Meow. Because that's exactly what excited bunnies say. :D

I love finding messages that talk about the fact that all things are both spiritual and physical. It's like 2 sides of a coin. I also love seeing Buddhism in everything (Buddhism is about everything so it only makes sense that I would). The "Secret" that this video talks about has the name of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo in Nichiren Buddhism. It's the name of the ultimate Law of everything, ever. Like Einstein's formula. And chanting it is like instantly harmonizing yourself with the universe and transforming your life toward unshakeable awesomeness. Of course, like Einstein's formula, it has many deeper levels of meaning, power, etc. The brain can't really comprehend it but the heart does. In any case, I've always been encouraged to seek actual proof of the fact that Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo has a REAL impact on one's life. Like the scientific process (see, see? Buddhism-real world connection!)
I've tried it and yes, siree, it does! It's the best damn thing that ever happened to my life. I'm constantly finding out new things and growing and getting more excited about life by the second! 
I've started chanting for real 4 months ago, and in that time I've literally cried because I was so amazed at my own existence and life around me and my potential and general AWESOMENESS at least 5 times... I'm so thankful for that, I didn't know I could be that happy. Especially because nothing was happening around me. I was just sitting an chanting and then WOOOOSH, cosmic powers of love or something just exploded.
Ok ok ok, get me started on Buddhism and I can talk for hours. The video, right. Here it is. :D


Mission: Veta + $ = BFF
Goal: A healthy relationship with money. 

I realized that although I do want to be free from any mental/emotional/physical strain lack of money usually brings, I absolutely have a screwy relationship with money. Like I feel that any desire for it is an automatic path  to corruption and greed. Like it's evil incarnate. o.o

This realization came about while I was chanting one day. Buddhism teaches that all things have the potential to be in/manifest the Ten Worlds. The Worlds themselves have explanations, characteristics, etc. It's definitely one of my Top 5 Buddhist concepts! But the real basic awesome-ness of the Ten Worlds is that nothing is just bad or good or anything else negative, neutral, positive. 
Everything has potential. Everything can change and be something else. This concept makes Buddhism Hope to the Power of Infinity and is the reason why OMG I have faith in humanity once more! Haha!  :D 
The other awesome thing is that the Ten Worlds applies to EVERYTHING. It's one-size-fits-all. Including money.
I've been completely restricting it; it doesn't have to be evil. It all depends on me and how I choose to view it and use it.
Now that might sound like a simple bit of knowledge, but I was so unaware of this delusion that I had no way to address it. 
The thing that's tripping you up is right on you but you're not aware of it so you go about wondering why you feel bad.
I'm just really grateful that I'm starting to change my relationship with money at this young age of 19, without people depending on me, mortgage etc. Hoorah and thank you Gohonzon! Much love! <3

 Currently I feel like I'm reaching for the forbidden cookie jar whenever I want to spend a "large" sum on something I really find appealing. It's like I feel because I'm 19 and working/going to be a student, I have to be poor. For example, in the very recent past I felt arrogant for wanting to live in a place that is nice and not just "nice for a student".  
Now, I'm not talking about crazy mansions and what not. That's not even what I want. But I am talking about things that are exactly what I'm all about and feeling bad for wanting to buy them because they're not under a $100 or whatever. 
I guess it's feeling awkward about wanting the best when I'm "just starting out in life". And also feeling like it's "wasting" money if I use it on anything that's not necessary for life. That stems from 1. childhood, when mom would always fret about there not being money and 2. deeeeeeep-seated karma of not loving myself fully, always cutting myself down (that's been in the works since day one of chanting and DAMNNN have I come a long way forward. Mmmm.)

I'm saying FUCK IT  to all that. Because literal age has nothing to do with actual living. And I want to live. Now. I refuse to wait for some far off time to treat myself the way I deserve to be treated. 
I will not complicate life. 
If I truly encounter something that resonates with me, why should I not bring it into my life? I'm not stupid and I won't put myself into a stupid situation. I'm not talking about maxing out credit cards or neglecting bills, etc. I'm not a compulsive buyer at all and I don't plan on becoming one.
But I do find myself under the chains of  "I'm poor, I need to count every penny or I'll never make it" mentality. And that will not be my song no mo'. If wealth is a state of mind, then I'm the richest lil' lady in the world. And so is everyone else. We can be all abundant in this world, and for me that's the key to putting this crazy/awesome reeducation thing in motion. I'm not making someone else poorer by becoming richer. 
And actually, Buddhism would say that by me becoming richer(lit and fig), I make the world richer.
When you lift yourself, you lift the entire world. 
Say hello to "Oneness of self and the environment", Buddhist concept #2 of the Fave 5! :D And hello, money! Let's grow and create together! <3

Now down to brass tacks.

I'm a big fan of symbolism and self-improvement.  The 2 combined are going to be put to work... now. :)

Veta + $ = BFF: I will regularly start posting the ways in which I want to use money while appreciating the ability to do without feeling guilty.

I love you Ikea for making this sofa!

Lilac Love! 

(no subject)
 Today is a beautiful poplar fluff filled day in Moscow!!! I love it! 
I'm uploading all the photos I've taken while in Russia on Photobucket, FINALLY!!!! <3
I will know 10 languages! Oooh, so much stuff to learn=excitement! How beautiful for this site to exist! Roar! I'm so happy!
I'm super excited about the other web communitiesI found through Wendy, the lady that turned my world upside down and led me to Buddhism! I'm currently without my Buddha friends and it's hard because VMESTE VESELEYE (it's more fun together)! So Wendy let me know about a portable Buddhist community for the world! How super convenient!
And then the creator of that site recommended Powerful Intentions to me and it's going to be a great way to not get all "I'm a Buddhist, I'm better than you"... I mean, in and of itself, Buddhism doesn't ever put anyone down. It might say that one path leads to suffering while the other to explosive joy, but there's no superiority complex in Buddhism itself. BUT there is the potential for a superiority complex in people. And if you're not careful, it will becom activated! It especially turns on in people who practice a religion or a way of life, etc. I refuse to fall into that trap. 
It's also cool for me because having grown up in Russia where spirituality is much more discussed than in America, I'm drawn towards it. I'm interested in how people live spiritually while also living a contributive growing life. The two, for me, are inseparable. So I'm really excited! :D
What else? There's lots. I need to update more so that there isn't LOTS but just right, eh?
The most important thing right now is that I'm worry-free about my passport situation. I chanted about it, the universe heard me, and in due time it will arrive. And while it's been cooked up, I'm going to just enjoy the ride and not waste time feeling down. There's too much good to focus on, mmm hmmm! ^.^
Rose hips / Шиповник


YouTube 1st time, omg<3
Grrrrrrr, YouTube fails. I will use the russian video hosting site, maybe. If it cooperates.

At Chella's birthday party! Half Mexican, half gringo, and me, the race exception! Hahaha<333 Yummy yummy Mexican food! Chella and one of her friends taught me how to make tamales and pina colada! Mwahahaha!

Akilah's house! And Akilah not in Ithaca, NY! Whoa.

I'm being silly with YouTube because this is my first time!Woo!
I can;t believe I deleted the video of Michael, Alli, and me playing ERS. That was crazy super-charged genius... But no use crying over broken eggs? Yes? YES! Plus, just like Jane said, there's plenty more material to record, haha<3

Too tired to write like I wanted to :D; playing with Michael and Alli has completely worn me out! Ai ai ai!

Today was the first time I emceed a Buddhist meeting plus I had to be back up to read President Ikeda's Day of Youth message! Whoo! There were 6? SGI leaders there and it was amazing and completely encouraging! It's so invigorating to have accomplished people who're doing great things supporting, encouraging, and being inspired by you... There's no sense of hierarchy or condescension(sp?). It's people striving to live and encouraging others to live happily. Whoo!
Okay, g'nightttt to ze web, hello to the pillowwww! <333