This blog is about the experiences of people be it in terms of personal, spiritual, professional or any kind of cultural aspect of lives. So here I present you a spiritual journey of a friend of mine who has shared her spiritual journey and how it led her to designing natural jewelry made from recycled wood. Please bear this in mind that we don´t encourage or offend any kind of religion in this platform, but only try to convey our personal spiritual journey only to inspire each other. I hope this story of her will inspire you to listen to your soul calling and may be it will motivate you to find the creative aspect of your life.
Becky Tohms: How it became important to me to make forest-friendly stuff
If you were to ask what being on a spiritual journey means to me, I’d say it has meant learning what’s important to me, making improvements to myself and then sticking to what works and living it with integrity. There are other important things, but when I think about it, some of the most important things to me personally, are living simply, not judging and doing no harm.
Like many other people, I figured out these things were important to me through learning about stuff Buddha said.
I discovered Buddhism at a point in my life when I (like many others) felt I didn’t know why I was here or where I belonged. Everything just seemed so complicated. I was always searching for something which I thought was “missing” from my life.
One day I visited a Buddhist temple near my place of work. It turned out to be a very simple affair-a boring white room with plastic chairs and there was a small, not exactly ornate Buddha on a table, in front of which sat a deliriously happy monk. There was nothing pretentious about this temple. There was exactly what was required and nothing more. I knew (with an element of disappointment) that this mundane set-up was actually going to provide me with the answers I’d been looking for, or rather, was going to prove that there was nothing I had to search for anymore, because everything I actually needed was already present. What appealed to me here instantly was this idea that life could be so simple.
The answers to my important questions were found there. One unexpected home-truth was that I was responsible for myself and I had to find security from within and I could always find it from within at any time. I was quite relieved to have answers that really resonated to me. It turned out that this longing to be part of something different I’d been experiencing had stemmed from our innate deep-seated feeling of dissatisfaction and desire for things to be different. Something which wouldn’t go away without daily meditation.
I started watching dhamma talks from the Thai Forest monks and Nuns. I felt much more comfortable with my dis ease, just knowing how I’d been feeling was all a normal part of being human. I also felt no pressure to believe in anything I couldn’t prove myself.
Apart from encouraging simplicity, there’s also something else Buddha was said to have taught- The concept of doing no harm. I decided the reason why I was here on this earth must be to do that. To live a simple truthful life and to strive to do no harm (or at least as little as possible). Since this must be what they call my life purpose, I decided to live it as much as possible. I already ate vegetarian, but that slowly became vegan as I began to question more and more what I consumed and how my actions impacted the world around me. I changed my job and I became more and more minimalistic. Over time I started to give away possessions to other people who could use them better and didn’t keep anything which wasn’t useful to me. As I decluttered everything I was left with only the things which were important to me, amongst which were my items I used to make art. I also found I had more time to spend alone in nature and more inspiration for creating.
Living in beautiful Jena in the old East Germany there was always a sense of normality in refusing to buy new items whenever possible by reusing old ones. (Second hand items were viewed as just as valuable and treated respectfully). I picked up a rewarding mindset of reusing and re-purposing items as much as possible.
I now view reusing as honoring the planet and since no production and therefore less disturbance is involved, it’s a nice way I can practice to do no harm.
Here is the link to her online shop of forest-friendly products: