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A Shining Heart

I would like to wish you a very happy new year!

I went to a shrine on New Year's day and picked a fortune (In Japanese this is called "omikuji"). In the fortune, it said:

"If you do not do what you say you will, the moon will not dwell in your heart.

It continued to explain that "The human heart is not always perfect, and it is also human nature to envy those who have more than us. But even for those who are poor (financially), if they keep a peaceful mind and do their best, the light of their heart will light up and they will receive good fortune without seeking it".

I thought I knew what was enough for me to feel satisfied, but when I honestly looked back at myself last year, I did feel jealous of those who were not struggling to overcome a challenge. People have a tendency to envy others, especially when they are facing painful or difficult situations. When we feel content, we usually don't have interest in envying others.

So, how can we feel satisfied? The best way to do this is to be grateful.

When I look back, I have had the support and help of many different people. When I was suffering from alopecia totalis, a woman I often met at the gym said to me, "I know exactly what you are feeling because I was very sick too. Please take good care of your health.” She gave me a handmade tissue case. When I called or visited the principal of my children's kindergarten to ask for advice on raising my children, she was always willing to help me. When I was young and living alone, a friend from a kimono class that I was taking came to help me when I hurt my arm in the middle of the night. The list is endless, from small things to big things. Even now, thanks to my family and the people around me, I am able to do many things. I have always been grateful for such support, but recently I have come to feel it deeply. Thanks to all of you, I am now able to live like this.

If I always keep this "gratitude" in mind and aim for the philosophy of "Seiryoku Zenyo, Jita Kyoei," or "using my full energy for the purpose of mutual prosperity", the light will never go out in my heart. I hope that the warm and pure light will always shine into your hearts as well.

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