International Women's Month Collection: Rachel B.
I met the creative, energetic, loving Rachel on my birthday a few years ago. But she cemented her spot in my life by attending my wedding as a plus-one and taking so many wonderful pictures that I was able to make a wedding album. She's an amazing female friend.
Kaylyn Gabbert: You're always so outgoing. Where's your favorite place to go?
Rachel B.:My favorite place to go is to nature. I enjoy walking at Long Beach LI on the boardwalk. As I look out on the ocean and horizon I feel hopeful. I also love walking in Central park and getting lost among the trees. Sometimes I forget I am in the middle of NYC.
KG: I've seen Central Park. It is absolutely amazing, although I haven't seen it like you have. I was there for a concert. Is there a time of year you would recommend me checking it out?
RB: It's cherry blossom time now In Central park. I just walked around the Jackie O reservoir and took photos of the beautiful cherry blossom trees.
KG: When did you join Kosen-rufu Gongyo?
RB: I joined the SGI-USA June 21st 2014. We chant Nam-Myoho- Renge-Kyo. Which means Devotion to the Mystic Law of cause and effect. By rhythmically chanting these words I gained courage to change my life and become healthy and happy. Before I started chanting I was extremely depressed and in an abusive relationship.
Since joining I decided to get Gastric Bypass surgery and I have lost 140lb. I also don't have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol anymore. I now have a full time teaching position and a loving boyfriend.
KG: I'm so happy you're in a place in your life where things are how you want them to be. What brought you to the SGI-USA, if I may ask?
RB: The SGI-USA buddhist center is right near my place. I would walk by and wonder what was in that building. I met a member and they introduced me to the philosophy of the SGI-USA buddhism. Through chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I developed the courage to improve my life. To become healthy, happy and to never give up!
KG: What brought you to teaching kids?
RB: I changed my career from designing kids clothes to teaching children when I turned 30. I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life than stressing about making clothes. I feel my best when helping people and children. Life is hard for everyone and if I can help one person feel hopeful then I feel better too.
KG: I didn't know you designed clothes before. I'm a total fashionista. What kind of style of clothes did you use to design?
RB: I used to design children's clothes. I designed and manufactured Girls clothes sizes 7-14. I also worked as a technical designer in the fashion industry.
If you're interested in learning more about Rachel: https://www.youtube.com/@rachelsgastricbypassbuddie2699