Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

Kripalu Mindfulness Outdoor Experience Guide & Life Coach – Get Outside. Go Within.


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Autumn in the Adirondacks

Autumn in New York is just as spectacular as a trip to Vermont this time of year. This is especially true when the Adirondacks are at peak. Even a little rain can’t dampen the spirits when leaf peeping. The two and a half hour ride north to Tupper Lake was spectacular.

After Tupper Lake we traveled to Fish Creek Camp Site in Saranac Lake area. It was a perfect day for kayaking. We had to wear a light jacket and it sprinkled a little yet it was perfect. The colors were an eye candy treat. There were two other kayakers who stopped their journey at a campsite around the corner from where we started and one lone kayaker out in a secluded section of the pond. It was quiet and very peaceful on this cool Autumn day.

To live in New York – not NYC – is a wonderful experience with all of the changing seasons. Sometimes it seems as if seasons change within the day. You may start out in the morning bundled and by mid afternoon be down to shirt sleeves, then throw on a rain coat, take off the rain coat to enjoy a beautiful sunset while wearing a jacket. Dress in layers and be grateful that you are alive enjoying such an experience.

There are a lot of tragedies occurring all over the world, even close by there was a tragic accident with twenty losing their lives in one useless car crash so if you are alive and well, be grateful. Take in the beauty of nature we are blessed with even if it is a weed growing up through a crack in the sidewalk. Everyone has a story and by remaining grateful and hopeful we can help raise the vibration of the world.

May your day be blessed with love, light and joy!

Love and Light!


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Autumn in the Adirondacks

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While traveling for work today I had the privilege of natural beauty all around me. It was breathtaking. Almost made me want to forget about my meeting and continue traveling.

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Luckily I was out of the office before dark and took my time traveling home. Tip for the day, always have your camera on hand and ready to go. It is important to be able to drive and soak up the beauty of nature, to stop once in a while to stretch and capture the sights. When traveling remember to get out every hour or so and stretch, walk around a bit, drink plenty of water, and carry healthy snacks such as fruit and some nuts. Don’t forget to chat with the local store owners and have a cup of coffee or tea at a locally owned cafe. You would be surprised what you can learn by striking up a conversation.

So grateful to live in this beautiful state, to be able to own a car, have a great position where I travel and meet with interesting people, and check out interesting little local shops. Feeling very blessed.

Love and Light!


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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.”

There were so many photos it was difficult so I chose five that represent a sense of depth in a variety of ways to me.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.”


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Living Mindfully While Traveling for Work

Traveling for work can be stressful for some and was at one time for me as well. Now I find pleasure no matter where I travel, even while sitting in traffic. After discovering that listening to audio books can bring peace on the road – bring two for variety – especially when sitting in traffic. When traveling to the ‘north country’ New York State traffic jams are not a concern – weather on the other hand can be.

This week there was an overnight in Hogansburg, then on to Malone for a morning visit with my last stop in Elizabethtown for an afternoon visit. The weather was perfect – cold but sunny. The snow storm wasn’t expected to start until later in the afternoon. I love snow but traveling in the Adirondacks in bad weather can be a little frightening at times – no streets lights, no other cars for miles, and  there isn’t any cell service for long stretches.

Traveling south, as I was passing through Saranac Lake they were building the Ice Castle. This is why it is important to carry a camera or smart phone. This was a very interesting process. I had no idea that the blocks of ice were cut from the lake. It makes sense if you stop to think about it and this is why I am slowing down and taking time to think and be mindful of the world around me. As you can see from the photos below the ice was a beautiful shade of blue. After parking my rental car the first thing I noticed was a large cloud hanging pretty low in the sky above. It reminded me of a mitten with the thumb sticking out below or a whale. It wasn’t until I snapped the first photo that I noticed the large circle of light surrounding it. As you can see from the photo it was a complete circle hanging above the lake.

Saranac Lake Ice Sculpture

Saranac Lake Ice Sculpture

Saranac Lake Ice Sculpture

Saranac Lake Ice Sculpture

Preparing ice for the Saranac Lake Ice Sculpture

Preparing ice for the Saranac Lake Ice Sculpture

Circle around Cloud

Circle around Cloud

It was nice getting out of the car to stretch a bit and get my legs moving. I try to get out and stretch every hour and a half. After leaving Saranac Lake I traveled through a mountain range. We can see the high peaks in the distance. This is an area for hikers and mountain climbing. I enjoy this myself in the summer, it can be a little unpredictable in the winter due to the sudden snow storms. So I leave the winter climbing to the experts.

Adirondack Mountains, NY

Adirondack Mountains, NY

Feeling a little tired after my second meeting and another hour of driving, I decided to stop in Lake George for a cup of coffee. My favorite coffee shop was closed for the winter but fortunately I found  Cafe Vero – it was a delight. I brought in my camera and a book – was glad I did when the warmth of the fireplace greeted me. It was a very peaceful place to sit and read a book while sipping my latte. If you are in the area you can find Cafe Vero on Route 9. The staff is very friendly and the latte delicious. They had a maple glazed bacon donut that looked scrumptious, unfortunately I didn’t try it. Maybe next time.

Latte and fire at Cafe Vero in Lake George, NY

Latte and fire at Cafe Vero in Lake George, NY

In the past, when traveling for a week at a time I would bring candles, bath beads, framed family photos, books, colored pens, journals, magazines, scissors, glue, herbal tea, and a special tea-cup. Sometimes my pillow and a throw, if I didn’t travel by train. The hotel room would become a home away from home. When in NYC I would walk forty blocks after work and take photos of items in store windows and displays, food dishes, people, and items in the hotel room. It was a little stressful then because my youngest daughter was a teenager and I missed her. Fortunately for us, we had family members available in my absence.

If traveling for work, make the down time feel like a vacation then it becomes pleasurable. Enjoy the pool, jacuzzi, gym, and once in a while order room service. Think about the times in between work and home as the space between – it is in those spaces of time that you can bring peace into your life. Those spaces in time can be filled with meditations, reading, singing, laughing, seeing with new eyes, taking photos, meeting new people, learning new things. My time working as Congressional Fellow in Washington, D.C. is referred to as my working vacation. The girls were able to experience new schools, new friends, new sights, new travel on the metro. I lived a new experience everyday – meeting new people for around the country and world, exploring D.C. especially on weekends, participating in rallies – it was a true adventure. Today I live close enough to family that I can visit but in a new area with many areas to explore and new people to meet regularly. Live in the spaces, even if it is familiar to you. Look at your area as if you were a visitor and explore with new eyes. Take a new route to work, stop in to the local attraction whether big or small, walk around your town, village, city as if you just moved to the area. Do you see anything new, different, anything you never noticed before?

If you live mindfully in the spaces in between, I would to hear what you do to keep life exciting and new. If you would like to learn how to take the first stop to quiet your mind and live in the space in between I would love to guide you to that place of peace.

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Light and Love,
Sandy


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Santanoni Preserve

Today when I left my home the sun was shining but the roads were a bit icy. As we traveled from Albany north on I-87 we weren’t sure if we would see snow especially when it started to rain. When we pulled off the highway at exit 29 the rain seemed to be following along but after a while the rain turned to snow as we climbed the mountains roads. What a beautiful site – the trees covered in snow looked like a winter wonderland. Ahead we could see the snow falling on the mountains ahead and we knew it would be a good day for snowshoeing. I have been wanting to visit Camp Santanoni Preserve located on Rt. 28N, Santanoni Rd.in Newcomb, NY for quite some time. It is a little over a two hour ride from my home. Today was a perfect day to check it out.

When we arrived we were told that the preserve was open for the holiday weekend so it was our lucky day. Apparently the preserve is not open daily in the winter. A Monday off, snow, the Preserve was open, and perfect weather with the temperature around 30 degrees. Our clothing was layered and waterproof so we were ready for any kind of weather. Miracles do happen!

I thought it would be nice to share some of the photos for those of you who may live in New York State and are looking for a place to hike, explore, snowshoe or cross-country ski. For those of you who do not live in New York and weren’t aware that we have a very large, diverse state in more ways then one these photos will give you a different perspective of this beautiful state. Most of the people I have met in my travels think of New York as Manhattan and don’t realize how large this state is. The majority of New York State’s population live in NYC but the rest of us are very proud of our state and our environment – especially the nature that surrounds us. So enjoy!

Welcome to Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondacks

Welcome to Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondacks

Bridge to Santanoni Preserve

Bridge to Santanoni Preserve

Information station at Santanoni Preserve

Information station at Santanoni Preserve

Some original buildings in Santanoni Preserve

Some original buildings in Santanoni Preserve

The buildings are original to the Preserve – check it out on FaceBook at Camp Santanoni and Santanoni Preserve or you can check it out by doing a Google Search.

Stone House in Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondacks

Stone House in Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondacks

Loved this stone building in Santanoni Preserve

Loved this stone building in Santanoni Preserve

Snow covering trees in Adirondacks

Snow covering trees in Adirondacks

Birds nest waiting for spring

Birds nest waiting for spring

Snow covered Cross-Country ski trail through Santanoni Preserve

Snow covered Cross-Country ski trail through Santanoni Preserve

As you can see from the photo below I was dressed in warm clothing, not the most attractive dress style but very comfortable and warm. It was such a great time being outside.

Snowshoeing in Santanoni Preserve

Snowshoeing in Santanoni Preserve

It is always difficult to leave these trails whether in the winter or summer. I find it exhilarating when in nature. I hope that you enjoyed the photos.

Love and Light,
Sandy