Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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Nature, Trees and Grandchildren

“Hope is the tree that holds the world”

Pliny, the Elder

“Most people never listen.”

~ Earnest Hemmingway ~

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”

Hermann Hesse, Wandering ~

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Silly Tanner climbing a tree

“Childhood is, or has been, or ought to be, the great original adventure, a tale of privation, courage, constant vigilance, danger, and sometimes Calamity.”

~ Michael Chardon ~

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Baby Colt checking out the flower on the Magnolia tree

“If man is not to live by bread alone, what is better worth doing well than the planting of trees?”

~ Frederick Law Olmsted ~

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Checking out a very wise tree at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.”

~ John Muir ~

“A tree is beautiful, but what’s more, it has a right to life; like water, the sun and the stars, it is essential. Life on earth is inconceivable without trees.”

~ Anton Chekhov ~

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Hugging Trees at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.”

~ Buddhist Sutra ~

Teaching children to connect with nature at an early age has been a very important part of my life. First with my own children, nieces, nephews, and their friends taking them for hikes, sleeping in lean-tos in the forest, and playing outside daily. Now with my grandchildren – Taylor, my eldest granddaughter, Tanner (5), Colt (3), and soon the youngest, Lainey (10 months) and Abram (6 months). Sharing the love of nature with children gives them a lifelong love and knowledge of our interconnection with the nature and all the life it maintains.

Whenever I get the chance I am outside with others learning about our environment, forest bathing, enjoying the sounds, smells and sights. Living mindfully in nature allows time to reflect, to take in fresh air, exercise the body, feel the spirit, and relax the mind. I have been very fortunate over the years to have attended classes with other like minded people, belong to groups, and volunteer at locations that allow time outdoors.

If all goes well and I am accepted into the class I will be spending 9 days outside in October of this year learning more about forest bathing, mindful outdoor meditation, group facilitation skills, and more. This will be truly a dream come true. After the class I will be a certified instructor and will begin to share my knowledge and experiences with others. What a blessing it will be to bring a sense of wonder and share this knowledge with the next generation.

“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased; and not impaired in value.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt ~

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Do you take time to hug trees? Do you teach children about their connection to nature? If we each take on the responsibility to protect nature we will be blessing our children and their children with a life sustaining gift. More precious than all the money in the world. 

A few things that you can do to help our environment:

  • Use cloth bags when at the grocery store or any store
  • Pick up garbage from the ground and throw it in the trash
  • Carry your own reusable water bottle
  • Purchase reusable sandwich bags – wash and reuse
  • Bring your own reusable lunch bag
  • Make your own meals from real food – not boxed or canned
  • Try to have less trash
  • Donate any unwanted items
  • Compost
  • Grow your own food in a garden
  • Walk, ride a bicycle, take public transportation or drive a Hybrid
  • Ride share
  • Use your towels / wash clothes more than once before washing
  • Turn off the lights when not using, use energy saving light bulbs
  • Unplug your equipment when not using (laptops, computers . . .)
  • Have your furnace cleaned before cold weather
  • Carry all trash out of the woods when hiking or camping
  • Don’t write on trees or carve your initials in them
  • Plant trees every year
  • Call your representatives and senators to request more green space
  • Spend an hour or so outside daily connecting with nature
  • Hug a tree or two
  • Read books on nature – educate yourself
  • Take an outdoor class
  • Remove all chemicals from your home – inside and out  – find natural alternatives
  • Don’t purchase Round Up and don’t hire anyone who uses chemicals on your yard
  • Purchase only organic foods and grass-fed beef, free range chicken

Do you have something to add to this list? Please share.

Love and Light!

 


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Satisfaction

This week, share a photo of something that brings you satisfaction. It can be monumental, minor, or something in between.

“Grandchildren are their grandparents’ toys.” ~ Mokokoma Mokhonoana ~

While visiting my daughter and her family in San Diego, I had the opportunity to care for my grandson, Tanner, while his Dad was traveling for work and Mom was away celebrating a friend’s birthday. We decided to take a walk and get a treat. I asked Tanner if he wanted to share an Acai bowl but he wanted a pink ice cream cone. I ordered him a small strawberry and myself a small Acai bowl. Not sure what the size of their large ice is but as you can see their small is pretty large for this little guy.

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After handing him his cone I walked back to grab the Acai bowl and a spoon. Realizing we would need some napkins I left to grab a small stack. When I returned, look who had my spoon and was enjoying the Acai bowl.

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I said, “I thought you didn’t want one.”

Tanner smiled and said, “You can share.”

His face beamed with pleasure and self-satisfaction. How could I resist. I returned for another spoon as he continued to lick his ice cream then take a bite of my treat.

His ice cream began to melt and he sat looking at it overflowing the sides of the cone. I grabbed a cup to set underneath to catch the liquid. Tanner looked up and said, “Mimi, doesn’t this remind you of a volcano?” Looking at the melting ice cream he said, “See, this is the lava?”

At three and a half, I had no idea he even knew what a volcano was. Then he told me about Hawaii, volcanos, and how one day he was going to live in Hawaii. It is his favorite place. This lucky little fellow has visited Hawaii with his parents a couple of times and has decided that is where he shall call home when he grows up. We agreed that I should travel with them on their next trip and stay with him at his home in Hawaii when he moves there.

In case you are wondering, he didn’t finish either of the treats.

“Grandchildren are loving reminders of what we’re really here for.” ~ Janet Lanese ~

Love this little guy. Luckily for me he will be visiting next week. Maybe we will visit a local ice cream parlor with this cousins. I don’t believe the cones will be quite as large this time.

If you are interested in viewing more photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/satisfaction/

Love and Light!


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

Recently I had a treat of the birth of a new grandson, Colt, and ten days with my twenty month old grandson, Tanner. Spending a week with Tanner is a rare event because I live in central New York and my daughter lives in San Diego, CA with her family. Both events were treats for our family. Every minute spent with my grandchildren is a treat.

As you will see from the expression on Tanner’s face he had such fun time riding the large slide, even though he was thrown around on the way down. Once at the bottom, he ran to climb the ladder and try again. We were at the bottom laughing along with him.

From the birth of Colt on Sept. 14th to the day Tanner and Allison had to fly home we filled the days in with adventures. A trip to Vermont with my daughters and their sons was a special treat because I was able to take a day off from work to share in the fun. As you will see from the photos baby Colt is very precious. Don’t worry, Colt wasn’t left alone with the pumpkin, my daughter Cassie was sitting next to him.

I hope that you have enjoyed my ‘treats’ – better than any candy, cake, or vacation that I can think of and the entire week was filled with great memories of our special week together. Many captured on film.

Love and Light!


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Holiday Lights Through the Innocent Eyes of a Baby

My grandson, Tanner, is 13 months old and lives in sunny San Diego. When they came to visit for the holiday he had to be introduced to the cold upstate New York temperatures and heavy clothing. What a trooper he was!

While they were here we went to visit the Albany Festival of Lights. Although I live in the Capital Region I have never visited the park to see the lights. This was a treat for all.

As we made our way through the park we decided Tanner would have a better view if he sat in the front seat unrestrained by his cars. To all those concerned about his safety we went slower than a walk so he was safe. I sat in the back seat where I had a perfect view of his little face peeking out the window. Below is a photo is of Tanner becoming a little braver and his Mom realizing he is no longer in the car seat and needs to be bundled up. Still a bit blurry as I become familiar with my new camera.

He gets a bit braver and realizes he can lean out a bit to see lights behind him

He gets a bit braver and realizes he can lean out a bit to see lights behind him

The pic below says it all. My photography skills improved and Tanner’s face shows his pure, unfiltered enjoyment.

Look at this little face. He is totally mesmerized by all of the lights.

Look at this little face. He is totally mesmerized by all of the lights.

The display was beautiful with moving lights and even a sliver of the moon glowing in the sky above the Washington Park Lake House.

Star above Washington Park Lake House

Sliver of the moon shining above Washington Park Lake House

Capital Holiday Lights in Washington Park, Albany, NY

Capital Holiday Lights in Washington Park, Albany, NY

It was a wonderful experience to witness the lights for the first time through my grandson’s eyes. I am forever grateful that I shared that experience with my daughter and son-in-law.

My daughter and her family enjoying the holiday lights.

My daughter and her family enjoying the holiday lights.

The holidays are over and my daughter and her family are back in San Diego where it is warm. I remain in upstate New York where the temperature was 1 degree at 10 am and is now a whopping 9 degrees but I have the photos and memories to keep me warm.

Love and Light,
Sandy