Spirit of Dragonflies

Guide to Awakening Your Inner Self – Begin Your Creative Journey Today


8 Comments

WPC – Focus

This week, share a photo that represents focus to you. Are you a stickler for getting in close to your subjects and capturing every detail, or do you prefer a more ethereal look that illustrates the sensations of the moment? Or both? And remember, you don’t need a professional camera to consider focus. Using your phone camera can provide an even more interesting approach.

“By celebrating the small stuff and feeling gratitude for it, things you never noticed before will come into focus.” ~ Jane Trumbull, Complaining isn’t a Solution! ~

Isn’t that the truth. When we take time to slow down and celebrate the little things in life we begin to notice more that we can be grateful for and our world begins to expand.

I love getting down on the ground with my camera and seeing the world a little differently through the lens. There is so much beauty in the world if we focus on the gifts of nature.

Walking out of my back door in the fall is such a wonderful treat when the ground is covered in a red blanket of the freshly fallen leaves. I do not touch them until they have shriveled up and turned brown because I love pulling into the driveway to the welcoming sight of the red carpet welcoming me home.

DSC_0109.jpg

“Take five minutes to center yourself in the morning – set your intention every day.” ~ Oprah Winfrey ~

We can do this every morning as we set our intention for the day. Sit still for a minute or two and set your intention to see something new today or to stop once in a while during the day to change your thoughts. If your mind is always racing this is a good way to allow yourself to learn to relax a little during the day. Eventually you will find peace within the day, even on those hectic days and your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

In the morning stop to notice dew drops decorating spider’s webs, leaves, and flower petals. Just slowing down for those few seconds can can be very uplifting. There is a feeling of magic when carefully observing the morning dew, the trees, birds singing, squirrels playing.

One day I spent an hour sitting in the grass observing bees as they made their way from one spring flower to another. With great patience and still camera I was able to capture a couple of the bees in flight. Love how the world becomes a little out of focus while the bee is captured in flight.

DSC_0430.jpg

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~ Van Gogh ~

I had a peaceful experience sitting on a beach at Moreau State Park as I watched dragonflies enjoying summer day. Eventually I was successful in capturing a couple of dragonflies in flight. With time, patience, and focus there was peace, calm and success.

DSC_0144

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~ Mark Twain ~

If you want to truly ‘see’ your world, slow down and look a little closer. This is true whether with nature, people or a situation. If your mind is out of focus your world will be out of focus and clear thinking is impossible.

Today, stop on your way out the door to take a moment to breathe. If you live in the city stop near a tree in the sidewalk and notice the bark, leaves, colors. If you are passing a flower stand stop to allow your eyes to take in the color. While making breakfast (please make yourself breakfast) pay attention to the colors and textures. Bring everything into focus with your sight, smell, taste, and remember to be grateful.

Look closer at the petals and detail of the flower and stem. Notice the color of your fruits and vegetables. Remember where they come from – the soil of the Earth. Not the grocery store. Notice reflections in puddles. No matter where you live, work, travel give yourself the gift of focus and slow down to see the beauty all around you.

If you would like to view additional photos or submit your own photos, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/out-of-focus

May your day be filled with beauty, peace, love, joy, health, and abundance.

Love and Light!


5 Comments

WPC – Order

This week, share your take on order, whether literal, figurative, or anything in between (and sure — showing it next to a healthy dose of messiness is fine, too). From library stacks to sock drawers and from ancient temples to modern train stations, let your inner disciplinarian take over.

Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them. ~ Benjamin Disraeli ~

Order can be found anywhere whether in store shelves, gardens, or homes. Chaos can be found in the same places. Chaos can also become orderly and some people live in organized chaos. This week I have chosen three different locations which order can be found.


While visiting my daughter in San Diego we stopped to browse in a salvage store. Everything was neatly organized and orderly for a customers easy view. It was fun checking out all of the items from earlier days, reminders of some deceased relatives homes that I visited as a child.

And, where is there more order than in a garden. If the garden is not planted by a certain time of year depending on your location you will not be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center in Craryville, NY has a very large garden and thankfully many volunteers. It was interesting to witness the order in which each row was set up and timing of planting each of the vegetables. When I’ve had gardens in the past, we started out with a plan and some kind of order in the planting however none of my past gardens were as beautiful or well organized as this one. They rotate location of crops yearly and do all possible to keep weeds at a minimum. This is one beautiful organic garden. Can’t wait to see the fruits of our labor.

There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can stand around a house. You can’t know the limit beforehand, but you will know when you’ve reached it. I believe this. ~ Alice Munro ~

Alice Munro said it perfectly, sometimes we don’t know until we are in the midst of it. I never realized how much I love order in my home until the time when it wasn’t present. I have read books on how to maintain home as sanctuary in my quest to find peace. Removing anything that doesn’t bring peace, love, and security is an ongoing process.

When there are less material items and only those that speak to my heart my home feels like a sanctuary, a place to feel peaceful and secure. A place to laugh easily, to be silly, meditate and enjoy a cup of tea in the sun shining through the window.

For myself, I love making the bed first thing when I rise, washing morning dishes and cleaning the counter prior to leaving the house. When returning home it is a gift to myself and anyone who visits to walk into a kitchen with clean counters.

What are your feelings on order? Do you function in a cluttered environment, an organized clutter environment, or in an organized decluttered environment?

If you would like to view photos for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!


18 Comments

WPC – Reflections 2

You can find similar reflections and changes in perspective just about anywhere. From water and glass to metallic surfaces, share a photo that captures something reflected back to you in a way that made you look at your surroundings differently.

Reflections is another of my favorite subject matters as you will see from my photos. Hope you enjoy!

“Without deep reflections one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” ~ Albert Einstein ~

DSC_0240.jpg

Lake Placid, NY

“As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflected the real people.” ~ Psalm 27:19 ~

DSC_0976

Lake Placid, NY

“Life is truly a reflection of what we allow ourselves to see & be.” ~ Trudy Symeonakis Vesotsky ~

“Time spent in self-expression is never wasted – it is an intimate date with yourself.”  ~ Paul TP Wong ~

“The beauty you see in me, is a reflection of you.” ~ Rumi ~

If you would like to view entries for this week’s photo challenge or to submit your own, click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!


11 Comments

WPC – Danger

This week, share a photo that says Danger! to you.* A view down the steep hill you’re about to bike, the last piece of cake that’s in danger of being eaten, signage in your town warning you about gigantic sword-toting shrubbery — there are lots of places you can take this, not all of them scary. I’m girding my loins!

“It’s logic: The more forests die, the less carbon they take out of the air, the warmer it gets, the more forests die.” ~ Dr. Nate McDowell, Los Alamos National Laboratory ~

Danger! to me is watching the haphazard destruction of the forests from Albany north to the Adirondacks. It makes me wonder if people have gone mad in their quest to control the environment and line their pockets. Yes, we all need to eat and have homes, but where does the greed and destruction end?

The area in these photos is near my home and was a beautiful wooded area, one of the reasons I chose to live here. A beautiful treed area with ponds and hiking trails it was home to deer, turkey, rabbits, fox, woodchucks, birds, butterflies and many other wildlife enjoyed this as their home. Many local people hiked through the trails for years before I relocated here.

“The trees are our lungs, the rivers our circulation, the air our breath, and the earth our body.” ~ Deepak Chopra ~

Over the last few months, the area has been clearcut. It is sad to witness this destruction of such a beautiful area.

I called to ask why they were clear cutting, the sign says preservation. This doesn’t look like preservation to me. It isn’t my land so I really have no say, yet my heart aches watching the destruction. Danger! Wildlife Habitat Restoration – Preserve Commission apparently does not mean preservation of trees or the land.

The trees absorbed the stench of the landfill as well as the fumes and the noise pollution from the two nearby merging highways. Now anyone living in the area is exposed to the constant roaring of cars driving on the highways and the stench of the landfill fills the air. The gentleman on the phone said it hurt him to cut down the oak tree. My question was, why would you cut down a perfectly healthy oak tree? He shared they are returning the area to the way it was 75 years ago – a time when the pine bush grew in the area. He assured me that the wildlife living in the area found a new place to live and will return once the bush grows (in 6-7 years). I asked where he thought the wildlife would have found to live in the suburban sprawl of malls, strip malls, highways, and traffic congestion. He didn’t have an answer for that one. He said I would enjoy it once the shrubs have grown and I assured him I wouldn’t be living in the area that long.

Danger! to wildlife in the area, any remaining trees will be felled by the end of summer so I hope they have found a way to protect themselves for the next 6-7 years.

I still have hope for a wake-up call to all those who do not understand the importance of the trees and the fact that they are our lungs, our shade, our coolness in the summer and protection in the winter. An awareness that clear cutting and destruction of the forests, especially old growth forest, is not something that can be easily repaired. It will take decades if not centuries to restore. With the current administration in the United States, I am not sure what will happen to our natural habitat but I pray for an awakening and transformation in mindset to one of balancing the importance of maintaining a healthy environment with the material needs of the population. All the money in the world will not replace the need for a healthy environment.

Today, I dream of a world filled with a variety of trees lining the streets, filling the parks, shading playgrounds, thriving old growth forests, and a preservation of natural habitat.

What can you do? Teach your children the importance of maintaining a balance with nature and bring them into natural settings to learn about trees, fungi, soil, nature . . . Read books –  The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben; The Long, Long Life of Trees by Fiona Stafford or  Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv to name a few. Take a walk in nature and connect with the trees and wildlife. Slow down, revitalize your spirit in nature.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view additional photos for this week’s challenge or would like to enter your own photos, click on the link below.

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

 


3 Comments

Volunteering and Sharing in Natures Gifts

This year started with a weekend retreat enjoying time with new friends at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center. It was that weekend that I decided to return and volunteer at the center monthly whenever possible.

So far this year I have had the pleasure of Karma Yoga cleanup and prepping for meal. Both were wonderful experiences with the benefit of participating in classes, mediations and enjoying nature.

This past weekend volunteers gathered to share in cleaning cabins and preparing the garden for planting. All furniture was pulled out of the cabins and then each cabin was cleaned top to bottom. Furniture was then cleaned and returned to the cabins. With two volunteers assigned to each cabin it didn’t take long to finish yesterday. The afternoon and this morning were spent enjoying working the earth in the garden to prepare for the seedlings.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ~Mahatma Gandhi~

The meals were delicious and well deserved by all. New friends were met and existing relationships were strengthened as we came together for karma yoga. It is amazing what can be accomplished when a group of people come together to share in loving service.

Of course, my camera was nearby for some nature photos. Love capturing some hidden treasures.

DSC_0274

Dandelion

While exploring this little greenery was discovered in a tree stump.

DSC_0314

Growth in the center of a stump

Lamb Ear decorated in morning dew, new growth on trees, and a bird’s nest above the entrance light.

Here are a few treasures hidden in the flower garden.

After cleaning out the cabin I noticed rain drops on the grass. As I was crouching down to take the photos the ‘rain’ began to rain down on me, except it wasn’t raining anywhere else. Debbie said it was only raining where I was and then we realized it wasn’t raining, there was a leak in the water line. It did result in some lovely photos. The drops of water look like crystals decorating the lawn.

Preparing the garden was quick work when you have several volunteers pitching in. The ground is ready for planting in another couple of weeks and the seedlings are being prepared in the green house. These photos were from Saturday so the rest of the crew are missing from the photos.

While on break I took a little walk to the waterfall and on the way stopped when I noticed the unfurling of the ferns. They are amazing to witness. Along with the fern were an assortment of flowers of many sizes. Then, with some patience, I sat and tried to capture bumblebees with their constant movement on my camera. It was a pleasure watching them buzzing in a swarm, as they enjoyed the spring weather after a long cold winter. After focusing and waiting patiently I was able to captured a couple in flight. It was a nice way to practice mindfulness. Time seemed to stop while I focused.

Nature is something to be treasures for ourselves and future generations. Everything in nature seems harmonious and interconnected.

“Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem – because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it.”

Pavan Sukhdev, United Nations report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.
Overall it was a wonderful weekend filled with friends, meditation, gardening, cleaning, good food and nature. This morning, before the short-lived thunder-storm, I had the privilege of providing one of the volunteers with a Therapeutic Touch (TT) session near a tree. It was an interesting experience for both of us and I hope to provide more treatments in nature. It is a perfect place for clients to feel grounded and release their anxieties and stressors in life. During the storm another guest had a treatment in the freshly cleaned library. Providing TT sessions was another highlight of the weekend.

Remember in nature, as with life, there are many hidden treasures if you take time to look a little closer. That person who may seem to rub you the wrong way may be a hidden gem in your life if you slow down and take time to get to know them on a deeper level. As with the camera – go from the macro lens to the micro in every area of your life and you will never have a dull moment in life. You may even learn something about yourself.

Love and Light!

 


4 Comments

WPC – Earth (2)

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein~

Happy Earth Day!

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”  ~ Lady Bird Johnson ~

March for Science in New York City.

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”  ~ John James Audubon ~

If you would like to view other photos from this week’s challenge or would ike to enter your own, click on the link below:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/earth-2017/

Love and Light!


13 Comments

WPC – EARTH

Earth Day! This week, let’s celebrate our true home and all the blessings nature provides.

This week, share an image that means “earth” to you — whether it’s a panorama of a landscape that takes your breath away, a close-up revealing a detail in nature, or another scene that honors the outdoors, we welcome your takes on the theme!

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”                  ~ Native America Proverb ~

Mother Earth – giver of life – filled with wonder, beauty, scents, sounds, and color – How can one choice just one photo to represent Mother Earth when there are so many to choose from, I decided to share a selection.

“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.

But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.

For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.

But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard.”
~ Chief Luther Standing Bear ~

If you would like to share your photos or would like to view others from this week’s challenge, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/earth-2017/

Love and Light!