Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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Finding Your Stillpoint in Nature

What have you been doing during the Covid-19 Pandemic?

Hopefully you are well and finding some time to check in with your needs, dreams, and goals for the future. This is a perfect time to reflect, to find our inner strength, to mourn those we have lost, and pray for health of our world.

Over the last 10 months or so I have turned to nature to find some peace and joy amid the world of chaos, pandemic, isolation and political unrest. Even during dark days the light is always finding a crack to share light with the world. We lost a very close young friend in June and then my granddaughter was born in July. My employment switched from field work to working remotely from home. I had time to rearrange my home and now I have an office/create room. I haven’t seen my daughter in Colorado and her family since November 2019 but we have FaceTime and find ways to connect. I haven’t seen my son since early November. My family was unable to gather for Christmas however we had a gathering on Zoom and still had fun with the grab bag. We even found a way to play a game and laughed throughout as we interacted. I don’t see my local grandchildren as much as I would like but our connection seems to have deepened over the last year. My two grandson, now 5 and the other 2, were home eating breakfast while my daughter was upstairs giving birth to her daughter with her husband assisting. No visitors were allowed in the hospital at the time so they made a last minute decisions to birth at home. This solved the issue of not having her husband at a hospital birth and not being with the boys for a night. My oldest granddaughter relocated locally so I can get outside for walks with her once in a while.

For the everyday, instead of thinking of being isolated, I am enjoying nature – my place to connect to my stillpoint – that place of inner joy and peace. Nature has so many gifts to share if we just get ourselves outside to experience these everyday blessings.

You never know who you may meet while enjoying a saunter in the woods.

This beautiful deer was enjoying the apples lying on the ground near the apple tree. When she noticed me she began walking closer and closer. At one point I thought she was going to come across the path to hang out with me. What a beautiful moment to lose yourself in the joy of this beautiful spirit.

And then this special being came to visit in May when I was out in the woods. Still feel blessed that this barred owl decided to hang out with me for over 20 minutes on my way into the woods and then another 20 when I returned to the area after my walk. How can one feel stressed or anxious when sitting chatting with an owl.

Then there was also this lovely creature who flew over me and then hung out on the branch.

Sometimes only tracks are left behind. Looks like a busy place.

All of my scheduled Mindfulness Outdoor Experience (MOE) gatherings were cancelled in March. I had a few people who continued to meet for the first couple of weeks. Being out in nature brought them some peace and calm while in nature. Then there were solitary walks until the end of summer.

Fortunately, MOEs started being scheduled again and have actually grown since the fall. What better way to connect with others than outside in nature. We wear our masks and social distance in the forest. The MOEs allow time for a saunter in nature – time to slow down, connect and find peace.

We have met up in all kinds of weather.

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” ~ Sir Ranulph Fiennes ~

Sometimes there was only one participant and other times over 15. In the fall on a misty morning, we enjoyed the changing color and the earthy smell of fallen leaves.

While enjoying the waterfall, we bravely placed our bare feet in the water. It was truly refreshing and invigorating.

We saunter through the forest, stopping to hug a tree, caress the moss, observe a leaf, touch a rock, and/or check out the animal tracks in the mud and snow. The we find a sit spot and meditate for 20 minutes, or 5 if its too cold.

In the winter we look forward to snow, especially a freshly fallen snow. Although it may be cold, the forest protects us from the winds.

We take time to see what is in front, to the left and right enjoying nature’s blessings. We can find beauty everywhere if we open our eyes. Look close – take time to connect – to feel – breathe in the fresh air – become one with your surroundings.

I find the cold air invigorating so after the MOEs I return and sit in the silence of nature. Sometimes in the distance you will notice some company.

If you are looking for me tomorrow, you’ll know where to find me – somewhere in the woods gifting my mind, body and soul with the solace, peace and beauty of nature.

Wishing you all the ability to find your stillspot in nature or home if you cannot get outside. Some ideas for connecting with nature and inner peace while inside:

  • Diffusing essential oils – my favorites are Hinoki, Douglas fir, cedar, Black Spruce, Siberian Fir
  • Place photos or paintings of nature around your home
  • Listen to nature sounds on the computer, cell phone or radio – in the summer open the windows
  • Wear some cozy socks and oversized soft shirts in natural colors
  • Take an epsom salt bath infused with essential oils while listening to nature sounds
  • Read books on nature – I have dozens but here are a few:
    • Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    • Rewilding by Micah Mortali
    • The Song of Trees by David George Haskell
    • In the Company of Trees by Andrea Sarubbi Fereshteh
    • The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohelleben
    • Upstream by Mary Oliver
  • Create a dreamcatcher using natural items, paint using natural tints made from acorns and/or beets or just have fun with a little creative time
  • Meditation is also a great way to find some inner peace

If you are interested in learning more about Mindfulness Outdoor Experiences or how to find some inner peace please feel free to reach out to me.

Love and Light


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Inspired by Silence

How would you capture silence in a photograph? Is it a positive image like this one, showing a much-needed break? Or is it the opposite, revealing the lack of communication in a friendship or the dangers of not speaking out? Show us your interpretation in a new post.

Walking in the evening allows the walker at time of silence and peace. It is a time for contemplation, to see the world around you in a new light, to allow yourself to open up to new ideas.

Walking around Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY amidst the evening lights bring a sense of peace. The lights guide the walker along sidewalks to the hotels. Although I’d rather have the lake lit by moonlight and stars, the reflections are quite captivating. Even on a cold winters night it is quite a sight to see.

It would have been wonderful to have been in the same location the night of the blood moon. On the evening of the blood moon, I stood in the silence of the night in my yard, hand steady as I focused my camera, held my breath and click – the glowing red moon and stars were miraculously captured. The moon and I became as one for a few moments that evening.

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Silence can be found in so many places if you allow yourself time to enjoy the stillness. Alone at the edge of a lake on a rainy day, looking out to the clouds lingering over the mountains a sense of peace may embrace you. Contemplating life as you realize how small you are in the big scheme of things, you may realize we are all here for a moment in time. At that moment you may realize that you should be enjoying every moment – you should make your life worth having been lived.

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It is time to enjoy every moment before a permanent silence takes over. We all have choices so make the best choice and live your life to its fullest. The cemetery can be another place to contemplate life, enjoy nature and focus on living and the life you wish to live. What is it you would like to accomplish before your last breath is taken?

The time is now. What story will you write about your life?

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Start scripting your life story today. Don’t hold back. Live BIG and enjoy every minute. Take time to be silent and listen to your inner wisdom. It knows the truth and will guide you in those still moments in time. Then get out there is enjoy – dance, sing, take chances, try new things.

If you are ready but unsure what steps to take contact me and we can work together to script your story and help you take the steps leading to your greatness.

Love and Light!

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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/silence-2


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Finding Silence in Nature

How would you capture silence in a photograph? Is it a positive image like this one, showing a much-needed break? Or is it the opposite, revealing the lack of communication in a friendship or the dangers of not speaking out? Show us your interpretation in a new post.

“Silence has a mysterious calming effect, allowing your soul to be at peace with your thoughts.” ~ Anthony Douglas Williams, Inside the Divine pattern ~

I love walking through the woods alone in silence as I make my way to the labyrinth at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center. Once at the labyrinth I connect with the earth as I slowly walk in silence releasing all that holds me back. Of course the forest is not truly silent of noise – just silent from the mindless chatter. Birds sing, trees swoon, squirrels play, and sometimes the crack of a branch will bring awareness to the deer watching nearby.

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Truthfully I am never in silence. There is a constant ringing in my ears which I don’t believe anyone truly becomes accustomed. Through meditation and a short time wearing special hearing aids I have come to terms with the ringing and now find it comforting when meditating. There are times when it is less intense but never quiet so those who have the ability to enjoy complete silence are blessed. Does one ever really experience silence? For me, it is silent if there are no manmade noises – planes, ringing phones, radios, televisions  . . . There is nothing one can do to stop the ringing of tinnitus so it becomes part of your quiet.

“Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers.” Anonymous

In the silence I find peace and reconnect with my inner self. This is the place where troubles are released and creativity rises. Nature is full of color and wonderful scents. It is in the silence of nature that our senses have the opportunity to experience an awakening. Everything seems brighter, happier, joyous. loving when connecting to Mother Earth.

Do you need to have constant noise? Or, do you find peace in the solitude of nature?

Love and Light!

If you would like to view additional photos or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/silence-2/


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Finding Beauty in the Every Day

What are some everyday things that others find ugly or dirty, which you find breathtakingly beautiful? 

At times we travel through life without noticing beauty around us in our every day life. If we are constantly moving through life without noticing the small, ‘insignificant’ blessings how will we every appreciate the larger things.

We set goals for a car then a larger more expensive car. We want to purchase a home and once in that home begin to focus on a larger home. Then we want a vacation and once on vacation we think of a more luxurious vacation. We sometimes lives with blinders on our eyes.

If we focus on what we don’t have in our lives – and we all travel down this road at certain times along our journey – this can lead to stress, depression, lower self-esteem, and eventually illness. So for today, stop and think about what you see as breathtakingly beautiful in your own life. Here are ten from my list:

  • A bird’s nest covering an entrance light – I would leave it there until the birds are old enough to fly and find a new home.

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Birds will build their nest anywhere

  • Walking barefoot – grounding / earthing – I love the feel of the earth on my feet and how it energizes
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  • Becoming one with nature without worry of wildlife or insects

The beauty of trees

Becoming one with nature

  • Light and shadows artfully decorating leaves

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  • Ivy growing on the side of a home

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  • Shadows on the wall especially when the reflection of the curtains decorates the walls – this always starts my day with a smiledsc_0776
  • The intricate work of spider’s webs

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  • Winter frost decorating the window on the front porch

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  • Rust on an old gate – the center made me think of a hidden pearl amid the rust and chipping paint

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  • A cup of tea with a message or coffee served in a favorite cup

Those are ten from my list of many more. Please share a few from your list. And, grab a small journal with a nice pen and continue writing the beauty you see during the day.

Once you are able to change your daily focus on all of the blessings in your life – most won’t cost you a cent – you will open yourself to reaching your goals. When you do receive those blessings your joy will over flow and last for a longer period of time.

Love and Light!


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Finding Beauty Everywhere

Today, while walking in the park near my home just before sunset I thought about all the beauty in our world and how much goes unnoticed. No matter whether inside or out, whether in the city, suburbs or country we are surrounded by beauty. If we could learn to find the beauty in everything around us and focus on what this brings to our lives there would be less time to focus on what we don’t want in our lives. This is my goal for 2015 – only focus on what is working well and attract more of it. See the beauty in everything and that includes all of the people I come into contact with. Let me share some of the photos that I have taken over the last several months that I think are perfect examples of everyday beauty.

Shadows are everywhere, making patterns, allowing the viewer to open their perspective and wonder. How do the straight lines of the rail become zigzagged when light shines through? If we stop and question we can slow down and become conscious of our surroundings.

Designs in the shadows

Designs in the shadows

How many times when you wake in the morning do you take time to just lie and look around your room. I love waking to witness shadows on my window shade, sometimes dancing and other times stagnant. Dancing tree limbs occur a little more often in the summer and fall. Sometimes the patterns of the leaves form as faces, lace or many other designs. When the shade is open and I have lace sheers I will look for the patterns on my walls which look like artistic lace drawings.

Shadows on the shade.

Shadows on the shade.

When flying I am always surprised by the number of people who close their shades and ignore the view. This is such a shame because the clouds put on a beautiful display below and when the sky is clear the beauty of the earth below is amazing. I especially love when you can see the shadow of the plane on the ground below. One time while flying we were above the clouds and there was a beautiful display of lightning traveling across below us. Although a little frightening it was a breathtaking display.

Walking on the clouds

Walking on the clouds

I think a tree filled with magnolia blossoms is fascinating. The color, the texture and look at the pink lines rising up and fading into the white of the petal. When they first open if you are patient and view them daily you will see the magic of them opening for their short blooming period. I’m always sad to see them go at the end of the blooming season.

The pattern of the magnolia blossoms

The pattern of the magnolia blossoms

When near a swimming pool or any body of water watch for the patterns. The beauty of the sun shining on the water as it swirls results in wonderful designs and colors. I think this photo resembles an artists canvas.

Patterns in water

Patterns in water

Seeing the baby’s foot peeking out, especially this little foot that just left the sandy beach, also reminds me of a little piece of art. Look at the little tiny lines, the round little balls of the toes, the somewhat triangular shape of the foot. Is this not art? This little foot would be perfect as an art students model.

The lines on a baby's foot and their tiny toes

The lines on a baby’s foot and their tiny toes

When I viewed this photo after returning home from a hike the first thing I noticed was how the white resembles a painting more than an actual photo. I remembered how I loved watching the patterns flowing behind the duck as he paddled across the pond but hadn’t noticed the white waves until I stopped to look at the photo. This makes me want to get back out there to see what I hadn’t noticed while taking the photo.

Patterns in water behind the duck

Patterns in water behind the duck

The other day after I returned from the hike, I turned on the light to my new Scentsy Decanter then left the room. When I returned to the living room after showering darkness had settled in but there on the wall I noticed what appeared to be white hearts. It was such a beautiful sight in an otherwise dark room and brightened my own heart at the site.

Light Hearts reflected on the wall

Light Hearts reflected on the wall

As you can see there is beauty all around you, an artist canvas waiting to be explored. The next time you walk out your door, or when you wake tomorrow morning, please slow down to take in the beauty around you. If you have children point this out to them and ask them what they see. They might just surprise you.

Love and Light,

Sandy


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Finding Beauty and Peace Locally

Today I thought it would be fun to share some of the local gems near my area. No matter what the season all of the locations can be visited. Some with snowshoes or cross-country skis but well worth it.

There are not many eateries or coffee shops, except for Dunkin Donuts near my work. One day I stopped in to purchase some stamps at the railroad station and discovered the coffee shop within. The staff is friendly and very accommodating. I generally order a cappuccino with soy and once in a while add in a dark chocolate bar. Last week a coworker and I walked over to the post office and to purchase a coffee. She noticed a new jewelry counter set up near the entrance to the trains so we checked it out. It was a local business man and his wife who just set up the store. Prices were very reasonable and both were friendly and helpful. I purchased a beautiful scarf.

Hidden gem in the train station

Hidden gem in the train station

Yesterday my home town of Stillwater, NY had an Old Time Caroling Cookie walk. Although not very many people showed up to carol it was a beautiful evening for the event. An assorted array of cookies were boxed and sold for $5.oo each at the local library. What a deal!

Local Treasures

Local Treasures

The block house, once housed at the Saratoga National Park, was moved several years ago to a farm the eventually the citizens came together to collect money and have it moved to the village. It is a beautiful location overlooking the Hudson River. You can visit inside and meet some local historians, sit on a bench and enjoy the scenery or bring a picnic and enjoy friends and family. My cousin was killed in one of the Twin Towers on 9/11, as she was a local girl the village planted a tree in her honor on the site.

Saratoga National Historical Park

Saratoga National Historical Park

I love walking in the Saratoga National Historical Park, lovingly know as the ‘Battlefield’ due to the Revolutionary War being fought in this location. While serving in the Army National Guard I was able to stay in shape and prepare for the yearly PT test by running on the road because it is marked every 1/4 mile. My favorite walks were those with my children hiking along the trails or cross-country skiing. Whenever I get the chance I head up to the Battlefield for a long walk in nature. It is well-preserved and they have reenactments throughout the year. There is one location near this red house where you can stand and look out to the east and see for miles. We always say you can see the mountains of Vermont from this location. It is a stunning view.

On my many walks over the years I have brought my own children, nieces and nephews, their children and my granddaughter. I look forward to sharing this experience with my grandson in the near future. Mainly I like to walk on my own so I can stop and lie in the grass and watch the clouds or sit and read or write in my journal. It is very relaxing and healing.

There is mainly farm land surrounding the park with the Hudson River to the east. There are many streams, woods, deer, coyotes, and other wildlife. It also is home to dragonflies of a variety of colors. When in need of peace and time away from the hubbub of civilization, this is the place to escape.

Love and Light,
Sandy