Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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Finding Beauty and Hope In Nature

During these trying times, everyone needs to remember to focus part of their day on self-care. Whether that is five minutes of breathing, exercising, creating a healthy meal, meditating for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, painting, or spending time in nature. Stress is not good for our bodies, minds or spirit. For me, meditation and being outside in nature have allowed me to maintain my health, sanity, and connection to spirit.

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Pine Hollow Arboretum which is located a short way from my home. This has become my home away from home during the worldwide pandemic. Being in nature, walking the trails, listening to birds, walking barefoot, enjoying a sit-spot, and taking time to be mindful has been perfect way to enjoy life and get away from the news for short periods every day.

“Magic is seeing wonder in nature’s every little thing, seeing how wonderful the fireflies are and how magical are the dragonflies.” ~ Ama H. Vanniarachchy ~

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When I first arrived at the pond I noticed dragonflies of all sizes. This is not always the case and the varying sizes was a welcome surprise. They flew over my head, around me and through the reeds.

There were so many dragonflies flittering near the pond along with frogs of all sizes jumping and croaking. With the frogs croaking and birds singing what a lovely serenade.

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The trees were especially beautiful throughout the trails tonight. Although it was hot, the shade of the trees provided a welcomed relief from the heat.

Leaf shadows decorated the trees throughout the walk. I took some time for a sit-spot, breathing, and reflecting. Such a peaceful experience finding beauty and hope in nature.

My daughter gave birth to a daughter at home three weeks ago. She did not want to deliver in the hospital as her husband and her little boys would not have been able to visit. A home deliver was the best choice for her family. Thinking about my new granddaughter and watching the dragonflies lay their eggs gave me hope. Hope that our world will continue. We will overcome the pandemic, the political unrest, the illness and death, the separation from loved ones, economic uncertainty.

My new granddaughter will be remembered by her home birth during the pandemic. Her four year old brother present immediately after her birth to count her little fingers and toes. Her 18 month old brother not really understanding for the first three day. He has overcome his sadness, since nicknamed her Babe.

The dragonfly larvae may stay in the water for up to three years. This gives me hope as they have been around since the beginning of time, surviving catastrophes throughout the centuries. Dragonflies have been on Mother Earth for over 300,000 million years and here they are today still reproducing.

During the pandemic my family has witnessed the marriage of my great-nephew in North Carolina on Zoom. We attended a funeral service for a very close young friend. Then the birth of my granddaughter. We will soon celebrate the birth of another new family member in October. Life goes on.

We have to continue to have hope for a better future. If we could each focus on the future, on staying healthy we will be ready for the other side of the pandemic. What can we each do to bring beauty and hope in our lives?

We can exercise, eat healthy, meditate, spend time in nature. This is what has allowed me to maintain hope during all of the recent changes. I am one of the fortunate ones who has been working remotely, lucky enough to have walking trails nearby, healthy food to eat and prepare at home, electric, water, medical insurance. Not all have the same during the pandemic and I keep them all in my thoughts and prayers.

The one thing I can do while not able to be with others is to take care of myself. Self-care has been very beneficial. To keep sanity, someone living alone needs to have ways to maintain their health. If you are living with others, the house can seem small and crowded, even if you live in a large home. We all can benefit from self-care. For me, nature has been my go to. You may prefer exercise, running, drawing, writing, singing, dancing, creating or taking a nice bath. Even if you only take ten minutes a day, do yourself a favor and take time for yourself. If living with others, encourage them to do the same.

Please take care of yourself and allow yourself some time for self-care. This is more important now than ever.

If you already take the time, what are you doing to add self-care in your life? Please share.

Love and Light!

 


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Learning to Overcome Obstacles- Preparing for 2021

Today I found an old notebook in my desk that I wrote down a thought in on January 9, 2012. The message was perfect for today as we all face a global pandemic and have more time for some inner reflection.

I was going through a lot of change in my life in 2012. Recently single again, living back in my home town, ready to shift location, career, and life purpose. It was a time of soul searching. During the year I began the Quantum Success Life Coach Academy, continued exploring writing in a on-line Creative Writing program at UCLA, traveled to Alaska with my sister, began meditating and walking daily, joined a meet-up group, spent time reading books, and journaling. Many messages were received and journaling was helpful.

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Here is the entry from January 9, 2012 at the beginning of my journey that year.

Think of a big old tree where a fence (or rock) was located near by when it began to grow. As it grew it touched the fence or rock (obstacle). Did it stop growing? Give up because there was an obstacle – something hindering its growth? No, it grew around the obstacle, sometimes growing over the top, sometimes encapsulating the obstacle within allowing it to be a part of who it was becoming – continuing on with its purpose. To become the strong adult tree, not deterred, it grew over and around the obstacle.

Think of a stream blocked by stones, sand bags, dams in an attempt to control the flow of water. Eventually the water will erode and overcome. If its purpose is to reach land it will move those obstacles out of its way or overcome by patiently and slowly moving forward.

This is the same for you, if you know your purpose and focus on reaching your goals. You too can overcome obstacles placed in front of you whether they be early childhood abuse, neglect, parents/family beliefs, something a teacher said, a bully, current or ex-spouse, employer . . . It is not about them, it is about you and your journey. They are all on their own journey. 

If you are in a relationship, job, family, situation that is blocking your growth isn’t it time to decide on a plan of action to push through those obstacles. Today, as we are faced with a worldwide pandemic we each are facing another obstacle together. Remember to be patient like the tree and water in the stream. Take care of your health, wear a mask, maintain your distance but stay connected. You can begin to make small changes right where you are now. You could read books about your goals, listen to podcasts, reach out to others on line who are successful in where you are heading. Share or teach what you are learning to others – some will listen and others may not want to hear or be with you. That is fine. When one door closes another will open. I have had to unfriend people on FaceBook – family members included as their path is not the one I am following at this time and many have stopped following me. Don’t take it personally we are all on our own path of self discovery. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them, maybe you just need a little break to maintain your own positive energy level.

Sometimes others are afraid of change and will not be open to learning and growing in the same way that you are. That is fine, we are all on our own path. Some people will be with you forever, others for a certain period of time, and some for a very short time. Some will be repelled by you and you may be repelled by others, possibly coming together again later in life after following your own paths and eventually returning to a new path together. In the meantime you will meet many along the path to guide you toward your goals.

During the global pandemic is a perfect time to release old patterns, change direction, learn and grow. Take time daily to review your goals, what is holding you back, and steps to take to move forward. When life throws obstacles your way it may be a sign that it is time to overcome and move forward. Don’t allow the obstacles to block you from reaching your goals, they may be exactly what is needed to allow you to overcome.

Here are some examples of people pursuing their goals during the pandemic:

My granddaughter was laid off from her job during the pandemic. She wasn’t going anywhere in the dead-end position and was feeling blocked. We discussed having her take the time to focus and think about what she really wanted once she was able to return to work. Did she really want to return to that position. When called back to work she decided to make a change and not return. Within two weeks of making the decision another opportunity arose closer to her life purpose in the field of creativity and art while uplifting others.

During this same time a former coaching client was feeling ready to move on to a new position and apartment closer to family. She wasn’t sure if this would happen during the shut down however she continued to search for a new position. We discussed her focusing on what it would feel like to have this new position and new apartment. She created a new Vision Board and continued to see herself loving her new position working with developmentally delayed adults and her new apartment. She was hired locally but didn’t know where she would live. Instead of worrying, she switched to knowing her new apartment was ready and waiting for her within walking distance of her new job and stores. Someone reached out to her and offered her an apartment within a five minute walk of her new job, she will be relocating the end of July. Anything is possible. This the same client that was having health issues as a result of working for 12 years in a position she hated. We worked together with her focusing on attending horticulture classes at the college of her choice. Within six months of meeting her she quit her job, enrolled in the horticulture program at the college of her choice and found an apartment within walking distance of the college and new job. Her health improved quickly after releasing the previous job. She is a true manifestor and sometimes needs a little reminder. 

Say to yourself, “I am willing to release the patterns in my life that are causing this condition. I am ready to take steps needed to release the need for uncomfortable conditions and relationships. I am willing to release the need to be critical of myself and others. I am willing to forgive myself and others. I am now willing to take the steps necessary to live on purpose, to fulfill my dreams, and overcome any obstacles. I am ready to be like a tree, overcoming obstacles as I learn and grow, continuing on my path to living on purpose. And So It Is!”

Take ACTION! Prepare your Vision Board, look at it daily, and feel what it is like to already be living this life. Script it out your life as if it is happening at this moment. Get out in nature and connect with Mother Earth, meditate/pray daily. Connect with others with the same mind-set / goals. Read books, listen to podcasts, send emails/letters, join meet-up groups, volunteer in the direction you are heading and be with people who uplift. Stop participating in things that do not uplift you and take deplete your energy. Be like a tree and plant your roots deep into your goals allowing them to guide you on how to overcome and continue to lead you on your path.

Start a little soul searching during this time of worldwide slowdown and discover your inner voice. Who do you want to be once the world returns into the mad rush of doing, consuming, destroying the planet? Were you happy with the fast pace prior to 2020 or do you wish a slower pace, a little less noise, a little less busy-ness, more thoughtfulness, less material possessions?

Don’t wait – start today! It is never too late to live on purpose.

Love and Light!

 


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Finding Beauty in the Light

 “To love beauty is to see light.” ~ Victor Hugo ~

This weekend I walked into the library at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center to check out the books, something I do every time I volunteer. There were no lights on so the room was lit with natural light but as I stood there the rainbows of light began to fill the room. The sun had set just enough to reflect into the crystal hanging in the window and it was beautiful. There were rainbows reflected on the carpet, ottoman, couch, tables, everywhere. After enjoying this gift for a little while I decided to take a walk.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

In the woods, the sun was protected by the tree canopy but once in a while a stream of light would find its way to the ground dotting the mossy path or shining through the back of a leaf appearing as if someone was holding a flashlight behind them.  It looked quite magical. On this walk I was not in a hurry to reach a destination. It was a slow pace, observing all that nature had to offer stopping to touch the bark, leaning down to explore tiny wild flowers, sitting on a fallen tree, feeling the cool moss, listening to the birds and the leaves rustling above. A little forest bathing, taking off my shoes to ground myself in nature. Such a peaceful experience.

When you are walking into a room do you stop and notice how the light filtering in the window decorates the furniture, carpets, and walls? When walking in the forest to you notice the patches of light on the ground before you, or decorating the foliage? Do you take the time to ground yourself, listen to the birds, feel the presence of trees, listen to the rustling leaves, feel the coolness of the air on your skin?

Every morning when the sun shines through my windows I feel blessed when I wake to the rainbows decorating my bedroom walls, waiting for me in the kitchen, and in the afternoon decorating the dining and living room. I have sun catchers, wind chimes, and/or crystals hanging in the windows that give quite a show, one that never fails to amaze me.

When you can appreciate the small things in life you will never miss the big things because the small things are the big things in life. They can uplift and help you find your way through sadness, illness, and other dark times. However you don’t want to wait for those ‘dark’ times to notice the beauty of life happening all around you. If you live mindfully aware of the beauty you are blessed with daily it will be easier to see and light the way during those dark moments. Remember the light is always with us on cloudy days, you just can’t see it at the moment.

For me, my darkness sets in when my heart dances – not a comfortable dance – atrial fibrillation. It is something I am learning to live with, not pleasant but I refuse to let it take over my life. My new normal is starting the day with medication and ending with medication. As someone who didn’t even take Tylenol this is a new experience. I am a nature girl, someone who loves to be active, to hike, snowshoe, kayak, always on the move. My new reality has me slowing down a little more, feeling tired a little more during the day, resting more frequently. There are some days I rather not do too much but as I have a habit of noticing the rainbows, light patterns on the walls, and ceilings I can always see beauty and enjoy the moments.

I lit candles in my office the other night and this beautiful design appeared on the ceiling. It was so colorful that I sat and enjoyed this for a while. Amazingly I had never noticed how beautiful the design was in the past. This I couldn’t understand because I have lit these candles in the past but never noticed – maybe it was the way the candle holders were sitting on the bookshelf that made the difference or maybe I just needed this little lift that night. Either way, it was an amazing gift.

If you are having a problem seeing the light during your dark times feel free to email me and we can talk about techniques to guide you to see the light. spiritofdragonflies@gmail.com.

Love and Light!


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Return To Spirit of Dragonflies

Sometimes we need to step back and reevaluate our direction. For a while after the closing down of the Photo Challenge site I was unable to access my WordPress website. Word Press staff are very helpful and it was determined that I would have to switch to Chrome in order to access my site.

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After missing several weeks of posts, I didn’t return very often. During my absence, I even slowed down taking photos. Many of you are familiar with similar time periods – life changes, interest change and you are pulled in a different direction. I wandered off track for a bit while discovering new ideas, going on adventures, reevaluating priorities. It has been an interesting experience.

Some things in life change which we have no control – maybe areas of our life that we loved have to release – other interests come and go in a short time period and take us in a different direction from where we wanted to travel. It is at that point we should stop and take some time to prioritize, decide which activities are raising our vibrations and making us feel light, which are weighing us down, costing money, ill health, returning us to a past that wasn’t working. These are the growing times, recuperating times when we slow down, allow ourselves to say no to people or activities. This is where I have been for the last couple of months – discovering, learning, experimenting, growing, healing.

Today I return, revitalized and ready for the next chapter. As I woke at my son’s home this morning, I noticed some mushrooms near a tree outside his front window. After making a cup of coffee I headed out to the woods with camera in hand. He has paths through the woods in his back yard with some treasures hidden throughout nature. It is a very peaceful location and I am always grateful when asked to house and cat sit.

Once back in the front yard I checked out the mushrooms. First the one which can be seen from the window, then noticed there is a circle of varying size and color mushrooms around the cedar tree. There was a slight drizzle that didn’t stop me from getting low to the ground to check out these beauties.

“Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom.”
~ Thomas Carlyle ~

Update: After posting I went to a second  hand bookstore nearby (it’s really a house filled with books) I shared with the bookstore owner about the circle of mushrooms and she said “Oh you found a fairy ring.” Having no idea what a fairy ring is and had to Google this. Sure enough this is a  fairy ring. There is a scientific and mythical description so I’ll go with the mythical as it is more fun. Glad I didn’t step into the center.

“If you see a fairy ring
In a field of grass,
Very lightly step around,
Tiptoe as you pass;
Last night fairies frolicked there,
And they’re sleeping somewhere near.”
William Shakespeare

When I arrived last night I noticed how the light was hitting the flower planters and loved the playing of light and dark. The night was filled with the sound of frogs and other insects singing in harmony with an occasional call from the coyotes.

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This reminded me of my walk in Thatcher Park a week or so ago. As I was walking along the path from the light into the dark, unknown it reminded me that this is what life is like sometimes. We are walking along enjoying life and then either by choice or circumstance we move into a darkness – unaware of our new surroundings, environment, situation. Whether this be the result of a loss of employment, new job, new home, death, illness we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory.

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ~Aristotle ~

Just knowing the light is always present, waiting with open arms allows us to move through the dark moments. Last November, my otherwise healthy heart, began waking me in the night as it danced and beat like it was trying to find its way out of my chest. After a few weeks, and a week’s vacation, I finally I decided it was time see someone. To my surprise, I was experiencing atrial fibrillation. For someone otherwise very healthy this was a shock and a wake up call to take action.

Since that time I began visiting an acupuncturist, using my essential oils, eating more fruits and vegetables, meditating, saying no, having monthly massages, walking regularly and spending even more time in nature. Yes, I visit my cardiologist and take my meds as prescribed with the goal to one day no longer need them. Also, I have been delving into my creative side in new areas. Wire wrapping, using nature with beads, drawing, and experiencing nature in new ways and even taking classes – The Language of Nature, Listening to Trees, Meditative Walks, Forest Bathing.

After taking a local wire wrapping class I went home and wrapped some stones. My granddaughter and I had a fun time at a wind chime class. We enjoyed it so much that I made two more and then facilitated a diffuser wind chime class. Adding the essential oils was a nice touch to the project. This week, I’ll be facilitating a wind chime class at the local library.

My check up with the cardiologist went well this week. He said keep doing whatever I am doing and he will see me in six months. I believe once you can get your mind off the darkness lingering over your light, you begin to see the beauty in the everyday no matter what is happening around you. Become proactive, take charge of your life and how you want to feel about it. Whether that be meditating, breathing, creating, singing, dancing, laughing, walking, sitting in nature, hugging a tree, eating healthy, volunteering – all are good for the soul and carry you through life in lightness.

If you feel stuck and would like some guidance, please comment or email me at spiritofdragonflies@gmail.com. Let’s prepare for 2019 now and make it a year of creating a new life adventure for you. Learn to flow through the darkness – find your still point no matter what challenges you face.

Love and Light!


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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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Bringing Play Back into Your Life

Bringing peace and a bit of childhood pleasure into life

Bringing peace, joy and a bit of childhood pleasure into life

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!”
~ George Bernard Shaw ~

Bringing play into our lives helps us become carefree and relaxed. Play helps us live in joy and brings some magic into our lives as well as helps us become open and receptive to our creativity.

When I arrived home from traveling for work the first thing I noticed was a swing hanging from a large tree in my front yard. I had all I could do to restrain myself from jumping out of the car to try out my new swing. You see, one thing that I have never outgrown is the joy of swinging high in the air. A wooden swing hanging from a tree limb is the ultimate. Two things that bring peace and joy to my life are nature and swings.

We all have something from the past that brings us happiness even if our childhood wasn’t considered pleasant. There is always one moment in time when something occurred that took you to that happy place. When we find what that was and incorporate it back into our lives it opens a door to that special place in our hearts. This is what laying back on the swing as it flies high into the air does for me. The creative juices begin to flow. Many times creative ideas seem to great me as I flow gently up and down.  It is as if I am catching ideas from the air as it passes by.

I called my friend and told him how appreciative I was of his act of kindness. This meant more to me than diamonds, a jaguar, or trip around the world. The reason, it is something I can go outside and enjoy throughout the year even if there is snow on the ground or if it’s raining. When I need to find that inner place of peace I can walk out my front door and be transformed into that creative place of my childhood.

When people ask if I feel embarrassed when others see me swinging I share that I’m not. If others look at me in amusement than that belongs to them, not me. I feel confident enough to not care what others think. It has taken me a long time to reach this beautiful place and I enjoy every minute of it. If you can reach out and find something you love, something that makes you feel good, a place to find that inner peace and creativity then allow yourself that pleasure whether others agree or not – as long as it isn’t hurting you or them. Once we let go of our fear of what others will say or think we become one with ourselves and we can allow others the same freedoms.

So now I shall go sit on my swing and try to let my hair reach the ground as my feet fly high above me in the air. If you have a swing in your yard or in a park near your house I invite you to share in this small pleasure along with me. If there is some other kind of play that you can indulge in then get out there and enjoy. Wishing you a creative, pleasurable, and playful life.

Love and Light,
Sandy