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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Enjoying Snowy Winter Days

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found? ~ J.B. Priestly ~

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When there is a storm warning we prepare in advance. It is best to keep some extra food in your home, fuel in your tank, wood for the fireplace/wood stove if you have one, candles, warm throws, and warm clothing. Only drive on the snowy roads if you have to. In the morning you may have to travel to work. Make a plan. Maybe carpool or work from home if you are so fortunate to have that as an option. If you do have to travel to work either leave earlier or later. Let the traffic be staggered so everyone is not out there at the same time. If you are truly frightened to drive in clear weather, do everyone a favor and stay off the roads in bad weather. If you are an aggressive driver – PLEASE stay off the road. Be kind while traveling and allow others in when on a ramp, yield to those walking.

If you can stay at home – don’t complain about the snow. Just be grateful if you are safe at home, pray for those who are not as fortunate. Here are some things to make a snow day enjoyable:

  • Go outside and make a snowman

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  • Take a walk or go sleigh riding and enjoy the falling snow

  • Listen to some peaceful music as you sit near a window to watch the snow flakes

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  • Wrap up in a nice comfy blanket and read a good book
  • Watch a movie
  • Make a nice soup or casserole – take the time to enjoy cutting vegetables and the smell that fills your home

  • Bundle up and go out for a walk in the freshly fallen snow

  • Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a latte with a little whipped cream & red sugar with a scone and journal

  • Bake some sugar cookies
  • Bake a pumpkin or apple pie – enjoy the scent filling your home
  • Diffuse some uplifting essential oils – Wild Orange; a mix of Frankincense, Myrrh, and Purify; Grapefruit
  • Bake some bread – another lovely scent to fill your house
  • Color in a coloring book
  • Work on a puzzle
  • Crochet, knit, create jewelry

  • Pull out your paints and canvas create a winter scene

My little tree protector sits in his watchful position dusted with snow awaiting the Spring.

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What do you do on a snowy day?

If you have to drive, please be cautious and take your time. Enjoy every moment no matter what the weather.

Love and Light!


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Live Mindfully – In Memory of A

This is an updated version of a previous post. It had been my first week volunteering Therapeutic Touch (TT) sessions with patients, their family members, nurses and anyone else interested in a session. My first patient, I’ll call him A, consented to a session. During TT I like to combine the session with a guided meditation. A chose the beach. He shared that he was nervous, in a lot of pain, and had an overall bad day so he was open to anything that might relax him. The session went well and at the end A was lying peacefully in the hospital bed. I asked if he would like another session on Sunday, A said he would. When I returned on Sunday, I was surprised to find out that A had died that morning. My mentor informed me that he was sleeping on Friday when another volunteer went to visit and he never woke. We don’t know our patients and don’t ask why they are in the hospital. Sometimes the nurse will ask that we see an actively dying patient. While volunteering last Thursday, the nurse asked that I stop to see a patient who was not on my list but was in the actively dying stage of life. If you had told me that I would be working with dying patients when I was in my twenties or even thirties I would not have believed it. After witnessing my mother’s death I discovered that I could sit and just BE with a person while they die.

Sometime before walking into the patient’s room, we need to put on latex gloves and paper smock. We suit up, enter, and introduce ourselves. Sometimes the patients are in visible pain other times they are sitting in a chair talking on their cell phones or visiting with relatives. If there are relatives in the room we can offer them a session as well. One time I had a session with a patient and then had a session with his son and daughter. The energy in the room was so peaceful and loving. Almost took my breath away.

 

 

Now I am able to stay a little longer with the dying patient to hold them in love and peace. A was my first patient and will always have a special place in my heart. I was thinking of him today and decided to repost in his honor. Learning of his death made me think of  the importance of living mindfully, which is something I do daily. A was only 61, a relatively short life for 2015. The same age my own father was when he died. I didn’t know about TT or meditation when my dad lie dying in the VA Hospital. Feeling grateful that I know more about energy and how to calm a dying person – living people as well, my goal is to do all I can to help people live fuller lives right to the end.

Below are some photos from my own life of mindful living. Whether you watch a sunset, sunrise, sit on a beach or listen to waves lapping on the shore, be in the moment and don’t rush off. It can be breathtaking.

When walking in nature, slow down and smell the earth, maybe walk barefoot to feel grounded. Look for patterns, textures, color. Touch a tree, better yet hug a tree, touch pinecones and stones. See the beauty around you as you slow your pace. Your body, mind and soul will thank you.

Slow down long enough to prepare meals, maybe even let children assist you and enjoy the texture, color and flavor. Bake and decorate cookies – children love this. Pay attention as you eat your meal, slowly chew your food. Maybe even pick your own fruits and vegetables, or grow your own garden. Stop for a coffee and slowly sip and enjoy the flavor or the little mustache left on your lip from a cappuccino or latte. Buy healthy colorful food to nourish and build a healthy body. Your body and mind will reward you.

Enjoy the gifts of each season – snow in winter, budding trees and flowers in spring, greenery of summer and colorful leaves and pumpkins of autumn.

Stop to notice shadows, reflections, shapes, sizes, the extraordinary in the ordinary. Art is all around you if you stop and take the time to notice. Slow down and allow your creativity to flourish.

Enjoy precious moments with family, children, babies whether on swings, in the snow, blowing bubbles, reading, drawing. You don’t have to spend money to enjoy the day. Children would rather have you sit and listen to them, laugh with them, or just play and be silly. Remain in the moment noticing all the blessings in life. They are all around us, even when you find yourself in situations that seem bleak. I have been there and can tell you there is always something in nature that can bring joy – a child’s laughter, the sound of trees rustling in the breeze, the warmth of the sun on your face, clouds in various shapes and sizes, rain drops tapping on the roof or puddle, grass under bare foot, cool water under foot. Being grateful for something and living in the moment makes life worth living.

If you are alive, and if you are reading this you are, pay attention. We only travel through this life once, in this body I believe anyway, so why not find love, happiness, and contentment in every moment you are blessed with.

May A rest in peace or soar with the birds. I’m not sure where he is in death but wherever it may be I am sending him love and peace. For everyone else reading this, I am wishing you all mindful living and a long healthy, prosperous, loving life.

Love and Light!