Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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In Celebration of International Forest Bathing Day – Come Join Us

International Forest Bathing Day – Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 – come join us to celebrate this special day.

If you are interested in learning more about Forest Bathing, Mindfulness Outdoor Experience, benefits of being outside in nature, finding some peace in times of chaos, finding joy and reducing stress come join us next Saturday, Sept 12, 2020.

We will be offering two Mindfulness Outdoor Experiences.

The first will be at Albert Community Family Forest from 10 am – noon:

https://www.rensselaerplateau.org/mindful-walk

Please click the link above for specifics and to register.

Join us for a nice slow, saunter through the woods, becoming aware of nature’s gifts, find a sit spot to relax, observe, and breathe in the fresh air, while opening our senses and finding inner peace.

In the afternoon we will be offering Mindfulness Outdoor Experience at Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center

Mindful Nature Walk: Saturday, September 12 2pm – 4pm 
Join Sandy Wilson from Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC to celebrate the wonders of the outdoors! For those of you who have never experienced a Mindful Nature Walk we will be celebrating International Forest Bathing Day with a Mindful walk in nature while experiencing the benefits of “Forest Bathing.” Don’t worry, Forest Bathing requires no shower cap and involves no actual bathing in water. Called Shinrin-Yoku where it originated in Japan, it is the wellness practice of being in the present moment and opening up our senses to fully take in the forest atmosphere. This type of slow walking ‘sauntering’, deep breathing, present-centered awareness, and observation in nature is shown to reduce stress, boost our moods, and strengthen our immune systems. What’s more, these results are shown to last for weeks, or even months, after only one Forest Bathing outing. Our positive natural response to being outdoors shows our undeniable connection–and that’s something to celebrate! One of our past participants said “I walked trails all over the world many times over the years and never took the time to actually ‘experience’ nature while enjoying the trails. There are so many things that I never noticed before. This was just fabulous.” Masks are required when we arrive and when we gather but may be removed while we are walking or sitting during the outing when participants can maintain 6 feet distance from one another. Please bring water, a mat to sit on (there are six available), comfortable clothing, and a snack if you would like. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear shoes for walking in the woods.

Please register with Lisa either by phone or email:

Lisa Hoyt, Center Director:  (518) 658-2055  or dykenpond@gmail.com

We will be mindful of social distancing – maintaining a 6 foot distance and wearing masks when needed.

If you live in the area and would like to join us we would love for you to join us. If not, check to see if there will be events in your area.

Love and Light!


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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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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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Autumn in the Adirondacks

Autumn in New York is just as spectacular as a trip to Vermont this time of year. This is especially true when the Adirondacks are at peak. Even a little rain can’t dampen the spirits when leaf peeping. The two and a half hour ride north to Tupper Lake was spectacular.

After Tupper Lake we traveled to Fish Creek Camp Site in Saranac Lake area. It was a perfect day for kayaking. We had to wear a light jacket and it sprinkled a little yet it was perfect. The colors were an eye candy treat. There were two other kayakers who stopped their journey at a campsite around the corner from where we started and one lone kayaker out in a secluded section of the pond. It was quiet and very peaceful on this cool Autumn day.

To live in New York – not NYC – is a wonderful experience with all of the changing seasons. Sometimes it seems as if seasons change within the day. You may start out in the morning bundled and by mid afternoon be down to shirt sleeves, then throw on a rain coat, take off the rain coat to enjoy a beautiful sunset while wearing a jacket. Dress in layers and be grateful that you are alive enjoying such an experience.

There are a lot of tragedies occurring all over the world, even close by there was a tragic accident with twenty losing their lives in one useless car crash so if you are alive and well, be grateful. Take in the beauty of nature we are blessed with even if it is a weed growing up through a crack in the sidewalk. Everyone has a story and by remaining grateful and hopeful we can help raise the vibration of the world.

May your day be blessed with love, light and joy!

Love and Light!


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Finding Peace During Stressful Times

My daughter was staying in Ohio with her family when their 12 day old daughter, Lainey,  was taken to the emergency room. She had stopped breathing while my daughter was purchasing diapers. Miraculously when my daughter asked for help, a woman standing behind her in line was a pediatric nurse and someone else immediately called 911. As they were raced to the emergency room in the ambulance, their rental left in the parking lot at the store, her husband and 4-year-old son were in the hotel unaware of what was happening.

I was home two states away with life moving forward as normal and no way to be of support to any of them. Work still called me away during the day and the miles between kept me from jumping in my car – even though it was offered. My daughter thought they would release Lainey the next day, then the next, then the next.

On Friday, day 4 of her hospital stay, I was ready to fly out and rent a vehicle to drive back with my grandson. At lunchtime, my coworker suggested we take a quick walk – even though it was one of those hot muggy September days. Once out, we decided to go a little further so we started over the bridge toward the Amtrak station. On the way a large dragonfly flew around our heads. My coworker laughed and called me the dragonfly queen. The dragonfly flew down and bumped the top of my arm. Then she hovered in front of me so I laid out my arm.
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She landed gently and sat on my arm for the longest time. My coworker said, “You do attract dragonflies.” I laughed because this is the truth and has been for a very long time. Yet, this was the first time I have actually witnessed a green dragonfly, and a first for one to bump me as if wanting to share a message.

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We made eye contact and I said, “What are you telling me? Is Lainey going to be fine? Will they be traveling to stay with me soon?”

She remained on my arm longer without movement. We were conversing without words and I began to feel very confident that all was well with baby Lainey and they would be heading my way soon. I relaxed and felt very comfortable with all of my focus on the dragonfly. It was as if she understood I had received the message because she began to move a little on my arm and then flew off to her next adventure. We stood and watched as she made her way gracefully through the hot and humid air.

Before we turned to walk away I noticed she was returning. My coworker and I stood at the cement rail watching and waiting in silence.

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Then Ms Dragonfly stopped by to share one more goodbye.  My coworker and I felt uplifted and knew deep in our hearts that Lainey was going to be fine.

(Look closely – it wasn’t until after I uploaded the photo that I noticed she had something in her mouth. Maybe a fly or some other insect she caught for lunch.)

On the way back to the office I texted the photos above to my daughter. She responded with a smiley face and shared Lainey was being released. They would spend one more night in the hotel and head my way the next day.

Sometimes we need to get out of our heads and allow nature to speak to us. There are always signs if we just slow down and pay attention. Whatever your beliefs, I think miracles happen everyday and we receive messages from many sources when we quiet our minds.

If you can learn to find your still point in the midst of chaos you will begin to discover the path to a joyful, peaceful life. There will always be bumps in the road, it is how you decide to travel the road that will make all the difference. It took me over thirty minutes to capture this dragonfly in flight a few years back but this photo always reminds me that we can find stillness in chaos. Even though the dragonfly is in flight it appears that the world is in movement and she is still. That is how I want to learn to live my life. Finding a still point within no matter what is happening around me. To be the peace I want to see in my life and share it with others.

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Have you ever been in a low vibration and felt uplifts by an insect, animal,  or something in nature? Do you notice miracles throughout the day?If so, please share your experience. Just think of all the factors that must come together for you to be born – to breath, digest, see, smell – for you to be the person you are, living the life that you live. That is a miracle.

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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Decisions – Loneliness or Freedom? Choice is Yours

Finding joy and pleasure in your life – no matter your circumstances.

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With thoughts of freedom come choice. If you find yourself alone at the end of the day embrace your freedom – the world is an open book.

  • Turn off the television.
  • Pick up a book or magazine, grab a tea, light a candle and cuddle up in your favorite chair with a cozy blanket.
  • Grab some pens/paint/pencils and a blank page to draw, write, paint, create something new.
  • Take apart some old jewelry and create a new necklace or use the pieces for your painting
  • Open the refrigerator and pull out some vegetables to create a new dish. Pay attention to the colors, textures while creating. Maybe you will decide the carrots, beets, sweet potatoes are a beautiful color and you decide to use the color for a new painting or to die a piece of material.
  • Put on your favorite music and sing at the top of your lungs while you dance around your house
  • Pull out your camera and take photos of your food, shadows, lighting, items you are creating
  • If you have essential oils, create a new blend in a roller ball or a new blend for bath salts
  • Declutter – that is always a great way to release anything holding you back and making space for new experiences

Thinking about the cold nights of winter in New York State, many are not willing to go outside due to freezing temperatures, icy roads, or maybe you want to enjoy winter from within your home. People who live alone, or with others, many times don’t enjoy all seasons and many hibernate when possible during the cold months – why not find a way to enjoy every minute of life.

Find magic and beauty wherever you are.

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It is always present if you open yourself up to the everyday joy in life.

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When brave enough to venture outside, bundle up and get out there and enjoy nature. With enough clothing you will feel so refreshed when you return home. Then you can fill up the bathtub with your new bath salts and enjoy a nice relaxing bath while listening to some soothing music.

What is your choice when alone – Loneliness or freedom? We all need people in our lives yet finding peace in quiet solitude is a great way to explore your inner creative self.

Love and Light!


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WPC – Solitude

This week, show us what being alone means to you.

“The best thinking has been done in solitude.” ~ Thomas A. Edison ~

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Kayaking at sunset in the quiet of the evening, I become one with nature and connect with my inner creativity.

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“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.” ~ Franz Kafka

When I enter a restaurant many times the hostess will say only one and I say yes -“I am going to enjoy my meal.” One time the hostess looks sad and asked if I would like a paper to read. As I walked to my table I noticed five other tables with lone diners reading papers. After I looked at the menu and made my choice I pulled out my book and journal while waiting for my meal. Just because someone is alone does not mean they are lonely.

May you find peace in your solitude.

If you are interested in viewing other entries or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/solitude/”>Solitude

Love and Light!