Spirit of Dragonflies

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


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Serene – In Search of Peace

This week, share a photo that represents your take on “serene.” From landscapes to portraits (sleepy cats, anyone?) to a pleasantly abstract wallpaper pattern, any and all interpretations are welcome.

There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations. ~ Washington Irving ~

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No outward change need trouble him who is inwardly serene. ~ Hosea Ballou ~

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In this silent serene wilderness the weary can gain a heart-bath in perfect peace. ~ John Muir ~

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If a person’s basic state of mind is serene and calm, then it is possible for this inner peace to overwhelm a painful physical experience. ~ Dalai Lama ~

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What is your take on serene? Nature always comes to mind for me – the peace, calm, and serene beauty of the quiet can sooth the mind and open the heart.

I find the setting sun filtering through to a quiet space a serene setting as well. I love how the shadows play with the fading light.

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May you find a place deep within where peace and harmony reside beyond the chaos of the noisy world. A place where you can retreat to be rejuvenated and free allowing the turmoil to spin around you as if you are in the eye of the storm – untouched.

During the winter months, when it is too dark to get outside after work, I find using a diffuser with some doTERRA Purify, Frankincense, Myrrh, and Breathe essential oils reminds me of a nice crisp day in the woods and brings a sense of peace and serenity to the end of my day. Would you like to share any tips that bring some peace and serenity to your day?

Love and Light!

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

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


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Transformation – Life’s Lessons

This week, share a photo that embodies transformation. As always, I’m eager to see through your lens.

“Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward — get real with yourself.” ~ Bryant McGill ~

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“Loss is nothing else but change, and change is nature’s delight.” — Marcus Aurelius

Everything in life is always in a stage of transformation. To understand our own part in transformation, we first have to clear away the fog to find the truth. Sometimes it’s easier to live behind the fogged window but eventually it will clear; then we can continue to hide or open our eyes to face our reality and make a decision on how to move forward. First look within before blaming life’s woes on others. Take action today to create the life you want. Are you blaming others for your life situation? If so, stop – see the part you play in the situation. I am guilty of this myself – it’s getting easier but there are still those times when I awaken to the fact that I’ve been living behind a window of fog. Once it is brought to my attention, I wipe it away to see my own part in creating the situation – whether considered a positive or negative they are all life lessons.

Today, on the day of my birth into this life, I make myself a promise to be more awake and aware, to face my life with honesty and truth – moving forward I will focus on creating a life where I take responsibility for my thoughts and actions.

“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.” Mark Batterson

What decisions can you make today to create your ideal reality? Remember, we can’t change others but we can change the way we think about our situations. Sometimes it isn’t another causing our distress, it is the way we are thinking about it and our own reactions. If you want another to change, change your own thoughts and actions first – then see how everything shifts around you. Be the LIGHT not the darkness and others will follow.

Sending Love and Light to you all!

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

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


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Experimental Photography

Let’s see how high we can fly before the sun melts the wax in our wings. ~ Edward O. Wilson ~

This theme is as wide open as the prairie sky. How will you portray “Experimental”? Will it be the fresh lemon-cranberry scones you whipped up, tired of the usual blueberry muffins? Will it be a close-up of the piano where you just composed an original in a key new to you? Will it be capturing a subject using varying compositions or photographic techniques? Regardless of how you choose to show us “Experimental,” I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

Sometimes I like to experiment with my camera settings while capturing moments in time. These two photos are from a night sitting by the fire in my back yard. It took a very steady hand and many shots to capture the flames as I wished. I wanted to capture the movement of the dancing flames.

I’ve had this idea playing in my mind of something fun and creative. Sometimes I play with the camera settings a to see if the ordinary can be captured in an extraordinary way and my camera surprises me with fun photos.

“There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.” ~ Richard Buckminster Fuller ~

While at the beach it was fun experimenting to see what could be captured using different settings. If you have a camera, just have some fun with it. Be a little playful like a child playing on the beach. Some photos will be released and others saved. The whole point is to experiment and enjoy the experience.

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” ~ Ernst Haas ~

I hope you have enjoyed my experimental photos and I look forward to viewing yours.

Love and Light!

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

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


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Everything is Temporary – Embrace It

For this week’s challenge, share a photo that says “temporary” to you. As always, you can take the theme in any direction you see fit — from the natural world to the human, and from the concrete to the abstract. I look forward to browsing your photos!

Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. ~ Napoleon Hill ~

Imagine a world where nothing was temporary – scary right?? Life is just as it should be with everything temporary and evolving. This is why it is important to live mindfully and enjoy life’s every moment. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Be happy with what you do have and strive to be a better person.

If we are content with life in the moment and slow down long enough to really communicate with family and friends, coworkers, and others in our lives think how rich your life will become. If we slow down while we eat and truly enjoy nutritious food and drink, think of how our bodies and minds will respond and gift us with good health. If we nurture our spirits with meditation, prayer, yoga, walks in nature, laughter . . . imagine how our unconscious will respond in a higher more compassionate vibration.

If you are ill, remember what it felt like to be healthy. If you are healthy, think about what that means and how it feels – cherish this time in life. If you are sad, remember what it was like to feel excited, happy, content. If you are loving life, enjoy and pay attention to how it feels in this moment. If you have lost your job, stop for a moment and give thanks to the job you had then feel what it will be like to have a new position.  If you lose your home, stop to remember what it felt like to enjoy your space then give thanks and be ready for your new home. When in your new home give thanks daily for your blessings. When one door closes another opens – if you are paying attention opportunity awaits you.

Just think about the temporary stages of a child’s life. It seems as if in the blink of an eye their childhood innocence is over and they go out on their own. I feel childhood is temporary so each stage should be honored and cherished by all. The same with adulthood – honor each stage of your life. It is a gift!

Whether temporary stages in a child’s life, stages of nature or manmade items (think telephones-cellphones, telephone cables – wi-fi, televisions, computers, automobiles over the last five decades compared to the last two years) everything is temporary.

Knowing this doesn’t mean we should become stagnated by fear – rejoice in transitions and remain open, each moment in time is temporary. Why let life’s journey frighten and stress you. Take a deep breath in – rejoice that you are alive, breath out – feel love and compassion for the world. The temporary stages of nature are quite breathtaking yet we don’t want to get stuck in any one for too long. The people living in locations where the weather remains pretty constant sometimes take it for granted until someone brings it to their attention or they visit another location. I remember when living in California I would mention how beautiful the flowers were along the walls surrounding communities. My coworker asked what flowers. She had lived in California her whole life and didn’t realize their were colorful flowers growing along every wall in the neighborhoods. The next time she took a ride away from the highway she noticed them as well and enjoyed riding with me to different locations. She was able to see through my eyes.

To visit my location you would want to visit at different times of the year to see all of the beautiful gifts of each seasons.

Today as I sit to write in my blog, it is cold outside and the windows are decorated in frost. Several black ravens are on the ground checking out the grass and flying up to sit in the trees. I sip on a cup of warm herbal tea listening to Enya on YouTube while a blend of Frankincense, Myrrh, On Guard, Breath, and Purify are diffused. It smells lovely.

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Message of the day.

My home feels peaceful and calm. I have learned to pay attention to the energy of my surroundings, knowing that I can always shift this energy from rushed to peaceful with a meditation and a blend of essential oils in the diffuser. Some will say the oils are costly. I say, if they can help me maintain a sense of calm and peace it is well worth the pennies per drop. Stress is a killer and although life is temporary, I want to live everyday as if I have forever.

Once we embrace the fact that everything is temporary, it is best to remain active, learn and grow so when one door closes it doesn’t find you blocked. Keep a foot out the door with other interests, keep up to date on new discoveries, remain open to new ideas and opportunities, pay attention to your health – eat higher quality foods, drink plenty of clean water, exercise in nature, hug or sit under a tree, laugh and find joy wherever you are. Do something silly like jump in mud puddles, dress up for Halloween, wear that favorite outfit hiding in your closet, dance in the rain, run along the beach kicking the water into the air, sing loudly while riding in the car, call an old schoolmate, write a letter to an elderly relative, purchase a coloring book with crayons, create something fun, experiment, collect rocks.

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Life is like play doh. Once you make something if left too long without being touched it becomes stiff and dries up. Better to take it apart and create something new so it stays fresh and flexible. It’s the same for our lives. If we sit too long we become stiff, if we don’t  keep in touch with our loved ones the relationship stagnates, if you don’t stretch your mind you will dry up and become obsolete.

Be ready for endings and new beginnings – embrace the temporary as an awakening of your spirit preparing you for a new journey.

Wishing you a life filled with possibilities, movement, laughter, joy, fun, adventure, creativity, health, financial well-being, and spiritual awakening through all your temporary life events.

Love and Light!

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

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


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Peek A Boo – What Do I See?

This week, share a peek of something — a photo that reveals just enough of your subject to get us interested. A tantalizing detail. An unusual perspective. Compel us to click through to your post to find out more!

Abby and Emily came to visit me with their Nonni and Poppy and we decided to take a walk in the woods near my home. A fun time was had by all, even the ‘big’ kids. The deer in the field were a nice surprise in the Saratoga National Park. We often see many deer in the fields however this group was near the path. I think they enjoy watching people watching them. Probably standing over there having a good time laughing at those odd-looking people staring at them.

What do you see hiding within? Love finding peeking spots when hiking or walking in the Albany Rural Cemetery. One never knows what they will see so always stop to check it out. The little deer was caught peeking out at me as I was leaving Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center. It felt as if she was coming over to say goodbye.

Looks who’s peeking out at his first snow fall. Baby Tanner (almost 4 years old now). He loved watching the snow flakes fall. Shortly after this photo we bundled him up and brought him out for his first sleigh ride. Once again, fun was had by all especially the ‘big’ kids.

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May you slow down long enough to become aware of your environment and all the hidden treasures. What do you notice peeking out at you?

Love and Light!

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

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


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WPC – Well-Rounded – Living Mindfully

This week, share your take on “rounded.” it’s a broad theme, so I look forward to your personal interpretations, whether you choose to focus on a curving street, limbs caught mid-way through a dance, a bowl of fruit (think of all the round shapes!), or any other object, landscape, or texture that fits within your definition of the theme. As always, less-literal takes are equally welcome.

“When you live on a round planet, there is no choosing sides.” ~ Wayne Dyer ~

Today I challenge you to slow down and notice the shapes, smells, size, taste, color, and texture of everything you come into contact with. If you have children, help them slow down long enough to ‘see’ the world. The energy in your home, car, or wherever you are will change to a more relaxed and enjoyable environment. If each one of us learned to slow down and enjoy living in the moment – while taking small steps to reach our goals – others in our lives would also be able to feel the shift and bring that energy into their own interactions.

Whether in the field picking blueberries or enjoying a latte, round shapes can be found everywhere if you stop to enjoy. Love being able to slow down and ‘see’ the world through the camera lens and through the eyes of my small grandchildren.

 

The Round House Bakery in Cambridge, NY has delicious food and wonderful treats along with a perfect latte. If you are ever in the area I would recommend stopping by whether on your own to read a book or with family or friends, it will be worth the visit. On one visit I enjoyed capturing photos of the reflection of the house across the street captured in the glass of the frame on the wall. On another visit, it was watching the small children deciding on a treat and tasting the Maple water they were sharing with guests.

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My glass of water is sitting on the round table. There was a slight taste of maple but mostly refreshing water and the owner shared some information on how this water was collected. Slowing down allows you to connect with others and learn from them as well. While visiting the Round House take a walk down the block to view the interesting architecture of the historic buildings and the little shops that share this block. Walk around the village and notice the wonderful historic homes as well.

On another adventure, I captured two photos of round treasures in nature. In the garden or hidden in the woods, Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center is the perfect place to slow down to enjoy peaceful moments. If you visit the Retreat Center a walk in the woods to the Labyrinth is a must. Such a peaceful location to get in touch with nature, spirit and your inner self. A very healing experience.

For today, take some time to live in the moment. Here are some ideas to try:

  • When preparing meals and eating notice shapes, colors, textures, taste and smell of your food. If you have children, share this with them and ask what they see, hear, smell, taste, feel . . . as you share a meal.
  • When outside look at the ground and notice the shapes and colors (if you live in an area with changing leaves it is a perfect time). Pick up a rock and look at it closely. What do you see?
  • Walk barefoot in your home.  Notice the sensations on your feet as they touch carpets, hardwood floors, socks and/or shoes.
  • Rub your fingers along your clothing. Pay attention when zipping or buttoning clothing. Notice how the zipper works, how the button slides through the hole depending on the usage of the item you are wearing. If you have children, slow down while helping them dress and have them share what their clothing feels like. Maybe they enjoy a certain fabric and you were both unaware before asking them.
  • Pick up a leaf and examine the lines. Do the veins of the leaf resemble the veins in your hands?
  • Turn off all sounds in your home and sit in the stillness. Is your home still noisy from the outside environment? Do you notice the sounds of the purring refrigerator or the humming of the furnace/air conditioning?
  • When walking, pay attention to the way the weight of your body shifts from one side to the other with every step. How do your arms move – with the rhythm of your legs or do they remain still? If still, move them as you walk. If moving, see if you can hold them still while walking.
  • Breath in and feel the temperature of the air as it flow into your nostrils and/or mouth. Breath out and do the same. Is it the same air? Whose air are you breathing in?
  • While traveling in your car instead of focusing on the traffic, notice the different colors, shapes and sizes of the vehicles traveling along with you. Look out at the sky – are their clouds, sunshine, rain . . . Notice the sounds inside the car. Turn off the radio and listen to the sound of the car engine, tires hitting the road, noise from other cars.
  • Visit your home as if you were a guest. What smells do you notice? What you would say about the person living in this home? Look at all the belongings and where they are placed. Does anything pop out that you hadn’t noticed in a while. Visit each room as a guest. Would you want a guest seeing your bedroom? What does this room say about your beliefs, mood, life, energy? It should be a reflection of you – the inner you – the person you want to share with the world.
  • Add to the adventure above by having another family member visit your home as a guest with you and ‘see’ your home through their eyes. Home is your sanctuary – a place to go to reenergize. Shouldn’t everyone in the home be able to feel uplifted in their shared space.

Do you have other ideas on living mindfully to add to this list? If so, please share.

Enjoy your day – live mindfully – share your adventure with others. Learn to become well-rounded and connected in your own environment.

Love and Light!

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

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


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WPC – Lessons from Manmade & Natural Structures

Today, take a moment to notice the structure of everyday things around you. Note the lines, freckles, and tiny hairs on your arm, and imagine the biological blueprint that created them. See the bricks of a building, and realize that they were individually placed there by another person. Then, share with us a photo of the structure of something wonderful. We’re eager to see details through your lens.

Structure (google search result)

1. (noun) the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex

2. (verb) construct or arrange according to a plan; give a pattern or organization to.

Some manmade structures build today are not as sturdy as those of the past. All you have to do is check out the construction of some of the newer homes – slapped together with cheap material under time restraints. Nothing can last under those conditions.

Many older structures from the 1900s and earlier are still standing and will remain standing unless a natural disaster or humans destroy them. If you look closely you can see how each piece is needed for the whole to have survived this long. Many people came together, sometimes generations of family members, working for a purpose. There was a pride in creating some of the buildings that remain standing. Some structures, like the ice castle below, are meant to serve a short-term purpose.  They are meant to return to nature. Yet, watching the men and women creating the structure you could see the pride in their eyes knowing the pleasure this temporary structure would bring to all who witnessed their results.

 

I find it amazing how each individual piece balancing with a neighboring piece becomes a support of the whole. If we, as humans, could just do the same imagine what we could accomplish. Compassion, Understanding, Cooperation, Joy, Love, Peace – all building blocks for an harmoniously structured world.

Maybe we could take some clues from these old structures and begin to create our own lives with a focus on mindfulness – creating joy for ourselves and others. Beginning with eating healthy, exercising regularly and meditation/prayer to develop a strong core structure. Mindfully taking steps to develop strong character and strengthen our belief systems may assist in building lasting relationships, careers, and financial security. Imagine not following trends of the day and instead learning to remain true to ourselves by taking positive steps to develop a strong core and community to weather life’s stormy seasons. Now stop to imagine how this change will affect our children and grandchildren. It is never to late to shift your life journey in a new direction.

When nature is left untouched by man, the results are quite beautiful. What if we were to focus more on what is working in life and not fight against everything natural. Maybe we could learn to live in harmony with others as well. We could make better decisions about growing food locally and living with less stuff to allow time for the natural beauty of nature to heal, sooth the soul, and bring peace to our lives.

 

How does a mushroom know how to become a mushroom? Who decides the shape, size and color? How does a seed know to grow into a tall oak? How does the sperm and egg know how to crete a human being? Natural structure is amazingly beautiful. Just look at the skin on the top of your hand, it isn’t just one solid piece of skin. There are many layers some dying off as others are newly formed. Amazing isn’t it?

Is this God’s hand at work? Is there a Higher Power creating all? No one knows for sure but I believe there is an Intelligent Force (Spirit) creating all. That is my belief – not one you must share.

What an amazing Creator. We have all been blessed with our own unique creative gift. Being out in nature allows us to become Grounded and Centered with the Universal Energy – the healing force of creativity. We can see this Creative power in the pine cones, seeds, designs in flowers, and in every human being. No two entities are exactly alike in anything in this Universe. whether that be people, trees, rivers, or planets. What if we embrace our difference and discover how we can all bring balance to a chaotic environment. One need only to look at our natural environment to see the cooperative balance and diversity in life.

 

“I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.” ~ Albert Einstein ~

Thank you for viewing my post. If you would like to view other photos from this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own, click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!