Spirit of Dragonflies

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


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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!


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WPC – Edge 2

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” ~Henry David Thoreau ~

Take a seat at the edge of the water, release anything weighing on your mind, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy Mirror Lake. Some run by quickly, others drive by, and some go into their houses never to notice the beauty. On this bench one only has to sit and hear the call of the loons, look to the right and left to absorb the beauty of the mountains. When its time to get up you will feel like a new person.

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Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
~ Albert Einstein ~

If you wold like to see other posts for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own please click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!

(I submitted this photo for WPC – Mirror however I thought it was a perfect fit for this week’s edge as well)


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WPC – Edge

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.” ~ Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water ~

The first time I stood at the edge and looked out at the frozen lake I didn’t really notice the house. The house is built at the edge of the rock formation and made with stone to resemble the natural habitat. The occupants must have a wonderful view of the mountains and lake below. Across from the home a tree grows on a rock, almost in competition with the home as it shouts out, “Look at me.”

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If you would like to learn more about Minnewaska Preserve click thee link below: http://hikethehudsonvalley.com/minnewaska-state-park-preserve/

In winter the Preserve is quiet. The roar of the waterfall could be heard from quite a distance while hiking through the woods. Once you get a little closer your heart beats a little faster in anticipation of seeing the rushing waters. As you walk down the stream you will first reach the edge of the falls. The water is so powerful that you don’t want to get too close the edge.

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A trail that leads down the mountain to the bottom of the falls. The photos above are a mix of two visits. As you can see one is later in the year when the I’ve has thawed and the other is in the midst of the freezing weather. It was breathtaking.

This location is a perfect place to slow down and enjoy the winter weather. Sitting on a rock listening to the falls is a great place to meditate, get in touch with nature, and just allow your mind to quiet for a short period of time. Time seemed to stop for a while as we sat enjoying the sounds of nature.

We spent hours at the edge of the waterfalls capturing ice melting, green life poking through the snow, leaves caught in the rocks and other amazing gifts of nature.

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods ~

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

Love and Light


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WPC – Mirror

“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” ~ Ernest Holmes ~

This week’s topic – Mirror – is one of my favorites to capture with my camera. Whenever I see a mirror image it makes me stop to admire this phenomenon. It is a miracle that occurs right before our eyes.

My first image is of my grandson. While visiting him a couple of week’s ago I noticed his reflection in the counter top. If I had turned the camera upside down and only captured the county photo it would have been the same except the background would look as if he were in a dark room. Thankfully he was so involved playing with his new car that I had purchased, he didn’t even pay attention to Mimi.

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Lakes are another love of mine to capture when there is a mirror image. Fortunately I was visiting Lake Placid when the water on Mirror Lake was exactly that, mirror like. It was a perfect day for taking photos and reflecting.

Glass windows are another way to capture a mirror image. In the photo below my son and grandson were looking at toys in the window. My favorite part of the photo was their hands. Tanner’s hand on the window and the reflection look like two children touching hands. As my son’s face is a little distorted due to the toy on the shelve behind the window it made the photo feel like another person was pointing back at him. Notice Tanner’s other hand with is right index finger, pointing down mimicking his uncle Joe. Wonder if that was unconscious on his part.

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Another fun way to capture mirror images is on the wet sand while walking on the beach. My grandson, daughter, her husband, sister-in-law and mother-in-law were walking in front of me jumping and being silly with Tanner. They were having such fun and their mirror images were interesting captures. Notice in the one to the right, Tanner is actually in the air. If you look close you can see his little feet in the mirror image.


Still rivers are also perfect for taking mirror images. This is the railroad bridge located along the Hudson River between Mechanicville and Stillwater New York. It is a popular spot for photographers who come from miles away to capture this bridge. On this day we were riding by and I had my daughter stop the car so I could capture this beautiful shot. One of my favorites.

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The dock on the Hudson River in Stillwater is another popular spot for photographers, especially in Autumn.

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We can’t have mirror images without some wildlife included. This is a photo from a little stream in Congress Park in Saratoga New York. The ducks were enjoying some family time bathing in the water.

Adirondack Lake in Indian Lake New York has become one of my favorite places to visit and kayak. The lake is like a mirror, the loons sing to one another, and it is very peaceful.

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Autumn is a perfect time to capture the beautiful color of nature. When mirrored on a lake it can take your breath away. Autumn is my favorite time of year. If it would only stay with us for several months instead of a such a short period of time. Every weekend and during the week while traveling for work I love to stop and take in the scenery, smell the freshly fallen leaves while enjoying a cup of pumpkin flavored coffee and an apple cider donut.

And, we can’t forget the beauty of winter snow and decorative lights. I love to capture photos in the winter just before sunset, that little lull between sun and darkness which is short-lived and earlier than we would like during those cold nights.

“We constantly wait in anticipation for a miracle to happen in our life, unaware that the miracle is actually life itself.” ~ Daniel Chadiac

Everything before you is a miracle – YOU are a miracle. Just think about birth – no one can yet explain why we are alive, where our thoughts come from, how one is conceived or how our bodies actually work – it is a guessing game with new ideas and discoveries occurring daily.

I hope you enjoyed viewing my entries for this week. If you would like to view more photos for this week’s challenge or would like to enter your own photos please click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!

 


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WPC – Morning

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

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If you are interested in viewing other photos for this week’s challenge or submitting your own click on the link below:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/morning-2016

Love and Light!


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WPC – Morning

This morning I had the pleasure of waking at my son’s home to a light rain. I grabbed my camera and headed out the bedroom door into the woods and captured the beauty of nature.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ~ Marcus Aurelius ~

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” ~  J. B. Priestley ~

 

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Thursday morning I also woke in the morning at my son’s home and after witnessing the morning light shining through the trees grabbed my camera and explored the paths behind his home. It is like awaking into a dream world here. Feeling blessed.

“The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

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“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden ~
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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden ~

Wishing you the joy of adventure and enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures. Open you eyes to the beauty around you.

If you would like to view additional entries for this week’s challenge or would like to submit your own click on the link below:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/morning-2016

Love and Light!


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WPC – Narrow

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

The paths through Thatcher Park in Berne, NY can be narrow and crooked. In some areas you have to duck under a large boulder in order to continue along the path. One cannot help but feel connected to nature when in the midst of such beauty. If you get tired you can sit on one of the benches along the trail or one of the large boulders. There are two waterfalls along the path. In the spring the waters flow, at the present time the water trickles due to the lack of rain. Autumn is my favorite time to visit.

Walking along the narrow path in nature is like walking along life’s path – each step interesting and beautiful in its own right. Sometimes you are in darkness and other times in light, each providing a learning experience.

“Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” ~ Oprah Winfrey ~

If you are interested in viewing other photos for this week’s challenge or would like to enter your own click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!


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WPC -Opposites

This week, make two opposite elements come together (or clash in dissonance) in one photo.

In your photo this week, show how opposites can tell a story about people, places, or objects. The tension can reside in what you choose to show — old vs. new, big vs. small, dark vs. light — or in how you frame and design your shot.

For my first photo I chose stillness vs. motion. It appears as if the dragonfly was still while the lake was in motion. In reality this was a lucky shot. I sat in wait for quite some time in search of such a shot. Patience and time – meditating was good practice for this as I was able to maintain focus and steady breathing.

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Aren’t there times in life that you feel as if the world is spinning around you. This can be true when while raising children. They grow and learn so quickly you begin to wonder where you were when time passed by. You feel the same, yet the infant is now walking, talking, and on the move. Or, you are preparing for their wedding and you wonder where the teen years went. It all becomes a blur.

In this shot below, nature vs man. Nature wins!

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Sometimes people become so attached to material objects, to trying to control and manicure their yards, removing weeds, and building bigger homes. In reality, material objects will one day become a part of nature. Whether an old farm-house or old car, it doesn’t matter. They were of importance while they were part of your life.

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Natures revenge

This is why it is so important to live mindfully and appreciate everyday that you are blessed with another day of life and not try to control your surroundings. In the end, your possessions will not matter but the life you enjoyed will. Weeds are going to take over the yard no matter how many times you mow. Placing chemicals in the ground will only come back to bite you one day. See the beauty in the dandelions instead. Walk barefoot and step lightly on the world around you. Try not to leave a trace in nature and instead leave a large impact on your family, community, world through the compassion, love and joy that you have for yourself and share with others.

In the next shot fire vs. water or wood vs. stone.

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All are important. Water nourishes the body and gives life. Fire keeps us warm and dry. Water has the power to give life and transform the shape of stone. Wood can be burn in the fire.

What opposites can you think of that relate to your own life? Movement vs rest; birth vs. death. . .

If you are interested in participating in this week’s photo challenge or would like to view other entries please click on the link below:

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

Love and Light!


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WPC – Curves

Find inspiration in the curves around you.

One never knows what they will discover when searching for photos to meet the topic for the week’s challenge.For this week’s challenge, Curves, I decided on nature photos. To find the perfect photos one must slow down, becoming mindful and discover nature once again through snapshots in time. As in life, nature is not straight and narrow, there are curves thrown in to make it more interesting. Whether viewing a clover covered in morning dew, branches decorating a pond, flowers, birds or trees nature provides a variety of beauty. I hope that you enjoy my selections.

Viewing the photos and thinking about curves, nature and creativity makes me think of children. There is a world of wonder in nature that many children are missing as they sit inside in front of the computer, cell phones, television or wander around the malls. This quote seemed fitting for where my mind went.

Stress reduction, greater physical health, a deeper sense of spirit, more creativity, a sense of play, even a safer life—these are the rewards that await a family when it invites more nature into children’s lives.

— Richard Louv

Last Child in the Woods

 

Many of our designs in furnishings, sign posts, and art are created through our interaction and awareness of nature. If our children are not introduced to nature how will they learn to the natural designs or learn to naturally reduce stress, or maintain their physical and spiritual health. How will they find joy and develop a sense of creativity as they mature into adulthood? Isn’t it our responsibility as adults to share in nature with our children and grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other children in our lives. If we walk in nature with children they open our eyes to the wonderment many of us have forgotten. In the woods, we become aware of our child within whether we are walking with a child or not.

When you are taking a walk in the city, town or village be aware of the designs you find around you and remember where those curves originated and how they have now found home in the manmade settings. Below you will find some manmade items with curves incorporated into their design.

The one statue located in San Diego which was designed from a photo taken in NYC after World War II ended. That was included because of the curve in her back and leg. Plus is was fun. I hope you have enjoyed my entries for this week’s challenge. Please share if you have any thoughts on any of the photos.

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

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

Light and Love!