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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Creating Wind Chimes

Have you ever discovered something that you love creating and never knew?

A year ago my granddaughter and I took a class creating a wind chime. The next week I picked up beads, fishing line, and went out in the back to find a piece of wood. The creative bug took over.

Now I facilitate my own classes – wind chimes, diffuser bracelets, and essential oil roller balls. The bracelets and essential oil roller balls are fairly quick and easy to create. When creating essential oils the longest part of the process is finding blends that provide an uplifting vibration. I love learning of the blends, adding tiny dried flowers, frankincense, myrrh, and small gems. When creating bracelets generally I will lay out the beads, walk away for a while and then return and pull the bracelet together. Wind chimes take much more time and they are the best way to slow down, breathe, and create mindfully.

When creating the wind chimes I may spend time in nature searching for some small branches. Once found I bring them to the basement to dry. They may sit there for a week, month or several months. Sometimes others will find them and bring them to me. last year my son and his wife traveled to Nova Scotia and returned with some finds for me. There has been a box in the basement awaiting my creativity. Recently I pulled out a couple of the pieces and brought them upstairs for some inspiration.

I pulled out the white cloth and began bringing out beads. Last year I created one with a theme of pink and crystals, then one with red and crystals. One hangs in the dining room and the other in the bedroom. In the morning I love waking to the rainbows decorating the walls and ceiling. When I return home the dining room floor and ceiling is decorated in rainbows. I find it quite magical.

This week I have been staying up at night laying out beads and creating two more wind chimes. I find it very relaxing and this experience helps you develop patience.

How you may be wondering?

Well each bead is placed on the fishing line, the line must be tied and a seed bead placed on the knot. This prevents beads with larger holes to slip through. Sometimes when tying the knot it is too far apart and the knot has to be untied and redone. Sometimes you are finishing the last line and while tying it to the top you cut the wrong piece of line. Time to redo the hole line of beads. Although I haven’t stopped to measure for exactness, the last try was pretty close to being even. Who wants perfection  – not me. The imperfection is quite beautiful.

This is what makes it difficult sometimes when facilitating a class. Many participating in the class want perfection. As they begin preparing their design everything must match. Not the case for my granddaughter, she chose different beads, some not matching, and her wind chime came out perfect. We had fun while learning. There were times when we had to redo the whole thing over but each left that first workshop with a completed project.

When facilitating I let the participants begin by picking out their beads knowing they would be back up to the beads to chose others. They forget the seed beads and sometimes try to forego the tiny beads until they begin and the larger beads slip over the knot. Then it is time to choose seed beads. Then the process starts all over again. I love witnessing their experience. They rearrange several times, become frustrated at this new experience. Happens every time. The chatting slows down and quiet sets in as each begins to focus, touching the beads, tying knots, as their brain shifts into mindfulness. Frustration transitions to a sense of calm and peace. The energy in the room shifts and it seems as if all the strangers have become friends sharing a caring, creative energy. It is a wonderful feeling, uplifting everyone at the same time. All tension brought into the workshop at the beginning is released.

When creating at my dining table I sit quietly, no music or television, just the quiet of the house. Sometimes I’ll change out the beads until it feels right. I’ve already drilled the holes – two extra for the line to hold the wind chime. Maybe five rows of beads, maybe four, it depends on the piece of wood chosen. When working on this after work I may stay there until midnight – time passes and I’m not aware.

Do you have a craft that you love so much all senses of time disappears while you are enjoying the moment? How often to you take the time to enjoy this experience.

Even if you take ten minutes a day for yourself, add something that you love into your day. You deserve at least ten minutes a day to create something – singing, playing an instrument, drawing, writing, woodworking . . . Try turning off the television and enjoy your own life – not someone else’s life .

Light and Love

 


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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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3 – Day Quote Challenge – Day 1

Trees - Carl Sagan quote

 

Mary has invited me to participate in a 3 – day quote challenge, which I have gladly, though belatedly accepted.  In turn, I invite , Sandy from https://hoardercomesclean.wordpress.com/about/ , Tom from https://aquietpath.wordpress.com/about/, Chris, from https://chrisbreebaart.wordpress.com/albums/.  There is no pressure to accept.

Participant requests: Post an inspirational, uplifting quote for three consecutive days and invite three other bloggers to join you.

Anyone who would like to participate, please share your favorite quotes with us!

Love and Light!

Sandy