Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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Mindfulness Outdoor Guide

Another year of fulfilling dreams – goals.

This year has been another year of fulfilling dreams/goals. On my vision board is a photo of a group of people walking along a trail in the woods single file. Earth Walk and Outdoor Guide are words on this board and in October I sauntered with 50 other classmates through the woods quietly experiencing nature at its finest. With the correct clothing everyday is a good day to be in nature.

Very excited to share that I am now a certified Mindfulness Outdoor Guide and received a Wilderness First Aid certificate.

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Attached is a copy of my Mindful Outdoor Guide Flyer.

Mindful Outdoor Guide Flyer

I am looking forward to beginning this life journey. Sharing the joy of mindfully sauntering through the forest and guiding others in the experience so you too can learn how to enjoy the health benefits and peace of this experience on a daily basis.

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Over the last several years I have been able to share experiences in the forest with others however after 9 days at Kripalu I have some additional knowledge to share for a total emersion – Grounding, Forest Bathing, Fox Walk, Owl Eyes, Sit Spot, Breathing techniques and so much more.

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Luckily there are several places available to share this experience. More information to follow as I prepare the programs that will be available. There will be a program for small children, teenage youth and adults of any age. We will not be hiking but more of a quiet saunter through the woods. If you have a location and would like to bring this experience closer to you we can discuss this as well.

More to come!

Love and Light!!


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Earth Day Celebration at Kripalu

“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Earth Day should not really be celebrated one day a year – it should be something we celebrate and give thanks to every day. Mother Earth is our home – we should honor and care for everything she blesses us with knowing life would not be without her blessings.

Feeling grateful to have shared in The Language of the Earth program at Kripalu. We spent the weekend exploring nature, hugging trees, learning how animals interact with nature, and planting a tree.

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”  ~ John Muir ~

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.”  ~ John James Audubon ~

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”  ~ John Muir ~

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In the center of the tree you will see markings on the tree from squirrels. It was interesting learning how to read the animal signs in nature.


There were so many places where people visiting Kripalu stop to meditate, relax, and hold rituals. Such a peaceful location to visit and spend a weekend or week.

“He that plants trees loves others besides himself.” ~ Thomas Fuller ~

We each wrote a note to Mother Earth and buried them with the tree. Can’t wait to return to see how the tree is growing over the next few years.

The view of the lake from Kripalu was beautiful and the two little birds came to visit me this morning while I was drawing a tree while sitting at the table.

DSC_0818.jpg“Time spent among trees is never time wasted.” ~ Anonymous ~

During our last adventure in nature today I noticed this tree growing out from a fallen tree. This is why it is important to leave fallen trees as they continue to feed other trees in the forest. Old growth forests should be left alone and unfortunately they have been destroyed over the years due to ignorance. It is time to pay attention to the message of nature. Trees are sentient beings – A sentient being is one who perceives and responds to sensations of whatever kind – sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell. Sentient ultimately comes from the Latin verb sentire, which means “to feel” and is related to the noun sensus, meaning “feeling” or “sense.”

“Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs, —
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress its music.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

Did you get out in nature on Earth Day? Do you feel peaceful and relaxed when walking in nature?

I am planning a sharing of Forest Bathing with a small group of people in a local wooded area in the near future. If you are interested in experiencing this wonderful event please send an email to spiritofdragonflies@gmail.com.

Love and Light!


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Kripalu Retreat – The Artist Way

Lately I have been very busy just loving life. Living mindfully and remaining open to what life brings resulted in an opportunity to meet Julia Cameron, author of The Artist Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice. On the first weekend in May, I spent the weekend at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Wellness located in Stockbridge, MA. It was a wonderfully relaxing experience and I met many interesting people all on their own journey. I chose to stay in a shared room with four bunks. Arriving a bit late resulted in my sleeping on a top bunk. It was not a bother at all because the mattresses were the most comfortable that I have ever slept on outside of my own home. Lights were out at 10 pm. I am generally up until midnight so I thought this would be a problem. It wasn’t. I gladly went to bed at 9 pm and rose at 6 am to take a walk. The women sharing the room were from different states, some traveling from as far away as California. Two of the young women had been in the Peace Corp but at different times meeting for the first time on that weekend. Two other women had been visiting Kripalu together for a quiet retreat together for several years. It was a very interesting mix and each of us were visiting for different workshops or reasons.

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Lake near Kripalu – Loved the reflections

Every moment of the weekend was special. I walked barefoot through the labyrinth, down the path to the lake as well. A very interesting moment occurred while hiking in the woods I found myself lost with no idea how to find my way back. At first a bit of panic set in. Then I stood taller and took a deep breath. I noticed the trees, the complicated root system on the fallen tree above, watched birds chasing one another through the woods singing along the way and that is when it occurred to me that we are never really lost. Everything is where it has always been so how can I be lost. A thought flashed through my mind that no one would know I was missing, not even family. This stopped me for a moment but I was in the woods, not just woods, but old growth forest. The ground was still covered in leaves from the fall and the smell of earth welcomed me.

I knew eventually I would find a road, the lake or catch sight of the building so I carried on. One time I came out to a beautiful green field with no sight of the road or building. I walked across the field and noticed a piece of the lake through the trees. Walking along in the leaves I noticed a path which brought me to the lake. Not the location where I had been earlier in the morning but it was the same lake so I continued along the path. Ahead I noticed a large white rock near a tree so I bent down and placed my hands on it. The rock was very cold. The water behind me started to move and slurping sounds of the water lapping along the shore startled me. There were no motor boats or any people so the movement of the water seemed unusual. I stood and begin walking along the path once again. The water quieted. It was a little eery.

The path disappeared once again so I continued to follow the water’s edge. To my right I noticed a path trailing up the embankment so I went to meet up with it. Eventually I found my way to the original path and after an hour and a half made my way back to Kripalu. The original loop that I had planned to walk should have taken a half hour. At this point I was late for my class with Julia Cameron.

For those of you unfamiliar with her work, I have included a photo of her book and the agenda. We wrote and shared. A room full of strangers were not strangers for long. We had break out groups continuously throughout the day. Julia would tell us to meet with strangers, strangers you have not met with before. I am sure we all met at least twenty or so other people throughout the weekend.

I had read The Artist Way years ago when my youngest daughter was still living home. Writing three pages every morning when I woke became a part of my morning ritual. I looked forward to it. As you can see from the photos below, writing in journals is part of who I am. Some are from the early 1990s. Not all are from the morning pages but many are.

What are morning pages you ask? Well, Julia calls it Mind Dumping. Keep a journal and pen next to your bed. When you wake grab the journal and pen and start writing any thoughts that come into your mind. I have to pick up milk today, the sun is shining, I’m tired, my shoulder hurts, the birds are singing, change the oil in the car  . . . anything that come to mind until the three pages are complete. Then shut the page and go on about your day. Don’t reread what you wrote until a month or several months. What I love about this is a theme will shine through, at least it has for me. There are some things that come up daily and eventually you start to bring up creative thoughts they may have been hidden deep down within. It is a process to dig for creativity. If you are interested in learning more I suggest you pick up her book.

 

Living mindfully allowed me to enjoy every moment of the experience. While in the book shop I purchased a Ganesh made of volcanic ash. This is something I have been wanting for a long time so it is now displayed on my alter with the praying Buddha. After the class was over on Sunday, I wasn’t ready to leave. It was a beautiful day and my children are grown so there was no rush. Remembering what it was like most of my adult life, living in the mad rush of the world, I decided to slow down, breathe and live in the moment as I had all weekend. I pulled out my book and sat in the chair to enjoy the sun.

I am looking forward to visiting Kripalu again next year. Maybe the next time I will attend a weekend yoga retreat.

Love and Light,
Sandy