Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


Variations on a Theme – WPC

This week, use your camera to discover the endless variety that one thing can contain. It can be a single photo featuring some visual play on repetition and variation — ducks in a pond, each swimming in a slightly different angle, or a wall of stained glass in a church, each panel echoing the other. You could also opt for a series of shots showing the same place, person, or object in slightly different light (literally or figuratively, as the case may be). If you’re not sure how to approach this topic, just let your daily life guide you: every day, you probably repeat several actions, movements, and rituals without even noticing. Choose one and show how even within this repetition, there’s a wide diversity of experience.

“I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” ~ Sylvia Plath ~

I love visiting the same areas at different times of the day and year. It is a gift of nature that those living with the changing seasons experience. The sky is ever-changing shades, tones and variations which bringing a new perspective to those paying attention. We witness the vibrant greens of summer become blanketed in orange/red/green/brown leaves of fall as the grass becomes brownish orange. Then as winter sets in if we are lucky we witness a blanket of white covering the trees and ground which then becomes spotted with brown and then green once again. It is amazing to witness. The sky also dazzles the senses as it varies in color throughout the day and year. Vibrant blue, grey, pinks, oranges, varying shades of red become blackened as the night sky brings sleep and rest. We leave knowing that tomorrow we will experience everything anew.

Saratoga National Historical Park is one of those locations which fill my heart with many emotions. It is a place which I return for peace, comfort and rest. This is a location shared over the years with family times – first as a child with my own parents and then with my children, nieces, nephew and friends. It is this location where I prepared myself for BASIC, where my children and I hiked, learned to cross-country ski, and a refuge when I passed through challenging times in my life. It is a place as Sylvia Plath shared where I “live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life.” Wherever I have traveled, this location remained in my heart and upon returning to ‘home’ it is where I visit to renew myself.

Do you have a location that means ‘home’ to you outside of the place where you grew up? A place that lives within you even if you can’t return.

While away from my home and children during BASIC training with the Army National Guard I first experienced the ability to meditate – more of a visualization. When sitting in the hot Missouri sun between class or exercises I would close my eyes and return home to the hiking paths with my children and nieces/nephews. We would be exploring and laughing. The younger female soldiers would ask where I had gone because they noticed I wasn’t responding to them. I shared that I went home in my mind. These young women noticed that I remained calm and peaceful after my little visualizations and wanted me to teach them. Some were able to learn and carry this with them to their next station or when they returned home to class. Eventually I could visualize and ‘visit’ with my eyes open. The only way they knew was if I didn’t respond when they spoke to me. This became very helpful when we were we living on four hours of sleep.

For anyone who lives with tinnitus, learning these methods may bring peace to your life. It may not stop the noise in your head but it will definitely help you learn to live with this constant noise. This I know first hand, as meditation and visualization have helped me live a productive life in spite of the constant bells ringing in my head.

Have you ever experienced visualization to bring peace into your life? Or, have you been in a stressful situation where meditation brought a sense of peace and calm to help you through?

If you are interested in learning more about visualization, meditation or living mindfully please complete the form below or email me at spiritofdraginflies@gmail.com. Let’s discuss next steps to help you bring some peace, tranquility, calm and mindfulness into your daily life.

Love and Light!

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Learning to Slow Down and Live Mindfully with Tinnitus

Today I thought I would share a little more about how living mindfully came into my life. A few years back it seemed as if life was spinning out of control. I remained busy at work and home, needing to be busy at all moments. What I hadn’t realized until I changed jobs and relocated to a beautiful, quiet, treed area was how the noise in my head was affecting my life. One day I decided to search to see what information was available and if there were any relief for this constant ringing. What I discovered is the level of ringing in my head is between 4,000 hertz on a good day to 5800 or more at peak. The doctor thought I was suffering migraines. We discovered it was the tension brought on by the ringing that was causing the pressure around my head, not migraines.

There are times when I am in a meeting for work when people are saying words just to hear themselves. All I hear is blah, blah, blah and shut down. Literally, I shut down and drowned them out as if they are not even there. One thing about tinnitus is that I have learned to go into a meditative state wherever I am. Good you say, I think so too. That is until I need to know what was said in the meeting. Follow-up notes are a blessing.

Recently I purchased a hearing aid with white noise that provides a constant shushing in my ear. The sound is no longer up and to the right – it is now evenly divided between my left and right ear. Hearing and the brain are very interesting – they compensate for anything lacking. Although originally the ringing was mainly in my left ear, now that I have one hearing aid the right ear decided to join in. They are almost even in ringing capacity at this point. Hearing aids are very expensive and health insurance does not cover hearing aids for tinnitus. I was denied. Apparently the insurance company does not feel that their clients deserve relief from the constant ringing. If they experienced this we may see some changes. I have an appointment for the right hearing aid in May and look forward to having balance.

Well this brings me back to living mindfully. My audiologist and Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists believe that the new hearing aids will eventually retrain my brain and I will not notice the noise, it will no longer affect my life. Yeah!! I believe in them. Meditation, sound machines, and retraining the brain working together will provide comfort and relief. If you suffer from tinnitus or know someone who does, let them know there is hope. It is not life threatening, just a constant annoyance. Just think what it would be like if you had to listen to the drip, drip of the faucet all day, everyday. Ok, you might understand now. Or, go to the tinnitus website and listen to the sounds that people actually hear. It was a learning lesson for me.

My audiologist tells me not to think or write about tinnitus and normally I don’t however this morning I thought maybe, just maybe I could help someone out there try a new approach.

While prepping for tonight’s dinner, I thought about how fortunate I was to have vegetables of many colors to prepare and eat. About the water that I am drinking and the coffee that I had with my eggs for breakfast. There are many people who don’t even know where or when they will eat again. Many people in the world don’t have access to clean water. I am fortunate and you do not have to be rich, have large home, expensive car, or a lot of money in the bank to feel fortunate. Trust me on this.

If everyday when you wake in the morning you give thanks for another day, if you have water be thankful and don’t waste it, if you give thanks to the food you are fortunate enough to have in front of you, if you give thanks for vision, hearing, speech, air, water, trees, grass, a safe place to sleep . . . , this will allow you to overcome your obstacles.

Today, while prepping I noticed the patterns in the beets that resembled the inner rings of the tree and the beautiful patterns. Then I slowed a little more and took notice of all the colorful vegetables I had before me. This is how you can slow down and enjoy life one moment at a time. When prepping food look for the creativity of nature. Nature blesses us everyday with color, patterns, and beauty. Sometimes we move to fast to even notice but when living mindfully you take notice and begin to enjoy life no matter what else is going on with your body or in your environment. I thought I would share some of nature’s creativity I noticed this morning.

Today, please slow down and notice every moment of the day. The dark and light of the day because the shadows can make the light shine even brighter. When I slow down, I can ignore the sounds in my head. They play on and sometimes become louder but through daily meditation, walks in nature, living in the moment, even reading a book I can focus so intently on the moment that the noise cannot and will not affect my life. Some of you may live in very noisy areas. Can you wear a sound reducer to eliminate or soften the noise? I am not sure but as we move through this life learning, growing and sharing our discoveries it will be a better place for all.

Love and Light!