Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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Finding Beauty and Hope In Nature

During these trying times, everyone needs to remember to focus part of their day on self-care. Whether that is five minutes of breathing, exercising, creating a healthy meal, meditating for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, painting, or spending time in nature. Stress is not good for our bodies, minds or spirit. For me, meditation and being outside in nature have allowed me to maintain my health, sanity, and connection to spirit.

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Pine Hollow Arboretum which is located a short way from my home. This has become my home away from home during the worldwide pandemic. Being in nature, walking the trails, listening to birds, walking barefoot, enjoying a sit-spot, and taking time to be mindful has been perfect way to enjoy life and get away from the news for short periods every day.

“Magic is seeing wonder in nature’s every little thing, seeing how wonderful the fireflies are and how magical are the dragonflies.” ~ Ama H. Vanniarachchy ~

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When I first arrived at the pond I noticed dragonflies of all sizes. This is not always the case and the varying sizes was a welcome surprise. They flew over my head, around me and through the reeds.

There were so many dragonflies flittering near the pond along with frogs of all sizes jumping and croaking. With the frogs croaking and birds singing what a lovely serenade.

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The trees were especially beautiful throughout the trails tonight. Although it was hot, the shade of the trees provided a welcomed relief from the heat.

Leaf shadows decorated the trees throughout the walk. I took some time for a sit-spot, breathing, and reflecting. Such a peaceful experience finding beauty and hope in nature.

My daughter gave birth to a daughter at home three weeks ago. She did not want to deliver in the hospital as her husband and her little boys would not have been able to visit. A home deliver was the best choice for her family. Thinking about my new granddaughter and watching the dragonflies lay their eggs gave me hope. Hope that our world will continue. We will overcome the pandemic, the political unrest, the illness and death, the separation from loved ones, economic uncertainty.

My new granddaughter will be remembered by her home birth during the pandemic. Her four year old brother present immediately after her birth to count her little fingers and toes. Her 18 month old brother not really understanding for the first three day. He has overcome his sadness, since nicknamed her Babe.

The dragonfly larvae may stay in the water for up to three years. This gives me hope as they have been around since the beginning of time, surviving catastrophes throughout the centuries. Dragonflies have been on Mother Earth for over 300,000 million years and here they are today still reproducing.

During the pandemic my family has witnessed the marriage of my great-nephew in North Carolina on Zoom. We attended a funeral service for a very close young friend. Then the birth of my granddaughter. We will soon celebrate the birth of another new family member in October. Life goes on.

We have to continue to have hope for a better future. If we could each focus on the future, on staying healthy we will be ready for the other side of the pandemic. What can we each do to bring beauty and hope in our lives?

We can exercise, eat healthy, meditate, spend time in nature. This is what has allowed me to maintain hope during all of the recent changes. I am one of the fortunate ones who has been working remotely, lucky enough to have walking trails nearby, healthy food to eat and prepare at home, electric, water, medical insurance. Not all have the same during the pandemic and I keep them all in my thoughts and prayers.

The one thing I can do while not able to be with others is to take care of myself. Self-care has been very beneficial. To keep sanity, someone living alone needs to have ways to maintain their health. If you are living with others, the house can seem small and crowded, even if you live in a large home. We all can benefit from self-care. For me, nature has been my go to. You may prefer exercise, running, drawing, writing, singing, dancing, creating or taking a nice bath. Even if you only take ten minutes a day, do yourself a favor and take time for yourself. If living with others, encourage them to do the same.

Please take care of yourself and allow yourself some time for self-care. This is more important now than ever.

If you already take the time, what are you doing to add self-care in your life? Please share.

Love and Light!

 


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WPC – A Moment in Time

This week, share a photograph that signifies transitions and change to you. It can be the very beginning of a phase, or the very end. As you pick up your lens, explore the ways in which a single photograph can express time, while only showing us a small portion of any given moment.

“Love the moment and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.” ~ Corita Kent ~

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Zip lining in Juneau Rainforest Canopy in Alaska

While on a Miracle Cruise to Alaska with my sister, I had the opportunity to zip line through the Rainforest Canopy in Juneau. I experienced zip lining once in the Adirondacks however it was a small line set up to help build self-confidence in foster children visiting the retreat center. In the Rainforest Canopy, as I stood on the first platform, my legs quivered under me as I have a fear of heights. Tears of joy filled my eyes and it became difficult to breathe – I was witnessing a dream manifesting before my eyes. I took a deep breath, pulled my shoulders back, and prepared to fully experience a special moment. Three of my favorite things coming together – a rainforest, zip lining, and Alaska.

As we continued through the forest with the platforms increasing in height and the lines stretching further through the trees from platform to platform my fear lessened. By the time we reached the last line I released my hold on the safety bar and allowed myself to sail through the trees unencumbered by fear.

The cruise allowed me to experience new adventures and allowed me to release some of the fears that held me back. It was truly a miracle cruise.  An adventure captured in a photo and forever in my mind.

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. ~ Marcus Aurelius ~

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

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

Love and Light!


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WPC – Focus

This week, share a photo that represents focus to you. Are you a stickler for getting in close to your subjects and capturing every detail, or do you prefer a more ethereal look that illustrates the sensations of the moment? Or both? And remember, you don’t need a professional camera to consider focus. Using your phone camera can provide an even more interesting approach.

“By celebrating the small stuff and feeling gratitude for it, things you never noticed before will come into focus.” ~ Jane Trumbull, Complaining isn’t a Solution! ~

Isn’t that the truth. When we take time to slow down and celebrate the little things in life we begin to notice more that we can be grateful for and our world begins to expand.

I love getting down on the ground with my camera and seeing the world a little differently through the lens. There is so much beauty in the world if we focus on the gifts of nature.

Walking out of my back door in the fall is such a wonderful treat when the ground is covered in a red blanket of the freshly fallen leaves. I do not touch them until they have shriveled up and turned brown because I love pulling into the driveway to the welcoming sight of the red carpet welcoming me home.

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“Take five minutes to center yourself in the morning – set your intention every day.” ~ Oprah Winfrey ~

We can do this every morning as we set our intention for the day. Sit still for a minute or two and set your intention to see something new today or to stop once in a while during the day to change your thoughts. If your mind is always racing this is a good way to allow yourself to learn to relax a little during the day. Eventually you will find peace within the day, even on those hectic days and your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

In the morning stop to notice dew drops decorating spider’s webs, leaves, and flower petals. Just slowing down for those few seconds can can be very uplifting. There is a feeling of magic when carefully observing the morning dew, the trees, birds singing, squirrels playing.

One day I spent an hour sitting in the grass observing bees as they made their way from one spring flower to another. With great patience and still camera I was able to capture a couple of the bees in flight. Love how the world becomes a little out of focus while the bee is captured in flight.

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“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~ Van Gogh ~

I had a peaceful experience sitting on a beach at Moreau State Park as I watched dragonflies enjoying summer day. Eventually I was successful in capturing a couple of dragonflies in flight. With time, patience, and focus there was peace, calm and success.

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“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~ Mark Twain ~

If you want to truly ‘see’ your world, slow down and look a little closer. This is true whether with nature, people or a situation. If your mind is out of focus your world will be out of focus and clear thinking is impossible.

Today, stop on your way out the door to take a moment to breathe. If you live in the city stop near a tree in the sidewalk and notice the bark, leaves, colors. If you are passing a flower stand stop to allow your eyes to take in the color. While making breakfast (please make yourself breakfast) pay attention to the colors and textures. Bring everything into focus with your sight, smell, taste, and remember to be grateful.

Look closer at the petals and detail of the flower and stem. Notice the color of your fruits and vegetables. Remember where they come from – the soil of the Earth. Not the grocery store. Notice reflections in puddles. No matter where you live, work, travel give yourself the gift of focus and slow down to see the beauty all around you.

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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/out-of-focus

May your day be filled with beauty, peace, love, joy, health, and abundance.

Love and Light!


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Slow Down and Enjoy the Beauty in Nature

 

Finding beauty in nature lying in the glider in the backyard.

Finding beauty in nature lying in the glider in the backyard.

Although I don’t like carrying my cell, when I am out in nature I use it for those magic moments like the one above. Silencing the cell phone is a must because I don’t want to be pulled into some else’s drama while in my peaceful place. There is nothing so important that it must be addressed during that time period. Long ago I made a decision that no matter what is going on in life I will allow myself to become mindful and remain in the moment when outside.

We each have the ability to make our lives beautiful and worth living. Learning to slow down, take time for yourself, and stay in the moment is a step toward living mindfully. Take back control of your life and find art in nature. It is only by slowing down that you learn to truly enjoy this the world around you.

Can you take one small step today to create the life of your dreams? 

Love and Light,

Sandy