Spirit of Dragonflies

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


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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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We Have a Choice Every Morning – Make It The Right One

We each have a choice every morning when we wake – will this be a wonderful day filled with miracles or this will be a day of sadness, regret, and/or anger at the world. It is your choice.

You may wonder, what can I do to start my day off on the right path? What can I do to share positive energy with others?

This morning I woke up on time and decided this was going to be a day filled with love. I pictured the meeting at work going well, everyone sharing in discussion and being respectful and sent out love to everyone ahead of my leaving home. I ate a nice breakfast, packed a healthy lunch and filled my water bottle with lemon and watermelon.

On the way out the door I grabbed my camera because I wanted to capture the beautiful flowers my landlords mother had planted years ago without knowing who would be enjoying them in the future. As I passed the first bush I noticed a little rabbit who had come to say good morning.

After work I took a walk around the local park and chatted with two women while petting their dogs. Smiled at other walkers and wished them a peaceful evening. As I walked into the yard I was in awe over how welcoming my little old home appears when the flowers are in bloom. I am not even sure what kind of flowers they are but they are magnificent and I wish the scent could be shared as well as the photos.

It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment, trailer, or home – you can plant some flowers and greenery to enjoy. If you have a yard or even a planter, add some colorful flowers to enjoy every morning. Place some flowers in a vase near your bed – dandelions from along the road are a nice morning treat for your eyes as well.

Bringing joy to our morning allows us to start out the day with a higher vibration. This higher vibration can be shared with others throughout the day. Remember, the energy you bring with you is the energy that is shared. If you start out angry, that is what you are sharing. If others seem angry, it is just your own mirror reflecting your own image back to you. Anger is a lower vibration and not one to continue if you wish for health. What can you do to share some sunshine with others? This is important because in return they will shine more sunshine back to you. As you raise others they will in turn raise those they come into contact with. The same is true if you are sharing negative energy. So why not consciously share some high vibrations.

What can we do to continue to share a high vibration with others?

When we plant bushes, perennials, and trees we never know who will be enjoying them in the future after we have moved on – whether to a new location or death. Whenever I plant a tree, bush or perennial flower bulbs deep inside I wish them long life so they continue to bring joy to all who see them in the future.

At my last home I planted 106 white crocuses around the roots of the big tree in the back yard. They rise in the spring and look like snow covering the ground around the tree. It is a beautiful sight up close and especially from the house. The blueberry and raspberry bushes, and strawberries plants provide my ex-husband and his family with delicious fruit every summer. The pear trees are beginning to share their fruit as well. The flowering Dogwood and Magnolia trees brighten the yard in the spring and provide much-needed shade during the hot summer months. The lilac bushes and peonies out by the big tree fill the yard with delicious fragrance while in bloom. The peppermint plants in the front yard near the garage provide enough leaves for fresh mint tea and the bee balm continue to grow as covering for the compost bin placed at the end of the large garden. Even though no longer enjoyed by myself, it gives me pleasure knowing that they will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.

As I have left behind the joys of nature, my landlord’s mother has blessed me with the same. During the spring months different bushes bloom for a short time then as those fade away others will begin to blossom. Every year I add a few more perennials knowing that the next tenant will be able to enjoy them as well.

So, what can you do to change your mindset every day?

  • Wake up and see the beauty in your life
  • Open yourself to the simply pleasures
  • Write in your gratitude journal
  • Spend time in nature
  • Set up your day ahead of leaving home – send love out to everyone you will be in contact with
  • Visualize the kind of day you want to have
  • Be aware of the energy you carry out into the world
  • Look for the beauty in nature and in people you come into contact with
  • Smile and talk to people you meet throughout the day
  • Wish others a blessed day – or a peaceful day
  • Laugh or sing in the morning before walking out the door
  • Place a flower or two near your bed to see first thing in the morning
  • Read something positive – affirmation, prayer, joke, spiritual quote
  • Eat breakfast sitting at the table without the television or news
  • On the way to work listen to a motivational speaker or song
  • Bring your own lunch and pack something healthy to eat
  • Bring a large bottle of fresh water to enjoy and replenish your body
  • Treat your body as the gift that it is and maintaining a high energy is the best gift you can give in return.

Do you have any other ways that you have used to raise your vibration in the morning?  Sharing is caring – we would love to hear them.

Love and Light!
Sandy

 

 


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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!

If you would like to view additional 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/variations-on-a-theme/

 


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Decisions – Loneliness or Freedom? Choice is Yours

Finding joy and pleasure in your life – no matter your circumstances.

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With thoughts of freedom come choice. If you find yourself alone at the end of the day embrace your freedom – the world is an open book.

  • Turn off the television.
  • Pick up a book or magazine, grab a tea, light a candle and cuddle up in your favorite chair with a cozy blanket.
  • Grab some pens/paint/pencils and a blank page to draw, write, paint, create something new.
  • Take apart some old jewelry and create a new necklace or use the pieces for your painting
  • Open the refrigerator and pull out some vegetables to create a new dish. Pay attention to the colors, textures while creating. Maybe you will decide the carrots, beets, sweet potatoes are a beautiful color and you decide to use the color for a new painting or to die a piece of material.
  • Put on your favorite music and sing at the top of your lungs while you dance around your house
  • Pull out your camera and take photos of your food, shadows, lighting, items you are creating
  • If you have essential oils, create a new blend in a roller ball or a new blend for bath salts
  • Declutter – that is always a great way to release anything holding you back and making space for new experiences

Thinking about the cold nights of winter in New York State, many are not willing to go outside due to freezing temperatures, icy roads, or maybe you want to enjoy winter from within your home. People who live alone, or with others, many times don’t enjoy all seasons and many hibernate when possible during the cold months – why not find a way to enjoy every minute of life.

Find magic and beauty wherever you are.

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It is always present if you open yourself up to the everyday joy in life.

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When brave enough to venture outside, bundle up and get out there and enjoy nature. With enough clothing you will feel so refreshed when you return home. Then you can fill up the bathtub with your new bath salts and enjoy a nice relaxing bath while listening to some soothing music.

What is your choice when alone – Loneliness or freedom? We all need people in our lives yet finding peace in quiet solitude is a great way to explore your inner creative self.

Love and Light!


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Experimental Photography

Let’s see how high we can fly before the sun melts the wax in our wings. ~ Edward O. Wilson ~

This theme is as wide open as the prairie sky. How will you portray “Experimental”? Will it be the fresh lemon-cranberry scones you whipped up, tired of the usual blueberry muffins? Will it be a close-up of the piano where you just composed an original in a key new to you? Will it be capturing a subject using varying compositions or photographic techniques? Regardless of how you choose to show us “Experimental,” I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

Sometimes I like to experiment with my camera settings while capturing moments in time. These two photos are from a night sitting by the fire in my back yard. It took a very steady hand and many shots to capture the flames as I wished. I wanted to capture the movement of the dancing flames.

I’ve had this idea playing in my mind of something fun and creative. Sometimes I play with the camera settings a to see if the ordinary can be captured in an extraordinary way and my camera surprises me with fun photos.

“There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.” ~ Richard Buckminster Fuller ~

While at the beach it was fun experimenting to see what could be captured using different settings. If you have a camera, just have some fun with it. Be a little playful like a child playing on the beach. Some photos will be released and others saved. The whole point is to experiment and enjoy the experience.

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” ~ Ernst Haas ~

I hope you have enjoyed my experimental photos and I look forward to viewing yours.

Love and Light!

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

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


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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 – Reflections

You can find similar reflections and changes in perspective just about anywhere. From water and glass to metallic surfaces, share a photo that captures something reflected back to you in a way that made you look at your surroundings differently.

While traveling for home from a training I stopped to stretch near a small pond in the Adirondacks. We had just had a rainfall and as I stepped out of the car I noticed the reflection of the red Porsche in the puddle so I snapped this photo.

DSC_0800.jpgIf you can train your senses to perceive the movement of the minute hand of a clock, what is to stop you for training them to ‘slow’ down when you look at the tree or a puddle? ~ Colin Wilson ~

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I love photographing reflections in puddles, windows, lakes, droplets, and wherever they may appear. When looking at the reflections it reminds me how important it is to stop once in a while and reflect on my own life and the direction I am taking, to stop and look at the world with fresh ways.

“Life is Only a Reflection of What We Allow Ourselves to See” ~ Trudy Symeonakis Vesotsky ~

Take time to stop and enjoy the moment, open your eyes to the beauty around you. It may be hidden in a window, a puddle, a lake, glass, counter top, or someone’s sunglasses. Learn to see the world with the eyes of a child finding beauty in everything and enjoy living in the moment.

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“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” ~ Camille Pissarro ~

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

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

Love and Light


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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Careful.”

Last month I went to visit my nephew in New Hampshire, USA and he brought us to do a little sight-seeing. One of the places visited was the glass blowing shop. The workers worked mindfully and cautiously as to not make a mistake. It reminded me that many crafts take a mindful approach and the creator must maintain an intense sense of the craft before him blocking out all interferences. Including the crowd that is standing around watching them as they create.

Do you think you are mindful enough when creating? This is a skill that many are lacking but can become part of your every day life.

Try starting today by eating mindfully – removing all distractions to include cell phones, television, radio, newspapers, reading material. Allow the sounds around you to swirl around your head but not enter into your thoughts. Be careful what you allow to enter into your thoughts.

If thoughts do enter allow them to be released for another time. Slowly breath in the scent as you bring your fork or spook to your mouth. Pay attention to the texture of the food on your tongue. Does it crunch when you bite or is it soft? Chew your food slowly a number of times before swallowing – try ten times. Feel the softened food on your tongue and as it flows down your throat into your stomach. Don’t take another bite for a few seconds, then repeat. Do you eat one item at a time or mix several together on your plate? Notice the colors, shapes, sizes, textures on your plate or in your bowl.

Enjoy of cup of tea. First by turning on the kettle to heat your water – not in the microwave. Watch the bubbles rumbling around the kettle and then the steam as it flows out from your cup as the water hits the bottom. What kind of tea have you chosen? A calming, energizing, green or black? Do you add cream, milk, honey, sugar? If so add these ingredients slowly. Watch the milk or cream disperse into the cup in a swirling flow. Is there a design in your cup? If you add honey can you see the honey melting into the tea water? When sitting down to enjoy your tea – sip it slowly. Take your time to really feel the warmth of the tea as it flows from your lips, mouth and down your throat warming you as it enters. Can you taste the flavors? Try not to drink this quickly, allow time for the enjoyment of the moment. Savor the moment without distraction of television, cell phone, computer. Maybe listen to some soft music or meditative sounds like bells or flute.

This is what the two craftsmen are doing with their glass creations. Slowly waiting for the piece to cool, to heat up, for each step to be taken at the right moment. They are living in the moment, enjoying their craft and life. As you can see there are no cell phones, televisions or other distractions – just the audience coming and going. The craftsmen do not stop to chat or even look up at those coming and going. They remained focused and careful of what was before them.

If you can create a mindful life your body, mind and spirit will thank you. Add in quiet time in nature and you will enjoy a well-lived life.

Time to enjoy a cup of tea while sitting outside in the colorful nature of autumn.

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!


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Kiss the Earth with Your Feet

 

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

― Thích Nhất Hạnh —

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

I love walking barefoot, it is a way of connecting to the earth. I believe this is a step toward living mindfully, connecting to that which supports you. Many people I know are afraid to walk barefoot outside as well as inside. This is so foreign to me because I have walked barefoot my entire life except in situations where shoes are required of course. Kicking off my shoes at the door allows me to keep the floors of my home and the knees of little ones crawling on my floors free from being soiled. It makes me wonder if by releasing this one fear it would open the doors to releasing other fears.

As a teen mom, I was pretty observant. After visiting some friends or family members homes with my little son I would become upset that his little knees and the tops of his feet were filthy. Sometimes the filth was so embedded that his new clothes could not be cleaned. This prompted me to set a sign in front of the door to my home “Please Take Off Your Shoes.” Some people complained but it was my home and I didn’t care. At the time I didn’t know that this is the norm for some cultures. My little son was more important and we didn’t have money to replace his soiled clothing. Little ones in my home could enjoy crawling and toddling around without worry of what they would pick up or soiled clothing. This is still a practice that I continue even though my own children have been out of the home for over ten years. When you visit my daughters, know you will be asked to shed your shoes. We do provide slipper socks.

That being said, most of the time when outside we don’t wear shoes either. My children learned to enjoy the feel of mud squishing between their toes, soft grass underfoot, coolness of a stream of water traveling along the walkway after a rain storm and the enjoyment of jumping in puddles. Our feet want to touch the earth below us, to sense the temperatures, textures, and connect with that which supports us.

When inside the feel of the cool hardwood floors or the softness of carpet under foot can keep us present in the moment. My little grandson, in the picture above, is shoeless as well. He is learning to enjoy the same freedoms that his mother enjoyed. When teaching mindfulness to my clients, one thing they do is take off their shoes and walk purposefully so they can learn to live in the moment connecting to the world around them and get in touch with their senses.

I am not sure if this is what Thích Nhất Hạnh was speaking of but this is how I interpret this quote. When walking, whether barefoot or not, be mindful of the movement of your body, the way your arms swing out, the stretch in your stride as you walk, and take in the beauty around you. Open your senses. For a few moments be present, live in the moment and connect with the Earth.

Love and Light,

Sandy