Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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Forest Bathing – Grounding – Connecting to Nature

I do not know whether it is possible to love the planet or not,
but I do know that it is possible to love the place
we can see, touch, smell and experience.
~ David Orr, Earth in Mind

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Nature is not a place to visit, it is home. 
~ Gary Snyder

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When we walk upon Mother Earth, we always plant our feet carefully
because we know the faces of our future generations are looking up at
us from beneath the ground. We never forget them.

~ Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation

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It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

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When in nature it is not a time to rush. Slow down, stop and look at the gifts nature has blessed you with. Take in everything in front of you, above you, to each side.

What are you smelling – the flowers, trees, dirt, earth? Take off your shoes and feel the earth under your feet. Let the energy of the earth revitalize you. Look up and watch the leaves dancing in the breeze above. Is the sunlight shining through the spaces between the branches? Raise your hands above your head and move your body like the leaves dancing in the wind. Release all that is holding you back. How does that feel?

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There is so much to see, smell, taste, feel, and connect with in nature if you just pay attention. When you are out, sit down and feel the earth. Let the dirt sift through your fingers. Feel the texture of the trees. Notice how each tree has a different shape, thickness and texture. Notice the trails – some are well worn while others are covered in moss or greenery.

Do certain sections of the forest feel like rooms? Maybe there are sections of trees protecting an area while other areas are open. What insects, little or big critters are scampering around through the trees, under foot, or along the dirt bath?

Pay attention to how the sunlight filters through and decorates the forest floor. Listen to the birds singing or sending out a warning signal. Sit and watch the dragonflies, butterflies and bees dancing from flower to flower. Can you find any edible plants along the path?

Forest bathing is learning to slow down and take in a section of the forest at a slow pace. There is no destination – just being present in the moment. Being mindful of life, of your surroundings. Slowing down to allow your body to heal. The forest has healing properties that are being discovered everyday. We have this beautiful gift if only we slow down enough to appreciate this blessing.

Last week I had my first experience facilitating Earth Walk with my client. After searching for several months I stumbled upon the perfect setting. A doctor had purchased a home and planted trees, flowers, and shrubs around the property. There are several ponds on the property and varieties of trees from around the world. There are many ‘rooms’ on the property with benches placed for a visitor to sit and contemplate the beauty that surrounds them. When he died the property was left for others to enjoy.

You can sit on a bench near a pond and watch dragonflies chase one another for hours. My client took her time and with my guidance she was able to release something that has been holding her back in life. We would walk to the various ‘rooms’ and she would sit on the bench and write in her journal. Then we would sit in silence until it was time to move on to another area. Sometimes after experiencing this type of walk you can feel melancholy for several days. After my first experience in New Mexico I traveled home and wasn’t sure what was happening to me. I felt sad but not depressed, a bit quiet and wanted to be alone, it felt like a loss or death. Which it actually was – a loss of what I had been holding on to for a couple of decades. We had buried something I had brought along and had a little ceremony to release. The night after our our ceremony I felt so upbeat and excited about the future it surprised me how melancholy had set in once I returned home. I reached out to Mary to share this experience and she said this was normal. You have to go through the stages of grief after releasing. After the week was over the scene from my memory could still rise up however it was like a movie that I no longer had any attachment to – it was someone else from long ago. It was a wonderful feeling to release that emotional connection. Two years later and I am still unattached to what had been a painful memory. Think about what you will be able to release while in nature? You can have your own ceremony.

When in nature give yourself the privilege of spending an hour or two in a state of relaxation. The beneficial effects will stay with you for days after the visit. If you can manage to experience this two or three times per week you will begin to notice the physical and mental health benefits. If you take someone with you try not to speak to one another during your walk – only to point out something that you are seeing, smelling, feeling – a shared experience. It is fine to bring a journal to write down what you are experiencing. If you are with another person after your experience sit down and discuss what you noticed and share your personal journey with one another if you wish.

Please let me know if you decide to experience this journey. I would love to hear from you.

Love and Light!


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Place in the World – WPC Challenge

For this week’s photo challenge, explore what it means to find your place in the world. Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up? Do you prefer to feel cozy and comforted in a smaller town or do you thrive on the buzz of a big city? If landscapes aren’t your thing, you can even explore portraits by playing with scale or fashion.

Nature is not a place to visit, it is home. ~ Gary Snyder ~

My place in the world is anywhere outside in nature. If I could find a way to live outside all year I would. Maybe one of those round glass houses where you can see nature all around you even during short winter days.

In the meantime I live as close as possible for now – trees standing tall outside the windows, birds play in the bird bath, listen to leaves rustling in the wind as the sheer curtins dance in the windows, wake to the birds’ morning songs and listen to the owl’s story in the evening hours. Whenever possible, I am outside and barefoot weather permitting.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your barefeet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil  Gibran ~

It is important that my grandchildren learn to love nature as my children have before them. All three are tree huggers, sun gazers, prefer walking in barefeet, and the newest additions will be as well.

Nature – Our Home

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“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” ~ Mahatma Ghandhi ~

Do you enjoy spending time outside in nature? If so, where is your favorite place?

Let’s all do something to preserve and protect Mother Earth. We will only ever have one and as Mother Day approaches let’s take some time to appreciate the Mother that gives life to all.

Love and Light!

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

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


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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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WPC – Earth (2)

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein~

Happy Earth Day!

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”  ~ Lady Bird Johnson ~

March for Science in New York City.

“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 ~

If you would like to view other photos from this week’s challenge or would ike to enter your own, click on the link below:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/earth-2017/

Love and Light!


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WPC – EARTH

Earth Day! This week, let’s celebrate our true home and all the blessings nature provides.

This week, share an image that means “earth” to you — whether it’s a panorama of a landscape that takes your breath away, a close-up revealing a detail in nature, or another scene that honors the outdoors, we welcome your takes on the theme!

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”                  ~ Native America Proverb ~

Mother Earth – giver of life – filled with wonder, beauty, scents, sounds, and color – How can one choice just one photo to represent Mother Earth when there are so many to choose from, I decided to share a selection.

“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.

But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.

For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.

But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard.”
~ Chief Luther Standing Bear ~

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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/earth-2017/

Love and Light!


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WPC – Earth (3)

On this day, between the global Earth Day celebration, and Mother’s Day in the United States, share your vision of our glorious Mother Earth.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
― Rachel CarsonThe Sense of Wonder

The many blessings of our glorious Mother Earth through the lens of my camera. Each moment in nature brings me closer to my own inner strength. Keep an open mind and remember to always maintain a sense of wonder.

May the beauty of Mother Earth carry you along the path to find your own inner reserve of strength.

If you would like to view other photos for this week’s challenge or would like to enter your own please click on the link below:

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

I hope that you have enjoyed my snapshots of Mother Earth in all her glory. May all the mother enjoy a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Love and Light!


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WPC – Earth (2)

On this day, between the global Earth Day celebration, and Mother’s Day in the United States, share your vision of our glorious Mother Earth.

We live in a world divided. Some people don’t respect Mother Earth and work to control her for their own profit. Others know and are grateful for the life-sustaining gifts that Mother Earth provides – oxygen to breath, water to drink, soil to grow food. Luckily many are awakening and speaking out to protect her.

It saddened my heart to see these trees felled in Saratoga National Historical Park last month. Not sure why they were felled but as you can see they weren’t dead trees. This is common in my area lately and my heart cries for the trees. I’m praying that the madness will end soon. My co-worker has purchased trees and is going to share some with me so my granddaughter and I can plant them wherever we find a home for them.

 

“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.’But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly. Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.

For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.

But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard.”
~ Chief Luther Standing Bear ~

Luckily there are many places where trees and Mother Earth are still given the respect they deserve.

These are the places I return to regularly to strengthen my soul and spirit, to heal and listen to Mother Earth’s music and witness her beauty in all seasons.

Do you have a special place in nature that can revitalize your soul and uplift your spirit?

Mother Earth will win in the end. There is no money or greed that can out live her.

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

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

Love and Light!


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WPC – Earth (1)

On this day, between the global Earth Day celebration, and Mother’s Day in the United States, share your vision of our glorious Mother Earth.

If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh~

 

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Carrots of many colors

The next time you bite into a piece of fruit or vegetable remember to be grateful for the rain, soul, sunshine and our dear Mother Earth for providing your nourishment and life.

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

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

Love and Light!