Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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In Celebration of International Forest Bathing Day – Come Join Us

International Forest Bathing Day – Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 – come join us to celebrate this special day.

If you are interested in learning more about Forest Bathing, Mindfulness Outdoor Experience, benefits of being outside in nature, finding some peace in times of chaos, finding joy and reducing stress come join us next Saturday, Sept 12, 2020.

We will be offering two Mindfulness Outdoor Experiences.

The first will be at Albert Community Family Forest from 10 am – noon:

https://www.rensselaerplateau.org/mindful-walk

Please click the link above for specifics and to register.

Join us for a nice slow, saunter through the woods, becoming aware of nature’s gifts, find a sit spot to relax, observe, and breathe in the fresh air, while opening our senses and finding inner peace.

In the afternoon we will be offering Mindfulness Outdoor Experience at Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center

Mindful Nature Walk: Saturday, September 12 2pm – 4pm 
Join Sandy Wilson from Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC to celebrate the wonders of the outdoors! For those of you who have never experienced a Mindful Nature Walk we will be celebrating International Forest Bathing Day with a Mindful walk in nature while experiencing the benefits of “Forest Bathing.” Don’t worry, Forest Bathing requires no shower cap and involves no actual bathing in water. Called Shinrin-Yoku where it originated in Japan, it is the wellness practice of being in the present moment and opening up our senses to fully take in the forest atmosphere. This type of slow walking ‘sauntering’, deep breathing, present-centered awareness, and observation in nature is shown to reduce stress, boost our moods, and strengthen our immune systems. What’s more, these results are shown to last for weeks, or even months, after only one Forest Bathing outing. Our positive natural response to being outdoors shows our undeniable connection–and that’s something to celebrate! One of our past participants said “I walked trails all over the world many times over the years and never took the time to actually ‘experience’ nature while enjoying the trails. There are so many things that I never noticed before. This was just fabulous.” Masks are required when we arrive and when we gather but may be removed while we are walking or sitting during the outing when participants can maintain 6 feet distance from one another. Please bring water, a mat to sit on (there are six available), comfortable clothing, and a snack if you would like. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear shoes for walking in the woods.

Please register with Lisa either by phone or email:

Lisa Hoyt, Center Director:  (518) 658-2055  or dykenpond@gmail.com

We will be mindful of social distancing – maintaining a 6 foot distance and wearing masks when needed.

If you live in the area and would like to join us we would love for you to join us. If not, check to see if there will be events in your area.

Love and Light!


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Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” ~ Georgia O’Keefe ~

“When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.” ~ Paul Cezanne ~

Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge

Love and Light!


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Into the Forest – One Step At A Time Finding Inner Peace

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” ~ John Muir ~

One need not go into the woods to hike or even walk very far to enjoy the benefits of nature. You only need to slow down and listen to the leaves crunch under your feet, smell the fresh scent of trees and earth, listen to the birds and the rustle of leaves in the wind to become connected to the natural rhythm of life.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

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Stop, breathe and look around. Do you see the tiny flowers peeking out below you.

Do you stop to converse with the trees? Stand for a little while and wait for an invite from one of the trees. Of course they will not speak so you can hear them however you may feel an energy from one or two trees tug at you more so than others. Those are the trees you should spend time with. What kind of bark do they have – smooth or thick and rough? Are the large roots on the ground around the tree or are they hidden under the soil? What does the bark feel like? Touch it for a few minutes to see if you can feel the water running up from the roots to the branches above. Imagine how many years this tree has stood in this spot. Imagine all of the people walking through who may never have taken the time to enjoy its company. Imagine what experiences this tree has witnessed. If it is an older tree think of the possibilities – Native Americans, droughts or floods, insect infestation, fires, deforestation of other trees . . .

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Sit down on a rock and listen to the waterfalls or the birds singing in the trees. Is it cooler in the woods that it was on the road traveling to the woods? Can you distinguish the different types of birds that are singing? Maybe you can hear an owl hooting in the distance or another bird signaling that there is a hawk in the area. Is it quiet near the pond or can you still hear traffic in the distance? What colors are you noticing? I love to notice all of the shades of green to yellow.

Sitting taking in the reflections on the water is my favorite. Last weekend while visiting Yaddo Garden in Saratoga Springs, NY, I slowly walked around the gardens – which are not in bloom yet – and spent some time standing near the pond listening to the small waterfalls across the road. The highway is nearby so there is a constant roar of car wizzing by on their way north and south of Saratoga. Once you overcome the constant drone it becomes easier to hear the bird’s songs and the peace in the wooded area. I stayed with one of the trees a little longer than the others and meditated for a short time in the peaceful environment.

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” ~ John Muir~

Stop and take notice of the beautiful green moss growing on the trees and rocks. Lean down and touch the cool, moist surface.

“We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home, in towns and cities.” ~ George W. Sears, writer & conservationist ~

You don’t have to be in the middle of a thick forest to enjoy nature, you can benefit from sitting on a bench under the shade of a tree in your own yard or in a local park. In the spring you have the pleasure of magnolia blossoms, lilacs, Lilies of the Valley, and many other treasures to enjoy.

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” ~ Frank Herbert, novelist ~


Flowers and buds are blooming along streets everywhere. It is beneficial to take time and notice how life continues. From the decay of the winter months new growth appears giving hope for the future. Colors, birds singing, there are smells of earth, flowers, trees in the air, different textures can be seen from tree to tree, leaf to leaf, flower to flower. We just have to open our senses to the beauty and diversity all around us.

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” ~ Edward Abbey, novelist ~

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As the sun is setting, notice above in the tree line how some trees are still capturing the sunshine while others are beginning to fall into the shadows.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

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Sometimes while traveling for work I’ll pull along the side of the road and get out of the car to stretch and take a nature break. One never knows what they will find along the road and taking the back roads is my favorite because there are ponds, lakes, rivers, forests, and parks along the way. My camera is always sitting on the seat behind me however I do not always carry it when I get out of the car. Sometimes it is nice to just walk along slowly and become one with nature.

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” ~ Walt Whitman, poet & writer ~

Do you stop to enjoy nature on a regular basis? My goal is to be in nature daily with longer visits on the weekends. At the end of summer I shall be traveling across southern Utah to enjoy sleeping in a tent under the stars with my cousin. One thing I truly look forward to witnessing is Dark Sky when the night will fill with stars that cannot be seen from where I live. It will be magnificent with everyday bringing a new adventure and beauty to take in. In the meantime, Spring is here and there are so many treasures to enjoy at this moment that I look forward to what lie ahead every day.

Love and Light!

 


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What Will You Focus on Today?

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Will you start today with a new mindset and change your life? Yesterday is gone, you can’t change what you said, did, thought . . . Don’t waste the day in yesterday, move forward from this day. Some actions you can take:

  • Write in your gratitude journal everything you are grateful for in this moment. Some things to be grateful for:
    • Family – love, connections, compassion
    • A good friend – or many
    • A job that provides necessities and security
    • A warm bed – pillows, warm blanket
    • Sitting in the Sunshine – feeling the warmth dancing along your face
    • Walking in the Rain, listening to the rain drops dapping on the roof
    • Healthy food choices – vegetables and fruits – enjoying the colors, textures, patterns, taste, feel
    • Water – potable drinking water, streams, swamps, rivers, lakes, oceans
    • A roof over your head – a place to cool or warm your body
    • Breathe – pay attention to the slow in and out breath
    • Nature – the gifts of food, all the variety of trees and the gifts they provide, vegetation, dirt, rocks, color, scents, textures, various size of each gift of nature
    • The way shadows and light play on the floor and walls around you
    • Children sharing flowers
    • Dew decorating leaves and flowers
    • Those creative moments when you bring items to life in a new way
    • The delightful sounds of birds singing, tinkle of wind chimes, rustling of leaves
    • And so much more

Here are a few things that bring me joy throughout the day, week, month, year.


Nature is ever changing just as our lives and what a beautiful way to embrace life by just enjoying the simple pleasures. Over the past year I have been incorporating nature into crafts whether using a sticks and seashells along with beads to create wind chimes, taking nature photos, using found sea glass and small stones to create jewelry, essential oils to create emotion roller balls, it has brought me closer to where I want to be in life. Living in a state of simple pleasure, being grateful for all experiences – those we label as good or bad, happy or sad . . . Each brings with it a learning lesson.

During times when we find ourselves out of vibration with where we were intending to be are the best times to focus on gratitude. Gratitude for the life lesson which confirms we are not moving in the direction of choice. Life happens – illnesses arise in ourselves or others, death occurs, jobs and relationships may end – however it is during those times that we can be thankful for the experiences, for the pleasure of knowing those who are no longer with us and the lessons learned from having them in our lives. Once we overcome the low vibration we can set out vision on the higher vibration by giving gratitude for simple pleasures and remain focused on those. Before you know it, new adventures present themselves, new people come into our lives, new life events to be grateful for and we are back on the path leading to where we rather be. Remember, not everyday may be filled with high vibration – someone may cut you off, you may spill coffee on your work clothing, you may be exhausted from a night of crying baby – however, it is your reaction to those events that will influence your day and what you remember of the day. Where you place your focus will determine the overall outcome so why not focus on all the blessings of the day and let the other flow off you like eggs on a Teflon pan.

So the question is, what will you focus on today? If you would like to share please leave a comment or complete the contact form below.

Love and Light!


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Twisted – WPC

In this week’s photo challenge, show us something twisted. You can be literal in your interpretation — show us the coils of your hair, a winding woodland path, or a gnarled tree trunk. Or, be more abstract, and show us something that represents life’s inherently twisty character. We’re looking forward to it!

When the topic for the week was shared these are the first photos that came to mind. The vines twisted like rope up into the trees. I thought they were wonderful specimens of a forest left on its own for a couple of decades.

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

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

Love and Light!


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Serene – In Search of Peace

This week, share a photo that represents your take on “serene.” From landscapes to portraits (sleepy cats, anyone?) to a pleasantly abstract wallpaper pattern, any and all interpretations are welcome.

There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations. ~ Washington Irving ~

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No outward change need trouble him who is inwardly serene. ~ Hosea Ballou ~

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In this silent serene wilderness the weary can gain a heart-bath in perfect peace. ~ John Muir ~

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If a person’s basic state of mind is serene and calm, then it is possible for this inner peace to overwhelm a painful physical experience. ~ Dalai Lama ~

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What is your take on serene? Nature always comes to mind for me – the peace, calm, and serene beauty of the quiet can sooth the mind and open the heart.

I find the setting sun filtering through to a quiet space a serene setting as well. I love how the shadows play with the fading light.

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May you find a place deep within where peace and harmony reside beyond the chaos of the noisy world. A place where you can retreat to be rejuvenated and free allowing the turmoil to spin around you as if you are in the eye of the storm – untouched.

During the winter months, when it is too dark to get outside after work, I find using a diffuser with some doTERRA Purify, Frankincense, Myrrh, and Breathe essential oils reminds me of a nice crisp day in the woods and brings a sense of peace and serenity to the end of my day. Would you like to share any tips that bring some peace and serenity to your day?

Love and Light!

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

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


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Transformation – Life’s Lessons

This week, share a photo that embodies transformation. As always, I’m eager to see through your lens.

“Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward — get real with yourself.” ~ Bryant McGill ~

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“Loss is nothing else but change, and change is nature’s delight.” — Marcus Aurelius

Everything in life is always in a stage of transformation. To understand our own part in transformation, we first have to clear away the fog to find the truth. Sometimes it’s easier to live behind the fogged window but eventually it will clear; then we can continue to hide or open our eyes to face our reality and make a decision on how to move forward. First look within before blaming life’s woes on others. Take action today to create the life you want. Are you blaming others for your life situation? If so, stop – see the part you play in the situation. I am guilty of this myself – it’s getting easier but there are still those times when I awaken to the fact that I’ve been living behind a window of fog. Once it is brought to my attention, I wipe it away to see my own part in creating the situation – whether considered a positive or negative they are all life lessons.

Today, on the day of my birth into this life, I make myself a promise to be more awake and aware, to face my life with honesty and truth – moving forward I will focus on creating a life where I take responsibility for my thoughts and actions.

“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.” Mark Batterson

What decisions can you make today to create your ideal reality? Remember, we can’t change others but we can change the way we think about our situations. Sometimes it isn’t another causing our distress, it is the way we are thinking about it and our own reactions. If you want another to change, change your own thoughts and actions first – then see how everything shifts around you. Be the LIGHT not the darkness and others will follow.

Sending Love and Light to you all!

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

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


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WPC – Ooh, Shiny

This week’s challenge is sharing something shiny that catches your attention. For my second post this week, I will share a drop of sap hanging from a tree in my son’s yard.

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As you can see it was very shiny and I loved the reflection of the tree and the garage in the distance captured within.

“Time-honored, beautiful, solemn and wise.
Noble, sacred and ancient
Trees reach the highest heavens and penetrate the deepest secrets of the earth.
Trees are the largest living beings on this planet.
Trees are in communion with the spiritual and the material.
Trees guard the forests and the sanctified places that must not be spoiled.
Trees watch over us and provide us with what we need to live on this planet.
Trees provide a focal point for meditation, enlightenment, guidance and inspiration.
Trees have a soul and a spirit.”
–   Tree Magick by Lavenderwater

What about you: what is guaranteed to distract you? What is your “Ooh, shiny!”?

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

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

Love and Light!


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WPC – Ooh, Shiny!

What shiny objects catch your eye? Is it jewelry or the sun shining on water? Each of us are so unique in our own amazing way. What will capture the attention of one may be missed by another. This world is filled with so many glorious moments and eye-catching beauties so there is always something for everyone.

“Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.” ― Robyn Nola

Dragonflies and damselflies always capture my attention. The photos below are from several different outings this year.

 

“May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies and talk to the moon.” – Unknown

Lately I have been feeling quite blesses by the presence of dragonflies and damselflies. Their wings reflecting the sunlight like jewels always catches my attention. They appear as jewels shining in the air.

On Sunday while walking in the stream with my grandson we were cautiously walking on rocks making our way upstream when the shining wings caught my eye. It was amazing to watch three black winged damselflies flittering from leaf to leaf, dancing back and forth in the air as they chased one another. I didn’t have my camera at the time so I guided my little grandson to the path leading to his mother. My daughter, knowing I had to return, handed me the camera and went on with the baby. I returned to capture the moment. Two of the damselflies were playing with me just a little outside of my range or too close to focus. Then they began flying around my head, back to the leaf, around my head, and then one landed right on my shoulder. It was an amazing experience for this dragonfly lover.

Today, the passenger window in the backseat was shattered. I went out to take a look and we determined it was caused by a rock from the lawnmower on the hill. The shattered window was shining in the sunlight and actually looked quite pretty. I decided to continue with my training and worry about the window later. After the training I looked out at my car and, lo and behold, dragonflies were flying all around my car. After calling the insurance company I went out to load up my car and the dragonflies came to say hello. It was such a great sign – no worries, everything will be fine and it was. The insurance company paid 100% and I had an appointment for a new window installation this afternoon. They are always around no matter where I go, even in the parking lot at work.

 

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Another amazing shiny bug is the Japanese beetle. Although not my favorite this little shiny group of them caught my eye while visiting my friends mother-in-law’s house. They are quite beautiful with their shining hard shells glimmering in the sun make them quite colorful.

 

What about you: what is guaranteed to distract you? What is your “Ooh, shiny!”?

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/shiny

Love and Light!


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WPC – Solitude in Nature

This week, show us what being alone means to you.

This week’s subject reached into my heart because solitude is a large part of my life, even when with others. Everyone needs time for solitude however it is not enjoyed by all. Love of silence isn’t loved by all either. Many people put on background noise so they don’t have to feel they are alone. For me, the constant ringing in my ears causes me to yearn for quiet in my solitude.

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“No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.” ~Jack Kerouac ~

When in solitude in nature, take off your shoes and socks. Allow your feet to kiss Mother Earth – earthing/grounding – connecting you back with your source energy. It is uplifting for your health and soul.

Walking in solitude in nature allows the viewer to travel at their own pace, with time to stop and allow nature to show itself in wonderful ways. Maybe even have a dragonfly or two land on you to say hello or a deer to pop her head out from the tree. Many of these visitors enjoying their own solitude.

“It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

Do you ever take off your shoes and connect with nature? Take walks along a hidden path in solitude? If you haven’t tried this or live in an urban area I would highly recommend this experience. Remember, nature is not quiet and sometimes can be quite noisy especially at dusk in the summer. Once you try it on your own and survive the experience it can become addicting. A healthy addiction  and a habit that you may not want to quit.

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

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

Love and Light!