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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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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Favorite Place – WPC

What’s your favorite place, near or far? Share an image in a new post!

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~ John Muir ~

This weekend I was fortunate to visit one of my favorite places, Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center, where I volunteered to help out in the kitchen and share in Karma Yoga (the discipline of selfless action without being attached to the outcome – being in Union with God.) This is the place that I go to for healing, to strengthen my body and soul.

When not helping out in the kitchen I had the opportunity to wander through the woods on my snowshoes. This was the first time this year that I had the opportunity to use them.

Let me take you on a little tour and you can check out Pumpkin Hollows website: http://www.pumpkinhollow.org

Living simply and in tune with nature’s rhythm is my favorite place to be. Add in some wonderful people living in a healing community and it all makes life a little more pleasant. This morning’s meditation was very powerful and a great start to the day. On the way to meditation there was a fine snow falling and it was a beautiful site from the windows. At the end of the meditation the snow and stopped and the sun came out to say hello.

The meals are vegetarian and always delicious. If you have a group that would like to visit give them a call. If you would like to get away on your own, give them a call. Remember, this is not a resort where you will be waited on, all who visit give willingly and share in activities. Love gardening, they are always looking for volunteers to help out in the garden. Do you like carpentry, plumbing, cleaning? Give them a call. If you would like to walk through the woods to the labyrinth, sitting by the waterfall, exploring nature in between helping out and/or participating in group learning sessions then this is the place for you. All who come return as this will become your second home just as it is for all those who have visited before you. Day visitors are welcome to explore, just check in at the desk to sign in before taking a walk.

If you are interested in learning more about Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center and the history of this wonderful location please check out their website. All are welcome.

Love and Light!
If you are interested in viewing other 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/favorite-place/

 


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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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WPC – Dense

This week, let’s get into the thick of things – share your take on “dense” — you could focus on a natural landscape like I did, or take the theme in a different direction, from a sweaty crowd at a rock concert or a busy avenue during rush hour to a fresh loaf of bread, waiting for someone to take the first bite.

I love densely wooded areas where the trees are allowed to grow. Whether blanketed in white, brown, orange/red, or green it brings a sense of balance and peace to my life.

“You must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne ~

“The forest makes your heart gentle. You become one with it. No place for greed or anger there.”  ~ Pha Pacek ~

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/dense/

Love and Light!