Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

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


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Enjoying Snowy Winter Days

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found? ~ J.B. Priestly ~

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When there is a storm warning we prepare in advance. It is best to keep some extra food in your home, fuel in your tank, wood for the fireplace/wood stove if you have one, candles, warm throws, and warm clothing. Only drive on the snowy roads if you have to. In the morning you may have to travel to work. Make a plan. Maybe carpool or work from home if you are so fortunate to have that as an option. If you do have to travel to work either leave earlier or later. Let the traffic be staggered so everyone is not out there at the same time. If you are truly frightened to drive in clear weather, do everyone a favor and stay off the roads in bad weather. If you are an aggressive driver – PLEASE stay off the road. Be kind while traveling and allow others in when on a ramp, yield to those walking.

If you can stay at home – don’t complain about the snow. Just be grateful if you are safe at home, pray for those who are not as fortunate. Here are some things to make a snow day enjoyable:

  • Go outside and make a snowman

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  • Take a walk or go sleigh riding and enjoy the falling snow
  • Listen to some peaceful music as you sit near a window to watch the snow flakes

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  • Wrap up in a nice comfy blanket and read a good book
  • Watch a movie
  • Make a nice soup or casserole – take the time to enjoy cutting vegetables and the smell that fills your home
  • Bundle up and go out for a walk in the freshly fallen snow
  • Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a latte with a little whipped cream & red sugar with a scone and journal
  • Bake some sugar cookies
  • Bake a pumpkin or apple pie – enjoy the scent filling your home
  • Diffuse some uplifting essential oils – Wild Orange; a mix of Frankincense, Myrrh, and Purify; Grapefruit
  • Bake some bread – another lovely scent to fill your house
  • Color in a coloring book
  • Work on a puzzle
  • Crochet, knit, create jewelry
  • Pull out your paints and canvas create a winter scene

My little tree protector sits in his watchful position dusted with snow awaiting the Spring.

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What do you do on a snowy day?

If you have to drive, please be cautious and take your time. Enjoy every moment no matter what the weather.

Love and Light!


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Winter’s Silence

How would you capture silence in a photograph? Is it a positive image like this one, showing a much-needed break? Or is it the opposite, revealing the lack of communication in a friendship or the dangers of not speaking out? Show us your interpretation in a new post.

 

“Deep within the winter forest among the snowdrift wide, you can find a magic place where all the fairies hide . . .” ~ Author Unknown ~

 

 

“Silence is an empty space, space is the home of the awakened mind.” ~ Guatama Buddha ~

After a nice walk in the silence of winter I love to go inside and pour a nice hot cup of tea and enjoy the silence of my warm peaceful home. I feel blessed and privileged to live this life of mine and to balance the peace and quite of home with times of interactions with friends, family and coworkers.

Love and Light!

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

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/silence-2/

 


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Discovering Yourself in Nature

Yesterday, the last day of February, I had the opportunity to go cross-country skiing in Saratoga National Historical Park. We refer to this location as the ‘Battlefield’ because it was a major player in the Revolutionary War. It was a beautiful day with temps in the mid-twenties. That may seem cold but the temperature has been below zero so it felt warm with the sun shining on us and the layers of clothing we were wearing.

Spending the day in Saratoga National Battlefield

Spending the day in Saratoga National Battlefield

This was the first time in around twelve years that I have been on cross-country skis. I have been snowshoeing for the last several. I think snowshoeing allows the user to be in a little more control of the pace and direction. When I placed the skis on my feet the first thing that happened was I began to slide – feet in different directions. My body reacted in a panic. It truly surprised me.

It was slow going and I felt like I was holding Bill back from enjoying the experience. He is adventurous and loves moving at a fast pace without fear. It opened my eyes to realize that I do have a fear of being out of control of my body and my body lets me know through the panic that sets in the muscles. This is a side of me that doesn’t show itself until I am in these situations. This didn’t deter me, I continued on at a slower pace. It wasn’t long before I went down.

Down I go

Down I go

After going down my first thoughts went to my sore arm, hip, and ankle. Then to how long would it take to get back to the car. Thankfully those were fleeting thoughts. While down I saw some interesting things – a hole in the snow made by a small animal, the sun shining through the trees, the sparkle of the sun on the snow. It sparkled like diamonds. I pulled out the camera and started shooting.

When down - take photos

When down – take photos

After a little bit of practice, I began to feel confident and was able to glide along the flat areas and even on small inclines. The feeling of gliding along on the snow was invigorating and I felt successful.

Success

Success

We went gliding along for quite a while, stopped to sit on the snow for a snack, and some additional photos. As we continued on we saw deer tracks, mountains, and many other beautiful scenes.

Deer trails in the snow

Deer trails in the snow

Sunshine on a winter day

Sunshine on a winter day

Looking east toward Vermont - can see for miles.

Looking east toward Vermont – can see for miles.

Bill finally felt comfortable traveling at his own pace during times that I took off my skis to trudge through the snow up the inclines.

Faster pace

As you can see he is very capable of handling the hills whether traveling down or up. I on the other hand had to figure out how to manage my own fears and anxiety. There were times traveling along that I surprised myself with my bodies resistance to the challenge.

Toward the end when I went down and couldn’t seem to untangle my feet no matter how many times I attempted to keep on the skis and stand. My legs did not want to cooperate with my mind. The more I tried to get up the more difficult and more tangled my legs and skis became which resulted in more frustration setting in.

I thought – this is me – the happy, fun-loving, content person. The lover of nature and all things outside. I laid down in the snow and allowed my body a win. I laughed at myself for a minute. Then I was able to move my right leg and removed the skis once again. It was over for me at that point. The skis had to go. The soft snow was up to my knees and I fell through several times before reaching the snowshoe path that was hard and manageable. At my own pace I was able to pull out the camera and take photo shots along the way. It allowed me to slow down to enjoy the sparkling snow, the deer trails, the fur along the trail – remains of an unfortunate rabbit.

We all have a pace we enjoy, we flow at this pace. Sometimes it can be fast in one situation and slower in others. In nature, mine is slower. When I tried to push myself into a pace I didn’t feel comfortable my body rebelled. It wasn’t a good feeling and the emotions that rose from within me surprised me but sometimes we have to be reminded. There are emotions lurking in the depth of our being. When they rise we can address them, discover where they come from and then release. No need to linger there – when down – stop and take some photos of beautiful things. Don’t try to go at someone else’s pace – let everyone move at the pace that is right for them. Somewhere in the middle we meet and that is the place to build relationships. In that middle place we can learn a lot about ourself. When we stop to take time to contemplate and find peace, we can be happy wherever we are at this point in time. It doesn’t mean we have to stay there, but we can be grateful for where we are and where we have been. Then take time to decide on where we are going and plan steps to take us on that path. Mine for today is to overcome the fear of letting go and releasing some control so I might move a little faster along my path.

A shot of the moon and bird in flight

Learn to fly!

That was the lesson I learned yesterday while lying in the snow:) Have you had any similar experiences? I would love to hear about them if you have.

Love and Light!

Sandy


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Enjoying Snow!

What snow means to me:

 

Since I was a child, snow meant being outside until dark. When my two older sisters were babysitting I would build an igloo after school and hide in it until my mother returned from work. They would call out the door and never noticed that I was hiding right in front of them because the opening was facing the road. We would go sleigh riding down the small hill in our yard until our hands felt like they would fall off.

When my son was born I was 17. The first time it snowed he was around 3 months old. I bundled him up and took him out on the baby sleigh, it was 10 pm. My daughter was next. When she was around seven months I would place her in the carriage on the porch to get some fresh air as my mother had with my sisters and I. When my youngest daughter was born, ten years after my son, I had just started cross-country skiing. At the age of 3 months, I bundled her up and placed her in the baby sled. We attached a rope to the sled and my son, daughter and I headed out on our cross-country skis. We hadn’t gone far when another skier heading out of the park stopped and asked if I saw my baby. We turned and there she was lying sideways with snow on her little face. No damage done. We wiped her off, fixed the rope and off we went. This was years prior to my child welfare career.

Apparently there was no permanent damage to any of them because as you can see from the photos above they are all quite healthy and still loving the snow. Even my granddaughter enjoys spending time sleigh riding with us. Her first experience was at the ripe old age of 3 months as well. My older daughter would fly in from southern California just to go sleigh riding with us before she was married with a baby. Being out in the snow is invigorating, refreshing, and energizes the spirit.

Today I prefer snow shoes to cross-country skis. This is due to the snow shoes still being a novelty. Last year when my daughter and her husband were visiting from California with their three months old son we had a snow storm. My son-in-law, who did not grow up with snow, went to LL Bean and purchased a beautiful baby sled. We bundled up my grandson and took him for his first adventure in the snow. He slept the entire time. This year at 13 months, they brought him to Colorado where he enjoyed his first ride on a plastic sled down a small hill. His little face beamed all the way down.

All I can say is if you live where there is snow in the winter you may as well learn to appreciate it. Find an outdoor activity and live life to its fullest. If you don’t live where there is snow, please visit a location that experiences this beautiful white powdery mix to enjoy the pleasure. To all those communities that are thinking of making sleigh riding illegal, I say “Are you kidding me??” Let people take responsibility for themselves. You cannot legislate common sense – this is something people must learn. Do not let children sleigh ride near roads or trees. When you are recording someone sleighing down hill, don’t stand in front of their path.

To all those sleigh riders who are new to the sport there is a certain way to maintain the path. Walk to the left or right of the sled pathway. This allows for the path to form and make the ride smooth. When you walk in the pathway your boots leave gullies and break up the path. Also, by walking to the side you do not disrupt the flow. Follow the lead of those who are experienced and they will show you a great time. If you are near us, we will even share our sleds because that is what sleigh riding is all about, sharing and having fun!!

May you all learn to have fun, experience new things, and see the world through the eyes of a child – not so you are childish but so that you can remain open to the world around you and see with fresh eyes everyday.

Love and Light!

Sandy