Spirit of Dragonflies

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


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Inspired by 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.

Walking in the evening allows the walker at time of silence and peace. It is a time for contemplation, to see the world around you in a new light, to allow yourself to open up to new ideas.

Walking around Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY amidst the evening lights bring a sense of peace. The lights guide the walker along sidewalks to the hotels. Although I’d rather have the lake lit by moonlight and stars, the reflections are quite captivating. Even on a cold winters night it is quite a sight to see.

It would have been wonderful to have been in the same location the night of the blood moon. On the evening of the blood moon, I stood in the silence of the night in my yard, hand steady as I focused my camera, held my breath and click – the glowing red moon and stars were miraculously captured. The moon and I became as one for a few moments that evening.

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Silence can be found in so many places if you allow yourself time to enjoy the stillness. Alone at the edge of a lake on a rainy day, looking out to the clouds lingering over the mountains a sense of peace may embrace you. Contemplating life as you realize how small you are in the big scheme of things, you may realize we are all here for a moment in time. At that moment you may realize that you should be enjoying every moment – you should make your life worth having been lived.

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It is time to enjoy every moment before a permanent silence takes over. We all have choices so make the best choice and live your life to its fullest. The cemetery can be another place to contemplate life, enjoy nature and focus on living and the life you wish to live. What is it you would like to accomplish before your last breath is taken?

The time is now. What story will you write about your life?

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Start scripting your life story today. Don’t hold back. Live BIG and enjoy every minute. Take time to be silent and listen to your inner wisdom. It knows the truth and will guide you in those still moments in time. Then get out there is enjoy – dance, sing, take chances, try new things.

If you are ready but unsure what steps to take contact me and we can work together to script your story and help you take the steps leading to your greatness.

Love and Light!

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

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


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2018 – A Year of Opportunity & Growth

In this first week of the year, many people anticipate beginnings, changes, and opportunities for growth. Share with us an image that evokes this spirit of change and newness — the smile of a new friend, a freshly planted garden, an empty journal waiting to be filled. Growth is very personal, and I encourage you to interpret this as literally or as broadly as you like. Happy New Year — we can’t wait to see your photos!

When writing the story of your life don’t let anyone else hold the pen. ~ Unknown ~

What story will you write in 2018. Take hole of the pen and start writing your own story – not someone else’s idea of your story. This can be a year of growth if you just pick up the pen and decide what it is you want to bring to your life this year and ever year thereafter.

Journaling has always been one of my favorite things to do whether home sitting in my chair, at my desk, first thing when waking, or while enjoying a coffee shop. My family is always very encouraging and I have been blessed with some wonderful journals over the years. On the New Year’s Eve, I review my goals from the previous year and count my blessings for all that was accomplished. If there is anything left that wasn’t accomplished it is time to rethink if this should be carried on to the next year or possibly it was something that I thought was a goal and ended up not being that important after all.

This year when I reviewed 2017, I felt very blessed with so many wonderful events:

  • I witnessed two of my children get married – each wedding was very special and magical
  • Spent time with my family (all four of my sisters in one place at the same time is a rare occurrence and saw one of my nieces for the first time in ten years) – blessing
  • Hiked in Pennsylvania with my children, their spouses and two grandsons
  • Spent quality time with my grandchildren on numerous occasions
  • Traveled to California a couple of times to visit my daughter and her family
    • Spent Thanksgiving week in San Diego and Santa Barbara – took a ride along the Pacific Coast.
  • Traveled to New Mexico twice – one to visit my granddaughter and her boyfriend before they returned to NYS and once to visit a blogging friend. It was wonderful visiting different areas of this beautiful state and experiencing Spirit Walk with Mary
  • Visited Innisfree Gardens with two of my cousins
  • Went hiking and snowshoeing
  • Created new jewelry
  • Learned more about doTERRA essential oils and making rollerballs
  • Facilitated my first essential oil rollerball class and did quite well
  • Attended my first craft fair to sell rollerballs, framed photos and jewelry
  • Purchased a Nespresso Machine and Vitamix – both were on my list
  • Spent several weekends at Pumpkin Hollow Retreat Center volunteering and attending programs
  • Facilitated bi-weekly meditations at work
  • Visited new places in MA, PA and NY
  • Traveled for work with my supervisor – visiting new locations along the way
  • And, so many more wonderful events

Those are just some of the wonderful growth experiences from 2017. I am looking forward to what 2018 brings.

Growth is not always something we look forward to – sometimes growth comes in other ways that we may not anticipate or request. At the end of 2017 I learned that I was AFib – not something I would have set as a goal however life decided that this was going to be a learning lesson. Sometimes there are wrenches thrown into the mix just to keep us on our toes and helps us appreciate life. With medication my heart is feeling much better.

Guess my growth is learning to listen to my body and follow through with medical care. Physicians and specialists are needed for some health issues and we can still be open to integrative therapies in conjunction with the medical field. I’ve learned that acupuncture, essential oils, and Therapeutic Touch can bring balance to the body, mind and spirit when in the midst of an awakening to the reality of life. Medication, although not wanted, can save lives for certain illnesses. I am grateful for the medication that slowed my heart rate and corrected the irregular heart beat. I realized that sometimes our bodies malfunction no matter how well we think we are taking care of them. It is fine to feel shocked and disappointed for a short time if we don’t stay in that dark place for too long. Once we open ourselves to the fact that this is part of our new reality, we can move forward to make plans to live and enjoy every minute of life. We can release all that holds us back and be ready to jump right into the next creative journey. There is no time to keep toxic people, situations or environments in our lives. We need to remember that everyone has their own darkness and to be kind and understanding to all because we never really know their true story unless we take the time to listen. Be grateful for other’s good fortunes because there is always darkness with the light. Remember when you are in darkness that light is always present and ready to shine upon you once the cloud shifts.

Life is a balance of light and darkness, without one we would not be able to appreciate the other. Until our last breath is taken, we should be enjoying life, spending time with supportive/caring people, paying attention to all of our blessings, and living in a state of gratitude.

Start a gratitude journal today – you may just be surprised at how grateful you become. May 2018 be a year filled with health, wellbeing, creativity, joy, and overall abundance in every area of your life. I am grateful for your taking the time to read my blog.

Love and Light!

If you would like to view other 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/growth-2/


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Experimental Photograph

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.

This early painting of my son’s was leaning against the wall in my spare room. When I walked into the room the sunshine was decorating the painting. I loved the way it blended into the scene so I snapped several photos. I experimented with the changing sunlight until I captured this image which I think plays into the concern on the young woman’s face. It causes the viewer to wonder what does this young women see. Is it a UFO, tornado, animal/bird, Angel, Spirit?

It’s fun creating stories from average events/things in our environment.

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“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ~ Frank Herbert, Dune ~

Do you have a quote or story to go along with this sunlit painting?

Love and Light!

If you would like to view 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/experimental/


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Finding Beauty in the Every Day

What are some everyday things that others find ugly or dirty, which you find breathtakingly beautiful? 

At times we travel through life without noticing beauty around us in our every day life. If we are constantly moving through life without noticing the small, ‘insignificant’ blessings how will we every appreciate the larger things.

We set goals for a car then a larger more expensive car. We want to purchase a home and once in that home begin to focus on a larger home. Then we want a vacation and once on vacation we think of a more luxurious vacation. We sometimes lives with blinders on our eyes.

If we focus on what we don’t have in our lives – and we all travel down this road at certain times along our journey – this can lead to stress, depression, lower self-esteem, and eventually illness. So for today, stop and think about what you see as breathtakingly beautiful in your own life. Here are ten from my list:

  • A bird’s nest covering an entrance light – I would leave it there until the birds are old enough to fly and find a new home.
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Birds will build their nest anywhere

  • Walking barefoot – grounding / earthing – I love the feel of the earth on my feet and how it energizes
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  • Becoming one with nature without worry of wildlife or insects
The beauty of trees

Becoming one with nature

  • Light and shadows artfully decorating leaves

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  • Ivy growing on the side of a home

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  • Shadows on the wall especially when the reflection of the curtains decorates the walls – this always starts my day with a smiledsc_0776
  • The intricate work of spider’s webs

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  • Winter frost decorating the window on the front porch

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  • Rust on an old gate – the center made me think of a hidden pearl amid the rust and chipping paint

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  • A cup of tea with a message or coffee served in a favorite cup

Those are ten from my list of many more. Please share a few from your list. And, grab a small journal with a nice pen and continue writing the beauty you see during the day.

Once you are able to change your daily focus on all of the blessings in your life – most won’t cost you a cent – you will open yourself to reaching your goals. When you do receive those blessings your joy will over flow and last for a longer period of time.

Love and Light!


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WPC – A Good Match

This week, share a photo of a satisfying pairing from your own life. You should by no means limit yourself to edible stuff — You can mix and match places, people, objects, and activities that represent your idea of a harmonious, pleasing combination.

And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss. ~ J. K. Rowling ~

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark. ~ Victor Hugo ~

When traveling with work I love to experience hidden cafes for a latte and to read and/or write. In the winter it is best to find a quiet cafe with a fireplace and sit at the table in front of the roaring fire. Adding a treat or soup is always a good match for the occasion.

I think writing is a bit like active death, there may be people present yet both journeys must be taken from deep within the individual’s soul.

If you would like to view other entries for this week’s challenge or to submit your own, click on the link below:                                                                https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/a-good-match

Love and Light!


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

The first thing that came to mind for this week’s challenge – Muse –  were the shadow photos. Upon waking or walking into a room to witness light dancing across the window shades or sheers onto the walls and floors, stories begin to take shape in my mind. Wonderful stories of women living normal lives – similar to those of my mother and aunts – normal yet heroic. Raising children with little resources, caring for husbands, ironing shirts, hanging clothes on the line in frigid temperatures, caring for the sick and elderly at home, cooking meals that stretched for days, aging before their time. I am not sure why these play out in my mind but entire scenes flash before my eyes within seconds taking me to a time far away. I feel comforted and surrounded by love during these flashes and leave the space ready to conquer whatever is before me. When I see these shadows with light of varying sizes and shapes, I also feel creative and try my hand at pencil drawings and plan to try painting in the shadows with different colors in the near future.

Do you ever sit and enjoy the shadows and light playing across your windows, walls and floor? Check out this last photo:

The face in the window

The face in the window

Do you see it? The shadow of the leaves appear as a face to me – as if someone were peeking in the window to check on me. Maybe trying to tell me something – probably to write down those stories and to return to my love of drawing and painting. I didn’t really notice the shape of the face until after I snapped the photo and looked at it. Well, did you see it?

Shadows and light playing in my home are my muse. They cost nothing. You don’t have to travel. This can be enjoyed anytime of the day if you change the natural light for the shadows that play in the evening lamps or lit candles. I love those as well. Your financial situation does not play into this – light and shadows can be enjoyed no matter what your income or location. They can be enjoyed by all through mindful living – if you are willing to stop and take notice. Are you?

Love and Light!

 


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Live a Proactive Life – Open To The World Around You!

The media warned of a snow storm. People panicked and I’m sure the shelves in the grocery stores were emptied in anticipation of what was to come. It is one thing to let people know that this is possible and to take necessary precautions but to make it out to be a pending tragedy – was it necessary to cause panic.

As a child we would be informed of the possibility of a storm, and did we have some powerful snow storms, but my mother never panicked because she was always prepared. Today with all the technology it seems they miss the mark more often than they did during my childhood. If you live in the northeast, or anywhere that can expect snow and ice storms in the winter, be proactive. Always have water on hand, extra food in the pantry/shelves, candles, matches and flashlights, if possible a second source of heat like a Kerosene heater or plenty of extra blankets, and some good books to read. If you have to travel, place a flashlight, blanket, candle and matches, flares, snow shovel, protein bars/nuts, potting soil and water in your car. If you can stay off the roads during the snow/ice storm – stay off the roads. Let the snow plows do their job. You can avoid a store for a day or two. Maybe you will learn something new about yourself when you are captive at home.

Some things to do at home when stranded in a snow storm. Meditate, dance, make a blanket fort in the living room, play cards, and/or put together a puzzle. If the power is off, light candles or turn on a flashlight and have a puppet show on the wall. There is an endless number of activities. Maybe even take a nice nap.

It is snowing today – a slow steady snow. It’s not too bad but we will probably accumulate a couple of inches, I hope. I’m looking forward to snowshoeing on the weekend if there is enough accumulation. While home, I decided to pull out my camera look for shapes, patterns and colors. I was happy that I purchased flowers the other day as a reminder that spring is around the corner. This is what I discovered while looking around the house, camera in hand.

Ice patterns on the porch window

Ice patterns on the porch window remind me of turkey prints

As you can see, in the photo above I focused on the ice formations, in the lower photo on the trees.

Trees and birdbath outside icy window

Trees and birdbath outside icy window

Living in an older home with original windows provides a daily art show in the winter months.

The crystal hanging in the window is greeting crystals forming on the window

Crystals forming on the window compete with the crystal.

Looking at the world around us with fresh eyes.

If we live a proactive life, we will not be caught off guard.

Be open to the world around you. Live life to its fullest in your everyday so you may continue to expand and grow. Turn off the television – listen to music you’re not familiar with. Touch the material on the ordinary items in your home as if for the first time. Walk across the floor barefoot to open your senses. Touch the material of the clothing you wear – place your nose into the material taking in the smell. Does wool smell different than cotton? Do you hold the soap close to take in the scent when bathing? What about the food you eat, do you take in the smell before placing it into your mouth? Do you try new recipes or spices? When you walk into your home do you stop to smell the air as it greets you at the door?

Open your senses to something new on a daily basis. You never know what will come your way as you open your senses to new thoughts, feelings, smells, tastes, and emotions. Dance from room to room in your home, don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Be silly at least once per day. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how wonderful you are!! Life is meant to be lived, it should be enjoyable. Take out your camera or cell phone and shoot some photos of the ordinary so you may see it with new eyes. Focus on what is working in your life because what we focus on we attract more of. We all have things in our life that aren’t pleasant but when we focus on what we don’t want we get more of it. So why not focus on what you do want and attract the life of your dreams. I would love to hear what you do when the weather restricts travel so please share.

Love and Light,
Sandy


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Letting Go of Fear

What is holding you back?

What is holding you back?

 

Fear is a controlling factor for many of us. Procrastination and blaming others makes it easier than taking responsibility for ourselves. I am sure you all know people who are stuck in this mindset. I spent years worrying, complaining, procrastinating, and blaming life circumstances on others when in reality it was my own fears and actions that held me back. Today I work a little each day on writing because that was a dream from my early years. Writing and drawing were my dream. Last week I entered my first magazine contest. Whether I win or not, I feel successful because I actually released a short story out to the public. This is so far from where I was a two years ago. I also enrolled in another UCLA writing class with the goal of ending the class with a complete story ready for publication. Today while sitting at the garage waiting for my car I am utilizing the time to research so I can use the time wisely and productively while enjoying myself. Your creative juices can flow in any situation, even if just in your mind because that is where everything starts anyway.

What can you do today that will bring you one step closer to your dreams? Share it with the Universe and watch it come to fruition.

Love and Light!!

Sandy


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Reaching our goals – fulfilling dreams

The spring before we learned of my father’s cancer, I was attending a local community college. Dad had retired the previous year. He and my sister decided to take a course too so they registered for Economics and I registered for English 101. Our classes were on the same evening so I would meet them after work and we would hang out prior to our class and after class stop for ice cream. It was a very good time period.

In the summer he found out he had cancer and was given months to live. As we watched him deteriorate from his illness I continued with my classes. I was very far from receiving my Associates degree at the time. One day while cleaning up after a picnic in the yard Dad followed me in and told me that he was very happy about my attending college and doing so well. He said he would be there to watch me get my degree. I went along with him and said I was going to keep going until I graduated from either Harvard or UCLA. Well Dad died that December and it took me another seven years before I received the degree. Through that time I only took classes when I could afford them and sometimes had to withdraw due to family or work obligations or my own self defeatist attitude. I was a single mom of two and then three children during the seven years. There were many ups and downs but I never gave up my focus and knew one day I would have a two-year degree.

When I had a little over half of my credits I quit one company to accept a supervisory position at another. It lasted six months. When they let me go I thanked them – yes I know raising three children and losing a job, you think how could you thank them. My cousin who was the same age as me died in a car accident and I realized that I may never achieve my goal of a two year degree if something didn’t change. The lay off gave me the push I needed. I joined the Army National Guard at the age of 32 and began attending college full-time while working a part-time job. It worked for us, not too much money but we made it. It took me one more year before I walked across the stage to receive my diploma. Along the way I met people who encouraged me to continue on for a BA degree. I didn’t think it was possible but went for an interview with the Sociology Department at a private college and was accepted. I had been on the President’s and Dean’s list which surprised me and my family I think.

After two more years I walked across the stage again at the private college In 1994, I received a BA in Sociology while working two part-time jobs and the Army National Guard while raising my three children. My family helped care for my children while I worked and went to college but my children and I had dinner together most nights and spent weekends together except for the one weekend a month I participated in National Guard.

It was there that I met a female General who became my mentor. She encouraged me to continue on for a Master’s degree. Gen. Burke felt that I was accustomed to studying and my children were comfortable with their lifestyle so why not. Never had I thought of working toward an MA degree. Receiving an Associates was a miracle and then a Bachelor degree, that was a double miracle. She was very persuasive so I did continue on and even accepted a Congressional Fellowship in Washington, D.C. My son was attending his first year of college as my daughters and I headed to Washington for ten months. In 1996 I received a Master’s Degree. I realized dreams do come true if we take one step at a time and don’t give up on ourself.

When I located the UCLA Writer’s program the idea of working on a certificate didn’t seem so far-fetched. I enrolled in my first writing class in 2008. I didn’t take it seriously until 2010. I had received positive feedback on my writing so I registered for the Non-Fiction Writing Certificate program. It brought back memories of my father and him telling me he would help. When I attended my graduation from UCLA on June 27, 2014 tears filled my eyes. As my name was called, I looked up and said, “Thank you Dad.”

Graduation from UCLA on June 27, 2014

Graduation from UCLA on June 27, 2014

Graduation from UCLA

If you want something bad enough, if you can feel it, taste it, give up time, money, energy and focus it will come to you. Don’t give up and don’t use excuses like your family won’t let you, you’re a single parent, you don’t have the money, you don’t have the time, you aren’t smart enough – those are just blockages that can be overcome. Be the role model for your children, nieces, nephews, their friends, for family, colleagues, and others in your life. Share in your successes and let others see you shine. We are all shining stars and have a gift to share. What is your gift? Are you pursuing your dreams? If not now, when? The time is never right to get started so why not take a step in the right direction today.

Love and Light,

Sandy