butterfly WISDOM …

I was outside my house this morning watching, like really watching, this amazing monorchid buterfly (it is actually the one in the photo). That orange and black beauty was a busy bee (or…ummm…butterfly), flying back and forth constantly, only stopping momentarily on a flower or a bush. It flew directly over my head, and at first, I thought it was a leaf falling from a tree. But wait, the leaves aren’t orange yet, silly.

So, I started watching. And it fluttered its wings for a bit, then it coasted, fluttered, coasted … worked, relaxed, worked, relaxed. How beautiful that animals in nature instinctively know how to do that – when to take a break so they can keep doing what they need to do. Humans, not so much. We work, work, work, work, work, (oh Rihanna, you know what I’m sayin’), and then work a little more. Until we crassssshhhhh and in many cases, buuuuuurn. Work for me often means self-work – constantly working to grow and be a happier me, to find my true passion in this life. Yes, that is super amazing work. And it can also be draining for mind, body, soul if I never take the time to rest and let the work integrate. Sometimes you gotta just coast, which could be taking a nap, going to the beach, hanging with friends, watching a movie … it will look different to all of us.

Seeing this butterfly today was a welcome reminder that I need to take breaks as well, to let things flow. I learn from nature everyday, and it always amazes me as if I’m seeing it for the very first time …

Advertisements

which way is RIGHT …

This is kinda what life feels like right now. However, I could probably add an up/down arrow too. And maybe a few diagonal arrows. I’m feeling pulled by the universe in a direction that will serve me, obviously. Yet, there are things I’m currently doing that are in different directions. Plus, there’s a long list of things I want to do. So which way do I go? What do I do? How do I get “there“?

Moments before I took this photo, I had been pulled up to the top of a mountain. I set out to hike a slightly challenging yet quick trail, out and back. The second I stepped on that rocky trail, my body just went, and didn’t stop until I reached the top. I felt an energetic pull (or push?) to get up the mountain. Even through heavy breath, I kept going at a quick pace. My mind and body felt at ease, peaceful and connected to that universe. You know, the one that’s pulling me in the right direction, which, at that moment, was up a mountain. The second I reached the top, emotion washed over me and I got choked up. It was a beautiful feeling. Trusting myself and the universe can produce amazing things. And for me, nature REALLY helps with that too …

Remember to connect to those things in your life that bring you ease and peace. And trust that it is what you need, that it is necessary to feed your heart and soul. XOXO

SPIRIT never dies …

Recently, my parent’s best friend, Leslie, passed away from cancer. Shortly before she passed, my mom and I were talking about how her body may be gone, yet her spirit will always be around; how it’s harder for the living to cope with death than it is for those who know they are going to die … maybe because they know that they aren’t truly dying. I don’t know and hope not to for a long while actually. Leslie was definitely at peace with her approaching death, and she planned the most amazingly intimate, heartfelt and fun memorial service. She wanted all to celebrate life and the continuation of her spirit. And she did so by throwing herself a damn good party. Good music, a poem reading, a song sung by her daughter-in-law, reading of cards that loved ones sent her, reciting some of Leslie’s last words she specifically and consciously spoke for this moment, a fantastic slideshow of photographs (many older ones, which were so fun to see! Who doesn’t love an old photo?!), and even my parents and her cousin dancing the Lindy at the end … and this was all part of the memorial service. When she told my mom she had to dance at the memorial service, my mom thought she was kidding (and crazy)! That was no joke … Leslie wanted everyone to be joyous and celebrate, so they danced after shedding a whole lot of tears. There is always happiness behind the sadness …

You all know those little laminated cards they give out at funerals/memorials? Of course you do. When I read Leslie’s, it took me back to my conversation with my mom and to what I truly believe about our spirits. I am not an organized religion follower, however, I am a spiritual person who believes there is something higher and more powerful than our human bodies …

Do not stand at my grave
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush;
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there. I did not die.

Has someone in your life passed, and shortly after you see a bird at your window that you’ve never seen before? Or you come across a gift they gave you that you’d forgotten you had? These aren’t coincidences. They are signs that their spirit is with you and wants to say hi ;)

Leslie’s son, Chris, sweetly shared that his mom was an angel, and that she’s been on loan for a while. So, now her haloed spirit will be flying all over the place guiding us humans along our path … or maybe simply just to say hi …

chasing FOG …

I chased the fog today, literally. I was driving home and then turned the opposite way when I exited the parkway (I know, crazy, right?!). Toward less homes and more forest. Less cars and more trees. Less congestion and more clarity. Less in my head and more in my heart … at least for a short while …

There was some snowfall yesterday and all of the turnoffs on the roads were covered in 4″ of snow. Something a Ford Focus is not cut out for. So I kept driving until I found a road to turn on, parked and ran across the street to admire and photograph the foggy forest. This was one of the first photos I took, and within a minute (for real) the fog started lifting. How quickly things can come in and out of our lives … So, I ran down the hill (felt more like a skip as I was in good spirits at the time) chasing the fog for more photo ops. Then I realized I should probably get back to my unlocked still-running car pretty much parked in the road. So, I excitedly ran back up the hill, floating through what was left of the fog.

Look at how the fog beautifully highlighted the depth of the forest! It was such a dreamy peaceful feeling for me (hence the skipping and floating). I am so grateful to have been up and out that early to catch this natural beauty :)

back LIGHT, DARK front …

Back to the forest I never appreciated as a young girl. This is a recent photo from Harriman State Park where I went on a lone hike. I was pretty much alone the entire time, which adds to my level of peacefulness (no offense, fellow hikers). Walking in the woods is so incredibly meditative … my mind calms, my body relaxes and my spirit brightens. Although, I actually took this photo at the end of my hike while sitting on a rock next to the parking area eating homemade trail mix. But, I was still in the zone and not really wanting to leave ;)

a REFLECTION of nature …

This is one of many beautiful photos taken during one of many transformational moments of my life. I took this at Omega in Rhinebeck, NY (you all know by now … that’s where my life in a tent took place). I did go out on the water once with my pal Alan, and it was quite glorious and peaceful out there, at times just floating along, laying down staring up at the clear blue sky, soaking in the fresh air. Yeah, that was peace. Oh, nature, how I need you.

meditate on THIS …

If you’ve ever thought about trying meditation and …

  • you think you can’t do it because you have a monkey mind … every human in the entire world has a mind that wanders. That’s part of being alive, so now that we’ve determined that you’re alive, you should try meditating.
  • you don’t know how to do it … no one knows how to do it at first. So now that you know you are no different than anyone else who meditates in this world, you should try meditating.
  • you are afraid to go to a group meditation … if a group of meditators makes you feel uncomfortable as a first timer … um, yeah, that just won’t happen. Ever. So, now you should try meditating.
  • you don’t have the time … you only need 1 minute a day to start meditating. So, if you know how to close your eyes and you know how to inhale and exhale and you know approximately how long one minute is, you should try meditating.
  • you aren’t religious or spiritual … everyone needs a moment of peace and calm in their day, regardless of their level of spirituality. You don’t have to wait for a Spirit or God(s) to tell you that peace and calm will improve your life, so you should try meditating.
  • you can’t sit still … if you can’t sit still for 1 minute, then you should try meditating. It will really help.

Now, if you are ready to get this meditation ball (FYI a meditation ball is not really a thing) rolling, there are a number of ways to do so. And one of the ways I find to be extremely beautiful and personally rewarding is Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21-day FREE guided meditation, which starts TOMORROW!!!! OK, yes, it’s last minute. My bad. However, each day is available for 5 days after it is released, so you could think about it for a couple days and then jump on this bandwagon. And if you think too hard about it, then that means you should try meditating.