Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

Giving thanks for all things!

Circulate the flow of your abundance.

The more you give the more you will receive.

Offer a small gift to everyone you encounter –
a helping hand, a smile, a flower, a compliment, a pleasant thought, a silent blessing.

About the photo:  One afternoon while picking beach greens along the banks of the Estuary, my best friend and I decided to bring some fresh Alaskan Salmon for lunch.  We gathered rocks and wood, started the fire, then went in search of the large green leaf of the skunk lily which grows along the shore line.  This is the Tlingit and Haida Native way of wrapping salmon in the leaf and baking it over hot coals which makes it tasty and moist.  Today we would use aluminum foil but the Native way is superior, natural and readily available. These leaves grow to be very large.  In fact, one of the communities on the Island has a contest on the 4th of July to see who can find the largest leaf.  It’s been know for folks to find them as much as six feet tall.
Please visit our main site:  Tree of Life Pendants

Abundance

“Today, I behold all the abundance that surrounds me.”
Deepak Chopra – 21 Day Meditation Challenge

As we gather together today and reflect on our abundance, may we remember all the opportunities and experiences the universe offers and provides for us, not just today, but everyday.
About the photo:  Taken from Sunnae Mountain overlooking the town of Craig, Alaska.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green


Interesting that green is the subject for this week’s Photo Challenge. I’m into green.  Just this past week I took this photo while at the dog park.  It’s our custom to run our high-spirited, I’m-only-here-to-chase-my-ball Dalmatian several times a week at the dog park and we usually go in the late afternoon when the sun is celebrating its golden hour.  As we drove into the park, I noticed how the sun was reflecting its brilliance on the delicate leaves of this tree.  I had an idea in my head of the shot I wanted to take and of course, as I always do, I take lots of photos.  I decided to use the very first one I shot . . . from the mind’s eye to the camera to the computer screen.
And interestingly, if you have followed me for any length of time, you know I love trees.  I photograph them, paint them, draw them, plant them and even create them.  (That sounds a bit poetic.)  I love there shapes, interesting root patterns protruding above ground, the way their branches intertwine, their veiny leaves, their shadows, their bark, or lack of, their graceful thrusting of their arms to the heavens, their leaves blowing in the wind, their majestic splenditude and resistance to Mother Nature, to name a few of their qualities.  I love trees so much that I also create them in the form of jewelry, know as Tree of Life Pendants.  As with each piece I make, I find that every one is different and unique, just like a tree.
I say: Live like a tree. Take root and reach for the sky.
About the quote:  This is one of my favorite quotes that I read every day.  As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, I reflect on the positive people that have been in my life and I am thankful for each and every one of them.  Every day, I am open to the experience of more positive and empowering people coming into my life. Bring them on!

Be .. Do .. Have

“Today, I embrace my potential to be, do and have whatever I can dream.”
~ Deepak Chopra ~

I am into the fifth day of Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge on Abundance.  And so far it has been amazing.  In today’s meditation, he brings us to the realization that you are who you are by the company you keep.  Interesting.
I was talking to a friend yesterday about what was going on in her life and it seems that she is constantly bombarded by negative people, in-their-heads people who are bringing her down.  I was there, at a point in my life.  I realized that I had to walk away from those relationships.  I know that I have the ability to change, to realize the negativity and the need to be with like-minded people.  Yet, it is hard to walk away from relationships that one has tried to cultivate over the years.  Sometimes we have to leave them standing in our dust.  Divorce the relationship.  Move on.  Become who you intended to be all along.  Release the negativity!  Isn’t it far better to release the negativity and sing an inspirational song of a life than to get caught up in their drama, whining and self-pity?  To me, that’s like watching a soap opera every day and getting wrapped up in the drama of the actors.  Their story becomes real to us.  We associate with them.  We commiserate with them and allow them to take over our thoughts.  Don’t I have enough going on in my life that I have to allow some fictitious characters to control my thoughts?
I walked away from several “possessed” relationships.  It was time for me to develop new and positive ways of living a happy and positive life.  It is said that what we focus on expands.  It’s true!
Expect and accept a splendid existence.  Awaken to the unlimited possibilities of life.  Awaken and live!
About this photograph:  Taken in Klawock, Alaska early one morning as the sun was coming up.  I found it to be a beautiful place to dream.  I always felt this photo would layer an inspirational thought, and I think I found it.  Dream on!
While you are here …. stop over at my Tree of Life.
Live like a tree.  Take root and reach for the sky!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing process
of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.  
~ Mary Ann Brussat ~

About this photograph:  Klawock, Alaska.  It was a bunk house for the fish workers at the cannery just across the bay.  If you look closely, you can see patches of green growing on the tops of the buildings.  Shortly after I photographed this piece of history, it was torn down by the city.

Visit more of my art at the Tree of Life.

Unguarded thoughts …



“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.”
 ~ Buddha

How often do you find your head swimming in thoughts?  Thoughts like: What am I going to do?  How could they do that to me? Where will I find the time to accomplish tasks? Compare that to the amount of time you spend experiencing inner peace, flow and bliss.
For most people, it is probably a scary comparison. Thoughts over power our minds way more than thoughts of flow and clarity.  It seems that our thoughts are continually interrupted by other thoughts, usually by the negative and frustrating thoughts about the past or future.
As the quote says, our thoughts have the power to do us more harm than good.
Take a moment and think about your worst enemy and how much time you spend thinking about that person, thing or situation.  Really, do you spend more time thinking about it or are you more concerned about how they think of you?  How does this harm you?
The key to preventing harm to yourself through your thoughts is to watch them.  Yes, sometimes we are angry, frustrated, overwhelmed and negative.  That’s human.  But, we also have within us the mechanism in our brains to stop those thoughts, to gently gather them up and release them with positive thoughts, to be aware of what we are thinking and be the watcher, as Eckhart Tolle teaches.
It may be difficult at first, but practice it just once a day, even for 30 seconds, and see what happens.  When a negative thought enters your mind, replace it with a positive mantra or quote. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this thought is not allowed. You will find that it soon will provide some amazing insights into your thoughts and patterns of life.
Sat. Chit. Ananda. 
Existence. Consciousness. Bliss
Namaste!
About the photo:  Statue of Buddha at  Huntington Library, in San Marino, California in the Japanese Zen Garden.
Buddha wearing a Tree of Life Pendant?  Yes! Thank you Photoshop.  Stop over at the site and check them out.
Live like a tree.  Take root and reach for the sky!

Abundance


Abundance can mean many things to us.  One person may feel that the abundant life means great wealth and a lot of material possessions.  Yet, to another, it can be a life filled with love, joy, peace, health and harmony.
What does abundance mean to you? Do you have limiting beliefs that hold you back from your true abundance?
Today, I behold all the abundance that surrounds me. 
From the 21-Day Meditation Challenge – Day 1

How does your garden grow?

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”

Read that quote again as if you just read it for the first time.
Now, ask yourself, “When is the last time that I actually paid intentional attention to the seeds that I plant on a daily or moment to moment basis?”
Here’s a few more questions to ask yourself:  Do I plant seeds of self-judgement or negative thinking?  Or do I plant seeds of love, gratitude, compassion and giving. Do I plant seeds of laughter, happiness and magnificence or weeds of catastrophic magnitude.
By planting positive seeds we cultivate a garden of awareness. We water those seeds with love and kindness, yielding the fruit of our labors to our friends, family and those we associate with every day.
In reality, when you plant a tomato seed, that’s want grows.  If you plant seeds of love, you get love.
What seeds have you planted today?
How will your garden look next week, next month, next year?
Visualize the seeds that you sow today and your garden of life will yield the blessed harvest. Bring this awareness into every moment of your day.
I leave you with this quote by Bill Meyer:
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious. 

Ego or Essence?


Do you ever question your thoughts!  Does your egoic mind take over your thoughts?
Step into the NOW and experience your true Essence.
But what is our true Essence?  It’s the real thing.  It’s who we really and truly are.  Its’ the divine Self that is you, me, us.
However, because we are programmed to pay attention to our thoughts, we fail to notice our real Essence or the actual now of NOW.
How would it feel to drop out of the “mental” world and into the NOW to experience peace, calm, joy and the richness of  life … the Essence of our own true selves?
Egoic thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” or “I’ll never have what I want” …. it’s the false self speaking, those voices in the head …. all driven by the ego.
Let go of the conditional thoughts, the shoulds, the beliefs and the opinions that other have bestowed on us, the cultural conditioning about life.
Step into your true Essence – that is who you truly are.
Be aware of your thoughts.  Ask yourself:  Is it true?  Is it useful?  How does it make me feel? The mind isn’t interested in the present moment.  It loves the past and future.  Notice this!
Did you ever notice how your mind wanders into the past and future?  Continually!  Use your Essence to notice this path of the mind.  Your Essence is content to notice the arising moment and respond to it without thoughts.
What is your mind thinking of right now? Are you aware of your surroundings?  Feelings?  Sensations? Urges?  Insights?
Let go of the struggle and allow your true Essence to step forth and shine.
Free yourself from the bondage of the egoic mind.  Let’s have more present moments in the NOW and less crappy thoughts!  Starting now!
About the photo:  The beautiful Amaryllis is a stunning flower associated with the holidays.  It symbolizes pride, determination and radiant beauty …. the kind that emanates from the inner source and flowers outward …. much like the the Essence of our own beauty.