BE STILL...and SEE Photography

Reflecting on who I am...what is important to me...and the gifts I offer the world, I have reorganized this PhotoSchmoozer blog into separate pages for your viewing. I am about so much...people - relationships - drums and rhythms and especially photography...and I realize that although separate, they are all so INTEGRATED into the Whole of who I am!! It's a very peaceful thought and I am thankful for the intuitive gift to see the connections and the relationships. Enjoy the journey through the blog...and WELCOME.
Contemplative photography is about being totally present and seeing exactly what is before you, without filters or judgment. It is about seeing with your heart.Doesn't everyone see what is before them? Not really. You may see a candle on a table. Do you also see the shadows it creates? Or the reflections that the light casts on it? Or it's underlying shape and form?

DRUMS, Rhythms and Relationships

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reincarnation and The Little Soul

Just a very few nights ago, a group of friends were sitting and talking, drinking local wine and listening to some great bands at the Bus Stop Music Cafe.  The conversation flowed into talk about reincarnation.  Everyone was asking what each thought about the concept.  I shared reading James Redfield years ago with The Celestine Prophecy and the Eleventh Insight.  He said that we were all incarnated when we first came to the Earth plane from one ball of light - hence our unity.  Every time we come back, we enter again with our soul group because we have lessons to learn...and teach.  Ann Marie gave me a CD about the Little Soul, conversations with God about purpose and finding oneself.  This morning when I was out with the camera, these dandelions brought all of that conversation to mind.  When I came home and took a closer look, here were so many of the light beings coming off of the one spark!  Fancy that!!  Don't you just love how everything is connected to everything else?  It's all synchronicity and happens constantly IF our eyes are open and we pay attention!! It's our gift!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dogwood: See the Energy!!!

This is just pure fun!!  I had been reading some of the myths and realities associated with the dogwood tree - it was used to make the cross for Jesus' crucifixion; the flowers have marks at the end of each petal - the nail on the cross.  Some might be true, some sound plausible and some well...You can't believe everything you read!!
One of my favorite places in our yard is the dogwood tree out back that creates a space with my picnic table - my grounding spot.  I sit leaning against the tree, put my bare feet on the ground and now the Lemon balm is coming back to life.  When I talk about being still - and that I do - this is the place for me!!   I wanted to see what I could see in the flowers.  Our tree is little and it wasn't very open in bloom, but it gave me some insights.  Then, by accident - ok there are no accidents, only synchronicities, I hit some button and whammo - saturation. Now this is an image to contemplate!!  Be still, gaze into the picture and see what messages you might get.
For those of you who are more traditional,
here is the flower as it is growing on the tree.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Soul of the Flower: Discover the Essence

To be at peace within, I go to the stillness and beauty of the flowers.  Each has its own spirit and essence and I value that so much.  Friend Karen has tulips sharing their beauty in her garden.  Once I saw them in their wholeness, both as individual flowers and as clusters that naturally grow together, I felt the warmth of the sun shining filling me with a stillness to just walk quietly and see.  The gift was the wide openness of each flower and its center.  I feel blessed to have a SuperMacro on my camera and so enjoy the gifts we can gather to share.  If I lifted the brush, I could say that these were painted.  Actually they are painted by the Spirit that gifted us with them.  WOW!!

WOW is what I can say about this one.  There are pieces of this one that I never saw until I put these in the computer.  The blues had to be there all along but not visible to my eye when I was looking at it.  The more I look at this, the more details I see.  Friend Tony is producing The Journey: it's to be a CD, DVD, musical production and movie.  It's about the Journey home to one's soul.  It's about being in the present moment - the here and now.  It's about how life needs to be lived so we can be at total peace within ourselves and with everything and everyone in our environment.  It is about life as it is meant to be lived!  It is about awareness of every moment.  It is about going home - and when I took these pictures, I felt that I was going home and connecting with the essence of the tulips.  What a gift!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CHANGE Happens in a Flash!!

YES, this is the same tree from the same beautiful orchard BUT when I went back to see it today, it had all been uprooted!!  Change can be challenging!!  Gosh it was just there and showing its beauty and today it is not worth anything.  Let's just hope that they are planning to replant a baby orchard to grow and NOT another housing development or another big church?!?!?  Change is never easy - right now there are so many changes and transitions in the world. that any stability is of total value!!

It's Here!! It's Here!! Truly Spring!

Driving to Mullica Hill on a truly glorious morning, I was ecstatic to see that Spring had truly come to South Jersey - my definition of Spring.  Don't get me wrong - I love the crocus, daffodils and forsythia, but when the peach trees come into bloom, well, then it is official!!  I was on the way to meditation at NJ Spirituality but already, my heart was at peace with this beauty.  Then when we closed our eyes and journeyed to the mountaintop with our healing angel (mine identified herself as Sari), the morning was complete and I could go forth with the day!  Thanks for all of the blessings.  I do hope that you all stop and take the time to see the gifts we are given daily - and be filled with gratitude?!?!?
This cart is my road marker - it guides me on where to turn to get home.  Today it was sitting there ready for Spring and I just had to stop and gaze at the orchard surrounding it.  You can tell where the baskets of peaches come from throughout the summer?!?

To me, the setting of this house is perfection - the gazebo, the pond, the vegetation and well just the whole picture.  I was on my way home and Lindsay would be coming for our creativity time (today we were designing picture frames with seashells!  I'll put up a picture when the photos get in)  but, well, she could wait a bit while I stopped by the side of the road and gazed at the peace and stillness.  Someday I will find out who the lucky folks are who live in this environment.  Until then, I am grateful for what they have created for the rest of us as we travel on their road.  The question that comes to my many people even notice??  While I was pulled over, cars zoomed by - had they ever seen this view? Did they ever take the time to stop and gaze? I did and in it lies my stillness for the gifts we are given - I know that this is a repeat theme, but I just read an article in Shambalal Sun called about Really Seeing.  The authors have written a book called Contemplative Photography (yes, it is on its way to our house).  I remember when Bob and I attempted to offer a course at Gloucester County College called the Tao of Photography - very few interested.  Hmmmmmmmm.  Do most people want the technical aspects of taking photos so they can get 'better pictures'?!?!  Then I just "happened" to see another book - to be a travelling companion to the other - Healing with Photography.  In some ways, I have lost my essence of just going out and BEING STILL and waiting for the visions.  These books and lots of reflective practice will guide me back to center!   

Monday, April 11, 2011

I remember that I am always encouraging people to be a PhotoSchmoozer and look closely at everything in their world because there can be a story lurking.  Today, I came home from grocery shopping and as Bill and I were putting the produce away, we looked at a most unusual 'design' in a pear on the top of the refrigerator.  Hmmmmmm?!?!?!?  As Bill looked further, lo and behold, there were some little dark 'droppings'.  We must have recently had company, but how can a mouse get up on top of the fridge?  Hey, it's not the first time!!  So here I present to you the great photographic moment of the day!  Wonder what you saw???

Awesome Drumming! Totally Awesome!!

Our bodies are energy centers and when all of the chakras are balanced, we are dynamic and full of the loving energy for ourselves and our fellow human beings.  On Saturday, we spent 2 1/2 hours drumming our heaerts out at Living in Joy Yoga Studio in Audobon, NJ.  There were more than 20 old and new friends and our facilitators - well - words can't even describe their energies!  They led us in song, dance, changting, drumming and prayers for PEACE for people all over the world.  These gourds were totally awesome.  I know, I am using that word a lot, but it was totally the truth!!  There were different sizes - mostly the same basic shapes, and all were painted in the vibrant colors of the chakras.  Marcy had us pick the gourds up gently, hold them by the neck, softly rub their belllies - round and round.  We couldn't hit them because they were rather like a baby's soft spot in that area and they would crack.  it caused us to be more still and connect with the energy or the gourds and our own energies.  WOW!!  Hmmmm now doesn't it make me want to add a little something else to the collection??  OK...not right now!!
Here are our facilitators - and talk about balls of energy!  Marcy had a strong voice and played the schekere, bringing along so many sizes and shapes and colors of these as well.  Jan played the drums - and when I say that, I totally mean it!  Man could she share her knowledge and rhythms with us!!  She brought along djembes, and a snare drum, we had doumbeks and even some of Martie's home made drums.  let me tell you, they held their own and sounded great!  In fact, those who played them talked about their being more gentle on the hands!!  They received an exciting reception and I could tell people how to make them.  You can find videos on you tube as well so you can do your own - or I will sell you one - or more!!

This guy is only seven, but you could definitely tell that he had been around for years playing the drums!  He was great.  I asked him to try mine so I could take his picture and have some great memories of someone using mine.
I can't say enough of the FUN we all had, the ENERGIES we shared, the LOVE that was in the room and the exhaustion some of us felt when it was done!!  Mark my word, they will be back.  Hope to get them to come to Pitman!!! 
Once Photoschmoozer puts something out there, it often happens!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Perfect Day - Love, Pink Fountains, Cherry Blossoms & Drumming!!

You can see from the pictures what a day it was !!  The first thing that took me by surprise was the PINK fountain!!  For sakura (cherry blossom festival or???)  Then after I climbed up FOUR flights of stairs from the fourth level below parking garage - right- the elevator was out of service!!  I was sitting on the wall resting and saw an old professional colleague - also named Barbara also a former kindergarten teacher  (yes, I was Barbara in my first 50 years!!).  She was there with her niece and nephew because her sister had just died from breast cancer and they had put her ashes in the fountain. She shared that the pink was in commemoration of breast cancer awareness month.  Either way, the fountain was pink.  Adding to the perfection of the day was the SUN - glorious - and the Japanese drumming - Tamagawa University students who came to America for the festival and performed at many of the colleges around the area - and the Kimmel Center too.  Then lunch - I was going to find a restaurant but instead saw a cart with falafel sandwiches - got mine with hummous and feta - with a cup of lentil soup.  Great tasting and a bargain too.  I could go back and bask in the sunshine for yet more time!  No need for extra Vitamin D that day.  So let's reflect on this 'retirement' thing and say that yes, it is a paradigm shift, and yes , it takes adjustment, BUT overall, for days like this one, it is a perfect place to be!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Reflections on Relationships...

First I saw the daffodils (you saw them too in my previous post!!)  and then I let my eyes wander around the back yard.  The view from my office window.  There is still a low spot in the back yard that is mindful of a small pond when it rains.  This morning, as I was reflecting on the meaning of Relationshps, I post this picture to guide your reflections!!
Relationships, respectful and reciprocal, are how we learn about ourselves and    others in our world.
Everyone needs to be empowered to use his/her strengths to grow.
Love is at the heart of all being - loving ourselves and others in our world.
Attitudes, our reactions to what happens to us, can make or break relationship building.
Trust is at the foundation of our relationshp building.
Interactions are our dance of relationships - we are each leaders & followers.
Oneness and unity is what we own and share with our world.
Nurturing and caring within and without open us to receive love.
Service to others opens our hearts to giving and receiving.
Happiness can always be with us as we stop to be in the present moment.
Intentions that are clear and purposeful guide our believing.
Perceptions are at the root of clearly understanding ourselves and others.
Stillness is a state of mind and being that puts us in a place to be open to receive our world.
               Reflect on Relationshps.  Take the time to make yours work!!

Early Morning Vision - Spring is Here!!

Very early this morning, my mind woke me with all of its chattering!  Too early to get up, so I put on the Gordon Brothers Meditation CD and even that did not still the excitement of what?!?!?  Then I started thinking of the word Relationships and how each letter would be something meaningful. Not quite ready to write it down, I opened my window to welcome in the sights and smells of a lovely Spring rainy morning.  Then I saw this out of my window and just knew that everyday more and more blossoms of beauty are gifting us.  Yesterday, most of these were closed tight in buds.  Hmmmmm now isn't that a metaphor for what is going on inside me?  Anais Nin said "We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are."  My message today - I am the beauty that the world presents to us!!  Lovely!!  !  Go forth on this day with that thought embedded in your heart.  Wishing you love and joy!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Perspectives to Open Up the World

Alice fell down the hole and in her adventures met so many new people and got some phenomenal perspectives on life!  Yesterday at Morris Arboretum, in Chestnut Hill, PA, we were coming down the steps and Bill stopped to look out the window.  WOW - th - is offered me the insights that go along with the paradigm shifts I keep talking about.  Notice what is right in front of you - the beauty of the present world...and then look beyond to see what might be there to guide your thoughts.  It's in the present and filled with day dreams for the future.  It's yet again, stopping to see, being still and just wondering at the beauty of life!!

A Tree Grows in Pitman!!

Imagine this - driving down one of the major thorofares, Holly Avenue, in your very own hometown of Pitman, NJ (well, 40 years now!) and seeing a tree growing on the sidewalk in front of one of the houses.  Okay you say - no big deal - trees grow in front of houses all the time BUT are they make of glass bottles that say IKEA and Made in Poland??  Screech.  Let's figure out how to get the best vantage point for this and of course, a few pictures.  Zoomed around the block and parked facing it.  Just walked across the street and snapped away.  Of course, I asked Bill to pose since it could offer a perspective of size of the tree.  It was definitely as tall as we were!!  It was fun to see and just as much fun to get close to each of the colors and see right through them.  I wonder how many people have driven by and never seen this - or seen it and not given it a curious passing thought.  Not PhotoSchmoozer.    Anything out of the ordinary is worth stopping for and checking it out.  Life is an adventure and everyday there are new sights to see!  Don't ever lose that childlike curiosity.  It's what connects you with your spirit and your soul and keeps you young and thriving.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Time for a Paradigm Shift...NOT a simple thing!!!

Meet "ANT"ny ATTITUDE!!  He's a synchronicity happening and a message for me...for you...and for the rest of the world!  Working on a power point for a presentation, I went to clip art and there he was.  I fell in love!!  Doesn't he just make you feel good?  Anyhow, he has become a part of my life, a friend who reminds me how life is to be lived.  I've come to realize that there are times in life when it is necessary for a Paradigm Shift and I am there big time!  Help!! For more than 40 years, early childhood has been my field, where I have focused my education, my time and, well, some of my energy.  Maybe I realize that there were only parts of it that engendered enthusiasm.  It's the caregiver - the adult who cares for the little ones - and his/her RELATIONSHIP that is most imortant to me.  Attitudes, values, interactions and just generally a way of being.  My friend loves being a mentor and guiding those who work in the classroom; others love talking about guiding behaviors.  My deal - know who you are, recognize your strengths and be a leader in your dance of relationships when you can.  Otherwise, recognize another's strengths, allow them to lead and be a great follower.  It's a win-win. DARE to AFFIRM!!!   So I need to let go of what doesn't bring my spirit alive - find a place for my books about things that others love best and move on to???  It's time to let go and make room for what is waiting to come!!!  ANTny and some truly loving friends are there to live the adventure with me!!