December 2008

As the sun and the year 2008 set, may they bring the beauty of their reflected light into your 2009 with the same celebration and joy that we see the children expressing at sunrise

Sunset at Wakodahatchee - looks like ski slpes

Children celeberating sunrise at Boynton Beach

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
A December Sunset in Wakodahtachee Wetlands and children celebrating a December Sunrise at Boynton Beach, FL

The sunset was recent and I photographed the sunrise three years ago. It remains one of my favorites, as I recall the sheer exuberance of my granddaughter and one of my three grandsons with their visiting cousins from Indiana.

I love using this photo for December in my Sunrise/Sunset calendar. I see it as one of celebration of the year ending, as well as anticipation for the New Year to come.

Note – For those who love beach sunrises, you can see five more in a Picture to Ponder Issue, from last November.

The Story
None today – Simply an observation, as I smile, on the changes in the three years since the lower photo was taken. All four (I think) are on Facebook (my two grandchildren here and a grandson in Georgia are among my “Friends”). All are into text messaging on their phones. The latter I do without.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Most of you, I’m sure, are and will be receiving an abundance of emails and suggestions for gratitude lists, blessings, and more as we wrap up the past year and look into and plan for the next.

For today, I’m leaving the Self-Reflecting Queries up to you. Spend a moment or two, or more, with each of the two photos and experience whatever comes up for you. Take those thoughts and feeling wherever they go, or wherever they don’t.

May we all have a Blessed, Healthful 2009 – May it bring all that each of us wish for and more.

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Two Programs I suggest you check out –

42 Days of Passionate Presence led by Julie Jordan Scott Adela Rubio. A lot of who I am today, and what you experience here in Picture to Ponder, results from courses I’ve participated in facilitated by Julie. I did a couple of rounds of 42 Day Writing and 42 Day Discover your Passion programs a few years ago.

Those writing experiences, as well as a few of her writing teleseminars, are what opened me up to the potential
of myself as a writer. Adela, too, was an active participant in those programs. She also facilitated a few other programs in which I participated and experienced growth.

Both are special women. 42 Days of Passionate Presence is scheduled to start on Jan. 7 and was jump-started this week. See BEing Bootcamp for a description of the course and its bonuses, all of which are being gifted to you.

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VIP Inner Authors Circle , facilitated by Shelley Lieber, a membership program with monthly teleclasses, MP3s of them, many bonuses, including a signed copy of Shelley Lieber ‘s 4Ps to Publishing Success: Get Your Manuscript Off Your Desk & Into Print, a step-by-step workbook to guide aspiring authors through the publishing process.

All of this is only $97 TOTAL for those who enroll by 12/31 and $127 after. For those who meet the 12/31 deadline, Shelley is also including the audio files of the 4Ps to Publishing Success teleseminar (4 hours of all new and updated information not found in the book)

Although I have not yet been in a course with Shelley, other than the initial call, I have been most impressed with my initial experiences of her both in that phone call and in subsequent follow-up emails and TWEETS (for those on Twitter) that we’ve had. See Authors Circle for full details.

As an special interest for me, her husband, Joe Gemignani, is an awesome photographer.

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Sunset at Wakodahatchee - looks like ski slpes

 

sunrise opening at Wakodahatchee Wetlands

 

sunrise scene at Wakodahatchee Wetlaands - Delray Beach, FL

 

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Sunset and Sunrise in Wakodahtachee Wetlands

The top photo was taken at sunset. As I looked at the screen, after I snapped the first picture, it looked to me like the sun was setting behind a ski slope. In Sunset Rays you can see the rays of the sun coming through behind thick layers of clouds.

The bottom two photos are of a sunrise at Wakodahatchee Wetlands. In the first of the two, I especially appreciate the full opening up, fanning out, of the light of the sun.

I include the lower of the two sunrises to gift the feeling of serenity and warmth, particularly to those of you around the country and the world experiencing the harshness of winter’s cold and raging snowfalls.

The Story
There is definitely not a long “story” today.

Simply, as I continued to look for the “right” photos, I reminded myself to be easy on me and go with what I had mentally bookmarked, a couple of weeks ago, to feature in Picture to Ponder, the sunset that reminded me of photos of ski slopes.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
In invite you to look into your life. Are there recurring areas where you continue to spend a lot of time and belabor doing “THE RIGHT thing”, making “THE RIGHT choice”?

For me it is, of course, far more than selecting photos for Picture to Ponder. This week a lot of energy went on “THE RIGHT gift” and “THE RIGHT amounts of money” on a gift cards. A friend of mine reminded me that more important is the consideration for the person, rather than the gift itself, that is important. At other times, it’s “the RIGHT thing” to wear, “the RIGHT thing” to eat and much more. I’m sure that you can add to the list from your own life.

If any of this fits for you, I invite you to take one thing on which you are currently dwelling and simply choose, letting the chatter go. If there is nothing that occurs right now, as you read, I invite you to take note of any thing that might pop up during the next few days. Choose to simplify and release the angst of choosing at least one “RIGHT” thing.

Remember to have fun with this.

To All, who are celeberating a holiday in the next few days, may it be a joyful, happy one, filled with peace and love. May each and everyone have days filled with the latter.

Whether or not you are celebrating a holiday, please remember to celebrate yourself. Love to all.

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cactus1 - 2005

Cactus 1 - 2008 close up

wide view of cactus 2 - 2008

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
a Round Cactus first featured in Picture to Ponder in February 2005

The top photo is the one featured in Issue 39 and discussed in Issue 40 . In 2005 the plant at that point resided on a table on my patio. It now resides on a ledge in my bathroom, lighted by that coming through a glass block window.

The middle photo of the plant currently attempts to replicate the view in the 2005 shot. For those interested in comparing the different time frames, I took a picture of the plant today on the same table in the patio so the lighting would be the similar to the first time, the bottom photo.

When observing the view of the whole plant, you can see how curled up the older leaves have gotten and yet the new growth in the center is still vibrant and full.

The Story
There’s not much more to the story today, other than what’s stated above.

Recently every time I see this cactus plant, my inner voice tells me to photograph and feature it again in Picture to Ponder. I finally took the new photographs today. Then, when sorting through the others I downloaded with them, two additional themes, vying for attention, emerged.

I finally stopped the inner chatter and chose to stick with what I planned. I’m not even sure what it is about the plant that’s having it be “the one” for today.

As I look at the plant and reflect on it, I’m thinking that it can be symbollic for the new year and for the birthdays I just celebrated, Picture to Ponder’s and my own. Most of the plant looks like it’s dying off, at least withering away and yet, when looking at the core, the vibrancy of new growth is rich and full.

Perhaps it’s bringing us the message that we can look at the past year and see the things that we are ready to shed, perhaps even casting off some fears, knowing that what’s ahead is bright and green.

And, as I’m completing the last sentence, I’m marveling at the relevant thoughts and ideas that showed up. There are several opportunities I want to share with you today and the above unexpectedly leads to two of them! – my friend Debbie Friedman’s offer of her complimentary FREEDOM FROM FEAR audio and Sandy Grason’s exciting LIVE FABULOUS NOW five week program in which I am participating.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Accepting that the message of the photos is about shedding and growth, I invite you to look into your life and at the past year to see what you might have already let go.

Can you see the new growth waiting to burst through? Perhaps it already has. Are your celebrating?

Look again at the 2008 plant photos above. Note the beauty in the curves of the leaves that are still there reminding us of what still is.

Now check. Are there accomplishments for which you have yet to acknowledge yourself? If so, please take some time to do so now.

Enjoy your voyage of Exploration and Discovery and please check the programs below, all of which have the potential to enhance and propel your journey.

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Special Offers – Must See’s

Debbie Friedman, Cleaning out the Closet of Your Mind, in her Share the Freedom movement Program is offering her Gaining Freedom From Fear, relaxation and transformation audio at No Charge to as many people as possible, “everyone everywhere so that each individual can take their power back and live the life they love to live.”

Click on SHARE THE FREEDOM Movement for more information and to get your gift Freedom from Fear audio.

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ARTELLA, one of the most creative sites, I know is offering 55% off of both memberships and Gift Certificates. They have a wonderful variety of special gifts from artists and crafts people on this site. See ARTELLA GIFTS.

Also, if you missed it three issues ago, ARTELLA is gifting you complimentary ebooks, including ExerSIGHS: A Self-Esteem Workbook for Writers and Artists

Another that I’ve also downloaded and am still looking forward to reading is MoneyMorphosis: Ten Things Butterflies Can Teach Us About Money. The description states that it invites us to transform the way we think about money by following 10 metaphorical fables in which butterflies teach us about true prosperity.

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LIVE FABULOUS NOW is a program in which I am currently enrolled and participating with Sandy Grason who usually charges a substantial fee for her coaching and courses. She is doing a very special, relatively inexpensive, transformative five week program all about how to Live Fabulous Now, being all you can be right now! Being authentic and living full out as we enter the New Year 2009.

Though the class has already started, you can still catch up with the MP3s. There are no classes next week, so getting up to date will be easier. I’m already feeling the impact in how I’m managing my tasks and staying more focused on my priorities. Sandy is giving us small easy to use tools in many areas of our lives.

Delightfully high in energy Sandy also emphasizes intentional CELEBRATION, something that will be a major breakthrough for me. For more information and to enroll, LIVE FABULOUS NOW

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For the Artists among you – smARTist 2009 telesummit is coming up in January. This is the third year I will be attending and I am excited. You can listen to the recording of the panel of 11 experts sharing some of what they will be speaking about. There is also a recording of Ariane Goodwin interviewing Allyson Stanfield on the 10 Qualities needed to promote your art as well as market it. You can also register to hear Mari Smith speak on how to use Facebook to “ramp up your art career”. Go to PRE-EVENTS.

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Happy 4th Birthday Picture to Ponder and subscribers.
Special thanks to those of you have been with us since
Issue 1 – December 9, 2004. Click on the link to see what my mission was.
I think you’ll agree that together we’ve been
fulfilling on it. Much delight and joy to all as we enter our 5th Year!

bougainvillea 1

bougainvillea 2

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Bougainvillea from a bush outside our community in Boynton Beach, FL

In the upper photo the flower on the right looks like “lips” to me. Thus, I thought the picture would be great for sending kisses to us all as we celebrate Picture to Ponder’s birthday.

The lower photo shows the full range of colors and the subtle differences that attracted me.

The Story
The other night I was driving into the community where I live and from a distance the large plant in the front of a center island caught my eye. It looked to be a plant with multi-colored leaves. See photo 3 to view a fuller expanse of the leaves and flowers. “Fascinating,” thought ,I and, of course, I pulled in front of it and parked so that my camera and I could investigate. (Note – Photo 3 was taken in morning light. Thus a different feeling to it.)

What I thought were different kinds of leaves turned out to be the flowers colored by the many stages of their life cycle, from beginning to their “death.”

I had been pondering, off and on, for a couple of days as to what photos I might have, or would show up, to honor our Picture to Ponder birthday. Then the noticing of this bush showed up, offering both pictures and a theme.

The flowers in today’s featured bougainvillea represent, to me, the beauty of all the stages of our lives. The parts of the flower that are dying off are soft and lovely and, seemingly for a while, stay and show off their full range of beauty within each petal, rather than suddenly “dying off,” which seems to happen with many plants.

It therefore became fitting to use these photos for this issue to acknowledge all the pieces of our growth. The presentation of Picture to Ponder has mellowed and changed somewhat during these past four years and yet the parts remain an integral part of us.

EZezine, the publisher we used until recently, kindly still holds the ARCHIVES for people to visit at any time. (Though please do not use their subscribe or unsubscribe buttons. They do not link to our current publisher and list. If you are a visitor, use SUBSCRIBE at the end of this issue)

All Picture to Ponder issues can also be accessed by following the links at the bottom of any issue in the eteletours.com site or by simply changing the numbers in the URL. See this issue, as an example, http://www.eteletours.com/v4-issue46.html or Issue 1 mentioned to at the top of this page.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
So how does this all relate to us and our Self-Reflecting Queries? For me, it brings to mind many of the different facets of ourselves. Therefore, I invite you to look into your life and query,

“Are there pieces of me, in current or past experiences, that I have “cast off”, dismissed as dead and gone, perhaps useless?”

If “yes”, I invite you to take some time to reflect, see how they contributed to who you are today, to the beauty of you and the fabric of your life AND then CELEBRATRE ALL of  YOU!

Castera Rose on a Pillow in the Nature Art Gift shopCelebrate our Birthday with us. Gift yourself, or a loved one, with a pillow, clock, tile, mug, or one of our many other gift items enhanced with a Picture to Ponder Photograph. Go to Nature Art Gift Shop (first link on that page is by photo category, others are by product)

Coming to you with love and appreciation. Happy LifeDay, LifeYear.

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Calendar cover for 2009 sunset calendar2009 – 12 month Calendars have been updated with several new sunsets in the Sunrise/Sunset Calendar and new flowers in the Flowers Calendar. See 2009 Calendars. Be sure also to check out the year-at-a-glance calendars. I keep one above my computer and one on my refrigerator.

Image in a Wood knot on railing in Green Cay Wetlands

Wood knot beauty on railing in Green Cay Wetlands

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Wood Knots on the Railing of the Boardwalk in Green Cay Wetlands, Boynton Beach, FL

In the upper photo, I, at first, enjoyed the feeling of looking at sky, though it was water, as I gazed at and beyond the railing. When I got ready to post it here, I suddenly noticed the “animal” with its head resting comfortably in the space seemingly cut out just for “him.” The dark area of the concave section of the railing could even be his tail. Might our imaginary creature be in the squirrel family?

Insofar as the lower image, once I separated it from the other photographs I had taken, I became aware of its aesthetic beauty. I love the coloring, the depth of the openings and the rhythm and movement of the lines and patterns in the wood.

The Story
There is not much of a story to today’s photographs. The thought of using one of the “scenic” railing images has been with me since I took the photographs about a month ago.

When I started looking through my files for featured photographs for today’s Picture to Ponder, I came across a glass sculpture that moved me. I spent time searching for, and did not find, the contact information for the sculptor, to get permission, and then went on to studying a new site on spiritual mandalas, considering how I could weave them both together for you today.

I then spent time searching my files for the full-size truck photo/drawings I need for putting together a 12-month Truck Art Calendar. I wanted that done before I published today’s issue of Picture to Ponder.

I finally paused in my scattered, yet focused activity, and accepted that the work involved was too time-consuming for immediate resolution and that delivering Picture to Ponder today was the priority.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
As you can tell from the above, I have been “all over the place.” This is descriptive of more than selecting photos for today’s issue. And, I’ve give myself permission to be peacefully in the query, resting, “pondering” like the “creature” in the top photo.

Is there any place in your life right now where it would forward you to take some space, to give yourself permission to simply “be” with what’s there, trusting that what’s meant to open up for you will?

If you see something, I invite you to take whatever action…. to trust…. to allow.

And, if you are actively looking for something to support you, Coco Fossland, with whom I’ve taken some powerful, empowering courses, is offering a 7 Day Manifestation Journey
as a gift, starting tomorrow, Wednesday, December 3rd. If you are reading this after that date, you may still join in. Recordings of calls and print material will be available.

Coco states, in her introduction to the Manifestation Journey:

“This group is for people who want to embrace and use the Laws of Creation to manifest something desired in 7 days.

This group is for people who want to embark on a 7 Day Manifestation Journey. This program is A GIFT TO YOU, from World Changing Business Founder, Coco Fossland…” For details go to 7 Day Journey.

If you are a member of FACEBOOK, you can also access, and participate in, the program by joining the World Changing Business Group. It’s the same, either choice you make.

Have a joyous and restful (if you so choose) week. Do remember to play.

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© 2017 Sheila Finkelstein - All Rights Reserved - Photography and Writing are by Sheila Finkelstein unless otherwise noted. For information contact Sheila[at]SheilaFinkelstein.com