April 2009

Palm tree trunk cells

Palm Tree Trunk Cells panoramaTODAY’S PHOTOS
segment of the trunk of a Palm Tree

I am assuming that some portions of the trunk were removed, thus exposing the cells. I was so caught up in the intrigue of exploring sections of the trunk with my camera that I did not think about the cause and effect of what I was seeing.

Once viewing the photos, on my monitor I fell in love with what I saw/see as the beauty in browns contrasted with the green and a bit of the blue sky, along with the contrast and repetition in the shapes and lines.

To get “more to appreciate,” I started playing with the photograph in Photoshop Elements. Although I did not alter anything in colors or filters I did resize, rotate and flip the photo to create the panoramic image.

As I view the lower photo I notice an unplanned face in the center of the panorama. Actually it’s more like “ET.” The two horizontal prints could be flipped in the opposite direction and a whole new image be created.

THE STORY
The content of this issue is actually verbatim, with a single question added to the Queries, for Issue 208, published at the end of the first year of Picture to Ponder.

I was going through photo archives in preparation for the Through and from the Lens COURSE and these two cells photos kept coming up for me. Given my practice of follow my instincts when it comes to photo selection here, I decided to also use them as the featured photos for today. After all, most of you were not subscribers then and, if you were, are you likely to remember these two photographs?

On the other hand I find it interesting to see how similar the queries are to what I have been putting forth, even in recent times – three and a half years later. It’s good to take note of the consistencies in our lives and be reminded of our strengths.

SELF-REFLECTING QUERIES
Once again our photo is an example of the possibilities in looking at something – an object, thing, person or situation – from more than one point of view.

As I have in past issues of Picture to Ponder, I invite to look around you and find an item in your environment, or a space in which you are passing through, to look at from several different angles. Are you seeing anything newly?

There may also be areas in your life – relationships or other situations – in which you might spur surprising results by viewing them from more than one perspective . Keep in mind, as in the photo combinations above, there may be even more possibilities than the one you choose as your answer.

Play and have fun with this.

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Great Blue Herons in Nest over Rose Photo

Great Blue Herons in Nest over Rose Photo

A screen capture of the video Lynn Serafinn created reading her “The Song of the Rose” from her beautiful and inspiring THE GARDEN OF THE SOUL book.  I love the stories, real and fictional, throughout the book, documenting in a unique way her personal transformation growth and develoment.  (More later)  and since the photograph is a beautiful image of love, I’ll continue with my friend Morgine Jurdan’s

Love Can Change Your Life!

My entire body tingled as I awoke, snuggled in crisp clean sheets, warmed by the sunlight kissing my skin. It was as if several hundred pounds of emotional excess has been released from my life these days! No more endless processes, books and courses attempting to change myself any more! I am free at last, bathing in the simplicity of Love!

Thinking I knew what love was, and having an intimate relationship with It, was life transforming for me. I liken it to being in love with my partner for over 10 years from afar, and finally having that first kiss! I could barely sleep for three days! Many mystics and scientists alike agree there is “an energy” everything emerges from and which creates all we experience here and beyond. I too, began to see this energy and call it Love.

It seems this Love is Infinite and without conditions, powerful and healing. Yet being everything, I also found it inside anger and war, inside cancer cells and toxic chemicals. There seemed to be no place Love does not call home and my entire perspective of life was altered! I released definitions which had so confined my life and now live outside that box.

I learned how to connect with my inner wisdom, at first usually when disaster struck. Then when I consulted it daily, fewer disasters would occur. Life became easier and easier. I only needed to ask, “What choice would Love make here?”

For me this Love lives through me, breathes me into existence, loves me endlessly just for the sheer joy loving brings. This Spirit fully embraces all It’s creations. Daily I am bathed in love from inside and also, outside in the form of Nature, animals, buildings, people, and so much more!!

I ask for guidance all day long and allow this Spirit of Love to bring clarity to my life in the midst of chaos, returning me to a peace beyond words. I truly believe It desires what is best for me, allowing me the free will to listen or not. It guides me to fully living the brilliance I truly am! It sings endless songs of praise and encouragement, if only I remain open.

I am Love and I have always known everything I needed to know connecting with this inner wisdom. When I step into fear, struggle, pain or judgment, I am aware I am pretending I am alone and separate. Love is the Key. I am learning to trust it more and more every day and know it changes my life when I follow Love’s lead.

© Morgine Jurdan
4-21-2009

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vegetables on a field of wheat

two green bean hearts in a pottery candle holder

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Upper photo – Mixed Vegetables that had been in a foil pan awaiting selection for cutting and being photographed in a Workshop, placed here on a field of wheat for background.

Lower photo – Cut Green Beans reveal Hearts, in a pottery candle holder I made.

Today’s photos are not so much about beautiful photographs.
Rather they are here as an introduction to what could be possible as we take things apart and look closely.

The lower photo needed “doctoring”, given it was slightly blurred, in part because of poor lighting, and my desire for you to also see the “hearts” became more important than a high quality photograph.

The Story
Given it was Earth Day when I started putting together today’s issue of Picture to Ponder, I was drawn to the vegetables as I sorted through my photos.

Then, even though I recycle aluminum foil pans, it somehow did not seem appropriate to highlight it on this day. I thus used Photoshop Elements to remove the assorted vegetables from the pan and placed them on a “natural”, more suitable background.

Heart in a green bean photo
The green bean photo above is a result of a Saturday discovery. I became fascinated when, at a fresh vegetable stand, I snapped open a green bean and saw a heart!
I propped the bean amongst tomatoes for a “photo shoot.”

None of the close-ups I took of Saturday’s “heart” were sharp. Nevertheless I wanted you to see one, thus the small picture just above and the set-up one featured here today.

One of my reasons for sharing these photos is my desire to point out that in the “Inspirational, Transformational” Through and from the Lens Telecourse, starting Monday (afternoon session) and/or Wednesday (night session), you will have the opportunity to open up to seeing things you may never have noticed before.

The grouping of vegetables in the upper photo is a “Treasure Chest” of discovery of colors, shapes, textures patterns, all awaiting your excitement when you open them up, cutting into them in traditional, and perhaps non-traditional, ways.

The Through and from the Lens course could be viewed as a treasure chest. As we cut into vegetables and fruits, should that be a path we choose, we open up to looking at other patterns and textures in our lives, within ourselves and among those with whom we interact. These openings result in increased self-confidence and joy in our lives.

Marifran Korb states now that she is taking pictures she feels she is honoring her world and feels more powerful seeing how much beauty there is and how much more interesting her world is. In a phone conversation, (Click here to listen in) she concluded with, “I love my life more!”l

The pattern of Self-Reflecting Queries I pose in Picture to Ponder become ones you create in new and, perhaps, even more meaningful ways for yourself in Through and from the Lens.

It all starts with a camera and your desire to discover yourself and the world around you in new ways. Many, who participate in this course, find their inner artist, one whom they never knew existed. Others find themselves paying much more attention to details in their lives, as well as in what they photograph.

I would LOVE to be taking that journey with you, experiencing your “Pictures to Ponder” and your “joys of discovery!”

If you have not yet checked out the Through and From the Lens page for Subscribers, with your special savings, I invite you to do that now. See COURSE and decide if you, too, would enjoy being on such a “journey.”

If you have been to the page, I invite you to pay another visit. I’ve modified it and made it easier to navigate and find the information for which you may be looking.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
For me today’s issue of Picture to Ponder, the photos and my message, became about my deeply caring about something and struggling with the “perfect” pictures and words to get this across.

Ultimately the only solution is taking action, be it in writing, photographing (for me), painting, meditating (for some) or simply communicating with another AND standing in, visualizing, the JOY OF COMPLETION, trusting ourselves and knowing that one- step-at-a time will bring us to the “perfect” results, whatever they are meant to me.

What actions provide clarity for you?

Is there any place in your life right now where you are feeling particularly stymied? feeling the need to be “perfect”? If so, do you know what you want as the outcome?

If “yes”, I invite you to:
1 – Let go of any attachment to the outcome
2 – Start taking some simple actions and
3 – Trust

As, always, remember to bring fun into the queries and actions.

Specifics on Through and From the Lens
Experience Life through the Lens of Your Inner Artist

We all have an artist within. You may agree with this or be skeptical. In either case, THROUGH AND FROM THE LENS teleclasses could be for you. Through the use of your camera, group interaction with participants and some suggested writing, classes provide the opportunity for you to start seeing your worlds, both inner and outer, in new and different ways, leading to increased creativity, self-confidence and much more.

Classes take place on a telephone conference call line and by email in a 4 week series – Your choice days – Mondays at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM EDT, starting April 27th or nights – Wednesdays from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT, starting April 29th – (See WORLD TIME to match the times in your geographic location)

Read FULL description, details, bonuses, testimonials and more on APRIL CLASSES.

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Parrot Tulip Photos spark Observations of Self

by Sheila Finkelstein on April 15, 2009

LIFE AS RELECTED IN A PARROT TULIP

Ariane Goodwin, invited me to submit a Tulip photo for Featured Artist of the Week on the smARTist Career Blog, stating that “Velvet” was here favorite.

Parrot tulip with a velvet feeling

I originally featured these two tulip photographs in PICTURE TO PONDER last month, in acknowledgment of April as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness month (a tulip is the symbol for PD). In that writing I mainly paid attention to the feeling and the textures of the above flower and the one below.  I invited readers to simply “BE” with them.

At the time I thought that my preference was for this second photo. Then, after the communication from Ariane, I started reflecting on the photos and my life.  I thought:

TULIP REFLECTIONS AND LIFE

The first photo is . . .

The tulip yet to fully open
Colors and textures abound
Promises of a rich, bright, velvety future.

Wow, it’s open now
Strong and bold
Rich in color
Has it lost some of its
Variations.

Its back is to me
The way I often present
Myself to the world
Am I hiding?
If so, what?
Is it self-protection?
What am I protecting?

center of a parrot tulip

Lots of central imagery
Food for thought.
Hmm. Is my food in the core of me?
I always go to my brain for nourishment.

open parrot tulip - sideview

And now as the petals start to fall
Looking sideways toward
What’s next?

A different form of beauty remains.
Always rich in colors, lines and textures
The curvaceousness of my soul.

The reminder of my path.

©2009 Sheila Finkelstein

I would be delighted if you, too, would share your responses to these photos or my words.  You can see additonal tulip photos in my Flickr Tulip Album and on TULIPS PAGES I put up in other years.  Use the links at the bottom of each of those pages to check the other years – 2007 and 2008.

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rusty lamppost

magenta colored dendrobium orchid

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
The upper photo – Nighttime photo of the bottom of a rusty lamppost in a parking lot
The lower photo- A Dendrobium Orchid from the American Orchid Society gardens.

Once again, a seemingly odd combination of photos and both kept cropping up on my computer monitor as I was looking for photos for another project. So here they are.

The Story
As I was leaving an art opening, a couple of weeks ago, the rusty lamppost lamppost in parking lot at night caught my attention. In part, I’m sure, it was more noticeable to me because that night in the show, I had been particularly attracted to paintings, collages and sculptures in the show that were predominately earth tones.

In addition, I think a little of my “competitive” spirit also kicked in. A couple of days before, Joe Gemignani, our interviewee on April 20th, had posted on Facebook the shadow photo (shown on my “Invitation to the Call” page) . He did not describe the photo and I was still puzzling over parts of it a couple of days later. Thus, as I photographed the lamppost, I think I became intent on zooming in myself for some “mystery” photos.

As I was viewing the lamppost photo today, I thought, “What a great writing prompt, it would be.” A very strong, bold photo… is that an “eye.” If so, what might it be revealing, or hiding? If you are so moved, I invite you to write from it.

On the other hand, in contrast to the boldness of the top image, the orchid photo is one of quiet, simplicity and beauty. It also embodies the full cycle of life, with a open flowers, a bud and a flower that’s past its prime.

Contrasts
As the photos today are examples of contrasts, so are the programs being offered, those to which I am referring in today’s Picture to Ponder. All three are related to “seeing” in different ways.

Each of us who will be on the calls have slightly different approaches in the way we view our worlds AND we each have developed the confidence and self-belief to stand for our passions, expressing them in different ways.

It is my intent with these calls, and with the Through and From the Lens telecourse series to offer you opportunities for expanded access to discovering and living in your own voice.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Given I’ve been writing about “Contrasts,” I invite you to look into your life and your behaviors.

When you come across situations or people that are opposites, do you choose one over the other, or can you find ways to make them both work? Or, do you simply withdraw?

In addition, are there places in your life now, where you could be taking some bold actions and you are holding back? If so, I invite you to take a least one bold action this week.

As, always, remember to bring fun into the queries and actions.

Expanding Vision Opportunities
1 – A preview of YOUR ECO-BLUE PRINT teleclass series Julie will be leading in May, get Information on the f*r*e*e call on “Cultivating a Sense of Awe and Wonder” Friday, 4/17 at 2:00 PM EDT- See FRIDAY’S CALL. Register to get the Recording if you cannot be on the call.

2 – Expanded Seeing – Details take on a new meaning – Interview with Award-Winning Photographer, Joe Gemignani, on Monday, 4/20 at 1:30 PM EDT See MONDAY’S CALL for examples of Joe’s work and to register f*r*ee to call in and/or get the MP3 recording of it.

3 – reflected little blue heron
Experience Life through the Lens of Your Inner Artist

We all have an artist within. You may agree with this or be skeptical. In either case, THROUGH AND FROM THE LENS teleclasses could be for you. Through the use of your camera, group interaction with participants and some suggested writing, classes provide the opportunity for you to start seeing your worlds, both inner and outer, in new and different ways, leading to increased creativity, self-confidence and much more.

Classes take place on a telephone conference call line and by email in a 4 week series – Your choice days – Mondays at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM EDT, starting April 27th or nights – Wednesdays from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT, starting April 29th – (See WORLD TIME to match the times in your geographic location)

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Egret with feather spread

Orange lily and chrysanthemums

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
The upper photo – A White Egret spreading his Mating Feathers in Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Delray Beach FL – In addition to the delicate feathers, note the intensified color in the beak of the Egret.

The lower photo- A Lily with White and Orange Chrysanthemums behind it – I particularly like the lighting here. Note the shadows of the stamen on the petal on the left.

Seemingly an odd combination of photos, these both represent this season of Spring and its upcoming holidays.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Basically, as I ponder it, the essence of today’s Picture to Ponder has become about CELEBRATION – celebrating a book launch, holidays, Nature and life and opportunities for celebrating ourselves.

In choosing to once again lead Through and From the Lens Teleclasses, I’m realizing it’s an opportunity for you to celebrate yourself – perhaps a part of you heretofore unknown to you – AND I’m actually honoring myself by doing this.

When she read my announcement, past participant Blaise Allen wrote, “I’m so happy you are doing this again! You were meant to teach this course.”

I now invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on, “What is it about yourself that you can celebrate?” Perhaps in your relationship with yourself, with others, your talents….You fill in the blanks. What would you like to celebrate? Are there people in your life whom you would also like to celebrate?

What is it that you are meant to be doing? Are you doing it?

And, after answering these questions for yourself, what actions, if any, are you willing to take? And, though it may sound “heavy” in my writing, be sure you include fun in whatever comes up for you.

Lastly, as always, when you’re finished, I invite you to share your experience with today’s photos and writing on the blog. See the instructions below if you need help.

Happy Holidays to all of you who are celebrating one in the next week.

Experience Life through the Lens of Your Inner Artist
We all have an artist within. You may agree with this or be skeptical. In either case, THROUGH AND FROM THE LENS teleclasses could be for you. Through the use of your camera, group interaction with participants and some suggested writing, classes provide the opportunity for you to start seeing your worlds, both inner and outer, in new and different ways, leading to increased creativity, self-confidence and much more.

Classes take place on a telephone conference call line and by email in a 4 week series – Your choice days – Mondays at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM EDT, starting April 27th or nights – Wednesdays from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT, starting April 29th – (See WORLD TIME to match the times in your geographic location)

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rose and sunset video transition

Castera rose and Great Blue Heron video transition photo

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Two of the 44 of my photographs that are the background for Lynn Serafinn’s Video Reading of “Song of the Rose” from her book “GARDEN OF THE SOUL: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self.” It’s now available on Amazon.

The top photo is a screen shot grabbed at the point the Yellow Rose photograph is transitioning to a Sunset photo. In the second photo Great Blue Herons in Nest transition into a picture of Castera Roses.

“I finally had time to go listen to the Song of the Rose – It’s exquisite – I love the words, the Lynn’s voice, your images, her sequencing of them – the whole thing is a gem! I feel very inspired.” Tomar Levine, Picture to Ponder subscriber

Take a breather, relax, listen and see for yourself “Song of the Rose” and please leave a comment. – (5 minute video on YouTube)

The Story – GARDEN OF THE SOUL Book
According to Lynn Serafinn, Author, “The book, which is a substantial work of over 400 pages, is a collection of inspirational personal narratives, stories and life lessons as taught by four flowers, the Rose, the Iris, the Daffodil, and the Lily, who teach us four spiritual principles: Give, Receive, Become and Be. Each section of the book focuses on one particular principle, and each begins with a poem or “song” sung by one of the four flowers.

“Song of the Rose” opens the section of the book called “The Principle of Giving”. In the book, the Rose teaches us that giving is not just about giving of things or time. It tells us that “Giving” is the process of anything that comes from within you, and expands outwards into the world.

It is your voice, your self-expression, empowerment, vitality, action, drive and energy. Most of all, it is passion, generosity of spirit and claiming one’s life purpose. The Rose teaches us how important it is not to deprive ourselves from giving of our true, authentic selves to the world, for without this giving, we feel useless, purposeless, and passionless.

Again, the book is now on sale at Amazon. I am excitedly awaiting my order being delivered, while holding the receipt to claim the added bonuses that will be available on April 7th.

The Story – Photography and Support
It’s been an exciting week for me.

Friday was the Blog Talk Radio interview in which Katherine Rescke interviewed me and two other professionals on money blocks. You can listen to the Podcast at PASSIONS THAT PAY.

On the weekend I had a couple of Skype conversations with Lynn Serafinn and several emails, as she selected photos from the Picture to Ponder archives to use in the first of four that she’s creating to promote her new book. I love what she did with it AND creating a video was a first for her!

It was wonderful experiencing being appreciated and acknowledged through the act of collaboration. Then there is the thrill of seeing my work used in a different dimension.

In addition I have been receiving wonderful support from past participants in my PHOTO CREAVITY teleclasses, renamed as THROUGH AND FROM THE LENS, as I’ve been developing the information and registration page for the upcoming course.

Julie Ann Turner, creator and facilitator of the CREATORS GUIDE program in which I’ve been participating, has provided invaluable suggestions and support in my fully experiencing and expressing what it is that I have to contribute to the world. Two others of the participants have also been most helpful.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
I’ve covered a lot of ground this week, as you’ve been reading in my sharing in today’s issue of Picture to Ponder.

While pondering the Self-Reflecting Queries for today, “Acknowledgment” once again seems to be the underlying message. There is also the principle of “Giving” as mentioned earlier in relation to Garden of the Soul.

I am so very appreciative of my friends and associates in programs in which I am participating. Knowing I could call or write and count on them for ideas and/or simply for reminders of my own worth has given me the ongoing boosts I’ve needed to move forward with intention and purpose.

I invite you to look in your life and see where you have been, or are, facing challenges. Do you know what it is you can, or will do, in those situations? Who are the people, if any, you have been able to, and can, count on for support and recognition? Have you recently expressed your appreciation for that to them?

How do you show appreciation for others? For yourself? Also look at your own strengths in supporting others? How do you position yourself AND do you acknowledge yourself for what you give in this arena? If not, I invite you to find some way to do so.

For me, I’ve been gradually recognizing more and more my strengths as I’m finally putting myself out there, once again, offering teleclasses. When I think of the “screen shots” and my other technological mini-expertise, I realize how much I do offer even beyond the “basic” curriculum of looking at our worlds in new and different ways.

Please check out the information below, or go directly to the Through and From the Lens page for subscribers.

Lastly, as always, when you’re finished, I invite you to share your experience with today’s photos and writing on the blog. See the instructions below if you need help.

And do have fun with this today.

Experience Life through the Lens of Your Inner Artist We all have an artist within. In either case, whether you know that or are skeptical, THROUGH AND FROM THE LENS teleclasses may be for you. Through the use of your camera, group interaction with participants and some suggested writing, classes provide the opportunity for you to start seeing your worlds, both inner and outer, in new and different ways, leading to increased creativity, self-confidence and much more.

Classes take place on a telephone conference call line and by email in a 4 week series – Your choice days – Mondays at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM EDT, starting April 29th or nights – Tuesdays from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT – (See WORLD TIME to match the times in your geographic location)

$30 savings for Picture to Ponder Subscribers. Read FULL description, details, bonuses, testimonials and more on APRIL CLASSES.

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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