July 2010

Before discussing today’s Picture to Ponder photos and queries, I want to give a quick “quick heads up” for the business builders among you – Last week I told you about my coach Mollys Gordon’s program for finding your “Just Right Clients” and included a link to her complimentary MP3 download, chock full of information and useful tools. Scroll down below the SRQs for a link to the download page. There is a special offer which expires 7/31

Also, for the aspiring writers considering the possibilities of having a book published, my friend Lynn Serafinn did a webinar interview last week which is available for complimentary download. She is doing another webcast tomorrow, 7/29, where you can have your questions answered. More information is down below the Goldilock’s information.

Also, for the aspiring writers considering the possibilities of having a book published, my friend Lynn Serafinn had a webinar interview last week – available for complimentary download, and is doing another webinar tomorrow, 7/29, where you can have your questions answered. More information is below the Goldilock’s information.

Now on to Today’s Photos

wood knot in Green Cay with slanted face no eyesMasked wood knot face on side panel of boardwalk railing
at Green Cay Wetlands

hibiscus in shadows at nightHibiscus at night, lit by a full moon and poolside lights

Today’s Photos Story
I haven’t taken many pictures the past few weeks, so I was trusting that the “perfect” featured photos for today would “show up” in a search through my photo folders.

I could hypothesize why these two became the photos of choice, share the “stories” they may be telling and, for today, I think I’ll leave the “stories” for you to create, if you so wish.

In addition to each of the photos individually, and what they might be expressing, you might wonder why I’ve chosen to feature two such very different images in the same issue. I’ll let you create a “story” of commonality around that also.

Suffice it to say, on my end, I see the two working together aesthetically in terms of artistic composition. I see/feel definite similarities in textures, despite one being a delicate, soft-petaled flower and the other hard, rough wood. There is also repetition of some of the linear patterns in both pictures and even colors that are similar.

Self-Reflecting Queries
I have, obviously, combined two very different subjects as a unit for this issue of Picture to Ponder. In reflecting on that:

I wonder, are there people in your life who are so different you would never think to be interacting with them at the same time, or in the same room? If one or more persons flash into your mind, I invite you to look further to see where there might be some common ground, or complementary characteristics.

Do you see anything? If so, are there empowering opportunities for everyone that might develop from that, if you put them/you all together?

And are there other elements in your life – any projects – to which you could apply the same, or similar, criteria?

As always have fun playing with these photos queries. Then please share your experiences with us in the COMMENTS section below . I’d also love to read any of the “stories” you made up about the images.


For Business Owners interested in Getting More Clients

Molly Gordon, my personal coach, did an outstanding teleclass call recently to introduce her new Goldilocks Strategy for Getting Clients that Fit Just-Right. She is offering a 33% discount on the already very reasonable program. This special expires on July 31st.

On the fr*ee call which she entitled “5 Proven Steps to Getting More Clients Even if You’re Allergic to Biz” she went into depth on 5 strategies for doing just that. Chock full of suggestions and details on implementing these steps, you can get an Instant-No-Obligation Download of the MP3 recording of the call at Goldilocks Preview. I highly recommend listening to this call if you are looking to expand your business.


For Writers and Those Who Dream of Writing a Book

My friend Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors would like to know: “What is YOUR burning question about taking your writing or book project forward?”

She will be answering YOUR questions on WEBCAST 2 on Thursday, July 29th, at 3 PM EDT which you can ask when you sign up for the FR*EE webcasts for writers and authors, aimed at answering your questions about writing, publishing, book promotion and beyond.

WEBCAST 1 was last week. Lynn’s very special guest on the first was the “Get a Book Deal Coach”, Stephanie Gunning. Steph talked about how to “Transform Your Spiritual Wisdom into Marketable Books.”

There is still time to participate “Live” on tomorrow’s webcast and/or get the replay as well as a fr*ee download of WEBCAST 1.

To read more about these fr*ee webcasts, and to register your place, see BOOK WRITING.


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Textures, life and, I thought, brevity were to be the focus of today’s Picture to Ponder.

I didn’t think I had much to say today; rather I was simply fulfilling on my promise to deliver photos and Self-Reflecting Queries to you weekly.

I was going to opt for “quiet time” – perhaps suggested by the velvety green leaves themselves – and then, as I was writing, I was hit with sensory memories and went on to invite you to share yours.

Please note toward the bottom of today’s issue of Picture to Ponder, I have information on my friend Julie Jordan Scott’s Writing Camp starting tomorrow, Thursday, July 22nd and, for the business builders among you, information on a free MP3 download for finding your “Just Right Clients”.

Today’s Photos

velvet-like leaf of a plant in the AOS Gardens

Velvey leaf from an unidentified plant in the gardens of the American Orchid Society in Delray Beach, FL.

Magenta color flowers from the plant with velvet leaves in the American Orchid Society Gardens

Flowers, presumably, from the same velvety-leafed plant in the AOS Gardens.

Today’s Photos Story
I’m often asked how I see what I see when I take a photograph, what has me take the photos I do. And, my answer is always the same, as I’ve written often written here. I follow my own mantra, “If something catches your eye, no matter what, photograph it.”

Sometimes the images I capture are said to be “great” by others. Perhaps, in part, this is so because usually I strive for well-composed shots with some kind of aesthetic appeal when I publicly share them.

Today’s two photos are featured mainly to exemplify an experience. Friends and I were walking in the AOS gardens when I was immediately drawn in by the spread of leaves below.

velvet like leaves in AOS gardens

They looked like velvet and my fingertips immediately went out to gently check to see if the actual feel matched my visual, sensory tactile interpretation. It did.

Interestingly, after downloading my photos in the computer, I noticed the flowers which I had, evidently, photographed for the color. I have no recollection of them or of having associated with the same plant of which the leaves were a part. And, surprisingly, in retrospect, I did not even look for signage for information on the plant.

The wonder and the power of the experience was all that was necessary for the usually, left-brained me!!!

Self-Reflecting Queries
My first query – Are there places in your life where the experiences are so rich and complete that no words or explanations are necessary?

Then, perhaps, in a totally different conversation, I invite you to explore the “velvet” in your life, past or present. What does “velvet” represent for you? For me, I think it’s luxury and comfort.

Can you recall experiences of velvet fabric in your life? If so, what are the associations that come up for you?

I’m recalling a black, velvet dress I had and memories, I think, of a velvet-like coat. In both cases they would surround me, as does a velvety feeling blanket I have, and provide “comfort”, though the dress was more, “Look at me. I feel elegant.”

Then suddenly I think of velvet sofas and the texture there seems somewhat foreboding, perhaps because of the “don’t sit here unless covered” messages. Ironic, that this should come up since there were, to my recollection,no velvet sofas in my family.

The references above are all to actual tactile experiences, the physcial touch and feel of velvet. In addition to the sight I mentioned at the beginning, you might also think of “velvet” in terms of sounds – voices, tones, music, nature and more.

What else comes up for you when you hear the word, see the image of “velvet?” Please share this with us in the COMMENTS below.

A Writing Prompt
For those who like to write, today’s single leaf photo would be great for a writing prompt. Put yourself in the leaf. Then take a pen or pencil to paper, or fingers to your keyboard, and simply start to write. Describe the sights, sounds, feelings as you explore the color variations, the textures, the spaces.

And, if you’ve accepted the writing prompt invitation, I’d love for you to share your writing in the comments section below OR e-mail it to me and I’d be glad to set up a special web page with the photo and “velvet” responses.


For Business Owners interested in Getting More Clients
Molly Gordon, my personal coach whom I mentioned last week, did an outstanding teleclass call last week to introduce her new Goldilocks Strategy for Getting Clients that Fit Just-Right.

On the fr*ee call which she entitled “5 Proven Steps to Getting More Clients Even if You’re Allergic to Biz” she went into depth on 5 strategies for doing just that. Chock full of suggestions and details on implementing these steps, you can can an Instant no obligation, download of the MP3 recording of the call at Goldilocks Preview. I highly recommend listening to this call if you are looking to expand your business.


For Writers and People-Who-Want-to-Write
My friend, Julie Jordan Scott, one of my special mentors, is doing her last Virtual Writing Camp for the season – 2 weeks with several meeting times. For those for whom this fits it will be an awesome experience. See Writing Camp. As I have mentioned before in Picture to Ponder, I attribute my freedom to write and be so publicly authentic to the work I’ve done with Julie in the past.

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I’ve been busy organizing and planning today’s call for moms in deepening connections and communication with their young children. I was once again moved to tears and smiles when Tracy, one of the interviewees, responded to an email mentioning the “STRONG heart connection” with her and her daughter.

Also, though the call is not about using the camera, I asked Tracy if she and her daughter are still using the camera. She replied:

“I would definitely bring up the camera thing because we do it all the time. We also look at your Pictures to Ponder and we each share what we see and feel from the pictures…..she also takes pictures when we are out and she will say every other day….”I need the camera…I need to get a picture……”

Tracy’s comments led me to wondering, “Are there people in your life whom you engage in interaction with your experiences to the photos and/or queries here in Picture to Ponder?”

If you are interested in being on the call, today, Wednesday, July 14th at 2:30 PM PDT/5:30 PD EDT we will be “meeting” by phone (Skype is possible also). If you can’t make the call, it will be recorded and you can get the MP3 download later. See Child Connections to request information.

Lastly, my good friend, Julie Gabrielli, Mom and Architect, www.goforchange.com, will also be joining Tracy and me. You may recall I wrote about Julie and her son, featuring his tulip photos a couple of months ago.

Today’s Photos
Phalaenopsis orchids at the American Orchid Society Gardens. The middle and lower photograph are obviously the same. The lower one had a minor adjustment. See (Today’s Photo Story below.)

White phalaenopsis at American Orchid Society

phalaenopsis darker background
phalaenopsis - background lightened

Today’s Photos Story
When I opened these downloaded photos the first photo I saw was the middle/bottom one. Though the flowers were beautiful, I felt confronted and briefly thought of this as a theme for an upcoming Picture to Ponder. Then I let it go.

A couple of days later the top photo “spoke” to me, the flowers presenting almost a wall, keeping me out. Then I noticed the single flower in the lower right protected by its own wall, the root.

Is it protection or is it a barrier? There is also the one flower on the far left that we could put the interpretation of “look-out guard” or might it be protector in the whole scene?

As I mentioned above the middle and bottom photos are the same, with a simple “fix” or Photoshop Elements enhancement on the bottom that lightened the background, softened and lighted the white of the flowers and now has a slightly more “welcoming” feeling. Just that one very minor click, made, for me, a huge shift in the response the photo evokes.

Now, scrolling back up to the first photo, the small flower on the lower right brings a smile to my face. I could continue to make up all kinds of “stories” about her – the hugs she might want or the “gift” she might be.

Self-Reflecting Queries
As you might have guessed, today’s “stories” to the photos are partially a reflection of “stuff” I was going through. They even look different today, less “threatening.”

Once again, I realize, I’m demonstrating life and the “stories” we often make up about things. Sometimes they help. More often than not they exacerbate, for us, a situation we “think” we might be in, or a “challenge” we may be facing. It could be “real” or our “interpretation.”

Looking into your life right now are there situations for which you are making up “stories”, possibly even living into those stories, sharing them with others, making them more “real” for you. If so, I invite you to step back and bring new eyes to the situation. As in the third photo above, is there a simple adjustment you can make to the “story” to shed a different light on it?

And, sometimes, no matter what we “do” certain things may not change, at least not so long as we have an attachment to their being “different.” The peace is in the “letting go.” Is there anything going on for you right now that you are willing to release?

Yesterday, in the Mastermind Group with Molly Gordon in which I’m a participant, we spoke of “problems/challenges” often getting stored as baggage. One participant said she’ll often take a problem she may have and metaphorically puts it in a small box, wraps the latter, ties it up with a pretty ribbon and places it in a drawer. When the problem comes up again in the future (don’t they always?), she’ll take the box out of the drawer to open up and find the GIFT within!

I had a further conversation with my friend Marifran Korb who is BRILLIANT in finding the “gift” in anything. She has a new BlogTalkRadio show where she’s had, and will have shows, including the “Gift of Having ADHD”, the “Gift of Depression” and her own book in the works, “Breaking through Concrete: The Gift of Having Mentally-Ill Parents. All sound “heavy” and how much easier our lives are when we find the openings.

I invite you to again look in your life. What are the gifts in it? Make note of them for reminders. Be sure to include on it the gift of yourself and what you bring to yourself and the others.

I’m going save the singular flower in the top photo! She’s full of wonder and the desire for discovery.

As always have fun with these queries and looking/seeing. Also, please post your responses in the COMMENTS section below.

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Last week I mentioned having spent time looking for Roseate Spoonbill photos for you and then went with a different subject. The result of my delaying is that I’ve every time I’ve gone for a sunset walk at Green Cay Wetlands this week I had the pleasure of enjoying the Spoonbills even more. I now have new photos for you.

Last week, I also mentioned my expanding into coaching moms in deepening connections and communication with their young children while having the same freedom of “play” with them that the grandparents have. The date has been set for an introductory open phone call with two moms with whom I’ve worked. We will be “meeting” by phone (Skype is possible also) next Wednesday, July 14th at 2:30 PM PDT/5:30 PD EDT. I will be interviewing Sus and Tracy and there will be time for spot coaching with a few people on the call. For more details and place to get a reminder, plus the call recording, see Child Connections.

Lastly, for the artists among you interested in Proven Strategies To Set up A No-Stress, Successful Social Media Act for selling your art, Ariane Goodwin, creator and facilitator of smARTist Telesummit has a special offer, ending tomorrow night, for 50% off a social media bundle. See Using Social Media. The material is actually good for anyone here in business who wants to know more about using Social Media to expand.

On to Today’s Photos

Roseate Spoonbills in a tree in Green Cay Wetlands

Roseate spoonbill shoveling

The top photo is of two Roseate Spoonbills, at dusk, on a tree skeleton in Green Cay Wetlands. I’ve included the photo below it to show the brilliance of the pink plumage and also give a sense of the rapid movement in the blur of its head.

Because the Spoonbills do not stay still, I decided to also share them with you in video format.

If you pay close attention to the above video, at approximately 15 seconds you’ll see a feather fly off to the left. Toward the end a Black-necked Stilt walks across the Spoonbill’s reflection.


Near the beginning of the above video you will see a couple of Spoonbills spread their wings showing their brilliant pink color. To see Spoonbills parading, click on Spoonbill Parade to bring you to my YouTube page. Sorting by “date added”, on the right, will show you the four most recent Spoonbill videos I did.

Self-Reflecting Queries
I’m somewhat at a loss for “queries” as I start to write this section, so I’m thinking, “What lessons are we getting from the Spoonbills?” As I look up at the first photo, I see peace and quiet. Then I reflect on the almost, always-in motion, constantly sweeping bill, behavior of the Spoonbills.

I, thus, invite you to look in your life. Are there places where you are in constant motion? Is there a part of you that’s still while other parts of you are rapidly “moving”? What does it look like when you rest? How does it feel?

Then, thinking about the Spoonbills and how they went suddenly from a random group to an intentional line-up, moving in parade style, to an adjacent location, I’m moved to ask the following. Is there any place in your life now where you can line up parts of yourself, and perhaps, others to move with the same focused, single-minded determination that the Spoonbills had? Note, they did come right back, presumably with “mission accomplished.”

As always have fun with these queries and looking/seeing. Also, please post your responses in the COMMENTS section below.

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I must have spent an hour or more searching for Roseate Spoonbill pictures that I thought I wanted to bring you in today’s issue of Picture to Ponder. Then I got a notice of a comment someone made on FlickR on a Whistling Duck photograph I had posted there. I burst into laughter, loved what she had seen that I had not even noticed and “knew” this was my answer for today’s choice.

I also had a conversation this morning with Sus Kongsbak Larsen, a mom who is so excited with the new expanded relationship she now has with her 10-year old son after some coaching with me. Their connection was already great and Sus maintains that she now has a whole new sense of freedom around him and her work. I was especially moved with Sus’ concluding comment in our conversation. “Everybody needs a dose of Sheila,” said she.

Today’s Photos

Whistling Duck 1For more photos and the story [click to continue…]

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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