Are You Rejecting Acknowledgment and Contribution? – Picture to Ponder – v7 – 42

by Sheila Finkelstein on October 26, 2011

This week’s Picture to Ponder’s featured photos are a result of two different experiences I had this past week. Although the photographs are not particularly beautiful. nor are the imaginary images that clear, they do represent an important message.

pink moon just starting to rise over the oceanThe thumbnail photo on the left is a piece of a live oak tree root which grew around one of the sprinkler heads in our community. The root needed cutting and, the portion close to the house, dug up. It took Issaac, one of our grounds maintenance men, over an hour to remove it. Feeling triumphant, he brought it into the office to share.

Gini, the admin assistant, somewhat attuned to my finding imagery in natural objects, stood it in a plastic cup and placed it on shelf to show others and me whenever I happened in.

I did stop by yesterday to drop something off. As soon as Gini saw me, she excitedly went for the root and said, “Oh. I’ve just been reading your garlic story in the latest issue of SAN MARCO MATTERS (our community newsletter). Here’s something you might want to photograph and include in one of your upcoming articles.”

I looked at the root, didn’t particularly connect with it, and responded, brushing her off with, “Thanks. But I’m making it easy on myself and only repurposing photos and articles that I’ve already written in my weekly newsletter.”

We then went on to look at the root. I pointed out the face I saw. Gini saw that and then shared what popped out for her. She called Issaac into the office to find out more about the tree and location and told him what we were seeing. He looked at us a little strangely and then said he saw a lion.

So, what’s the importance of all of this? See “The Story Continued,” after the today’s photos and before the Queries.

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos –

live oak root wrapped around a sprinker head in a vase

In the view above only the left “eye” (on our right side) is visible. The “face” is looking toward the character’s right side (our left). And the way it’s placed it also gives the appearance of a long-tailed animal. The pottery vase is one I “threw” many years ago.

face in root wrapped around a sprinkler head

Since the root was from the ground, it felt important to do some photographing outside in nature. The grass makes it too confusing AND if you look closely you can see the two “eyes” on either side of the white “nose”. What could be construed as a “mouth” is the handle on the vase. And it wasn’t ’til after I saw the photograph on my computer that I notcied the top of the sprinkler head looks like a perfect “hat.”

The Story Continued
I left the office empty-handed and as I was driving home, something felt amiss. I started regretting not having been more open and acknowledging of Gini and her desire to contribute to me. Then a recent conversation with Chadia Meroeuh popped into my mind. Chadia, co-owner of an award-winning auto body and technical service shop, is one of the amazing women in the Women in eCommerce Platinum Mastermind group of which I am fortunate to be a part.

I was on the hot seat, looking at what’s next for me, including doing in-person speaking and workshops. Chadia pointed out that a few months before she had enthusiastically spoken of my photography, describing what she thought I did, as she introduced me to an associate whom she thought might be a great, helpful business connection. My response had been a somewhat curt, “I’m not doing that now.”

Reflecting on both situations, I immediately drove back to our community office, apologized to Gini (who had not felt offended at all), and borrowed the root/sprinkler head to take home for a photo shoot.

And, on the way back home again, I recalled the many times Laurina Anderson, my coach, has pointed out that I yearn for attention and acknowledgment and then am not open to accepting it when it does come.

So now you have my major insights. In addition there was the bonus of a subject for Picture to Ponder and the timesaver of not having to search for an article for the lurking deadline for our community newsletter!!

How might all of this fit for you? On to the

Self-Reflecting Queries
The lessons from this issue’s photos and their message lead to the invitation for you to look into your life for past situations and to create an awareness for ones yet to occur.

Check in. Are there times when people acknowledge you that you minimize what they’ve said?  What we forget is, that in the process of so doing, we are unintentionally diminishing the other person.

If nothing shows up immediately for you, think back. I’m sure at times you’ve brushed off a compliment on how you look – hairdo, piece of clothing, jewelry….and beyond. What about praises for a job well done?

Next time, someone commends you, I invite you to take it in.  Pause before saying anything. Then a simple “Thank you” may suffice. Appreciate both yourself and the giver.

I also invite you to do some acknowledgment of others. Notice what happens for you when it’s accepted, or rejected, both what occurs with the other person, as well as your own feelings.

As always, have fun, and please share in the COMMENTS below your experience with these photos and what comes up for you.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurina Anderson October 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

To watch, hear, and experience you being able to take in other people’s response to you and your talents makes my heart sing as it is in that singing that we all sing.
We are all energy…if we are not receiving, we cannot give. Resentment, feeling unappreciated, depleted, is because we are giving what we don’t have.
We are always creating because there is something we want to feel. If we don’t open to receive, we continue to search, to seek, for that approval outside of ourselves.
Notice, it’s so important for us to give ourselves credit, acknowledgement, honor, for who we are, how we show up, how we love, and most for just being!
When we give to ourselves, we can then allow others to give to us as well. It’s all energy…keep the flow, in, out, in, out. Just like our breath…go ahead, keep exhaling…how far do you get???
Shift Your Energy, Allow Yourself to Receive in order to Give, and Transform Your Life!
With Love and Appreciation,
The Energy Shifter


Sheila Finkelstein October 27, 2011 at 4:51 am

Thanks for it all, Laurina, your wise words and reminders. I’m making special note of, “When we give to ourselves, we can then allow others to give to us as well.”


Heidi Richards Mooney October 28, 2011 at 4:19 am


While all your articles have a definitive impact on the reader, I felt this article in particular truly showed the essence of what your newsletter is all about “photography and transformation.” In reading about your last week, I saw the transformation taking place in you through your words and your art. You are a gifted photographer and perhaps more importantly, a gifted writer.

People see things through their own experiences and while some might see “just a root” in the photography, clearly others do not, as you so eloquently stated.

Thank you for being part of Women in Ecommerce, PAC and my life. You have truly made PAC a much richer experience for me!

And thank you for posting this on my Facebook page so I would take the time to read it!

Warmest regards,



Sheila Finkelstein October 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm


Thank you so much for all of your acknowledgment and kind words. You set quite an example with your writing and all of your creativity and your leadership in so many areas.

I’m smiling as I recall coming into your shop one day when you were in the midst of making an early video. It got me moving and I went home and created one of my early videos – Heidi’s Roses – which, as I’ve told you, is ironically one of the most visited pages on one site.

Thank YOU for founding Women in Ecommerce and always, always expanding it with new and creative ideas. Your knowledge and the breadth of your generosity is incredible. Certainly PAC, these past several months, has contributed HUGELY to my own growth. Thank you for having set it up in the first place. To know that my participation has made it much richer for you also truly moves me.

With love and great appreciation,


Mel Bohrer October 29, 2011 at 1:23 am

Sheila, as always, your photos and writing are so thought-provoking. The first thing I saw looking at this root is a rat or a mouse. When I think of rats, I think of things that I despise. I got to thinking that even rats and mice have a purpose in this world. They keep the neighborhood stray cats busy and well-fed. Thinking this hasn’t softened my attitude towards these rodents. Though, I’m reminded that everything has its purpose. (Well, except maybe mosquitoes.) Thanks for sharing how you got to the ‘root’ of some issues. Pardon my pun. 😀


Sheila Finkelstein October 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Mel, thanks for responding and for your kind acknowledgment. Bravo to you for going beyond your initial gut instinct response on the rat and looking for a possibility.

I do see the rat and cringe at the thought of it and then smile at the “purpose” you found. I shudder at that also and my initial reaction is to avoid that also. I saw an alligator eating a duck last year and quickly walked away. All the while I was reminding myself that this is all part of the Natural order.

Great food for “digesting”. (Hmmm. I enjoyed your pun. and looking at my using the word “food”, I thought to follow your example and shift “pondering” to relate to “food.”


Mel Bohrer October 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Thanks, Sheilah. The natural order of things isn’t always pleasant to think about, for sure. That’s one thing in nature that I’ve always had an issue with, though I recognize the importance of it.


Lauren Strouse November 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

I so resonate with your struggle to accept compliments. For years I was uncomfortable accepting nice things people might say to me; as well as offers of help. I was always the giver – the doer- until one day I realized I was depriving others of experiencing the pleasure I felt in doing something nice for someone or complimenting someone. Learning to receive is every bit as important as learning to give freely and lovingly; it is how we truely connect with others. Thanks as always for your wonderful work!


Sheila Finkelstein November 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Thanks for commenting and for the acknowledgment, Lauren. I appreciate your reminding us that we are also giving to others by breaking through our barriers and allowing them to contribute to us.


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