Freedom Resulting from Taking Purposeful Actions

by Sheila Finkelstein on July 22, 2008

Picture to Ponder Volume 4 – Issue 26

clamshell orchid

cockleshell orchid at American Orchid Society

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photo
Prosthechea Cochleata, popularly known as Clamshell, or Cockleshell, Orchids, photographed in the American Orchid Center’s Greenhouse in Delray Beach.It’s only recently that I noticed this particular species of orchids and periodically have thought to share them with you.

They are so light and joyous, “footloose and fancy free”, that they seemed to be the perfect follow-up to the, seemingly dancing, Purple Gallinule featured in the last issue of Picture to Ponder.

Given, I had thought to photograph the signage identifying the flower, it was easy to do a web search to learn more about them. Subscriber Susan Taylor, who is the Editor for Bella Online’s weekly Orchid Newsletter featured an interesting descriptive article on them. I highly recommend Susan’s articles for orchid lovers who wish to learn more about the plants’ care and maintenance, as well as information on specific species. Click on CLAMSHELL ARTICLE for information on today’s featured flower.

Self-Reflecting Queries
Joyous, light and playful, attributes that these flowers visually represent. It’s also the state from which I aspire to live my life. Interestingly the experience of finding them in my files, to share today, was far from that state.

Ironically, I am in the middle of a four-week course on Organizing for Artists led by Alyson Stanfield, so I expect part of the challenging experience today was to point out to me that one step in my organizing process would be to put aside, in computer folders, any photos that I think I might want to feature in Picture to Ponder or on my new Photography and Transformation Blog.

How simple it would be/will become to take the extra minute or two to categorize something when I think of it and am in the middle of it, rather than go for the extended, painful searches later! Taking simple actions when we are in the process of a search can actually result in that light and joyous state cited in the beginning. It’s also reflective of the theme to which I so often refer, “being in the moment.”

Are there places in your life where you are noticing things that are important to you, where you’d like to take action, and you’ve putting it/them aside for “later?” If so, I invite you to become aware of them and consider taking the actions in the moment.

I must put forth one cautionary note, from my own experience. Before moving on the little actions, you might want to check in with yourself, “Will what I am about to do forward what’s important to me right now, or in the immediate future? Am I/will I be staying on purpose?” And then, bottom line, do you wish to stay on track, or it’s not important to you. Either way is neither right nor wrong.

I find that when I’ve paid attention, I’ve become aware that many of my actions are actually reactions to what comes across my desk, or my mind. I’d make an instant shift in what I was doing to follow through on that. For me, I am looking more keenly at focus and what that means for me.

What about you?

In conclusion, to get back to the lighter note, I had finally set myself a deadline in the search for today’s photos. I told myself that if they did not show up by …:30, I would move on and feature another photo. I kept looking at my computer clock to stay on track. And, miracle of miracles, EXACTLY, at the time I specified, the photos showed up on my monitor.

Intention/declaration/fulfillment. Is there something you would like to declare now?

As always, have fun and play with this.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy Dault July 23, 2008 at 9:05 am

There is a lot of food for thought here! I had a similar experience of asking for something by a specified time–and getting it! I wasn’t as polite as you were. I pretty much DEMANDED that I get a job I liked within 2 weeks. I did what I could to help the process–applied for at least 2 jobs a day, even if they didn’t sound interesting, just to get myself out there and trying. By the two week deadline, I walked into the office of the company I ended up working for for 8 years. It was a very fun job, just what I had wanted.

These flowers in your photo reminded me of sea creatures floating in the ocean, and it made me think of “As above, so below.” And THAT made me think of how what we focus on (the above part) becomes real in our world (the below part).

And when you think about all the beautiful scenes in our world, the flowers, the creatures, all of it, you have to wonder about the magnitude of the consciousness (or consciousnesses?) that focussed it into existence.

Too wonderful to imagine.


Sheila Finkelstein July 23, 2008 at 9:14 am

Thanks, Nancy. That’s a wonderful story about your job. It’s amazing what can fall into place when we know EXACTLY what we want. Very often that is the all-too-important missing piece.

Your quoting “As above, so below” made me think of Linda Gipson’s business card where she chose one of my sunrise photographs with it’s reflection to express her busines with the “As above, So below” statement on it. See the top card on

With appreciation,


rebecca July 23, 2008 at 9:25 am

Great writing Sheila as always.

You know one thing this course on organization has opened up for me is making me aware that I am not alone … no matter how organized your chaos is …there is always room for improvement and we all struggle on some level with this unless we happen to be ocd and live our life cataloging every little thing every minute of the day.

I am finding I need to be kinder to myself on the issue of de-cluttering my life. Not to say I am letting myself off the hook, but I am going to go forward with a kinder approach, and take time to acknowledge what I am doing that is working.


Debii July 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

I love these orchids. To me, they look like kites with tails – floating, joyous and free, in the sky.

For me, setting forth an intention is the way to get things done. I even do it with playing games on the computer – I will play three games and win one within that period. Or I will win the next game! I think this helps us to focus on what we want and bring it into existence.

As for organization, I’m very organized – sometimes so much that I can’t find anything!! LOL


Sheila Finkelstein July 23, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Thanks for responding and the acknowledgment, Rebecca. Kinder to ourselves sounds great on many levels in our life, also the remembering to acknowledge ourselves.

And, thank you, Debii. I hadn’t thought about kites and, absolutely, I see it, the floating freedom. How beautiful and joyous they look as kites! Very exciting.


Alyson B. Stanfield July 23, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Sheila, these are beautiful photos. And it was so interesting to read what you have written here. You are on such a journey.


Morgine July 28, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I am just beginning to get caught up with my life and glanced at these photos before going to bed adn the one before with the dancing bird, who to me, seemed to be having a good time!

I love orchids and these are no exception! I never saw them before and the first image which came to mind, as a point of reference, were Jelly Fish in the ocean! I have seen documentaries of these most amazing and often beautifully colored Beings and they instantly reminded me of them. I was in the ocean, relaxing and floating and totally at peace with where the ocean is carrying me. Part of my own Declaration is being myself, inspiring loving clear communication whatever I am doing and flowing with life, taking actions arising in the moment, guided by my inner awareness…trusting the “flow of life” of divinity and the Perfection which always seems to be underneath all which we experience in one way or another. Thank you Sheila for inspiring me into yet another Magical Day!


Nancy Ferguson October 13, 2008 at 10:05 pm

These remind of two people who might like to be friends … the tentative touch … the wanting to trust … the beginning … courage to try … maybe a memory of … trailing clouds of glory..?


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