Heart in Nature Express Gratitude – Picture to Ponder – Vol 4 – Issue 44

by Sheila Finkelstein on November 25, 2008

Phalaenopsis orchid in American Orchid Society Gardens

Reed and reflection bent into shape of a heart in Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
two seemingly incongruous photos, wishing you in the United States a Happy Thanksgiving and all of you Dear Readers a joyful time of Gratitude.

The top photo is a Phalaenopsis Orchid from the American Orchid Society Gardens in Delray Beach, FL and the lower photo is a Heart formed by the Reflection of a bent Reed in Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach

The Story of the Photographs
Usually I rely on the photos themselves to suggest a theme. Today, as I was thinking about Thanksgiving I, of course, thought of gratitude and how appropriate a “heart” photo from Nature might be. This led me to the lower photo which I love, and featured more than three years ago in a special issue of Picture to Ponder, “From My Heart to Yours” – Issue 130a.

In scanning more recent photographs for another “natural” heart image, the orchid called out to me. Although it’s a stretch to find a heart shape in it, the orchid seems to give the wide-open and bright feeling of an open heart. Looking closely we can see little arms that could be reaching out to embrace you.

My Gratitude as it Relates Here
As I think about “Gratitude”, particularly in relation to Picture to Ponder, three women, especially, stand out for me at this time. So much of the being of Picture to Ponder can be traced back to actions they took and programs in which I participated with them.

1. So many of you here became subscribers to Picture to Ponder after reading Stacey Robyn’s recommendation of my work on Day 28 of her Go Gratitude experiment – 42 days of Gratitude, three years ago. It was her intention to reach, globally, 1,000,000 people in gratitude during that time period. Stacey and her partner, Ken Herbert, are reintroducing another Wave of 42 days of Gratitude, beginning November 27th. If you have not seen the information, check out WORLD GRATITUDE.

2. eTeletours.com, as a website, the “parent” of Picture to Ponder, and then Picture to Ponder itself, was formed during the time I participated in the You University course created and facilitated by Marney Makridakis of Artellaland. Marney is one of the most creative people I know. She is ongoingly coming up with new ideas and products, many of which especially please people who enjoy creating in one art form or another.

After working on development for some time, she and her partner have launched an amazing new affiliate program, which includes my being able to offer some complimentary downloads to you. Included in the package of fr*e*e ebooks is ExerSIGHS: A Self-Esteem Workbook for Writers and Artists

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

To see more fully what Marney offers, check out the home page of Artellaland.

3. And I would be totally remiss, were I not to mention Writer, Actor, Coach Julie Jordan Scott in this listing of three women to whom we all can express gratitude for the work I so freely bring to you. I took countless teleclasses and writing courses with her over a period of several years. In many ways, particularly in my authentic and public writing style, I consider Julie my mentor.

When I conduct teleclasses, much of my format style is based on what I picked up from Julie. Although she is not currently offering programs on the Web to which I can link, you can get a taste of her writing on her blog – Julie Unplugged.

You can see her photography, along with her comments, by going to Julie’s FlickR account. I’d like to think that the fact that she finally got into using a camera, long after our course associations, was partially, directly or indirectly, out of what she experienced through me in Picture to Ponder.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
I invite you to look at your life, note some of the things, you have, do or be, that are important to you, and then reflect back on the origins of that which you discovered.

If there is someone, or ones, that were at the source, I invite you to take a few minutes to acknowledge and express gratitude to that person, or persons, face-to-face, on the phone and/or by writing.

Remember to also recognize yourself for actions you’ve taken. Be sure to acknowledge the courageous ones.

Have a joyous and peaceful week. Thank you for being in my life.

Posting Comments
To post comments on this Photography and Transformation blog click on the small word “Comment” at the end of the post. A window will open, asking for your name, email address that will NOT be published, a URL if you have – Your name will be linked to that – and box with space for you to “Leave a Reply.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn Givler November 26, 2008 at 5:49 am

I love these photos… I’m going to be looking for hearts in nature all day today 😉

I especially took to the second one – it was a nice little surprise to see the heart captured there.

I love Thanksgiving. This holiday is so peaceful… I love that it’s about gratitude, and connecting with loved ones.

Thank you Sheila for helping me start my holiday in peace. I sunk into these photos connected to what I’m grateful for, and felt such peace wash over me.



Sheila Finkelstein November 26, 2008 at 8:06 am

Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment, Jenn.

I’d love to hear, see, what you discover in your search for hearts in
nature today. Fun!

Your experience of the photos, as you expressed it, really moved me.
Thanks so much for sharing that.



Nancy Dault November 27, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Another coincidence! (I’m always saying that!) I’m reading your thoughts on gratitude on the very day I received wonderful news from the people I acknowledged as helping me in my career. I sent a story to the ARE about how their classes allowed me to get in touch with my inner self’s desires, and now they are publishing my story and considering adding my book to their catalogue. When you give gratitude, you get back so much more!

It took me a minute to figure out how the heart in the second photo was formed (I hadn’t read your description yet.) Isn’t that just how it is with so many wonderful things in life? You look, and it’s beautiful, and your mind tries to figure it all out. But some things are just beyond logic.


Julie Jordan Scott December 1, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Always delighted, surprised and overcome with emotion with your acknowledgments.

Its been a tough couple of years for me – so being remembered is such a great thing. THANK YOU many times over, dear friend.


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