For the next 10 days, in celebration of the upcoming holidays, my birthday AND the 8th birthday of Treasure Your Life Now (TYLN was launched on December 9, 2004 as the “almost Daily” Picture to Ponder ezine) there is a 30% celebratory savings on Banana Sky DVD, making it only $7.

banana sky dvd headerBANANA SKY DVD
Healing Photography and music for relaxation and stress-relief. The DVD plays on a TV DVD player or your computer.

If you have been following Photography and Transformation for the past several years, and even less, you are probably aware that I do very little product promotion. As you read the following, I invite you to consider how what I’m experiencing and expressing may fit for you in areas of your own life. [click to continue…]

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rock that looks like an egg on rocks in Dreher Park Zoo

Today’s message and photos focus on textures and stories in our lives. “What’s real?” can be considered the question of the day.

When I started looking for feature photos for this issue of Treasure Your Life Now some of my recent bird portrait photos surfaced. Then I began to get caught up in textures in other recent photos taken at the Dreher Park Zoo in West Palm Beach, FL. [click to continue…]

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flamingo feathers rear view of flamingo in Dreher Park Zoo, Palm Beach County, FL

This issue of Treasure Your Life Now is dedicated to my beloved husband Sam Finkelstein, who died 5 years ago today on this eve before Thanksgiving Day (in the U.S.) Sam, a great photographer, was the epitome of love, generosity and gentle, quiet humor.

If you’d like to experience a bit of him and bring a smile to your face, visit two fun photo stories he put together of our sons when they were toddlers. For 22 month old Joe’s story, click on Romantic Joe’s Story It has 11 photos with one-line captions under them. You can then click on Rob the Artist to see him at 18 months old in 6 photos with one-liners. [click to continue…]

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flamingo feathers rear view of flamingo in Dreher Park Zoo, Palm Beach County, FL

Closed – Hiding?

The participants in the small writing group in which I participate weekly encouraged me to post my recent response to a quote. Although I’m still not quite sure why, I’ll trust in their knowing. They felt that many readers might relate, having similar doubts and questions.

I was late getting on the call so I picked up on a portion of the quote only. At the end I will provide the full quote and link to the totally different response, beautifully written, by my friend Morgine Jurdan. [click to continue…]

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This issue of Treasure Your Life Now brings with it prayers (however they are said), plus love and wishes for peace for people in stress all over the world. This, of course, extends to everyone including all of you who are stress free.

Closer to home, for me, this is going out to all who are suffering in the areas of damage and devastation in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and other coastal and New England states as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Because the areas geographically and familially are close to my roots, I’m finding particularly challenging putting together this issue of Treasure Your Life Now.

Always wanting to “help”, I’m left wordless in the light of what’s happened, been happening. Before the storm hit on Sunday, I was at a Saturday wedding. The ceremony was on the beach in Ocean City, NJ, just south of Atlantic City. During the whole afternoon and evening we experienced one of the most outwardly joyous and loving wedding celebrations I’ve been to. The next day, after family and friends had departed, came the storm. [click to continue…]

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I posted the following “Metaphor for Aging, As Seen in a Turnip” in a blog post over three years go. The experience of it resulted in an exercise used in subsequent sessions of the Through and From The Lens course. Participants interact visually and viscerally with their cameras and self-selected fruits or vegetables.

It started with the turnip below after it caught my eye in the supermarket. I bought it as my example for a class the following week.

Turnip Top [click to continue…]

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This week’s post is one where I am following my intuition. For the most part, in the past years of publishing Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now, a photograph appears as I search my files, seeming to be the one that wants to be featured.

This past week Ronna Jevne, one of our long-time subscribers, emailed me acknowledging how appreciative she is of each of the issues she receives. It had been a while since I connected with her directly and I was prompted to visit her site. Somewhere on one of her pages I picked up on the quote that intuitively has bcome the subject for today’s issue.

“Remember, if you don’t go within, you will go without. Become a student of your own life, a therapist of your own soul.” Ronna Jevne, Photographer/Writer/Psychologist – www.ronnajevne.ca

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck 2 - June 2010 [click to continue…]

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Recently I was chatting with a friend online. This friend often speaks about her mother’s ethnic cooking. Although I’ve never met her mother, for some reason the image of the possibility of how her mom’s hands might look shredding, pouring, measuring, stirring and more keeps surfacing for me.

This led me further to recall the photos I took of Minnie, the 96-year old mother of another friend and neighbor. In searching for one to pass on, I selected the following to share with you.

96 year old mother's hands

Another fun photo with Minnie’s beautiful expressive face AND pointing, moving finger as she emphatically shared, “My Mother always told me…” can be found on the blog I started with the same name, MyMotherAlwaysToldMe.com

I then started reminiscing, thinking about other hands photos, both mine and those taken by my beloved, late husband Sam. This led further to reflecting on the importance and the beauty of our hands. Thus emerged the theme of today’s issue Treasure Your Life Now.

As you continue, I invite you also to ponder on how many ways you use your hands.

For me, in addition to using my camera, my hands/fingers spend a lot of time on the keyboard, as well as on holding a phone. This past week I used the latter to learning how to screen capture, for video, what appears on my computer desktop as I work. I can therefore now create lessons AND visually record the activities during the Through and From The Lens sessions.

My point in sharing the latter is that, although the first session of the course is complete, you can still join in and catch up, seeing and hearing everything we covered. Do check details below the Queries. If it fits for you, you’d be joining an exciting/excited group of current participants. Now on to

Today’s Additional Photos

little boy's hand in man's hand

a trusting little boy’s hand, resting in Sam’s

Quoted, as published, July 15, 2005 issue of Picture to Ponder – Issue 138.

“Sam and I were walking along the boardwalk in Wakodahatchee Wetlands earlier this week and on that particular afternoon Sam chose to use his walker as an aid. We passed a beautiful little boy, probably 2 or 3 years old, who started pointing inquiringly at the handle of Sam’s walker. Then he and Sam reached their hands out to each other.

With a little encouragement from his parents he repeated this action so that I could capture the above photos, as well as some others. See Inquiring Hand and Grasping Hands.

With these photos I wish you a weekend of inquiry and loving connections.”

On December 23, 2005, Issue 211, in celebration of the holiday season I featured

lighting Hanukah Menorah

stating, “We can also view the hand as reaching out to touch you in gratitude and appreciation for what having all of you dear subscribers in our lives has meant to us this year.”

In Issue 131, “my predominant artist/photographer/writer’s hand through an opening in a decayed tree photographed by Sam many years ago. The sterling silver and fired clay rings are ones that I had fun creating…

I think that part of what called to me here is that the photo epitomizes the feeling of texture that I so love. I think the whole picture exudes love.”

Self-Reflecting Queries and Relationship Tips
Where might you find some new, or old, things that you can bring you the childlike joy of inquiry, discovery and enjoyment?

As I wrote the last statement, I had the thought that this is what makes so many of my photos work. It’s the discovery of new things that excites me and invariably causes my camera to come out, especially if it’s a visual discovery.

So, what excites the child in you? Pay attention for the next few days and beyond. Then take some actions accordingly.

In terms of Relationships, I invite you to spend some time considering the following, exploring the same with your partner, family member, friend, and/or even yourself. How can you/do you use your hands to most express your love?

What hand actions do any of the above persons take that have you most FEEL being loved? Then consider making requests for this.

Do keep in mind that not everyone likes to be touched. Honoring another’s space, always ask first what will work for them. There are times you can always simply reach out with your own hand, not yet touching, and gauge the response.

As always, have fun, and please post what comes up for you in the COMMENTS section below.

 Through and From The Lens – Report and Opportunity –
As I mentioned above, since I was able to audio and video record the activities during the first session of Through and From The Lens four-week Telecourse, you can still join in without feeling you that you missed something.

You certainly will have the opportunity to introduce yourself and become an integral part of the group, if you so choose.

During the call one of the participants stated that she thought she didn’t belong, she was too much of a beginner. At the end, she shared:

“I feel like the whole world has opened up for me with this
class
.  It’s so interesting. I sort of have tears in my eyes because I was resisting it yesterday.  ‘Oh, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to go to class.  I didn’t want to interact sort of thing.’

Then I listened to everyone else’s beautiful comments and you’ve been such a wonderful teacher.  I’m just thrilled and touched, so glad I signed up for it. I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass to thank everyone who came on the call.”

Several then proceeded to tell her of the value she added.

For details, bonuses, registration information and to see testimonials and photographs from some other past participants go to Telecourse

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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

Spatterdock leaves - pink heartThe Marcel Proust quote above is one of my favorites. Referencing discovery and new eyes, it expresses the foundation of what Treasure Your Life Now is all about.

The fulfillment of it becomes truly alive for me when you, too, experience the essence of the voyage of discovery.

Today’s Spatterdock plant photos represent a recent awakening I had. For the past seven plus years I have been sporadically photographing the Spatterdock plant, leaves, roots and flowers. The leaves were always green.

golden-lit spatterdock splendor

To my recollection the very first time I realized that the leaves are heart-shaped was when I saw some Spatterdock leaves that were pink (below and in the thumbnail photo above).

pink Spatterdock heart-shaped leaves

In the upper photo the heart-shape is quite obvious, especially since I’m looking for it now. Only at the time, in March 2006, I was so caught up in experiencing the golden end-of-the-day light that the shape totally eluded me, at least as I reflect on it now.

It was the pink, a color we associate with hearts, that had that image now stand out, having me see the Spatterdock leaves with new eyes.

For fun, I’ll share a couple of other Spatterdock photos featured in much earlier issues of Picture to Ponder.

Spatterdock with face under root

In the photo right above, my attention is immediately drawn to the little face I see under the Spatterdock root. Looking to our right, she has a pointy nose. When I about her before I called her Little Red Riding Hood. Now I’m thinking she’s wearing a chef’s hat or different kind of bonnet. What do you see?

In the upcoming Through and From The Lens course, starting this Wednesday, October 3, we will have fun looking for, among many other things, faces and other images. They will be surfacing as you start using your unique and expanded “new eyes.”

The last Spatterdock photo, for today, is for those among you who prefer more traditional scenes:

turtle on a Spatterdock root

a turtle sunning on a Spatterdock root

Today’s Photos –
as, stated above, are of the Spatterdock plant. All but the ones that include pink leaves were taken in Wakodahatchee Wetlands. The latter were in Green Cay Wetlands.

Self-Reflecting Queries and Relationship Tips 
Today, I invite you to look into your life to see where you might be viewing people and situations with already pre-conceived, expectations, from what you “know.”

Are there any situations that seem “sticky” to which you might bring “new eyes?”

In referencing it to a Relationship Tip, I invite you to open up a discussion with the person, or persons, in the sticky situation. Share what it is you are seeing, with no attachment to the outcome or that the other person(s) see it your way.

Then ask, and be open to, what they see.

You might also start looking for faces and other imagery in your physical environment, playing the same game with another person. What makes it easy, enjoyable AND eye-opening is that there are no right or wrong answers. It’s risk-free!

As always, have fun, and please post what comes up for you in the Comments section below.

Last Chance for learning to Take Great Photos without being a Camera Wiz, understanding all of the settings –

If you are one of the subscribers who has from time-to-time thought about enrolling in the Through and From The Lens, four-week Telecourse, NOW IS IT for registration. This is the LAST TIME I will be offering the course.

Following are a few of the reasons, participants who have enrolled in the upcoming course:

•  tired of not using her camera because she was befuddled with all of the settings, now having a new camera and declaring, “It’s time!”

• desire to take more creative photos on an upcoming scheduled cruise than she took in her last.

• wish to learn more of how I see both “inside and out.”

Judith Tramayne of agoodread.com, one of the past participants, recently wrote:

“You made me so aware of what I was missing. Looking through a lens tends to make one focus. I loved how you taught me to appreciate my camera as a means to increase my creativity.”

She concluded, “I didn’t even like a camera before I took your class.” Now she is photographing regularly and used picture she took in the course as a reference for one of the painting illustrations in a new book.

For details, bonuses, registration information and to see testimonials and photographs from some other past participants go to Telecourse

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