Shifting Perspectives – Roles in Life – Giraffe in Bark – Picture to Ponder – v5 – issue 37

by Sheila Finkelstein on October 16, 2009

The last issue of Picture to Ponder discussed autumn leaves and my “Missing Autumn” as I continue exploring my Florida environment. As I mentioned, I was excited about my trip to New York State, looking forward to autumn leaves.

What I found was that the leaves were not as colorful as I had hoped. Perhaps I was a week too early, or, I suspect, it was not the leaves I was missing when I did the collage, “Missing Autumn in New Jersey“. Rather it was the whole friends, family, neighborhood environments that had been part of my life for so many years.

After letting that go, I was able to enjoy the colors, pick leaves from the ground to bring back for a friend and make a unique discovery in one of them – an almost completely camouflaged moth on the underside of a brown leaf.

Bark from a tree in Lake Bonaparte, NY.

As I was walking along a path, the peeling bark of the above tree caught my eye. When I got closer I immediately saw a face, which I photographed and share in the top photo. Then shifting my camera lens slightly around the loose bark, the “giraffe” head popped out at me – center photo. And, lo and behold, pulling back slightly I saw the full “giraffe” – bottom photo.


At the start of this issue, I mention my disappointment in the color of the Fall leaves. I’m reminded of conversations in the Landmark Forum on “unfulfilled expectations.”

I invite you to look into your life to see if, and where, recently you may have had things not turn out the way you expected or wanted them to be. How did your respond?

Did you dwell on what was missing, or were you able to shift to the upside of whatever the experience was?

Are you aware of methods you use to make your transformations? If so, do you practice this regularly?


As suggested by today’s photographs, a wide variety of shifts can be experienced simply by, even slightly, shifting our viewpoints. Is there any place in your life now where you can benefit from looking at something from a slightly different perspective?

In a totally different thread, as I was describing today’s “giraffe” photos, I was reminded of the blog comment one of our subscribers made to one of my onion photos. Maryanne wrote, “Sheila you are actually a ‘stand-up comic’ in photography.” I smile at this.

On the other hand, in the weekend in Jan Phillips’ wonderful Facilitator Training Workshop I was identified as the “Point and Shoot Photo Expert.” This became a “serious” label/role for me to consider owning as, “Yes, that’s me.”

What roles are you playing in life? Are they the same as the ones in which others see you in? With which is it easier for you to identify?

So often others see us as “bigger” than we see ourselves. Are there powerful roles out there waiting for you to step into them?

Lots of weekend queries coming out of what I thought was going to be a short issue.

Do remember to have fun with them.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryanne October 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Hello Again Shiela,
Well, since I say my name mentioned, I just needed to pop in and say “hello”. Again, the Giraffes are so humorous and delightfully unexpected in the tame region of tree bark…how delicious. I have been (mea culpa) remiss on reading much of my email and will now go back and enjoy many of your past posts. How very odd (or is it?) that I would check my email today and see my name mentioned!!! Trust me here…this does not happen often in MY life…synchonicity? Ascension? Spiritual Awakening? And, why do I so “get” your photos? Well, I do not want to frighten any of your followers with any esoteric or “weird” ideas so, I will now leave this subject and simply dwell on the breathtaking beauty and just plain fun of your photos. Thanks a bunch for sharing your vision.


Sheila Finkelstein October 16, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Once again, a wonderfully empowering, for me, message, Maryanne. Thank you so much.

And, yes, the synchronicity is fascinating. Your name called out to you from your Inbox saying, “Open me!” 🙂

With love and appreciation,


Pat Bade October 17, 2009 at 6:45 am

Dear Sheila,

I have truly been enjoying/appreciating your photos since I signed on to your site. Today’s photo of the peeling birch reminded me of a happening a few year’s back when I saw a similar tree in rural Maine and commented to a friend that he had “helped me to peel back my outer, tough bark”.

We all have “stuff” we need to consciously “peel back, take a close look at” and then decide if we are keeping our “bark” for “protection”? Can we simply “peel it away and discover a new and wondrously vulnerable person” hiding within?

We all need to strip away our outer bark once in awhile to discover the fresh, new person we have become despite ourselves!

Thank you for your art, but also for your insights. I always look forward to your photos and your commentary. Keep up the great work! My very best to you!
Pat Bade


Sheila Finkelstein October 17, 2009 at 6:56 am


Thank you so much for your insightful comment today and for the acknowledgment. It’s greatly appreciated.

Did you ever got my PDF of The Onion Story: Peeling Away the Layers of an Onion, Analogous to Peeling Away the Layers of Ourselves?

I appreciate the contrast with the bark and the onion. With the onion we get all the way to the inside. I like your reference to the fresh new person, under the bark. The onion got to the core and we could not see the “person”.




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