January 2009

sunrise in the Caribbean Sea on board an MSC Cruise ship

sunrise from the deck on board MSC Cruise ship in the Caribbean

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Sunrise from the top deck of the ship on which I was cruising two weeks ago in the Western Caribbean – En route to the Dominican Republic

The top photo shows clearly the sun and its reflections in the sea centered between the clear protective panels. The large angular element is one of the structural components of the boat. I like the strong dimension it adds to the photograph.
The dark corners are, I think, from my lens hood protector, creating an interesting framing effect.

The light pole on the left is actually a reflection from the location behind me, with, I think, some other technological elements that might be reflected from the ceiling. Those who wish to puzzle it out from other photos taken of that portion of the ship from two decks below, can click on TOP DECK 1 and TOP DECK 4

The lower photo is reflecting sunspots, or lens glare. I find it quite fitting for the upcoming Self-Reflecting Queries. I also like the colors and the angles.

The Story
Subscribers have been asking to see cruise photos. I stated that they were mainly sunrises and a couple of sunsets and not very high quality or all that different to me. And, looking to accommodate the requests I went through the photos again. The top one caught my eye and then the second. Following my practice of trusting that to which I am attracted, these two photos have become the featured ones for today’s Picture to Ponder.

As stated in the description, I found it especially interesting that there was so much going on in each of the images. I’m intrigued with the fact that the objects behind me, not visible to my eye as I look through the camera, are such an integral part of the photograph and its composition.

In the second photo the “bombardment” of activity of the “hot spots” reminds me of all that I have going on right now, especially as I continue to catch up on programs and calls I missed while I was away.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
1. As I reflect on how important the “unseen” in the first photograph becomes so critical to the composition, I ponder my own life and all the unidentified going on in the background of my mind.

Then I look at the sun in the photo and see how it centers the photo and me, reminding me that there is always a quiet place on which to center and get “grounded” even “at sea.”

I invite you to look an your life, reflect on and identify your quiet and centering spaces. Are they places you need to visit, or can you recall and be in them simply through visualization?

2. I discuss “bombardment” in the lower photo. As I spend time with this scene I feel anchored by the strong dark colors and shapes of the translucent panels that are protecting me, keeping me safely on board. The view between is soft, warm and comforting and everything seems to hold together and move in a forward direction.

I invite you to, once again, reflect on your life. Can you see your direction? What are the strengths in your life? Your supports?

As always have fun with this, and why not share in the COMMENTS section following this post on the blog.

More Cruise Photos – Sculpture in Key West
In the last issue when I mentioned J Seward Johnson’s ICONS OF HISTORY sculpture exhibit in the Custom House in Key, I promised you more photos. You can see them now in the SCULPTURE SET on my FlickR pages.

Upcoming Programs
Speaking of reflecting on inner selves and outer selves, my dear friend Adela Rubio is launching the Self Care Mastery Revolution teleseminar series featuring 15 experts over a 15 week period. You can claim your spot now in this f*r*e*e* program – See SELF-CARE


Wood knot in a tree in Key West with a hidden lady image

Image enlarged of a lady in a tree in Key West

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Lady in a Wood Knot in a tree along a sidewalk in Key West, FL

The upper photo shows the image in the wood knot; the lower, a close-up of the woman I saw, with her full face looking to the side, a bow in her hair, a white chemise and bare arms.

The Story
I had forgotten that I featured wood in the last issue of Picture to Ponder when I decided to use today’s image as the featured photo(s). Returning from a cruise last week, I am still catching up, so I’ll not “worry” about “duplication” though the images are quite different. Last week’s tree trunk was the “whole”, or the external parts that were signficant. In this week’s photo, it’s the internal segment that’s most important.

Not surprisingly, for those of you who know me, one of the highlights for me of the whole trip was the discovery of the woman in the tree above. “She” caught my eye as I was walking down one of the the streets in Key West after seeing an exciting show of Seward Johnson’s ICONS OF HISTORY at the Key West Art and Historical Society’s Custom House Museum.

I tell you about the exhibit because I’m thinking that, in part, I might have been even more open to immediately seeing the woman in the wood knot, possibly having been influenced by the art I had just seen.

I was already familiar with Seward Johnson’s work from the Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, NJ and found some of the work here in the Key West show even more intriguing. Perhaps because some of it was more contemporary. Johnson replicates famous paintings and photographs, creating them into life-size sculptures which include the environments that were in the paintings. (Click on the Grounds for Sculpture link to see some examples. To fully appreciate the scope of the sizes of the pieces be sure to read the small print describing the dimensions.)

I will get some photos up from the Key West exhibit and share them next week, probably on my FlickR site.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
1. Given the discovery of the “hidden” woman, it seems fitting to invite you to take a few minutes to explore the, possibly “hidden,” parts of you within, both the masculine and the feminine. Are they trying to tell you something?

2. I invite you to take a moment or two to reflect on and honor what most excites you in your life. Perhaps there is an action or two you might like to take. For me it’s making discoveries and then sharing them with others.

I found it interesting that at breakfast a few days after our trolley car return to the boarding area of the ship, two of the women sitting behind me then remembered me and the photos I had excitedly shared.

3. Are you aware of what you would like people to think after first meeing you? I invite you to consider an encounter or two and reflect on what you think their perceptions might be. Are these aligned with how you would like to be viewed?

4. For what is it that you would like most to be known?

As always have fun with this, and why not share in the Comments following this post on the blog.

Upcoming Programs
Speaking of reflecting on inner selves and outer selves, my dear friend Adela Rubio is launching the Self Care Mastery Revolution teleseminar series featuring 15 experts over a 15 week period. You can claim your spot now in this f*r*e*e* program – See SELF-CARE – or watch for further details from me in a mailing tomorrow.


tree trunk faces

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
A Green Cay Wetlands tree trunk

It’s been a while since I’ve featured, what to me at least, is a playful photo, one in which I see one or more faces. This one kept calling to me that it wanted to be with you. The face, I know is somewhat distorted, with long eyelashes on the eye we see on the right as we face the photo and no lashes on the left.

Many nostrils, or separate noses, are there. The smile is small and I declare it genuine.

For those who are accustomed to “beautiful” photos as the featured ones in Picture to Ponder, I invite you to check out the Phalaenopsis Orchid, now in my collection, by clicking on ORCHID. I did have it set up in the issue and found that visually and aesthetically the two did not work well together.

The Story
Today’s stories and queries are somewhat separate from the photo, though I could probably make a connection if I wished. I choose not to, though you are welcome to make one or more if you wish.

I am currently in a few courses to start off the New Year. In the LIVE FABULOUS NOW course, which I mentioned in earlier issues, one of the recommendations was writing on “My Perfect Day.” I found myself stuck, especially since it’s difficult for me to, yet, describe a “perfect” one without Sam, though he has been gone for over a year.

Today I was a little more enlivened and found a post on an old blog of mine. It resulted from two different classes with Julie Jordan Scott, one of the BEING NOW (below) facilitators.

Though it was written in September of 2005, I was quite moved by what I wrote and even put it up on a separate web page. Although a lot were dreams with life with Sam, there was a large segment of what I wrote that I am will now be able to use for empowering me. You can read the whole of what I wrote on DREAMS – VISION. You can even listen to me as you travel down the page.

For this issue of Picture to Ponder, I’ve abstracted out and am listing what is relevant in the present. My intention is that what I wrote might also spark something in you in your life.

I wrote:

Right now I dream of peace and ease.

I dream of communities of people interacting purposefully and with love.

I dream of people making discoveries and being excited by what they do.

I dream of having, being in a close knit community, with friends who energize and excite me and themselves.

I dream of books not yet written, 2 at least, though I know not what they are.

I dream of being famous, for what I do not know.

I dream of connections – people being connected for whatever they need.

I dream of a clutter-free environment, of a staff to tend to all of our needs – cooking, cleaning, organizing.

Then, in an article-writing class during that time period, Julie gave a final prompt for one of our sessions, “THE GIFT I GIVE TO MY READERS IS . . .” and I wrote,

“The gift I give my readers is the opportunity for them to discover the richness in their worlds,

the beauty of what’s in their physical spaces,

the visions they have, perhaps as-yet unknown, in their souls…

the words, the tools, the ways of interconnecting to their selves and to each other,

the people in their lives whom they’ve met and not yet met.

The gift I give to my readers is the beauty of knowing and believing in themselves.

And, I’m reminded that in ‘mission statements’ for jobs in varying fields there was always some form of “supporting/empowering people in believing in themselves.”

It’s who I be in my actions.  Is it a Vision?  A Dream?”

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Do you have a written statement of your dreams? If not, I invite you now write them down. It is said that the more that we express what we want, the more that we attract it.

I invite those of you who wish to be public, to post your dreams, vision and/or purpose in the COMMENTS section of this Dreams/Vision/Purpose post on the BLOG. 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 a box with space for you to “Leave a Reply” will be there to type in your response. Then remember to click on “Submit.”

Lastly, I invite you to look at your GIFTS. You may not be publishing books or ezines AND I know that there are one or more roles which you are playing. I invite you to answer for yourself, and perhaps share,

“The GIFT I give to myself, my community and/or my world is….” I actually invite you to pluralize it. Thus “The gifts I give to…. are…”

It would be great to have you also then list your gifts in the comments section of the blog! Please do.

As always, have fun with this and have an outstanding year ahead.


Three Programs I suggest you check out – I am a participant in all three.

The Comfort Queen’s 2009 Virtual Retreat facilitated and hosted by Jen Louden includes 15 sessions with different known experts. Among those that are intially of most interest to me are: “Getting Centered”, “Overcoming Money Fear”, “Overcoming Emotional Eating” (Gineen Roth-host) and “Overcoming Procrastination.” Fortunately, since I will be away during most of the sessions, all will be recorded .

42 Days of Passionate Presence led by Julie Jordan Scott Adela Rubio. A lot of who I am today, and what you experience here in Picture to Ponder, results from courses I’ve participated in facilitated by Julie. I did a couple of rounds of 42 Day Writing and 42 Day Discover your Passion programs a few years ago, as you have seen above.

Those writing experiences, as well as a few of her writing teleseminars, are what opened me up to the potential of myself as a writer. Adela, too, was an active participant in those programs. She also facilitated a few other programs in which I participated and experienced growth.

Both are special women. 42 Days of Passionate Presence started this morning, Jan. 7 with calls recorded and an active onnline community. See BEing Bootcamp for a description of the course and its bonuses, all of which are being gifted to you.

VIP Inner Authors Circle , facilitated by Shelley Lieber, a membership program with monthly teleclasses, MP3s of them, many bonuses, including a signed copy of Shelley Lieber ‘s 4Ps to Publishing Success: Get Your Manuscript Off Your Desk & Into Print, a step-by-step workbook to guide aspiring authors through the publishing process.

There will be interview with expert calls and coaching calls each month as well as a lot of other information during the month. See Authors Circle for full details.