Day 249 In the Pursuit of Love (Look)

sunsetIf you must look for beauty outside yourself… be prepared to find it warms your heart.

smileyfaceIf your life is a tangled mess … joy is just on the other side waiting to greet you.

wildflowerlakenIf you think that life is boring and routine…seek out the diverse and the wild.

monarchgranbyIf you’re staring at your feet in shame or despair… take a moment to notice the beauty just there.

bumblebeepollenIf your job is too busy … rest a moment in nature’s embrace.

cattailRemember that each thought is a seed that will drift on the wind landing where it may … may all thoughts be seeds of love and joy and peace.

Why would we need any other kind?

Love,

Colleen

See Original

Day 223 In the Pursuit of Love (Why is nature peaceful?)

blwaterplants

 

I think all we need to learn about peace — we can learn from these tiny water plants.

In doing what they were created to do — photosynthesis — they serve others by creating food and cleaning the water and the air. They ask for nothing in return other than to be allowed to serve their true purpose.

I imagine as more and more individual plants moved into the neighborhood — there was no fighting over boundaries or comparisons over who was the prettier shade of green. They shared rather than fought over the natural resources. There is no jealousy or envy or fear.

They are content taking only what they need. They don’t try to do photosynthesis faster or better than their neighbor. They don’t try to find a way to store all the carbon dioxide they can so that they can make a profit from a neighbor. They are in balance with the world around them.

These little plants don’t take vacations from their work or go on strike or decide they are worth more than the plant next to them. They maintain their own unique individuality while working with others for the common good.

What would the world look like if humans:

Went to work to serve others rather than for the profit?

Stayed in balance with all of nature?

Neither used nor created more than they needed?

Worked in cooperation rather than competition?

Functioned without fear?

Released the need for boundaries?

Do you feel more at peace in a large city or on a nature trail? Why do you think that is?

Love and Peace,

Colleen

 

See Original

Day 202 In the Pursuit of Love (Friendship)

Colleen

Friendship is a noun. I would like to petition to change this. I am henceforth going to consider friendship a verb and not just any verb — an ACTION verb. Friendship is not a static thing. It changes and change requires action. Friendship requires interacting with another and this requires energy and energy makes it possible for you to DO things. Friendships evolve and evolution is change over time from simple to complex.

Through my action of photography — I would like to share what friendship looks like to me.

Friendship is acknowledging that our friends display on any given occasion — two sides of themselves.

Image29cloud0998Image12face

Friendship is having the other’s back when their crazy side comes out and standing your ground when the nasties flare up.

Image3noxlokiImage3cats

Friendship is sharing time and space when you have nothing to say and when you have everything to say.

Image2BBImage1BB

Friendship is embracing and allowing you and your friend your differences.

Image1birdsImage1ducks

Friendships can be competitive or cooperative.

Image36goslingsImage5ducklings

BUT

Image1duckImage1robin

To me — Friendship is as essential as air, water, or food.

Image9skyImage39lakeImage6starlings

And friendship reflects our own light back to us.

Image10sunsetImage16moon

What does friendship mean to you? Is friendship active or passive in your life? My friends show me the truest parts of myself. I hope you are graced with the same truth today.

Love, Colleen

Day 211 In the Pursuit of Love (Transforming the Past)

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of having fun. I’ve also written (often) about coming to grips and releasing the past. So I thought I would make peace with my past fears by combining something that caused me some bit of angst when I was 15 with something that gives me great joy today. When I was in tenth grade English, I really, Really, REALLY, REALLY didn’t like anyone reading stuff that I had written. I had to write a poem or get an F and so I did — write a poem that is. Somehow this poem (my very first poem in fact) that only my teacher was supposed to read — ended up in some local student publication called The Nomad. Probably only ten people bought the thing for a whole dollar but still I didn’t like people reading my stuff. And so today, I would like to take something that caused me such angst and make peace with it. I don’t think you can normally just decide your okay with what upset you in the past. I really think one needs to transform it into something new. So today, I am going to embrace the angst of my teen years and have fun combining my nearly 40-year-old poem with my current passion. Please enjoy my visual interpretation of The Awakening.

The Awakening

Heaven released a warm and gentle breath,

Image15sunrise

slowly awakening the sleeping earth

Image4snow

washing away the white, lonely barrenness.

Image6snow

The sun smiled

sunriselaken

beckoning the life from its deathlike sleep.

One misty morning it arrived

Image1fog

like the procession of a highly honored king.

Blue Jays

bluejayevergreen

Robins

Image16robin

Cardinals, all announced the arrival

Image3cardinal

by a rainbow-like display of vivid colors in the sky.

Image11rainbow

Daffodils

Image8daffodil

Hyacinths

hyacinthmaybe

Jonquils, spray up from the oozing earth

to give their salute as they waved in the breeze.

Image8flower

Wrestling

Image2babysquirrels

Skipping

Image12goose

Jumping

Image1fox

and tumbling in the downy grass.

Image3bunny

The children sang their welcome

for all who could hear.

Image1ducklings

Life has sprung from the awakening of life,

healing the deep scars of winter past.

I hope you enjoyed the peaceful transformation of my angst. I will confess I’m not great at flower identification, and I believe I have two daffodils and no Jonquil, but that is another thing I’ve made peace with in my life, I don’t have to be a perfectionist. What turmoil from your past have you peacefully transformed into something you love or had fun with? And most importantly, how did you do it so everyone can give it a try?

Love,

Colleen

See Original

Where Do You Exist?

For most of my life I existed in the turbulent storms: family deaths, divorce, alcoholic loved ones, verbal abuse, disability, discrimination…
DSCN1029

There were moments amidst the pain that a glimmer of hope entered my heart allowing in possibilities: new friendships, a change of career, graduate school…

DSCN1257

I started to heal. I gardened and walked and read. I could not see the light yet, but I knew it existed.

DSCN1166

I took up meditation and reveled in the colors erupting amidst the clouds that hid my pain.
DSCN1236

Life shifted from one dense mass of angst. Layers appeared. At first I was afraid. The apex of the mass seemed to be all there was. The pain was intense. But the inner knowing said go deeper.
DSCN2031

I trembled at the unknowing.

Pain was not my friend or lover. But it was familiar and I was safe in its constancy. As fear moved to the far horizon, pain rumbled and taunted with comforting enticements of sameness…

Prisms of light appeared illuminating the path to joy.
DSCN1758

The fear lifted from my being. I surrendered and plunged into the unknowing to find as the layers were released my spirit could finally soar.

DSCN0096

Lunacy sometimes appears tempting me to follow in its cyclic pursuit of the ego…

DSCN1413

Wisps of doubt niggle at my soul. Tempting – always — tempting to fall into the abyss of pain and despair.
DSCN1174

But this moment – I choose clarity and an unencumbered path — free to feel joy and peace and love.

DSCN1025

Life is a blank canvas. I hope you paint your canvas with Love and joy and peace.

 See Original

Day 199 In the Pursuit of Love (progress)

 “It is not strange…to mistake change for progress,” by Millard Fillmore.

Image1greatblueheronducksphotobomWhen my pics were photobombed recently it made me wonder — what has changed since I was a kid? I wondered this because when I was a kid we would make the peace sign over someone’s head while we were getting our picture taken BUT we didn’t have a name for it. Is giving the “messing up” of someone’s photo a name — is that progress?

As a kid we had lots of new and unique phrases like groovy and far-out but kids in each generation have unique phrases that their parents have no idea what they mean. Is this change or progress or neither?

When I was a kid I had not heard of a computer, CD, DVD, laptop, cell phone… now kids seem to be non-functional without them. When I was a kid we played outside until it was suppertime and then again until it was dark. With one TV and no ability to watch a show at a different time — you compromised and shared as a family. Now kids watch what they want, where they want, alone or with friends — on their mobile devices. Today, it is a beautiful summer day — there are no children outside. This is change but is it progress?

I wondered what is progress? Is progress replacing vinyl records with CDs? Replacing film in your camera with digital images? Holding an electronic device instead of feeling the pages of a book? After watching this video I think I have my answer. On the site: Artists 4 Peace. This video combined the Cat Steven’s song Peace Train (released in 1971) with peace quotes and images using the “new” technology of the internet. I have always loved this song. Not surprisingly it brings me great peace. This is progress to me because the original essence of the song was enhanced by the addition of the technological changes of today.

I think too often we make changes just for the sake of changes. We had the popular blue phone and now we have the popular red phone. This to me is not progress. If we want progress don’t we first have to figure out what our base level of existence is? If we place a high value on forests as our baseline then it can never be considered progress if we cut down those forests. If we place a high level on peace in the world then it can never be progress to declare war with a country over borders or religion or oil. If we place a high value on human health then it can never be considered progress if we allow our children to eat pesticide covered foods.

What do you consider progress? What is your non-negotiable baseline of existence? Would you ride the peace train?

Love,

Colleen

See original

Day 192 In the Pursuit of Love (Mindfulness/Photography)

Life in the City with a Future

Image2butterflyImage3mothImage5butterflyImage1mothImage7redadmiralbutterflyImage4moth

During the last year, I have discovered there is a significant difference between taking a picture of an object and photographing an object. When I take a picture, of let’s say a butterfly or moth, I just push the button on my camera and move on. When I take a photograph, however, it is as if for a moment we become partners. I have to prove that I will respect the other’s personal space. I dance around with the sun so that the shadows fall where I want them to be. I am aware of each blade of grass and how it sets the scene or interferes with Image8mothImage9redadmiralbutterflythe beautiful lines of my subject. I view my photography partner from many angles. My body duels between the peace of being amongst nature and the tension from the anticipation of what will the model do next. Will the butterfly or moth…

View original post 78 more words