Photo Essay Series
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
This is the ninth of my photo essay series featuring images from my newly designed 2020 nature photo calendars. The calendars include monthly self-care themes highlighting strategies for nurturing your creativity and inspiration.
The small gnome statues along this shaded pathway, with their dramatic facial expressions, are almost alive with emotion. They seem like representatives of a human party, demonstrating the array of life’s ups and downs with their changing moods. They remind me of my own fluctuations and shifting chapters of my life story, and how my feelings paint my memories like a variegated rainbow.
Observing these small, nearly animated creatures shows how easily the human condition can either uplift or quickly darken the heart. But, I’ve learned that I can train myself to remain undaunted by emotional swings.
I’ve discovered I can create joy and hope when I master my mind versus letting my mind master me. Polishing my character in this way is the basis of my spiritual practice.
My personal experience proves to me that the effort to transform and purify my heart is the certain pathway to a more centered, balanced, confident, compassionate, joyful existence. This is also the surest way to contribute to peace because my inner state has power to influence others.
These little statues, with their theatrical display, brought me back to appreciating the present moment and the impact of mindfulness.
The lush green foliage and sturdy clumps of bamboo stems offered an umbrella of shaded privacy for reflection along this quiet garden path. The bamboo’s invisible, unified roots brought me back to my quest to develop harmonious relationships in my life.
The grass roots intertwine to support the whole plant, like how my interactions with others deepen when I look beyond our differences to find our commonalities.
The strength of these connected bamboo roots reminds me of the unlimited power we ignite when connecting with our intrinsic bonds of humanity. Especially when I hit bumpy roads with others, focusing on this root of our common humanity helps me recognize and find ways to unite heart to heart.
The few minutes I spent on this peaceful garden pathway inspired contemplation. The memorable garden motivates me to manifest my greater potential and contribute to improving my connections with others.
The New Year is a perfect moment to refresh our personal goals and deepen our prayers for others. The realization of personal dreams leads to a happier, more meaningful life. And with this richer existence comes the ability to encourage others toward their dreams, too.
The lessons from this nature oasis can function to ignite our momentum to achieve our personal goals by forging our greatest potential and helping others do the same. We must keep in mind that our victory impacts everyone in our lives.
What are your goals for the New Year 2020?
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Photo Essay Series
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
This is the eighth of my photo essay series featuring images from YourCreativeChord’s newly designed 2020 nature photo calendars. The calendars include monthly self-care themes highlighting strategies for nurturing your creativity and inspiration.
I woke up one wintry morning to find that it had snowed. Bundled up, I went outside just past sunrise to explore. My fleece-lined boots pounded the first footprints into the snow as I made my way to the end of the parking area. Four inches of snow covered everything with an immaculate layer of gleaming white. The dreamy scene of a soft-hued sky over rolling white hills and tree silhouettes inspired the poet in me.
Though it was cold, I lost myself in the splendor of this romantic scenic view, mesmerized like a child, by the clumps of snowy evergreen branches and the morning sky’s mellow pastel colors of blue, orange, pink, purple and yellow. The light of early morning permeated the vista with a tranquil glow.
Winter is often used to symbolize troubles we face in our lives. Living beings brace against the cold. People have to deal with potential problems caused by snowy roads and walkways. The freezing temperatures and winter snow are like the sufferings in our lives. There is a tendency to want to avoid these, hunkered down, hidden away, hoping for the passing of the chill.
The Buddhist teaching, ‘winter always turns to spring,’ came to mind. It’s true in nature that seasons change from one to another. But to create a springtime in the heart, we must use our difficulties as fuel for our inner light. The energy of our heart’s burning light is born of our ability to use the fire of challenges to ignite our full potential.
Viewing challenges, like this amazing winter scene, with the heart of a poet, changes my entire perspective. What if, like the beauty of this lovely winter snapshot, we could see every difficulty as an opportunity to inspire appreciation and creativity?
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In my CREATIVITY blogs, you’ll find tips for exploring creative flow, and inspiring content related to the inherent challenges and tremendous joy within the creative process.