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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Photo Essay Series
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
This is the seventh 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 love the changing colors of autumn in Kentucky. The colors vary from fading green, burnt orange, bright yellow, to vivid red and gold. The season’s brisk, cool air makes walking or cycling outdoors a refreshing excursion. Dependent on the crisp, changing winds, the sky incessantly morphs between clear blue with sporadic, cottony white clouds to expansive layers of shadowy grayness that intermittently blocks the sun.
Gazing upwards, this particular sky was like a sci-fi effect from a movie. The rich red fall leaves of the trees against a vast, grey force of a sky that seemed to be descending upon earth portrayed an ominous and dramatic scene. Yet, the sun poked its way through a large oval from within the darkest clouds, emitting a brightness that contrasted everything with its light.
This fall image reflected the struggle within my own heart between succumbing to the stress of my challenges or looking for that gleam of light behind it all. The sun, piercing its way through these heavy clouds in the sky brought me a transcendental message.
Rather than giving in to the darkness within my life, this photo reminds me to keep moving forward with hope. Shifting my focus to find light within the picture of my life, and challenging what’s ahead of me with the strength of that cheerful mindset gives me the necessary momentum for achievement. More than this, I gain personal development of my character.
I know how easy it can be to give in to negative self-talk, or be swayed by the suffering of others or the world. The contrast of the sun’s light piercing through grey clouds in this picture represents hope. Hope means believing in my ability to accomplish my goals and manifest my full potential as a creative person.
Having hope also means I believe in my capability to handle any obstacle, including transforming difficult relationships, financial, health, business problems, and psychological tendencies. Hope doesn’t end with belief in the self, but extends to the belief that others have the same positive, vast potential, too.
The light and color of this photo refines my mindset to find the good in myself and others. This good eventually translates into the power to win over all forms of darkness, through revering the inherent dignity within every living being.
This is not a flimsy, fantasy-based optimism, but rather, firmly grasping reality’s challenges with a determined spirit to move things toward the positive with relentless hope. It’s looking for the best in the situation, others and myself no matter how dismal things may seem. Finding that positivity and taking action based on this reality-grounded, spiritual optimism creates the light we need to break through to a new level for creating value.
For me, this photo’s message is simple; Look to the light.
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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.