Feeling Your Senses in Photos, Part 1: Seed Heads

IMG_1317 copyright Of-the-Essence Blog, 2020

A sparkle blast of sun on seeds–just what we need in the gray winter days.

 

That’s a brave thing, to start with “Part 1,” especially after not posting for two weeks due to a nasty head cold and some computer issues (neither of which is quite resolved, but getting there).

I like the idea of mixing senses: to take vision and see what we can “feel.” Can your fingers sense the softness of seeds, the velvet or raspy texture of dried leaves–just through looking at pictures?  Can you hear the light crunch as you press them between your fingers and smell the late fall moulder in them? What memories come up when you do that?

IMG_1514 copyright Of-the-Essence Blog 2020

Dried and curled in head of Queen Anne’s Lace (wild carrot), Vischer Ferry Preserve

Happy New Year, and thanks for your patience. Over the week, ignore any judgment you’ve heard on the winter weather and step outdoors. Take in what your senses gift you. What did you find? (Feel free to click on the Leave A Reply button and share.)

December Ahimsa (Self-Compassion)

IMG_2081 copyright Of-the-Essence Blog 2019

Almost-winter sun sinking behind the trees at Saratoga Spa State Park.

I woke way before dawn today, hips aching from a wondrous snow walk the other day. 

Breathe in. Breathe out. Move.

A few days ago I had tromped along under the tall pines at Saratoga Spa State Park. The crunch of our steps muffled by hats and jacket hoods, I thought about snow and holiday lights, about ice and clouded days and the sun that came out just in time for a 4:30 sunset. Also about the color we so desire in winter—winter which has not officially arrived yet, just two feet of early December snow. The two feet of snow we were stomping through and sliding in and laughing over, as we searched our way back to the warming hut.

IMG_2060 copyright Of-The-Essence Blog 2019

Snow on a paper wasp nest, high in the trees at Saratoga Spa State Park.

I woke way before dawn today to practice yoga, to pay attention to my body that so often in the day job gets ignored, put aside, pushed to physical limits with repetitive keyboarding and staying too still.  I wanted to move with eyes closed, minimizing outside stimulation. I wanted to listen to the craving for movement and beauty. I wanted to hear the tiny voice that guides me day to day, when I listen. 

The yoga concept of ahimsa–a nonviolence that includes self-compassion, gentleness with self–is part of what drew me to Kripalu yoga years ago. I want to live ahimsa with simple concepts:  Breathe in. Breathe out. Move. Stretch. Feel. No self-judgment or chiding voice. Breathe in. Breathe out.

IMG_2069 copyright Of-The-Essence Blog 2019

Sun, trees, snow, shadows: simple joy for me.

Today I will continue self-compassion into the dawn, into the daylight and through this misty foggy forty-degree Tuesday, looking out the office windows at the far view, standing at my work station and taking breaks for my body’s sake, through the dusk and commute and into the dark of night, when holiday lights sparkle.

Move. Stretch. Feel. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel.

Gentle self-compassion.