The Chopra Center is holding their second annual Global Meditation to Spread Compassion on Saturday, July 11 at noon EST. As a preparation to that worldwide event I received a post that I thought was great – 15 Ways to Spread Compassion. The suggestions are simple, practical and easy to implement in a busy day.
My previous blog, Help Me Decide, had photos with a horizontal format I’m turning into Happiness Cards. Here are the vertical ones I’m considering. Again, I’d appreciate your feedback.. I found your comments on my previous shots very helpful.
I’m ready to order another 5,000 Happiness Cards, having given away and sold close to 40,000 by now. Here are 10 photos I’m thinking of using in the new edition. They are here for your enjoyment but also your comments. Which ones do you like or don’t like?
I’m open to suggestions for positive quotations, too. Thanks for your help.
Do you believe in omens? If you had asked me that question a week ago I probably would have said, “No. At least not in my life.” But I had such an unusual experience last Friday as I was driving home from Santa Rosa that I wonder if I’ve been missing something.
It’s not easy to get to the coast where I live. It requires a couple of hours of driving over a twisty, 2 lane highway with few opportunities to pass slow drivers. People from out of the area can be intimidated by all the curves and often brake at every little deviation from straight ahead. They can be oblivious, as well, to the turnouts and signs for slow drivers to use them.
It’s a beautiful drive, and most people want to take their time gazing at the redwoods, the Navarro River, acres of vineyards and rolling hills. Sometimes I can get into that mindset too, and relax into a leisurely trip. But Friday I wanted to get home. It had been hot in Santa Rosa, and I was uncomfortable and irritable. I knew that people who had endured a week of hot weather inland would be headed to the coast. I told myself I was going to have to exercise patience or it would be a miserable drive.
I was just beginning my ascent of the hills and some of the sharpest curves I would encounter when I came upon a car that was traveling much slower than I wanted to go. Then unexpectedly the driver pulled off to the right into a turnout to let me pass. I hardly had to slow down. I waved my thanks. Not long thereafter I came up to the second slow car. Same thing happened.
The next 3 drivers followed suit. I felt as the Jews must have felt when the Red Sea parted. The remainder of the trip was easy, and I arrived home with the strong feeling that something had shifted.
The previous 3 months had been one difficult event after another. My computer crashed and I was without one for 5 weeks. All kinds of strum and drang resulted from that. I was in a minor traffic accident, I broke a tooth from grinding, and some creep posted several pornographic photos and videos on my Facebook page. I don’t follow astrology, but friends mentioned that Mercury was retrograde, and suggested that was the reason for all my trouble. Maybe so. I just knew things had to let up while I still had functioning teeth.
And so they did. Two days ago I got some of the best news I’ve had in a long time. My Happiness Cards will be featured in a magazine, Science of Mind, in August, and they are on the magazine website now. Check it out here and follow the rose.
Yep. I believe in omens. What about you?
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Jacques Yves Cousteau
With the exception of a couple of years in the 80’s I’ve lived all my life within a few miles of the Pacific Ocean. So it’s not too surprising that when I bought my first digital camera I would begin shooting pictures there. Here are 8:
Copyright Connie Fledderjohann
I grew up in Southern California where wildfires were common during the dry summer months. When I was 9 or t0 a large fire came close enough to the small town where my family and I lived that we could see the orange flames eating up the chaparral as well as a nearby botanic garden. I’d been to the gardens on a school field trip and remember feeling sad that the beautiful plants and flowers were being destroyed.
Scene at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Now I find myself living no more than 5 miles from The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens where I have taken hundreds, if not thousands, of photos. In thinking about my good fortune I wondered how long gardens like this have been around and where they are today. Here’s what I discovered:
Although the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans cultivated gardens it wasn’t until the 16th century that something like our modern botanic gardens appeared. Gardens were established in monasteries, to identify medicinal properties of plants and to glorify God.
With worldwide exploration exploding during the same era, the explorers brought back specimens of plants never seen before in Europe. Gardens were set up to receive and cultivate these new discoveries and turn them into commercial enterprises where possible.
Today many universities maintain gardens for research and education, the oldest in the English speaking world at Oxford University (established 1651.)
According to Wikipedia there are currently 1775 botanic gardens and arboreta worldwide with more in the planning and development stage. Their stated purpose is research, conservation and education.
We have a National Botanical Garden in Washington, DC on the capitol grounds. Congress authorized its development in 1816 with strong support from Washington, Jefferson and Madison. It has been in continuous operation since 1850.
Botanical gardens are great destinations for vacationers. A list of gardens in the U.S. can be had here. Some of them are free and others charge an admission fee, but either way they can be a welcome stopover for weary travelers.
I’ve just been through 5 weeks of hell since my computer refused to turn on. You can read about my troubles elsewhere. Today I’m recognizing the positive things that resulted from all the drama. And there were good things!
I made the mistake of not taking a class about basic computer information when I first began using one. I plowed ahead, not really knowing what I was doing, and I lost my early photographs somewhere in the bowels of the now defunct machine.
When everything was loaded from my old hard drive onto my new computer recently, photos showed up I hadn’t seen in years. In looking at the previously lost pictures I realized I’d been more experimental and creative in my early work than any photography I’ve done in the past few years.
I was hijacked by compliments and positive feedback, and I repeated what I knew others liked. Big danger for any creative person.
I remember having all kinds of fun with camera movement and rotation when taking these shots. Sometimes I used the light box to lay the flowers on, but more often I took photos. at the local botanical gardens.
Even though I wouldn’t want to go through the last 5 weeks again I’m grateful it happened.