One of the best material possessions that I’ve acquired is a Nikon DLSR camera and taking it out on the road with me on my varied trips. I’ve always loved taking photographs but this new camera allowed me to take it to the next level. Sharing the things I see along the way via photography brings me great joy especially when it inspires others for whatever reason. The world is such an amazing place and I try to see things from a different vantage point and capture a moment in time.
Many of my photos have had the honor of being featured in motorcycle calendars but the shots had to have a motorcycle in them to qualify. When I started looking at my imagery, I realized that probably about two-thirds of my photos didn’t have any bikes in them but they definitely showed the landscapes, textures, and colors of the places we went.
So I decided to pull a few of my favorites and put them into a Photostory with some music* and share it with you. My hope is that it will lift your heart and maybe guide you to see the world a little differently, to look at things from a different viewpoint, to open your mind and spirit to the amazing things that are in your world… right there in front of you if you take a moment to see them. Enjoy!
I’ve been doing some workshops and gatherings the past few months which have led to some soul searching and interesting revelations. There have been some events in my life that have caused me pain/hurt and I in turn was hurt, angry, and judgmental. I am at the point where holding on to that doesn’t serve me anymore and it’s time to Let It Go. It only weighs down my spirit and doesn’t truly allow me to unlock my heart and let the light shine out fully for myself and toward others.
I apologize for any hurt I may have caused and I forgive those who have hurt me. It’s time to move on with our lives and call a truce and accept each other for who we are without judgment. There are two sides to every story, sometimes more, and none of us ever truly knows what another person is going through or feeling… and we’re all going through something.
So I encourage each of you to look deep within your own heart and find what may be holding you down or back from expanding your spirit and soul and Let It Go. Let go of that heaviness that you don’t need any more and set yourself free to soar.
My legs are a mosaic of grafting art due to about 75% of them being covered in skin grafts. But I have always kept them hidden from public view for the most part. Pants, long skirts, boots… because I was afraid that people would see them and be afraid or turn away from them and me. I feared opening myself up to someone, baring my all, and having them say, no thanks.
A week or so ago, I was at a monthly womens’ circle meeting talking about the strength of vulnerability. I shared my fear of being rejected because of my scars. These lovely ladies helped lead me to the understanding that if I don’t accept all of me, scars and all, why should anyone else? It was time to not fear who I was and embrace and accept all of me completely… to love all the parts of me that make me… me!
And so, last Sunday, for the first time in 4-1/2 years, I wore a short dress and sandals and went out into the world with my scars exposed. It was a little unnerving at first but as the day went by, I stopped worrying about what anyone else might think because what was important was what I thought about me. And I liked being free, just being open and honest with myself and the world around me. And you know what? No one screamed and ran away… no one said, OMG what are you doing?!? In fact, most people didn’t even notice! LOL
So while you are giving thanks this week for everyone and everything else in your life, take a moment to be grateful for you and who you are, scars and all whether visible or not… they are part of what makes you who you are and the person that is loved by those in your life. Embrace your self, accept your self, and love your self… completely and unconditionally… your presence is a present!
After 2-1/2 months in the burn unit and multiple grafting surgeries on my legs, I spent a month in spinal rehab to start physical therapy toward walking again. One day in particular, I was having a rough time fighting the negativity I felt toward my legs. I would look at them and think how ugly and horrific they were… who would ever want to look at these things??
So I called a dear friend of mine, Mary, who always is able to draw things out that are within myself that I just lose track of or didn’t even know were there. I was in tears saying how much I hated my legs… they were weak and horribly scarred and didn’t work the way I wanted them to. Our conversation went something like this:
M: Ok, so your legs are the weakest part of your body… what is the strongest part?
T: My heart.
M: What color is your heart?
M: So what does your blue heart say when it looks at your legs?
T: Oh, you poor babies… everything you’ve been through and you’re still hanging in there with me!
And I loved them at that moment… I found compassion for myself and my body. And later that day I took the first steps that I feared if I would not ever be able to do.
It’s funny how we can find compassion and give it in spades to others but be so stingy with it for ourselves. Today, take a moment to share COMPASSION with yourself… we are all perfect in our imperfection so love you for who you are, warts and all, and cut yourself some slack when you get down on yourself for not being enough, not doing enough, not feeling enough… you are more than enough… celebrate YOU!
Recent postings for things people are thankful for made me flash back to when I got out of the hospital after my accident. There was one simple, yet very important “little” thing that I was so very grateful for…
I could wipe my own butt.
When you’ve been flat on your back in a hospital bed for 4 months, unable to do the simplest of body functions on your own, the ability to get up, walk to the bathroom, do your business, and wipe your own butt is huge. May sound silly but there it is.
We get so caught up in the “big” things that we forget to appreciate the very simplest of things in our lives that we take for granted – walking, talking, laughing, hugging, breathing, and, yes, wiping our own butts.
So if you get stuck for a “BIG” thing to be grateful for, take a moment and really take stock of some of the “little” things in your life that you take for granted whether it’s a favorite pair of shoes… or the way the light shines through the trees at dusk… or feeling the cold morning air on your face… it doesn’t have be big to be “BIG”… know what I mean?
Live for today for it is truly all that we have. Savor each moment as much as you can. Take a moment in each day to feel gratitude – for anything no matter how small. Love the people in your life every day. Feel gratitude for being alive and being able to wipe your own butt.
Several of my friends are dealing with some challenging times – parents’ illnesses, death of loved ones, job losses, surgeries, etc. And I remember when I was in the hospital, wondering if I would ever walk again… rolling over the “what if’s” or the “I’ll never…” or “how will I”… and throwing myself into a very dark “doom & gloom” place.
I came to the realization, with the help of some beloved friends, that future tripping (as my Mom calls it) really doesn’t do any good. Because we don’t know what the future holds so all we can focus on is NOW. Focus on the people in your life NOW… the good in your life NOW… the beautiful day right in front of you NOW… the smiles of the people that you love NOW… that is what we have. No future tripping will make anything happen or not happen.
Take a moment today to find the blessings you have right here in this moment, the simple things that really are the most important, find someone to share a cup of coffee with, hug a friend, pick up the phone and call that person you’ve been thinking about, or just do a simple kindness for a stranger. When you release yourself from the pressure of future tripping, the NOW moments in your life become that much more precious.
It’s that time of year when the seasons are changing… summer into fall and the temdrop, clouds congregate, and the winds are a’blowin’. It is the wind of change… much like our own lives, some stormy times will appear but as with Ma Nature, it leads to a cleansing of the world, a fresh start. Allow the winds of change to blow into and through you… don’t be afraid of the storm as it will lead you to a fresh start, whatever that may be for you personally. Open your arms and embrace it freely… let it blow into and through you… let it blow out any negative to clear the way for the positive.
We all have the ability/power to change the way we see things… we can see them as hackle-raising or we can see them as the opportunity for the change/s that we want to make in our life… I hope you go out in that wind and feel it surround you with its amazing life force and power… allow nature to take its course and make that change in your life… might be a little rocky for a bit but it will result in a new start for your continuing journey in this amazing thing we call LIFE.