Australia · blessings · new

Magical Beginnings.

happy new year 2015
I found this elegant photo on Facebook and love the complete image it portrays ~ the pine for Christmas just past, the subtle streamers for celebrating the New Year, and glasses of champagne, for a toast to the very best wishes for 2015 to friends and family.

 

As I begin to write today, I think it would be safe to say that the entire world has now welcomed in the New Year. I always feel that the promise of new beginnings, carried through on a wave of excitement into a new year, is perhaps the most magical time on the years calendar.

The thought of writing a list of New Year’s Resolutions leaves me rather cold, however. I prefer instead to feel my way to a higher level of wisdom, and for want of a way to describe my feelings, that is the best I can come up with!

The magic of this time of the year in Australia also lies also in long, lazy, hot summer days, taking a break from work, setting the usual routine aside, and relaxing. Since Christmas day, I haven’t cooked a real meal, we have lived instead off the left overs of cold Christmas meat, the occasional bar-be-que, and salads. We have mince pies in the cupboard, rum balls in the freezer, and oh, the chocolate! My indulgence in sweet treats will end shortly, then I will diet. 😉

My husband is at home every day, not doing anything in particular other than relaxing. He’s also reading a lot. I remember many years ago, a time when he simply hated me reading, feeling it took time away from our “together” moments, and I actually stopped reading for a while, just to keep the peace. How times have changed. After thirty-five years of marriage, he finally discovered the joy of reading for himself, perhaps initially with an attitude of “if you can’t beat them, join them”, and recently he confessed that he regretted the time he resented my books, and wished he had discovered the joy of reading sooner. Those few sincere words from my husband were a highlight of 2014 for me. We now enjoy our together time, sitting in the same room, on different comfortable chairs (it’s too hot to share a sofa during summer!) each reading the book of our choice.

Today is a photo-free day, just an opportunity to wish good health, good luck, happiness, blessings and love to all my friends, as 2015 begins.

I have a great feeling about this year….it’s going to be magical. ❤

 

 

Australia · Pacific Ocean · photography · son · South West Rocks · winter

White on White : The journey continues around South West Rocks.

White on white.
White on white.

When Adam told me I would find an abundance of subjects to photograph at South West Rocks, he wasn’t exaggerating. It was the most beautiful area to visit, but the highlight for me was the lighthouse area in the early morning light.

Pacific Sunrise.
Pacific Sunrise.

As our visit to the area was during July of last year, the sun rose quite late, being winter here, so we enjoyed not only the crisp morning air and the beautiful white lighthouse against the backdrop of white clouds, but also the sun rising over the ocean.

A white spectacle awaits.
A white spectacle awaits.

Everywhere I looked, pristine white surrounded us ~ the clouds, the lighthouse, even the white wooden fence along the way….

Accommodation.
Accommodation.

….the quaint white house on the right can be leased to holiday makers. Can you imagine waking in the morning and beginning the day with this view? I’d think I had died and gone to heaven!

Sun-spot.
Sun-spot.

As the sun began to rise, we caught an occasional glimpse of it as it tried to peek its way through the clouds, forming a white sun-spot on the ocean.

A western glimpse....
A western glimpse….

Even as we walked along the path towards the lighthouse, glimpses of the ocean could be seen behind the rental accommodation, looking towards the west. I’m sure that every window in these houses must have a view of the ocean.

A touch of orange against the white.
A touch of orange against the white.

Even the flora here was magical. I could have taken photos all day!

Is this real?
Is this real?

The waves below looked surreal. How could so much beauty be real? Surely it was all an illusion!

Bottlebrush.
Bottlebrush.

These Australian natives are known as Bottlebrush trees, for obvious reasons. Again though, the colour seemed almost angelic.

Gumnuts.
Gumnuts.

I think these are a kind of gumnut, or a hard seed cone. There is so much wild beauty here, and so close to the ocean too. Incredible.

Who goes there?
Who goes there?

Do you ever get the feeling you are being watched? I did, and I was! These two magpies didn’t seem to be bothered by Adam and I visiting their territory though. Perhaps they are used to humans losing all sense of time when they are visiting their home. 🙂

 

Australia · Changes · gardening · happiness · new beginnings

Allowing the Magic to Happen

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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” ~ Lao Tzu.

???????????????????????????????The days have flowed naturally forward for me this past month, in fact they have flowed with so much ease that I am wondering where the last month has disappeared to. It’s not a complaint, but more of a learning process than anything. I’m actually having difficulty in finding the words here to describe how I feel.

???????????????????????????????Resistance is subsiding. I would love to be able to declare that resistance has disappeared from my life completely, but there are still occasions when I will bristle slightly, catch myself and tell myself all is well. I have learnt how to calm any adverse feelings very quickly.

???????????????????????????????I’ll be the first to admit that the recent anesthetic I had for a small hospital procedure has played its part. For two weeks I floated through each day with my feelings wrapped in cotton wool. Without the thought stresses of everyday living my household chores were completed with ease, a raised voice didn’t bring any feelings of tension, so my world just wafted along on the late winter breezes.

???????????????????????????????In realising that my anxieties over any given situation would neither make nor break the outcome I could see the benefit in letting go, giving up resistance, staying calm, letting what will be ~ be. I would even go as far as saying that my calmness may have even neutralised situations where other family members were involved.

???????????????????????????????During my time of still being under the peaceful spell of an anesthetic I made the choice to continue this gentle life after the chemical cushioning had left me, to allow the magic of life to just happen.

???????????????????????????????Situations are what they are, people do not change unless they choose to do so themselves, the world continues to spin, night becomes day and day becomes night again. The sun continues to rise, the tides ebb and flow. Birds build their nests and look out for juicy worms to catch. A baby is born, someone loses a loved one. And these events will continue, day after day, whether I am stressing, or not.

???????????????????????????????This must be why there are people who become hooked on drugs or alcohol, I contemplate. When the cushioning is felt, it’s a feeling you want to have stay around forever. How sad it is though, when the addicts don’t realise that chemical substances will wear off, needing to be replaced time and time again. I wish for those people that they eventually can find the magic within themselves, without the chemicals.

???????????????????????????????Life experience has brought me to the place where I’m now at. The difficulties of life are our greatest teachers. If you have read my last two posts, you will know what I’m talking about, how resistance can take us to an unhappy place. Talking, honestly, the kind of talk in which we wear our heart on our sleeve to our loved ones is a great remedy.

???????????????????????????????Imaging the worst case scenario, which I did before my bliss-giving anesthetic, only to learn that there was nothing wrong with me in the first place was a real eye opener for me. Worry didn’t change the reality of the situation, but worry may, and probably would have, caused a major health issue. Who needs that?

???????????????????????????????We will always experience human feelings so long as we are alive. Joy, pain, happiness, sadness, we want to feel emotions, but what is worry, is it even a real emotion? I know it can be destructive, so I am working towards banishing it from my life completely. I hope you can do the same. Show worry, resistance and stress out the door; flow with the tides of life, accept and enjoy what is.

???????????????????????????????These beautiful kookaburras who came to my garden when we were digging around in the earth, waiting patiently for a worm or some other grub to show itself for them to swoop down and enjoy for their dinner don’t seem to have a care in the world. We have so much to learn from animals and birds. They stay calm, remain patient, don’t complain about the sun or the rain, cold or heat, and they don’t hold any grudges against that dratted bird next to them who catches the worm before they do!

???????????????????????????????We have the choice, we can choose to put our busy minds into neutral and allow the magic to happen. It takes practise, but it can be done. How cool is that? 🙂

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inspiration · Mount Warning · photography · spiritual

Psychology of Colours ~ Naturally Blue!

blue 1

In the year 2000 I started up a machine embroidery business in our local shopping centre, inheriting the brightly coloured shelving and cupboards from the previous business that had been there. Whilst I could cope quite happily with the bright yellows and the vivid reds in the shelving, that royal blue colour simply had to go! How could I arrive at work each day to be greeted by that colour? It would be downright depressing!

If you look carefull, you may just see a tiny lighthouse, way off in the distance.
If you look carefully, you may just see a tiny lighthouse, away in the distance.

What seemed to me to be a rather odd reaction, (from myself!) could have had some psychological bearing on it. My new shop was to be a fun and uplifting colourful business, and that deep blue colour was way too conservative for my liking!

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise for you to read the following passage about dark blue ~

“Dark blue is the colour of conservatism and responsibility. Although it appears to be cool, calm and collected, it is the colour of the non-emotional worrier with repressed feelings, the pessimist and the hypocrite. Dark blue can be compassionate but has trouble showing it as its emotions run deep. Dark blue is a serious masculine colour representing knowledge, power, and integrity, and is used quite often in the corporate world.”

So that’s why the dark blue colour wouldn’t work for me in my new store, my new feminine shop, where I expected to (and did have!) great enjoyment in choosing embroidery thread colours to match with articles of colourful clothing, to be added into logos on caps and shirts, and my favourite part of the business, choosing colours for adding designs and monograms to bath towels.

The colours of nature.
The colours of nature.

Blue is a colour associated with peace and tranquility and its presence creates a calming atmosphere. Think about the last time you sat beside the vivid blue ocean or a blue river, doesn’t the whole atmosphere of the blue waters make you feel calm? I know it has that effect on me. And when Mount Warning appears to have a tinge of blue haze, overpowering the green trees, there’s nothing quite so calming.

During an early mist morning, the colour blue overpowers all the other colours of the valley.
During an early mist morning, the colour blue overpowers all the other colours of the valley.

The colour blue suggests devotion, loyalty, trust and honesty, encourages self-expression and is also regarded as a spiritual colour.

Did you realise that blue is the most universally liked colour out of the whole colour spectrum? Perhaps the reason for this is that blue is regarded as a non threatening colour which promotes calmness.

The blue sky likes to overpower the white fluffy clouds sometimes.
The blue sky likes to overpower the white fluffy clouds sometimes.

People who favour the colour blue are slow to trust others, preferring to get to know a person before they trust completely. They also wish to be trusted themselves, and beneath their outwardly confident persona may lie a person lacking in confidence.

Blue loving people are usually genuine and sincere, prefer to enjoy the company of a close set of friends, are sensitive and caring towards the needs of others but also need their “alone” time, to reflect and contemplate their lives. Blue is a colour associated with meditation.

Four Galahs with not a care in the world when the sky is so blue!
Four Galahs with not a care in the world when the sky is so blue!

Blue people tend to be guided by their heart, can be sensitive, emotional and sentimental and cry easily over sad movies. On the other hand, they enjoy order in their lives, cannot work amid chaos and can also be stubborn and set in their ways.

They have a thirst for knowledge and wisdom, are friendly and approachable people and have an ultimate need for inner peace and harmony in their lives.

Butcher Bird on Blue.
A happy Butcher Bird, singing out loud to the blue autumn skies.

I wonder if any of you, who would name blue as your favourite colour, can identify with any of these characteristics? Although I wouldn’t claim blue as my favourite colour, when I see the colour blue in nature, a bright blue sky on a sunshiny day, the gradual changes of the colour blue as it reaches down into the depths of the ocean or even blue flowers, I can feel quite overwhelmed and emotional by the majesty of nature.

All of my children are blue-eyed, and I think it really goes without saying that when I look into the varying shades of blue in their eyes, I can simply melt like butter!

The Blue Willow.
The Blue Willow.

Another object of my deepest affection when I think about the colour blue is the Willow Pattern design I have loved since my childhood days. Seeing my Willow dinner set in my cupboard gives me a sense of comfort and security. (Wait a minute, security is one of the characteristics associated with the colour blue!) There is a story to the Willow pattern design, which goes like this ~
“Koong-She, a mandarin’s daughter, loved her father’s secretary, Chang. Father, having arranged a marriage with a wealthy suitor, shut her in a terrace house, to be seen close by the temple on the right of the plate. Chang rose to the occasion and rescued the maiden, although hotly pursued by the father across the bridge.

The couple lived happily, almost ever after, in Chang’s little house across the harbour. However, eventually the frustrated suitor found them and burnt the house down while they were sleeping. True love never dies, and Koong-She and Chang arose Phoenix like from the ashes, in the form of two doves.”

There is a poem of the Willow pattern story, which apparently many children learn at school, although I didn’t. Fortunately though, I do have a copy of the poem ~

“Two pigeons flying high, Chinese vessel sailing by, Weeping willow hanging o’er, Bridge with three men if not four, Chinese temple, there it stands, Seems to cover all the land, Apple tree with apples on, A pretty fence to end my song.”

A Brahminy Kit, soaring through the great blue sky.
A Brahminy Kit, soaring through the great blue sky.