Friday, September 25, 2015

Staying in the Moment

by Dotti

Several weeks ago I read an article in our local paper that I thought was excellent. I’m sorry I don’t have a link for you but I do want to share some of the ideas from this article with you.

What am I talking about? You may well ask. It’s something we’ve talked about several times here at FOL and it’s one that’s so important, I think we need to revisit it every now and again. It’s this matter of staying in the moment.

The central thesis of the newspaper article by Krista Moe is that staying in the moment is good for our health. Oh, yeah! I can get into this thesis! I’m for anything that is good for my health. Staying rooted in the past can bring depression; worrying about the future can bring anxiety. What’s the antidote to this? Staying firmly rooted in the present.

A week or so ago, as I swooned over the gorgeous late summer/early fall light, I decided there was no better time to practice staying in the moment than right now, when the gift of light is all about us in this marvelous transition season of summer into fall. Grabbing my camera I ventured into my backyard and look what I found! Can you believe that golden light on the stand of ornamental grasses in the uptop photo?

And at this time of year, in the right light, even a weed is beautiful.

Last Sunday, my husband who had no idea that I was consciously practicing staying in the moment, suggested an impromptu visit to the arboretum in Lexington. Oh, yes! Perfect for my quest to stay in the moment and major husband points for him! Here is some of what I found.

This is first photo from the gardens and it is SOOC. I messed around with it in Lightroom a bit but decided there was nothing I could do to improve upon it. It always amazes me in the fall that ‘what remains’ can be so beautiful. This flower is long past blooming but the seed heads left behind have their own beauty. That golden color just takes my breath away and trumpets the arrival of fall.

And, of course, last Sunday it was still technically summer so I had to capture a pop of red in this zinnia. You have to love zinnias, they bloom for so long and give us so much to enjoy with their vibrant colors and beauty, a gorgeous bridge between summer and fall.

Before I leave you today, I want to share a few more quick tips about staying in the moment.

Listen, truly listen, to other people with intention and compassion. This is a gift to them and it plants you both firmly in the moment. In the same way, truly listen to yourself. This is a gift we give ourselves. It’s even okay to sit perfectly still, doing nothing, listening to yourself and your heart.

And finally, being creative will allow us the gift of staying in the moment. Bingo! This is just what we as photographers and creatives wanted to hear, isn’t it? So the next time you want to go on a photo walk, GO! Just tell yourself and anybody else who might care, that it is good for your health.

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
                                                                              ~ John Lennon


Cathy H. said...

Beautiful post this morning and a wonderful reminder to not let life slip by us as we dwell on yesterday and tomorrow! I want to go on a photo walk and I'm shutting this computer down and headed for the park!

kelly said...

dotti your photos are late summer magic! and so often we can miss it...i know when i'm distracted or stressed out i tend to not notice the beauty all around me. it's a continual learning process for me, but oh the magic when i get it right. thanks for the reminder this morning! what a great way to head into a beautiful fall weekend!

Ellen D. said...

Beautiful thoughts and beautiful photos. I needed this today. Thank you!

Carol said...

Oh, I can tell you are feeling better, Dotti! Lovely to see you finding the beauty again. Thanks for the reminder - it makes such a difference to appreciate the moment! It's good for our gratitude practices too. I love the fall light, and Lennon's quote has always been a favorite!

AFishGirl said...

When all is said and done, this very moment is all we have. To practice fully occupying it, being in it, such a wise quest. Every moment is there, for the taking. Great post, Dotti, great post. And gorgeous pictures!

Anonymous said...

Ah the challenge of life in the early 21st century! We sometimes make it harder for ourselves than it needs to be -- to really occupy the here and now -- but when we do manage to do it, the rewards are immense. So beautifully expressed here Dotti -- and illustrated with all your warm and wonderful images. That first one is exquisite.

terriporter said...

And once again I come back at the end of the day to read all the comments and my comment from this morning is nowhere to be found! And, of course, I can't remember what I said. But I'm sure it was something about your gorgeous photos and how you have captured the beautiful fall light in your neck of the woods. I think it is doubly hard for people to stay in the moment these days with cell phones ringing and people texting, etc. But I know for me and probably for most of us, it does us so much good to just shut all that off and just be. And to capture the beauty around us. So very important and thank you for this beautiful post today, dear Dotti!

stamper2 said...

Wonderfully written Dotti. I need to turn off the to-do list in my head, more often! Your comments about Summer turning to Fall have spoken so true. The evidence of what remains in my garden this time of year excites me, with all its uniqueness. I need to remember to take time to capture it, much more often. It soothes that quietness I yearn for today.

Kelly Kardos said...

You've certainly given me a lot to think about Dotti-thank you-beautifully written

Jeanne said...

Great photos and a perfect and very important subject. One that we need to remember every day!

Liz said...

Wow!! Gorgeous photos Dotti, and beautiful use of light! Excellent advice about staying in the moment. I am often guilty of being caught up in the past and being anxious about the future. Thank you. :)

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