Morning Beach

I use mental visualization a lot – for pain and to adjust my attitude. It is easy to do and a great stress reliever. I take a deep breath and turn a memory into a mental image. I use it when I feel nervous and inadequate by remembering a time when I felt competent, confident, and in control. As I form this image my body makes subtle changes until I am standing like I am competent, confident and in control – and I begin to be just that. The mind, body and emotions are closely tied so it is also possible to get into the body position and have the mind and emotions follow.

morning beach 009

This morning I am looking for the energy and gentle peace I feel on those perfect summer mornings – not the grey and drizzle that is currently outside my window. I am pulled to those images I took the morning I got myself out of bed, not early enough for a sunrise, but early enough to experience morning at the Tawas State Park on Lake Huron. Morning at a beach has a quiet peace, very different than the joyful, energetic noise of the afternoon and evening play.

morning beach 058

This is why I love photography. Photography has made me more present in each experience as I think about the personality or mood of place. I am more conscious of what I find joyous or intriguing or beautiful about what I am seeing. I love the excitement of trying to capture this in images, the mental challenge of using all that I am learning to form an emotional picture.morning beach 041

I know I have been successful when the photo evokes my memory of the total experience and others tell me it touched their memories. These are the photos I go back to because they help me remember the smells, the sounds, the feel of warm sun, cool air and soft sand.

morning beach 047If I am successful, I have photographs that reinforce the traces of memory that I need for the mental visualizations that bring a peace and gentle quiet long afterwards. morning beach 069

Thursday Lingering Look at Windows – Week 1

I am excited to have found Dawn’s challenge at her blog The Day After. I love windows and did a post a while back on the subject that you can view here.

Now I am in a Southern Florida sort of mood – especially Old Naples. I am intrigued by these windows that seem to be in an attic or loft. They are open to catch the gulf breeze but a little secluded behind the palms. A perfect place to dream some time away.

Old Naples 022

Most of my life I have lived in one-story houses. There were a couple of years when we were first married that we lived in a two-story. I also have memories of sleeping over in upstairs bedrooms. They were restful. I felt like I was away from, above the activity of the street, even though I could still listen to it. Climbing the stairs was even an act of climbing up from whatever was going on below.

The act of “mental visualization” for stress reduction and relaxation uses this method. One of my favorite places of mind retreat is up some stairs. It is my own room that has windows very similar to these. And it is decorated the way I need it to be decorated whenever I visit it – sometimes warm and cozy, sometimes cool and airy. It is where I go when my world gets too busy or too mean or however overwhelming. It is peace.