Independence from Perfection – July 4th Declaration

July 4th Celebration
Fireworks Photos
July 4th Declaration

Personal Independence

Are you one who also often finds yourself caught up in the need to be “perfect”? You get bogged down, not moving forward until you get the task or job done as “perfect” as it can be.

At different times during the past years I’ve shared various spontaneously created Haiku poems [3 lines – 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables] that have helped in releasing emotions and healing, moving forward.

Last week I had been frustrated for almost a full day.  Something happened (in my head) that got me caught up in a lot of feelings of “not good enough.” Then, as I was journaling about it in my morning pages the next day, a couple of statements emerged that had 5 or 7 syllables each. I stopped and then began to create additional 5 and 7 syllable lines.

The result: Stuckness easily became released AND the following stanzas emerged, as did the idea for this post. The latter was not even my agenda!

July 4th today
Independence from “perfect”
Perfection No More

A declaration
It’s time to honor myself
This day and beyond

A problem solver
Who will help you find answers
Sheila Finkelstein

• • • • • •

In Morning Pages
Haiku all over the place
Brings forth Clarity

Also I’d love feedback/comments. Simply Comment in Leave a Reply below.

Lastly, if you are celebrating the July 4th Independence Day in the U.S., have a happy and safe one.

Celebrating Holidays and Yourself – Mixed Emotions


Sending Light and Beauty for the Holidays and Beyond

Happy Easter, Passover, or any other Holiday you might be celebrating this week.  In addition to its being a celebratory time for huge numbers of people, holidays often bring up feelings of sadness and feelings of aloneness for many other people.

It is my intention in this post to invite each of you to take time to acknowledge and CELEBRATE yourself…no matter which of the above categories describe your state right now. 

Consider past memories as well as current times:
• a positive behavior.
• a connection you nurture or have in the past.
• a connection who values you and your contribution to him or her.
• way(s)you are creative and/or … fill in the blanks.  

You might consider writing a letter to yourself.
Dear [your name],
I celebrate/acknowledge your….

Lastly, I invite you, if it fits, to go back into your past to connect with, and acknowledge, someone with whom you’ve not been in touch for several or more years.  It will likely make a difference for them and for you.

A few hours before Passover started on Wednesday I received a text message from a non-Jewish virtual friend, and former client, many years ago. She, from California, was remembering a Seder she and another virtual friend from Virginia attended at my home in Florida 16 or more years ago.   The last connection she and I had was a very brief one on LinkedIn a couple of years ago.  

In our text-versation she acknowledged me in several ways, bringing tears to my eyes. Her act had me then reach out to another friend who remembered who attended a Seder in our home in NJ, 21 or more years ago.  It’s been years since we’ve connected AND I found and sent her a message on LinkedIN.

Both of these situations and memories made a huge difference for me.  If you take any of the above suggestions on, I’d love to hear from you in LEAVE A REPLY/Comments below.

A Dozen Roses – Sending love on Valentine’s Day and Beyond

Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate and a Love day to all, today and every day. Acknowledging the day, the 31-second “Dozen Roses” video on YouTube brings you love.

Amongst other things, roses have been considered symbolic of love, hope and new beginnings. Today this video is also acknowledging “new beginnings.”

  1. In upcoming posts it is my intention to send short emails focused on one or more of the three following elements:
    1 – Connection
    2 – Curiosity
    3 – Creativity

They are the three most important factors that have been identified in our staying young, or even in reversing aging. Although I’ve cringed at the term “aging”,  my 28-year old grandson, who is decades younger than I, pointed out that we all are “aging”, including him.

This past week,I looked through the dozen roses photos that, at times, I send, in a .zip file format, as a Thank You to someone who has been very helpful and/or on special occasions.  The link opens a folder with the 12 individual photos seen in the video.

Curiosity and Creativity kicked in I started wondering what the photos would look like in video format with music. I went on to easily create a video on my phone that had all the photos with added music and voiceover at the end.

Connection happened as I texted a friend sharing the video link. She responded. Then we went back and forth having fun masterminding as she gave her thoughts on length, music and title and as I made those and other changes.

More to follow on these elements in future posts, as stated above, along with my intention for including both inspirational photographs and tech tips, for those interested.

Curiosity and the desire to help kicks in now.

What would you most appreciate seeing and reading in future posts?
1 – Relationship conversations/tips?
2 – New perspectives conversations/tips?
3 – Tech tips? If so, in what areas?
4 – Other?

Please respond in the REPLY section below. Thank you.

Disappointment or Possibility?

One of my joys in life is walking  along the boardwalk at Green Cay Wetlands shortly before sunset and beyond. The joyful, uplifting part of the walks are the frequent beautiful sunset… the puffy white clouds and the pinks they absorb and reflect in the sky above and the water below.

Recently, as I entered the boardwalk and looked around, I was disappointed when I saw a cloudless sky.

I took the one photo you see above, then put the phone in my pocket, not expecting to see anything interesting that afternoon/evening. Rather, I decided to simply walk to solely get steps in toward fulfilling my goal of reaching a minimum of 5000 daily steps.

Then, 14 minutes later, as the boardwalk made a 90 degree angle, the view above emerged. Out came my phone camera as I started being present to, and taking pictures of, all the variations of what I excitedly started seeing in the sky and the water as I continued moving forward along the boardwalk..

In addition to sharing the beautiful scene above, the point to this story is that I could have stayed in my initial disappointment, no longer expecting to see anything of interest. That’s likely what would have happened, since “nothing interesting” was my subconscious focus; or I could have remained open to being in the moment in an appreciative state of mind even before seeing the sunset beauty that showed up.

It’s always a choice we makebeing in our heads, our thoughts, our disappointments OR staying present and open, seeing what’s in front of and around us.

I invite you to reflect on the following:

Which of those choices do you usually make?…listening to and judging from the likely negative chatter in your head? or staying/being open to the ongoing present.


Taking the message of this story further, I’m reminded that Thanksgiving, for those of us in the U.S., will be here in less than a week. Many of you will be with families and/or friends and others may be alone.

Whatever your situation is, I suspect that you will have some sort of expectations on the food, on how conversations may go, sometimes anticipating, in your mind, negative conversations.

I URGE you to set an intention to remain positive, to being open to finding the “good” in any situation…to be prepared to find, AND express, gratitude…even if it’s for something seemingly small.

Find beauty in the ordinary. Have it be extraordinary.

May we all find the things in our lives for which we can celebrate and show love. Happy Thanksgiving, for those celebrating it.

Celebrating Labor Day – Acknowledging my Father

Looking back – Reflecting on Past Memories

Today is Labor Day in the United States, as those of you in the United States know. Likely most, if not all of you reading this, are also aware of this.  The holiday was established to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States. – See Wikipedia for description and more details.

Indirectly, for me, it’s also a celebration of my life and my parents.  Without the mission of union organizers, I would never have been born. My father, Sam Bakely, was a union organizer and one of the organizers of a Ladies Garment Workers strike.  My mother was one of the workers on the picket line. I do not know the exact story of how they directly connected and fell in love. 

Not only did I know any details about that strike or anything of my father’s early years with labor unions.  It wasn’t until a high school friend on mine told me she had just read about my father in Edmund Wilson’s book AMERICAN EARTHQUAKE book. It as through getting that book that I learned about his role and other experiences he had in assisting in another major strike, plus his schooling before that. 

Lastly, regarding my father and memories – An out-of-the blue story surfaced recently when I was Googling something. It saddens me that I don’t recall ever hearing about it. In 1962  my father, testified before a Senate Sub-committee on a Postal Rate revision. He was Secretary-Treasurer of a Teamsters Local of Truck Drivers who delivered magazines. Their jobs would be impacted by reducing postage rates for magazines.

Why, you may be wondering, have I been sharing these stories? In part, as I said, it’s to acknowledge and celebrate Labor Day and to honor my father.

In addition, it’s a reminder of lost memories, some of which we may never have been aware. 

Last Saturday was the 62nd wedding anniversary that my beloved husband, Sam and I would have been celebrating together were he still alive. I am blessed and fortunate that I was able to celebrate him and us through the love letters and notes I have starting from a few days after we me…a story I’ll share another time.

The Past and Future
As you know, our lives are full of memories. It’s great when we can celebrate the good and beautiful ones. Are there special memories you have wanting to be shared also with people important to you in this generation and beyond?

September for many marks the start of a  New Year… back-to-school and more. I am excited. With the guidance and support of a coach and a mastermind group, I expect to be launching, in a group program, being conscious of, living and celebrating the present moments, and sharing them.

I’d appreciate your sharing what has come up for you as you’ve read through some of my history here.

Are there stories from your past that you wish you had known about?…

Might there be:
stories of your own that you want to make certain are available for you at special times in the future for you to read or watch on video?

stories that you want to ensure family members and friends will have should they want to celebrate you?

I’d very much appreciate your leaving a comment in the Leave Reply space below.

Curiosity and Intrigue – Fun in Discovering Being Wrong

When I opened the blinds on the window in front of my home the other day, I glanced across the street. Seemingly a bird flapping its wings, or some other creature crawling back-and-forth in front of my neighbor’s garage, captured my eyes.

Of course, since I could not identify it, my curiosity kicked in and I went outside to get a little closer look at it from the end of my property.  My eyes stayed focused down on the image on the driveway. I photographed and videoed it in motion.

I finally looked up and was astonished to see what it really was!! I excitedly went back to my office curious as to what other people would perceive the moving image to be.  I immediately texted the FIRST video to four friends, looking to discover what their experiences might be.


Blaise wrote: “First thought – A moth, a bird, a fan dancer? Lol.”

Ruth Ridolpho responded immediately, identifying what it actually was. [You’ll see her statement further down this page.]  Amazed at her guess, I sent her a photo of the image, with the comment:
“Likely you see more [of the object she had seen] than full-bodied birds with long necks and tails  [my interpretation of what I had seen].

I continued, “If you look closely you’ll see the bird even has a shadow reflection.” [She had mentioned shadows in her response.]

Ruth did text back: “I do see the bird now in the stopped motion picture.

Lila responded: “Like a mobile making marvelous shadows?

When I replied to her, sharing my perceptions, Lila responded, “Yeah I was gonna say that but it just didn’t look realistic enough to be a real bird, or even a shadow of one.”

Interestingly two out of the three whom I texted, identified the shadows. I had been so caught up originally thinking I actually had seen a bird that the “shadow” realization never occurred to me.

Much later in the afternoon, I texted the images and story to one more friend.

Marianne S’s response: “At first a crane flying. Then a dancer and then a flag reflection.”

Unbeknownst to her, she had actually identified all of the elements that one or another of the rest of us had noticed.

BRAVO to Ruth, for her “perfect” identification as you can now see in the full view, what I finally and surprisingly discovered that my “bird..”  actually was.

Before even seeing the video below, Ruth had texted that the image was the “Shadow of a flag in the breeze.

Two main points to my sharing the above story:

1 – There are many different ways to see and interpret the same thing or situation. It’s possible to have ease in a conflicting communication experience.  One of the benefits the upcoming workshop will be the opportunity to experience the results of different perceptions while in a non-threatening environment

2 – My initial experience with my bird image interpretation had a singular, limited focus. I was reminded, after a while, that it is often necessary to view the whole picture (in interactions and landscapes) as well as isolated circumstances to find our answers.

LASTLY, I’d appreciate your input as I plan the Wednesday, July 27th workshop. Your answer(s) to the following questions would be helpful.

1 – What is/are your preferred way/s of communicating?  

Texting? phone calls? Meetings? in person connecting? Email? Facebook? other social media platforms? Anything I missed?

2 – Are there any specific challenges you have in taking and sharing photos and videos, creating and communicating with your smartphone?

Please leave your responses in the Leave a Reply section below this post.

NOTE: I see and approve all comments on the blog before they are made public. Thus your email address will NOT appear and be made public.

Celebrating the Freedom to See Things in New Ways

From a backyard patio, several years ago, I had the joy of seeing and photographing a clear view of fireworks that were bursting forth in the sky from a distant county park. (Tap/click on Fireworks Video to see the video)

The fun and play came when unique images caught my eye as I looked at the images in my camera and/or downloaded in my computer.Fireworks with a flowers insertCurrently the process is even easier when using my iPhone.  I can view them in Photos on my phone, save those that especially “catch my eye”, then edit (if I wish) and “play” with them.

The photograph on the left in the above was one of my fireworks captures.  The one on the right is also fireworks with flowers inserted in the downloaded image.

As you’ll see below, the background in the photo on the right was another fireworks “capture”. It felt like widespread fine leaves calling for something in the center.


I suppose it was mainly the yellow color in the first image that had me immediately notice the flowers sitting on a nearby table. I focused in on the center of the arrangement, photographed it and then inserted it into the fireworks photo.


As I’ve been doing with my own life, I invite you to think about, and appreciate, all the areas in your life where you experience freedom and independence.

One of the biggest things for me, as I shared in the last post, is the joy of being present and making unexpected visual discoveries.

One the viewers, in responding to my queries in the last issue of Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life NOW wrote, “Finding the Joy in the Unexpected”, responded to my query on what she would like to see in the upcoming workshop I’m creating:

“I’d love to learn how to use noticing images to become more present in every day life. I have plenty of joy, but I tend to think too much.

I love beautiful and interesting things, so to know how to slow down and notice them might help me become more present.” SB

I responded to her that included in the workshop will various easy ways to notice beauty, or intrigue, in the unexpected and become almost instantly refreshed. There will be additional methods for how to expand on that experience, if you so choose.
I continued that included in the workshop will be a variety of easy ways to notice beauty or intrigue in the unexpected. Guaranteed, you’ll become almost instantly refreshed. There will be additional methods for how to expand on that experience, if you so choose.

Amongst those topics I will be covering are simple technology tips that you can use to share your excitement and joy with others.

To help me as I prepare, I’d very much appreciate your response to one or both of the following questions:

What are some of the things that usually catch your eye?  What might you appreciate learning in such a workshop?

Please post your answer(s) in the Leave a Reply section below this post.

Joy in Observing an Orange Peel Drying and Curling

Recently an orange peel caught my eye. It became my #eyecatcher photo series over a several day period, as I observed and followed the peel as it began curling as it dried up.

Initially, in its flat form, it simply caught my my eye as it lay flat on the  dish after I had eaten the orange itself. I set it aside and was surprised to see how it started curling up. At that point I grabbed my phone camera and started observing and photographing daily for a few days.

Part of the fun and joy for me came out of looking at it from different perspectives. I began to see different fun images and interpretations in each of the photos.

Pink Tropical Water lily

What stories can you make up about the above images? What might they be saying to you?

I expected more intrigue at some point when I put it in water. Hydration is likely to create other interesting shapes and the opportunity to make up stories about it.

For those of you open to it, “kitchen fantasies”, from observing fruits and vegetables as you cut them, can occur frequently.  I invite you to photograph what you see and, at times, put a slice or a chunk aside to observe changes over a few days.  Keep photographing and have fun sharing the photos and stories with family members, friends, children and grandchildren.

Always, before sharing your stories, ask your audience what they see!

• • • • • •

Moving away from all the joy in seeing and photographing “eye-catchers”, and sometimes creating videos from them, even adding music, there is, for me, the joy of connecting with family members and friends on Zoom, as well as the joy and satisfaction I get from teaching.

Much of the joy I get is from using various bits of technology I’ve taught myself over the years for easily connecting AND HAVING FUN creating, particularly with my iPhone.

Watch for an upcoming Workshop in which I will be teaching, and we will be working together creating simple videos with your “eye-catcher” photos, sharing your stories, leaving your legacy.

In the meantime, What are some of your joys?


Welcoming the New Year

In my last blog post, I discussed discovering and reminding ourselves of what brings us JOY in our lives. I mentioned having come out of a period in which I had experienced some physical challenges.

I was able to finally get back to walking in my beloved Green Cay Wetlands, shortly before the New Year. I usually walk at dusk.  My camera and I are frequently blessed with experiencing joy I see and take photographs of beautiful sunsets.

Purple Water Lily enhanced by photo/drawing bring out the textures.

The walk and the photos were taken a couple of days before the 2022 New Year.  The wide open spreading of light seems to be the perfect image for wishing you all a very HEALTHY, HAPPY, LOVE-FILLED New Year!

May you keep your eyes open for it and experience Joy throughout the year and for many days and years beyond.


Curiosity – Openings – Finding Joy – Connecting – Creating – and a Bit of Technology