Creativity and Play – Cloves of Garlic Talk

Clove of garlic waiting for answers

Hand on hip, facing us, or turned away? Perhaps our featured “lady” is waiting for an answer from you.

Will you be able to attend the live interview I will be doing with Jerry Downs, well-known photographer, tomorrow night… Monday, September 16th at 5:30 PM Pacific time/ 8:30 PM Eastern time on Zoom Video Conferencing. For details on how-to join see the link at the end of the post.

This interview promises to be rich with ideas as Jerry describes how he looks at the world with wonder and the love of looking as he connects with what captures his attention.

In a planning conversation, he said that when he is out walking he no longer looks for pictures. “I simply enjoy the act of looking. Not everything makes a good picture, but every is worthy of appreciation. If you can find yourself in a state of appreciation, pictures, synchronicities and magic are everywhere!”

What would it be like to be experiencing some of that, especially if you are not already doing so?

Now, back to the Garlic cloves… Perhaps you saw the image above in a totally different way. Several years ago, as I was separating cloves for mincing and using in a stir-fry meal, I saw two interestingly shaped cloves of garlic, fitting comfortably together.

I put them aside to photograph and ultimately, sporadically, photographed them in different ways over a period of several weeks.

In the photo above, I love the textures and the silkiness feeling. It is an enlargement of a segment of one of the cloves. Below is the original “eye-catcher” two cloves that started my discovery series. They are resting on a photo print of the enlarged segment.

More garlic photos, different perspectives starting with the same two cloves as seen above. All have, for me, many different interpretations.  I’d love for you to add yours in the comments.

The photo above shows the two original cloves, starting to sprout, after several weeks.  They are placed on a photo print.

Self-Reflecting Queries: 
For the next few days I invite you to find imagery that suddenly excites you and has you discover something, perhaps in the never-before-really-looked-at “mundane” things around you.

What does the experience open up for you?

Video Interview
with perhaps some new openings for you with yourself and/or your camera:

Again, I invite you to join me and photographer Jerry Downs on Monday night, September 16 at 5:30 PM Pacific/ 8:30 PM Eastern. For more details and explanations on accessing and setting up the one-time, easy Zoom download, Tap/Click REGISTER to get more explicit details, reminder of the time and a link to the replay.

If this email brings up anything you’d like to share, please comment in the Leave a Reply box under this post.

The Wonder of Looking and Sharing – Jerry Downs Interview Coming Up

Different Perspectives Rear view of Pansies

The colors and the flow of lines and shapes in the above photo called to me. Does it matter what it’s a photograph of?  In my total appreciation of it, I did not even need to know what the images were.

What about you?  How do you respond?

This photo is one shared on Facebook by Jerry Downs, Photographer, whom I had the privilege of interviewing 7 years ago. After listening to the audio again, appreciating the richness of what he shared about the wonders of looking and much more, I invited him to join me in another interview.

In the 2012 interview, Jerry said “a great picture is one that elicits an emotional response. If it doesn’t have the emotional contact it doesn’t have the soul.”  This is definitely what I feel when looking at the above photo [a view from behind two pansies!]

Jerry agreed to join me again this upcoming Monday night, September 16 at 5:30 PM Pacific/ 8:30 PM Eastern time in a Zoom Video conferencing room.  As he and I talk, you will be able to see Jerry and some of his photos about which we’ll talk. [tap/click here to get the join, or replay, details]  You will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

He will be talking about the wonder and love of LOOKING, even when not using a camera. And he will be elaborating on that based on his years of experience as a professional photographer and a human being.

In our recent conversation Jerry stated, “When I go out into the world to take pictures, I no longer look for pictures. I simply enjoy the act of looking.  Not everything makes a good picture, but everything is worthy of appreciation.

If you can find yourself in a state of appreciation, pictures, synchronicities and magic are everywhere!”

Wouldn’t you like to be experiencing some of that, especially if you are not already doing so? If so, how might that change you life?

Self-Reflecting Queries
For the next few days, at least, I invite you to look around you with “new eyes” as you walk… in your home and/or outside.

What are the images that you start noticing catch your eyes?

What is it you most appreciate about what you see when you look around you?

Is there a pattern to them?

Ready To Join the Interview Video Conference?
If so, Tap/Click here to get the join meeting, or replay, details

If this post brings up anything you’d like to share, please put your comments in the Reply box below.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome.

My Paths to De-Stressing – What are Yours?

Are you wondering about how the initial two photos below relate to each other?

The first is symbolic of one of my Paths to De-stressing and the second “eye-catcher” photo symbolizes the “core” of what invigorates and relaxes me.

As you read, and watch the videos, I invite you to reflect on what most invigorates and restores you, while at the same time eliminating or easing up on your anxieties and stress.

The above photo was a follow-up to the first day of my path to de-stressing, prior to the ultimate cancellation of being in a Hurricane Warning zone.

Most, if not all of you, are likely aware of what’s been happening with Hurricane Dorian. Dorian initially demonstrated its ferociousness as it stayed stalled over the Bahamas for several days. My deepest sympathy to all of those affected by the hurricane who are now deeply suffering there. Prayers also for all those who will be affected as Dorian continues North along the Atlantic Coast.

On Monday, after almost five days of emotional ups and downs regarding the projection, at times, of possible catastrophic damage in the area where I live, I learned that seemingly my home in Southeast Florida was no longer in the “cone” of the threatened area.

I was in the final stages of readying the inside of my already shuttered home and was completing packing to go to my son’s home. I had all important papers gathered, clothes for several days packed, food to supplement his family’s and lots more in the event we were without power in roads back to my home were blocked. And I was still doing “stuff.”

Then my daughter-in-law called, saying I was most welcome to stay there of course, as planned. She continued with what she gathered from hearing my son’s conversation with me that I was far more stressed than need be. She had been watching the Weather channel closely and it showed that we were no longer in the band of any major threats. It was her suggestion that I stay home and de-stress watching a couple of movies as she and my son had done in the morning.

I breathed somewhat a sigh of relief. As much as I love my family, I was happy to be staying home, with no more decisions to make around preparation and leaving.

I watched one movie she recommended, Netflix “Fall Inn Love”, and then went out for a Nature Walk in front the Water Management Treatment center across from Green Cay Wetlands, one of my favorite walking locations.

Immediately my eyes were pulled into the “dancing-in-the-wind” dried up ferns. I then zeroed in on the lines and patterns of the large leaf itself…taking photos and videos of the “action”.

Behind me was a lake. The water and foliage movement in the trees and plants on the shore then captured my eyes. I took more photos and videos and then had a happy surprise as I left the parking lot… a reflected red sky to the East, behind Green Cay!!

I took a couple of photos and then took a couple more of the Western sky as I stopped along the road to my home. [See Video above]

Once home, before watching the second recommended Netflix movie [“Good Sam”], I started assembling the photos and videos I had taken. Editing with iMovie on my iPhone, I created the “Eye-Catcher De-Stresser” video [the first one above].

NORMALCY begins to Return
Tuesday became, for the first time in several days, a more normal day for me. By the end of the day the Hurricane Warning had been lifted, forecasting only possible Tropical Storm winds that we never even got.

Simply for a “breather” I went out for a neighborhood walk and was delighted with another unexpected red sky. [Play video below] The view in the photo that started this post suggested the theme for this post “My Path to De-Stressing – What’s Yours?”

CREATIVITYAdded De-Stresser for me
Once I got in creative mode, another de-stresser for me, I finalized the three videos. As I was creating, I realized that they would also become good material for the Through and From the Lens Course, coming back once again, on October 7th.  

I’m finishing here feeling Revitalized. I will feel even more so when, hopefully, you share your “de-stressers” and “revitalizers” in the Reply section below.

I invite you to look for, pay attention to, and explore your de-stressers and revitalizers.

Do you practice them regularly or need reminders?

if so, do you have a structure in place for them?

I invite you to share with us, in the Reply space below this post, what you’ve discovered as you reflected on the queries.

Thank you for being a part of this community.


Brilliant Sunset Sky at End of Hurricane Dorian Threat – A Poem

Shutters opened
Light coming in most of the day
Almost nightfall – Hurricane Dorian threat to our area.. OVER!!

Started a neighborhood walk
Looked back
Saw beautiful sky
Photographed it as I walked
Turning back and then,
In front of me as I rounded the community for return walk,

THE PHOTO – “My Path to De-Stressing”

What’s your path?

For the full story, tap/click on the previous post.

Shifting Directions – What’s Possible as Seen with a Bottle Palm Tree Frond

Today’s photos relate to perspective shifts and the changes in feelings as we shift directions.  The poetic words flowed spontaneously and unexpectedly a few years ago as I played with the images.

Powerful leaves
Diagonally strong
Directed where?
Into an abyss or
A whole new world of opportunity?

I appreciate your strength and
Your different points of view.

Turn the photo 180 degrees and
I want to sleep,
Lulled by your gentle movement 

Turn it once again at 90 degrees
And I want to party.
It’s the feeling of the rhythm of what
Now appears to be one side of
Your head of long hair. 

This is the normal way you are seen.

Shall I keep this view,
Making a party statement on life?
Or shall I go for the power and direction
In picture number one? 

Self-Reflecting Queries

What occurred with these photos is the reminder that simple shifts in perspective may suggest different options to us. All it took was to turn the photo once and then once again.

How wonderful it is that life does offer us so many options and opportunities to change in any moment, simply by shifting our view points – perspectives.

I invite you to look at your life. Are there places right now, where shifting points of view might present new opportunities for you? If so, continue to play with it.

Note also, that in the examples above it was focusing in on a portion of the original source…a section of the tree shown in the fourth photo. From there came the variations.

Have fun with this.  If you want to see it poetry comes from you, simply, without a plan, do free flow writing, jotting down words that show up for you as you look and an image or images that caught your eye.

And if something new comes up for you from these photos and queries, or your own, please share your observations and comments in the “Reply” section under this post.

Coming Soon – Through and From The Lens

At the end of a quick Zoom session where I had shown Marifran Korb a how-to on her website, she started speaking of videos I could be doing to promote the upcoming Through and From The Lens course. She said we could do one “right now”.  I, of course, said I wasn’t dressed for it, etc.  She said we both where fine. It was sharing what she got experiencing the course a few years ago.

In the Through and From The Lens course you practice using your eyes and camera to capture what you see in the moment.  This video is also a demo of capturing our speaking in the moment.

The 6-week program (not 8 weeks as mentioned  the “Notify Me” From the Lens page) will be starting in the latter part of September.  For more details on what will be  available for you in the course, tap or click on From the Lens. You’ll see the Notify-me button.

Providing your name and email address will ensure that you can be one of the 10 participants. Because the class is highly-interactive, one of the benefits, it needs to be limited in size. Tap or click on Notify Me.


Rhythm and Flow – Viewing Life in New Ways

My being has been telling me to return to publishing Treasure Your Life Now blog post on a regular basis, to establish a new rhythm and flow (see story in “Today’s Photo” below for the connection)

lines and textures in orange hibiscus flower close-upPhoto is © Sheila Finkelstein, originally marked as the site it was on

As I’ve been going back over photos and queries in issues over the past 14 plus years, the view of the photo above grabbed my attention.  What I wrote in that issue 118 in June 2005 follows: 

Closing in on a portion of an hibiscus.

I planned to give you the full view of the hibiscus that beckoned me to photograph it as I glanced out my dining room window. The next day, when I selected the photo, I started studying it to see what it was that caught my attention. 

Orange Hibiscus photo by Sheila Finkelstein

There was the color and its delicacy and definitely the rhythm and the flow in the shadows, textures and the edges of the petals. I, then closed in on it with the cropping tool and liked the resulting overall image. 


Have as light and flowing a week and weekend as this hibiscus section suggests, filled with soft and gentle color…bright colors, also, for those of you who wish them.


Pay attention to what catches your eyes this next week.

Is there a rhythm and flow to what you are looking at? Is it one that appeals to you?

As I write, the different and many jumpy elements I’ve recently created in my life are cropping up for me.

Why not,” I suggest to myself, “try on creating the rhythm and gentleness of this flower for the next few days?”
I will!

Is there a visual in your life, or perhaps an auditory piece, that you can find that you can use as a symbol to match what you would like to be achieving?

If these photos, story and suggestions moved you to take on something new for you, or you have other observations or comments, please leave your comment below this post.

As always, stay open to shifting perspectives, enriching your life.




This Poppy flower urges being bold and direct

Given that over the years it’s been one or more photos that have been the focus of these posts, I’m granting this poppy prime space. She has been sitting on my computer desktop urging me to get bold and to the point.

I’ve been holding back from being direct, waiting for the “perfect” page, words, etc. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks.  Bottom line I am delighted to announce and invite you to join me in the upcoming revised THROUGH AND FROM THE LENS: The Joy of Living and Seeing Creatively.

It’s an 8-Session Interactive online program where your camera is the tool to opening you up to seeing things in many new and different ways, both your inner world as well as your outer world. Any camera works and can provide answers to the queries in the image below.
When you look at the list above, what would make the most difference in your life…unleashing your creativity…? gaining greater self-confidence in making necessary decisions…? or simply experiencing joy, freedom and play in your life, as you start seeing and experiencing bountiful new perspectives?

Is finding or deepening the answers important to you? If so, I invite to join us with the link above or on the image.

The program starts in less than 2 weeks on Wednesday, October 17th. If you’d like to learn more and get a taste of the experience before registering, I’d love to have you join me and a few past participants in a FREE online overview on Wednesday night (Eastern), October 10th.  See TFTL – Intro

The poppy above, amongst other flowers and even a rock, also wanted to be included in this issue. She represents finding a pride in self in a diverse community. This is one of the powers participants experience in Through and From The Lens: The Joy of Living and Seeing Creatively.

Self-Reflecting Queries 
Again, pursuant to the questions at the beginning of this issue:

Do you know and accept your own creativity? If not, what might be available to you in your life, if you were to experience and acknowledge it?

For years, or however long you’ve followed these posts, you’ve likely looked at shifting perspectives in various situations in your life.  What if even more of this were available to you on a regular basis?

And, FUN… Is that something you’d like more of? What if it were happening in a community of new friends as well as in your current environments?

If any of the above strikes some kind of chord in you, I invite you to check the links below.

If you know you are ready to reserve your space in the Through and From The Lens program… limited to the first 10 participants… then go directly to TFTL – Program for full details and registration.

If you have questions, you can experience some of what’s possible in the program at the same time get an overview of it in the free online introduction on Wednesday, 10/10. Click or tap on TFTL – Intro to register for it. I’d love to meet with you “live” in my office.

Your Updates 
As always I would love to read what’s happening with you in your world and your responses to what I’ve shared here.  Please comment in the REPLY space below this post.

How can you get through rigid blocks? Answer in Avocado pit video

As a reminder in the previous post here, I wrote about, and showed a flower photograph I had taken years ago. The “hidden face” in the flower that initially had eluded me has become  a wake-up call for me to also come out of hiding.

The challenge for me, as I imagine it may be for you, is that I often go in so many different directions, with varied ideas and photo-seeings continually popping up. It becomes challenging to know which to present here.  In last week’s article I mentioned that playing with dried out pieces of vegetables, then hydrating them is part of what’s had me come alive.

One astounding discovery for me was that a rock-hard slice of avocado pit, became squeezable and could be pulled apart once it was hydrated.  See video below. In it I invite you to reflect:

Sheila Finkelstein hold a rock-hard slice of an avocado pit

Self-Reflecting Query
“Where and with what/whom in your life can you get hydration and nourishment, particularly if you are confronted with what seems like a solid, impenetrable block or wall?

Do you choose to move forward or stay put?”

My Story
For me, interacting with/listening to my coach, friends and associates who have experienced me, my photos and courses over the years AND then letting it finally sink in, has made all the difference.

One astute friend, also a past course participant, gave me some very valuable feedback in response to a question I had asked. She pointed out that I “overthink” things and that I have a brand. “Stick to it”. When asked what she saw my brand as, she responded, “You teach people to see creatively!”

Wow! It was right on for me and I had never thought of it in that way… so simplified, actually summarized all that I’ve been doing and love doing.

Invitation for You to Query
I invite you to ask someone what they see as your role in life… your brand… how they would best describe you.  I especially suggest doing this if you are stuck on something.

​​​​​​​Result for Me
My friend’s statement freed me up to more easily continue on with revising and expanding the Through and From The Lens Course: The Joy of Living and Seeing Creatively. It also helped me in creating the tagline and more easily share what I do!

The course info page is almost complete, mainly with editing needed in the “My Story” section.  You can see what’s in the works by clicking/tapping on TFTL – Through and From the Lens.

Additional Photos for this Issue –
Since I’ve been talking about vegetables and in the last issue I included a video with red onion pieces (link at the bottom of this email), I thought you might enjoy this photo of my latest Red Onion “eye-catcher”.

Perhaps “she” is celebrating my become Mother for the first time 56 years today! Or what do you see?


You may see a variety of other images AND if you go to the blog you’ll see this one and 1 others showing different perspective.

A further celebration, the end of a beautiful sunset, seen on a neighborhood walk. Path to the Future?


Neighborhood Sunset

As I explored I continued more noticing and discovering that shriveled up pieces of vegetables became resilient again when I hydrated them. Then I, too, became more resilient, excited and alive.

I would love to read what’s happening with you and your responses to what I’ve shared here.  You are welcome to reply directly to Sheila[a] or comment in the REPLY space below this post


I’ve Been Hiding Out Like the Face in the Flower

“Is it Over?” asked the Lysianthus bud who had wanted to open up and be full and beautiful.

Lisianthus flower - bud at end of broken stem

This bud and flower, with the query, have been sitting on my desktop for several weeks waiting for me to take action and send them to you…simply, sadly waiting.

Pink Lisianthus flowerThen I came across these photos from one of the very early issues of Picture to Ponder in February 2005.

Tropical Bromeliad with Hidden Face

Do you see the almost “hidden” face? When I recently looked at the photo I did not see it initially, even after I read that it was there.  It was in “hiding”.

Hidden Face in Tropical Bromeliad

Then it hit me that I, too, have been “hiding out”… from you my community whom I’ve so appreciated over the years… some who have been here from the beginning 14 years ago coming up in December!  And, I’ve been hiding out from myself.

Going back over the past years, I found comments many readers and people whom I’ve coached had made, often about the differences my photos, stories and queries had sparked in them.

Some of the story behind this is that I was operating under the assumption that readers expected me to follow the format originally set up – a photo, or photos…description and/or story of it/them….then one, or more, Self-Reflecting Queries.  Added to that was one or more relevant Relationship Tips when I added/converted to Treasure Your Life Now as the title.

Although I’ve continued to take “eye-catcher” photos, they weren’t sparking “Queries” for me, as such, so rather than continue to “struggle” with not living into “readers’ (presumed) expectations”, I stopped writing and publishing “Photos and Queries”.

I forgot that I was the one who had set the “rules”, not you. And  I NEVER checked them out with you or gave you a chance to experience satisfaction with my work however you wished to receive it.

I’ve not followed one of my own persistent themes throughout the Picture to Ponder history, “Always check with those with whom you are communicating exactly what it is they ARE thinking or saying before interacting with the from what you assume it is.”

I invite you to look into your life… Are there any places where you’ve been stopping/hiding out based on your assumptions of what another person, or other people, are expecting from you?  If so, I invite you to check this out with them.

With that, I’d also like to hear what it is you would like to see from me… how I can be supporting you in fulfilling your life’s desires. See YOUR UPDATES below.

RE, my first question, “Is it over?”

No, Treasure Your Life Now Ezine and blog is not over.  With this post I simply want to say, I am back. I will share my “noticings”… sometimes including links to videos I’ve been creating in a variety of ways. I’ve especially been loving the iMovie app on my iPhone.

In the over a year since I’ve communicated here, despite feeling somewhat bored with it, I’ve continued taking photos of wood knots and other images as they caught my eye on my walks.

And then I finally started taking photos again in my home of flowers, cut fruits and vegetables. I began to really feel myself becoming more alive!  Once again I was having fun noticing all kinds of different images in the shapes and textures as I played with pieces and particles.

To get a sense of what I’ve been experiencing, I invite you to “meet me” in “Beauty and Play – Red Onion and Some Hair“. Tap/click on the link or on the image below:
Beauty and Play - Red Onion and Some Hair - VideoAs I explored I continued more noticing and discovering that shriveled up pieces of vegetables became resilient again when I hydrated them. Then I, too, became more resilient, excited and alive.

It’s the wanting to share that with others that had me start doing more videos, experimenting with different ways of creating them. I will include a video with the hydration story in the next post.

I will also be announcing my upcoming expanded course known, in the past, to increase creativity, left brain and right brain activity, as we explore different elements in our worlds using our cameras… shift perspectives, resulting in fun, play and ease in life in general and even more quickly find alternative solutions to everyday challenges that crop up.

I would love to read what’s happening with you and your responses to what I’ve shared here.  Please comment in the REPLY space below this post.