Seeing and Expanding – Mystery Hearts

As I was going through my files, the following images published here in 2008 surfaced. Given Valentine’s day was coming up this last weekend it seemed to be a good fit. Be sure to read through to the end. You’ll find a collage of other “hearts” also found in Nature.


The Photos
a Heart as seen in a Palm Tree Leaf Continue reading

Photos – Celebration, Beyond Sadness, New Beginnings

Recently I was in a quandary about something and wondered if I had ever written about that state in Picture to Ponder. When I did a search for “quandry” (unknowingly misspelled) on Google and the Photography and Transformation blog, I found the following issue.

Published in August of 2008, I’ve modified the post somewhat to fit today. Basically in that issue I was speaking of celebration, which certainly fits for us as we begin the new year.

It seems, at the time, that people in many locations were experiencing bad weather. Given the cold and snow currently in different areas of the country and world, I’m thinking this bright yellow sunflower, yet to fully open, might bring cheer.

sunflowers and alstroemeria close-upThe upper photo is a view focused in on Sunflowers surrounded by Alstroemeria that were in the floral arrangement below.

sunflowers and alstroemeria in front of a painting.A third photo included in that issue was a photograph of a Full Moon Amidst Clouds on a clear night. The completed image was a result of using several processes in the Photoshop Elements Course I had just completed. Click on Lesson 5-6 and scroll the bottom of the page to see the unaltered photos and other exercises in that class.

Full moon photo alteredI included it in that issue because I got the feeling of celebration from the photo, with the tilt of the center image.

And, today as I write 7 1/2 years later, I find it interesting to come across the tutorial for something I haven’t done in years.  I may go back and play and see if there are current apps that might do the same thing.

Background Leading up to the Self-Reflecting Queries
At the time this issue was published, it was the last one before switching over to a different ezine publisher. In the process there were several layers of sadness for me, including missing the subscribers who were lost in the transition and sorrow at leaving the original publisher who had served me/us well.

I also reminded myself to be celebrating the new… that which was yet to come.

[After note: The publisher, Ezezine continues to serve us today, holding the full archives of all the issues from December 2004 through the August 2008 issue I’m using today. See EARLY ARCHIVES.]

The Self-Reflecting Queries
Coming from what I experienced, I invite you to look at:

1. Are there places in your life, where you are focusing on what’s missing rather than on what’s available?

2. When you do see, acknowledge and honor what’s there, do you allow yourself to celebrate it? If so, how?

3. When you are in a quandary
(“quandry” as it was misspelled), or are feeling sad, do you simply shut down, withdraw, or are you able to seek out and ask for support?

4. Do you remain aware of what methods you can use to create shifts for yourself so that they are available to you in the future?

For me in addition to communicating with my friends and support team, I was able to turn my energy into a creative venture. While playing with the photos in Photoshop, fulfilling on other coursework, I wound up with a totally unexpected result, a way to use both images, celebrating an “aliveness” theme.

While working with the photos I had no hidden agenda or attachment to results and that, I say, is what made it work.

Where, if at all, can you find yourself in the above examples?

Relationship Tips
Referencing the Queries above:

1 – If you find yourself in a quandary, especially if you feel yourself ready to shut down, share that with the person or people important to you… “I am feeling…”  “I need you to listen…” or, perhaps, “I am withdrawing for a bit. Please understand and know that it’s not about you.  I need some space.”

2 – If you ask for input, listen and acknowledge and do not be attached to the other’s response being a certain way or to a specific outcome. Be open.

As always, have fun with these questions as you explore and play.

I’d love to hear from you. Please share your experiences in the LEAVE A REPLY below this post.

As always remember to have fun with the pictures and the queries and share on the blog what comes up for you.

New and Upcoming
1 – In anticipation of the launch of WRITING FOR SELF-DISCOVERY: Finding Answers Kindle Book, I have set up a Facebook group, sharing photos and timed writing prompts, inviting others to write also should they wish. If you are on Facebook, please join the group… Writing for Self-Discovery with photos as prompts.

2 – I have started using Periscope, the mobile app for live stream videoing. It links into one’s Twitter account. I have broadcast sunsets in Green Cay Wetlands and sunrise in Wakodahatchee Wetlands, as well as sunrise at the ocean New Year’s morning as mentioned in the last issue of Treasure Your Life Now.

You can experience “live” some the locations about which I’ve written. Watch replays of my broadcasts at any time on You do not have to have Periscope or a mobile device to watch the replays.

3 – I will be setting up a membership group wherein participants can respond live (video), tour Nature spots with me, talk about what you are seeing and how it applies to you life.  If interested in learning more, please email me at sheila.finkelstein [at] with Photography-Writing Group in the subject line.

Photos and Wishes for Bright New Year

Today’s issue of Treasure Your Life Now/Picture to Ponder brings my wishes for you to have a Happy, Healthy, Love-filled and Prosperous New Year, with the riches of love and joy and the fulfillment of whatever intentions you may be setting for 2016.Other than the updated dates (thus the crossed out 2011 on the calendar), it’s pretty much a repeat of the Picture to Ponder issue published on December 31, 2010.

I was thinking about “garlic” this morning which led me to do a search on this Photography and Transformation blog where, until last year, all of the Picture to Ponder issues from July 2008 are stored.

Anyone interested in visiting earlier issues, from December 2004 to July 2008 can go to early Picture to Ponder Archives.In addition to garlic, there is also a mixture of seemingly disparate photos and a photo/drawing within this issue. Not exactly sure why these choices, I decided to simply go with what showed up for me as I prepared.

These two garlic segments evidently have some special meaning for me. I think this is the third time I am featuring them in Picture to Ponder. Perhaps there is meaning for one of more of you. (If you missed the earlier posts you can catch them by scrolling down the page that comes up for “Garlic” in the search on the blog.) Loving the abstraction, I put the image on a year-at-a-glance calendar, purchased it from my Nature Art Gift Shop and now have it in my office positioned so I see it all the time.

I still have the original segments and discovered recently that the garlic continues to produce new imagery, fueling more creative juices. The bulb segment, you’ll see below, started sprouting green shoots.

At first I simply photographed the two pieces on black paper. Then, for fun, I decided to photograph them on top of the image on the calendar and then the tile already imprinted with the original photo.

The “why’s” of the other images included today are noted below each of the photos.

for overall feeling and contrast

garlic growing sprouts on abstract garlic image

for size perspective – components as altered by time
placed on a 4.25″ ceramic tile with first images

for color and brightness in 2016, pomegranate seeds radiating in all directions and contained by the circle

And, reflecting on past year(s) and the upcoming one:
path in Loxahatchee PreservesPhoto/Drawing of the “Path to the Future” – Boardwalk in Loxahatchee Preserves in Florida, photographed over 13 years ago, the weekend Sam and I made  the decision to move to Florida.

sky and boardwalk in Wakodahatchee WetlandsBoardwalk in Wakodahatchee Wetlands, December 2010

The latter two “path” photos seem not to fit AND because they popped out at me as I was browsing for some other photos, I decided to include them for the “practical” among our followers, who are looking at the past year and your path or paths for 2016.

In 2002, my path, as seen in the photo, seemed almost closed in, certainly full of the unknown on what the future would bring.

The subsequent 13 years have been full, including sadness and loss as well as the boundless bright spots and open paths suggested in the last of the photographs here today.

Again, I wish you HEALTH, Love, Brightness and Joy in 2016.

Self-Reflecting Queries
You most likely have your own year-end and start-the-new rituals and, if you subscribe to a lot of ezines, as I do, I’m sure you’ve received several suggestions. I am not going to add to that here.

I simply invite you to reflect on whatever you wish, past and/or future. You might enjoy our favorite little blue heron reflection to do prompt you in doing that.

Given the featuring of the pomegranate and the garlic, I also invite you to observe, for the visuals, some of the fruits and vegetables you may be preparing and are most likely eating during these next few days.

What imagery calls to you? If you were to use your imagination what might your subject(s) be telling you?

And, lastly, I invite you to use your camera to take pictures of what it is that is catching your attention in the food.

As always remember to have fun with the pictures and the queries and share in the comments below what comes up for you.

Redefining Our Lives – Love With No Regrets

I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. My apologies, especially to those of you who used to count on receiving Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now regularly. I have been in the process of redefining myself and my businesses. I am now back! My focus will be on relationship coaching… with creative media among the tools used to produce, depending on individual needs.

The above Calla Lily photo/drawing, on a plaque on my kitchen wall, looked across the room at me and announced it wanted to be featured here. This seems to be quite fitting given it was photographed in a sink and is somewhat akin to:

“I want to wash off writing is a burden,
lather it up into beautiful suds,
then watch it wash down the drain.  Continue reading

Defining Moments – Rust, Corrosion and Textures

Chihuly Purple Glass schulpture in palms at Fairchild GardensToday’s post certainly seems to have a strange grouping of photos, plus a seemingly unrelated topic AND I am going to go with what’s been showing up for me, without adding meaning to it.

The photos are from a neighborhood walk during my recent visit to Philadelphia. I was captivated with the patterns and textures AND with using my new iPhone 6 camera. In addition to the photos, I want to share an upcoming program, the introduction to which I think could have appeal to all of you. So…

Have you ever thought about the defining moment(s) in your life? Do you know what it is/they are? Continue reading

Story Telling – Challenges – Purple Glass Chihuly Sculpture

The underlying theme of today’s Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now is “story.” Before expanding on it and the photo on the left (enlarged below) I am asking for your help.

1 – As I continue living in, developing and transforming my own life story, I am in the inquiry of “What problems do I solve? Who are the people I help?

For those of you have been followers for some time, and new ones also: Are there problems with which I have helped you in my writing here or through other contacts? If so, what was/were the problem(s) and how was/were it/they resolved? I would very much appreciate your response. Simply send an email to or leave you comments below in the Reply section.

Also, are you dealing with a challenge now where I might be able to help you gain clarity… in a relationship (with yourself or another) or in an Internet business, (particularly in the areas of technology or marketing)? If so, I would be glad to set up a time for a free 30 minute consultation. Or, perhaps there is a product or service to which I can direct you. Again, please reply to this post with your response. If you’d like a complimentary consultation, put that in the subject line… address

Now on to Today’s Photo… Story and Self-Reflecting Queries 

purple glass in palms at Fairchild GardensThe above photo and story of a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture was featured in an issue of Picture to Ponder in July 2006. It was one of many sculptures installed in the first ever Chihuly Exhibit in Fairchild Gardens in Miami.

In that issue I wrote:

“… a Chihuly purple glass sculpture in the midst of palms at Fairchild Tropical Gardens. As I was looking through photos from the exhibit then [and now] the one above popped out for me, totally capturing my attention and a few of my senses.

I love the movement of the branches, as well as the contrasts and lights and shadows at play in the whole scene. For me the experience would be complete without the sculpture and, I find, the piece does add a great anchor.

While looking at it, observe how the textures in the glass repeat the textures of the natural environment in which it was placed.

As I look at the above Palm Garden photo, I’d love to jump in, skip, play and then simply lie down and be. I am thrilled that I have this photo that allows me that experience, even though it’s one I’d have to continue to visualize and create in my imagination.

Are there places that you have where you experience special energy? Can you physically visit them or are they places in your imagination? How have you captured them to keep them alive for you?

Many of you, whose work I’ve seen, take wonderful photos and others write and create beautiful pictures with your vivid use of words. What about the rest of you?

I have been speaking of physical, visual energy oases, so-to-speak.

Perhaps there are domains of music or other forms of sound that create these experiences for you? Are there some of you who originate and create your own place with sound.

I invite you to pay attention to what it is that brings out both serenity and playfulness for you and to note the ways in which you can hold it to retrieve at any time.”

BACK TO TODAY – As I reflect on the Self-Reflecting Queries myself, here and in other issues when I go back to them, I am in wonderment at what the photos brought up for me and, presumably, for you.

The question for me now becomes… “Were those 8 to 10 years simply part of my life story that is complete or is there more to be done in that arena?

I’d be happy to hear from you if you have thoughts on this based on your past experiences with Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now.  Please post in the Reply Section below.

Being in the Moment – Shining Your Light

gazing ball

The other morning, I stopped short as I started walking through my living room. My eyes unexpectedly caught the dazzling lights I suddenly saw sparkling on the walls, ceiling and floor.

Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now subscribers were the first ones who popped into my thoughts when I thought of sharing. It felt like it was all about “Being in the Moment, Capturing the Present”… that about which I have written so often during the past 10 years. Continue reading

Glistening Sunset Light on Waterfall Energizes and Restores

sunset glistening fallsDecember 9th, a week ago, marked the 10th anniversary of Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now.  In Issue 1, I shared my MISSION, stating: “It is my desire to inspire you to discover and expand your own greatness of seeing, imagining and/or creating.”

I continued: “Each mailing will simply contain a photo – a Picture to Ponder – no words from me about the photo. [Based on reader demand, words ultimately followed.]

Know that there will be something in every photo used that caught my eye and had me ‘capture’ it. It may have been in the color, the patterns, the texture, the mood. Sometimes a hidden image surfaces for me… I invite you to explore each photo for meaning it might or might not have for you.” Continue reading

How do You Get Past Stuckness?

I recently wrote that I would be going through the 650 plus issues of Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now published in the last 10 years and feature some of your and my favorite photos and queries.

Presumably, because I’ve been immersed in Vegetables and Fruit photos for the past month or so, putting together a Stock Photo Package for sale, I was almost immediately drawn to an issue with sliced mushrooms on my cooktop. See Vol 6 – Issue 9.

At the time I wrote the issue, my eye had been caught by the expressive faces I saw when I cut a mushroom in half. I started smiling immediately as two of them instantly showed up. Despite the fact the faces were not particularly happy ones, I couldn’t help laughing at the irony of how quickly, it seems, I see “faces.” Interestingly they might have been expressing my own mood at the time.

hidden image within a mushroom - cropped Continue reading