Choices – Comfort, Staying Still or Moving Forward

Right after a long-time subscriber wrote on Facebook asking me what’s been happening with Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now, I came across this tulip photo, one of our favorites. She went on to say she’s missed both the photos and the thoughts.

Looking at the photo now it has the feeling of hibernation, for me, feeling safe and protected. And we have a choice, stay in the “womb,” so-to-speak or allow Nature to take its course and open up, move forward and get out into the world.

How about you? What do you see?

I have been moving out in the world and in the process, perhaps, neglecting those of you who have looked forward to my photographs and the self-reflecting queries they inspired.

I am now setting a goal of to go through issues from the last 10 years, finding images and thoughts that pop out for me and, once again, putting them out for you…. with less words this time.

Quickly, for those who like the background stories on the photos themselves:

If you’re a long time subscriber, you know I’ve always said, “If anything catches your eye, snap a picture.”

The above photo is an image that could have been totally overlooked. It was in the center of a tulip plant I had purchased and put in the trunk of my car.

When I opened the trunk this bud caught my eye and I went for the camera before the flower had a chance to open. I focused in with my macro lens. Thus no background diversions got in the way.

In that issue of Picture to Ponder I wrote:

Are there areas in your life where you can unearth beauty or power, getting straight to the point, unconsciously eliminating the distractions?”

Two years later, I wrote, “I love image for its sensuality as well as for the feeling of gentleness, love and protection that I get from it.”

And I asked: “What do you find most appealing?

For that issue’s

Relationship Tip I wrote:

Sometimes all that’s necessary for expressing and feeling love is to stop whatever you are doing. Then quietly and soundlessly focus in on your loved one. Next gently fully embrace him or her. Create a sense of timelessness.

If you are alone, although it’s not quite the same, I invite you to similar actions. Pause and quietly appreciate and fully embrace yourself.

Speaking of Embracing Ourselves, if you have experienced a major change in your life, I invite you to look at the the following:

Upcoming FREE Program


Have you recently experienced a BIG shift? In your every day world it might have been sparked by:

*    Loss of a loved one or relationship
*    Loss of your home or your “treasured stuff”
*    Sudden and unexpected financial crisis
*    Deep uncertainty about your business or “body of work”

If you’re still wobbling from a BIG Shift join us on a 30-day adventure.

It begins on Oct 8th. Let’s navigate the BIG Shifts with grace, power and clarity. Register for the event:

And – On Being Alone,

I was actually able to metaphorically embrace myself the other day as I drank tea from the mug below with my hand wrapped comfortably and comfortingly around it.

The mug is available in my Nature Art Gift Shop reminding us of “Love With No Regrets.” Should you be interested in the mug without the text, email me and I’ll upload art without the URL.

pink tulip bud Love With No Regrets mug
pink tulip bud on love with no regrets mug looking at it from the right side

If you like the image, it is also on tiles and prints in the Shop. Click on Pink Tulip products.

As always have fun and please post your experience in the Comments Section below.

How to Preserve Voice Memories, Photos and Notes Using Evernote

Once again it has been an extended time between posts. Ironically, I had planned this on to be around a thought I had the other morning. I asked myself, “Are you allowing confrontation to stop you or are you stepping back and allowing for new openings?

And, as I opened the last issue Confrontation or Peace, I see that this, in fact, was its theme. I wonder if you noticed anything for yourself then, or now?

In the meantime, when I let go of some of my “stuff”, I decided that it’s important for me to share some of my experiences to ensure that I’ve put out everything I know that can help others to Treasure their Lives Now and in the future.

With that being said I’m changing the customary Photo/Self-Reflecting Queries format for this issue to go straight to my story, offer and Treasure Your Life Now Tip. Continue reading

Confrontation or Peace – Boardwalk Reflections in Green Cay Wetlands

With this post, I am going back to the original basics of Picture to Ponder almost 10 years ago. At that point, photographs of images that caught my eye inspired what I termed “Self-Reflecting Queries,” questions for the viewers to “ponder” about themselves and their lives.  When walking in Green Cay Wetlands the other day, I was reminded of one of my early Pictures to Ponder issues, Zig Zag Lines – Confusion and Bombardment, in 2006. Below are three different views of the current scene that provoked similar thoughts for me. Perhaps there is something in the imagery for you also.

Before reading my descriptions below, I invite you to spend a moment or two with each of the photos. Note what’s different for you in each. Then go on to read the descriptions and my responses and finally, the Self-Reflecting Queries.

Green Cay boardwalk reflections Continue reading

How to Use Your Camera to Shift Your Energy and Move Forward to Treasure Your Life Now

Are there there times that you find yourself in a “funk”?
You feel stuck and don’t want to do anything?
You KNOW the answers, how to shift, and aren’t taking action?
You might even counsel others on what to do in similar situations.

I was experiencing such a state last week when I heard my inner voice remind me of the advice I’ve often given AND written about many times here in the past.

“When you’re feeling stuck, take out your camera. Look around and simply snap pictures of whatever catches your eye. By the time you’ve taken 5 pictures your energy will have shifted.”

For me, the element of play oftentimes kicks in which certainly adds to being enlivened.

The photos that follow are illustrative of a recent experience.

Sheila Finkelstein abstract mirror image Continue reading

Picture to Ponder – Treasure Your Life Now History and Update

Spider web with many paths leading out and back to the center

All Paths Lead Out and Then Back to the Core Center

As I stated in the emailed portion of this ezine, I’d been dragging and remiss in posting photos and writing.  Picture to Ponder started out and continued for 7 or more years as a sharing of images that caught my eye. The subsequent ponderings that came up after, turned into “Self-Reflecting Queries”.

In the past year or so my camera is less and less with me. Is it that I am spending more time looking in, or simply on thoughts, than being open to what is visually around me….?  or is it mainly that my environment is pretty much visually the same?

Now isn’t that silly.  Continue reading

Celebrating Owning Ourselves and the Feminine: A Reflection with Photos

I felt most honored when publisher Jan Lundy invited me to submit an article on “Celebrating the Feminine”  for one of her magazine issues.

My first thought, “No. Not me. I’m far from feminine.” My internal reaction was pretty strong to this, including the inclination to refer her to other writers.

You see, to me when I think about it, “feminine” represents frilly clothes, lipstick and makeup, manicured nails, pedicures, regular beauty salon visits, special lingerie, undergarments and much more. [Note – Photo is NOT my bathroom] Even the dictionary affirmed this, when I double-checked. They added “feminine” hobbies to the list – “sewing and cooking” as examples. OK. So I knew that’s certainly not Jan’s focus. Continue reading

Photography and Transformation Blog

Current Treasure Your Life Now posts can be found on the Photography and Transformation Blog.  Formerly Picture to Ponder ezine it evolved into Treasure Your Life Now in 2012 as more and more emphasis was put on relationships with self and others.  Photographs and writing by Sheila Finkelstein continue to be the inspiration for life changes and transformation.

Are You/They Listening?

Treasure Your Life Now:
Today’s Relationship Tip
Are you listening?

Tip # 34 in Love With No Regrets “55 Ways to Show Love” is “Listen with your Heart and your Head” –

The story below that goes with the photos and videos illustrated a time when I was paying more attention to the conversations in my own head than to that of the young boy with whom I had been conversing. I thus invite you to listen to the first 30-second video. Can you “hear” yourself in it, in either of the roles?

Today’s Photos
Late one afternoon, as I started walking and taking photographs of wood knots in Green Cay Wetlands, I got into conversation with a young boy and his mother. I stopped and showed them the Green Cay Wood Knot Lion, still in my camera. We then discovered another possible lion, or other critter, right under our feet. G, the young boy, did not agree with his mother and me on what it was. So the next time I made a discovery, he went down close himself to inspect it.

boy studying woodknot on the boardwalk at Green Cay Wetlands
Click on the photo to see Wood Knot the Boy is studying Continue reading

Shift Your Relationship – Focus on the Important

Relationship Tip #3 in “55 Ways to Show Love” is “Focus on the things he/she does well.”Great tip. But how do these two rose photos relate to it?

The rose is beautiful. In the color photo, though, there is some distraction – on the table and in the background. It’s not a “clean” photo. This could have been altered in a photo editing program, and I had no plans to do anything with it, so I let it be.

Then, in going through the photo album on my iPhone this particular rose once again caught my eye. I wondered what it would look like in black and white. I went to one of the apps and did a “Wow!” I love it, so dramatic and rich-looking.


In the process the distracting background got camouflaged and some of the elements still noticeable appear to be an integral part of a planned composition. Total attention/focus is on the central beauty of the flower. The thing the rose does well IS be beautiful.

Action Queries and Steps
I now invite you to look at one of your relationships. It could even be with yourself.

What’s around him/her/you? What distractions pull you away from looking directly at him/her/you?

What if you were to disappear, in your mind, all of those extraneous bits and pieces, most likely mainly in your thoughts, and were to focus solely on the person, the traits and actions you admire and love? What might become available to you and them?

I invite you to “try this on” . Be in the space of the query, then the action of “playing” with the strengths that you saw. I invite you to add your experience in the comments below.

Loving Her Feet

One of the tips in “55 Ways to Show Love” is “Give foot massages to partner who loves them, without expectation of receiving the same for yourself.” As I was going through black and white photos Sam took of me in the early years of our marriage, this photo grabbed my attention.

Though foot massages were not a part of our regular caring for each other, I do have vivid memories of a particular one in a cab after traipsing in Manhattan in high heels looking for furnishings for our first apartment.

In looking at this photo, I realize that, in a way, Sam was massaging my feet and legs with his eyes and  camera. What a treasure it is to have these tangible memories also!

Are you creating loving and tangible memories for your loved one “to have and to hold” in some way in days and years to come?