Friday, March 28, 2014

Landscape Photography by Dana McClellan

Getting out there and taking pictures helps me to appreciate and really see the natural world. I'm obviously not a pro, I just like capturing the sky and beautiful landscapes :)
I think next time I'll try a different movie maker. This one didn't produce as high a quality video as I would have liked. The images should be much more crisp. If anyone knows how I can make this happen, please leave a comment. I would greatly appreciate the input!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Time Out for Gratitude

By Dana McClellan

Because this is my soapbox and a place for me to express myself, I feel I'm within my right to get personal on occasion. Today I would like to express gratitude to the Creator of all things for loving me enough to bring me forth into this world. I'm grateful for everything, both good and "bad," for it is suffering that molds, motivates and cheers me on. It is actually my best friend, making life richer and more meaningful. Discomfort helps guide me and I now realize that sometimes I must be uncomfortable. Awake, but uncomfortable.

I am grateful I have the eyes to see that this world of form is made up of thought hurled forth into the universe. Not only by the Creator of all things, but also human beings as co-creators. We are told in sacred texts that we are capable of miraculous things if we'd only believe; i.e.--"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe--it can achieve ~ W. Clement Stone. It is even said, we are created in the image of God. What do YOU think that means?

I believe when the Creator spoke forth the "word" and the word became flesh, it's actually an analogy to the power of sound, frequency and vibration, which is the glue that holds everything together. "Created in the image of God" doesn't mean we have the same physical appearance, it is more a spiritual likeness to the "Holy Spirit." It means we can speak forth and create as well, once we understand how to tap into the Source. Our words and the vibrations we as individuals produce, come from our thoughts. Therefore, thoughts eventually become things. Everything we set our eyes upon in this world was set forth into motion by a thought. We must take care of the thoughts we choose to entertain and choose our words wisely, because each thought and word produces a feeling. Those feelings create a vibration that ripples out to infinity and passes through everything around us. We can sense when someone is having bad feelings because it creates tension in the environment and acts as a repellent; just as we can sense when someone is emanating good feelings, which draws and attracts.

What about music? Melody creates an emotion. The passion or mindset of the producer can be felt by the listener/receiver. Music is one of the only things on this earth that will either support or change the mood you're in. It is a part of the "glue" I discussed earlier. Creating and appreciating this glue is just one of the ways we humans get by in this world of form and I have profound gratitude over the fact that we have been blessed with this ability! Each of us is equipped with various ways of creating our own music in SO many differing ways. We can reset our emotions simply by emanating our own tune or by tapping into someone else's, so how do you want to feel?

When you look at a tree do you see the word tree or do you see the essence of what it may be? Imagine a world without labels and immerse yourself in it. Learn to really SEE the things around you and appreciate them. Go for a walk outdoors and allow yourself to be a part of everything you see. All the color and the sound, as well as the moving shape of each thing. This is GRATITUDE.

I am grateful for abstract thought, because imagination is where it all begins. It is the point of origin for everything brought forth into the physical world. Our Creator has given us the ability to tap into this wellspring to expand good upon good upon good upon good to infinity. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed" ~ Albert Einstein.

I am grateful for death because it can strengthen relationships. My uncle Mike passed away recently. He was a man's man. A strong provider for his family who developed Alzheimer's at the end of his life. Would he have chosen to die in that manner? NO. He died before the disease had a chance to completely incapacitate him, which was a blessing. After his death, I was reunited with a couple of cousins and a sister I hadn't seen in 25+ years. This was GOOD. There is good in every "bad" thing that happens. My uncle's death brought family together who would not have gotten together otherwise. There were some family members who I had never even met. I'm grateful for the time I spent with all of them, rekindling old relationships and creating new ones. It was all GOOD.

I use to look at people I thought were "successful" and "rich" and feel envious. I wanted what they had. It is the mindset that is continuously pumped into the crowds I was a part of at the time. I understand the wanting to be free part; I get that all to well, but what never felt right was the fact that I rarely appreciated the present moment. I was a miserable human being looking to the future for happiness. Now I understand that we have no guarantee of a future and no power over the past. We only ever have the present moment, which is the only place our power can be found. We must make it a practice to SEE and immerse ourselves in as much as the senses can take in RIGHT NOW. This is where we find our connection to what is real, both physical and spiritual. This is where we find the "Holy Spirit."

Highly suggested reading: "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart is the shiz!!!