Using Photography to Connect with the Present
Surfing on the Waves of Well-being
Part 1: Finding Your Ocean
BLOG POST BY DOROTA RANISZEWSKA
Welcome to my first post in the series that I will call “Surfing on Waves of Wellbeing”. I would like to start with the following quote:
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein
100 km Alone and Along the Shore
In 2014, I walked alone 100 kilometres along the Polish coast. Every day, I listened to the silence, the wind, the water and the birds. I watched the waves coming and going. And I took photographs of sand, shells, stones and various objects that the sea left on the beach after stormy nights. When I returned home, I felt deep calmness and a sense of purpose. I felt connected to myself and the universe. Beauty and silence are natural medicine. I put my reflection from that journey into words:
I’m like the waves of the ocean that come and go. The more into the far I go, the closer I arrive to myself. I remain ungraspable yet feel that I am.
Doing and Being
Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be. -Thich Nhat Hanh
In everyday life, most people focus on planning, setting goals, and doing and achieving. But happy life is not only about doing. It is a lot about being, noticing and feeling. It is about how we feel in our everyday life.
We feel well when we are relaxed and experience no pressure, when we create, and we see beauty, when we smile, when we are kind, grateful, accepted, appreciated and free.
We are happy when we feel that we are part of the universe and we see the world around us as a safe place to live. Nature is this safe place for us.
Our Relationship with Nature
Our relationship with Nature is one of the longest-lasting in our lives. And it develops since early childhood when we:
- Run on the grass - Play in the snow - Jump over a puddle - Sniffing flowers - Stick our tongues out in the rain - Look at the shapes of the clouds - Hug a tree - Swim in the lake - Catching butterflies - Lay on the sand at the beach
I’m sure that everyone can remember such moments.
I have always appreciated nature. Nature has always absorbed my attention.
I immediately feel relaxed when I go outside into space. The tension is released. When I look into the distance, I relax. The body becomes freer. My breathing deepens. I notice the beauty of the world around me, and I feel fulfilled when I relate to it. Then I need nothing else to feel happy.
My energy rises when I look up at the sky, and a positive outlook appears.
When I see a tree, there is a feeling of strength, and power in my mind, which gives me confidence.
When I see flowers, I feel joy.
I feel strong when I feel the ground under my feet, and I am walking or standing.
When I see water, I feel harmony, and I can look at the water for a long time.
I notice the connection between the world outside and the world inside me.
I notice the connection between what I see and my thoughts.
I notice that running in a meadow, walking in a forest or bathing in a lake nurtures the soul and mind. I enjoy the feeling of the here and now and that everything is in place.
I noticed that on a walk, in a forest, in a meadow, at a lake, in a park, and even when it was raining hard, and I was standing in the window looking at the torrents of rain and listening to the downpour, I felt connected to myself and the universe, and life seemed to be meaningful. These moments in the here and now, when we don’t worry about what will happen in a moment, tomorrow or the day after, bring relaxation and a break from the flurry of thoughts and tensions of everyday life.
What I think about, what I focus on, I experience.
I experience what I focus on.
I would like to leave you now with words of Gratitude to the Mother Earth. It is my poem.
Mother Earth Dear mother earth I’m your daughter Dear mother earth I’m your son Dear mother earth I’m your guard Dear mother earth I’m your gardener You gave me life You gave me love You gave me bones You gave me blood You were my cradle You will be my tomb Am I a woman or a man I’m your child, dear mother You were my first home You were my first love You were my first teacher You were my guard You heard my first breath You heard my first cry You saw my first smile You saw my first step Mother earth, I’m sorry I left traces On you, forever Mother earth, Thank you, I’m grateful To you, forever I’m grateful forever