Tag Archives: photography

Learn to be more #mindful with a free online tool – #Instagram

Have you checked me out on Instagram? Not? I’ve been finding this Social Media platform most useful. Although I must confess, when I first joined I did so solely that I can ‘online stalk’ someone there too.

I mean that (online stalking) in the most positive light of those two words. Cause let’s face it; some online personalities literally ask you to follow them everywhere. Most of these people, who are obsessed with the collection of followers, usually label themselves: blogger, writer, social-media-butterfly or all of the ‘above’. You get the type?

Any-hoe, I decided why ever not? After all,  Instagram was the perfect platform for my new endeavor, which was to post one motivational picture per day. Alas, it was yet another New Years resolution I could not keep. Here we are a year and some months later and I’ve been getting back on Instagram. You could say I’ve newly discovered my cellphone camera. The truth is a bit deeper than that.

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Inspiration is all around us. Instagram is a free, fast and easy tool to share that inspiration with the world. In a mission to have something to share on that platform, I’ve become more mindful of my surroundings. It is often the small things in life that we overlook.

Sometimes the inspiration does not come in a neatly wrapped photogenic scene. Sometimes a little editing or creation of a picture is required.

One crisp morning the very first words I heard as I switched on my car radio were these: “What are you waiting for?”

It is quite amazing what happens when we merely pay attention to our present tense moment. Yes, mindfulness.

The little angel figurine which hangs on my bedroom mirror ‘prompted’ me to share something, after I’d not done so for a few days. A newly discovered photo-editing app and a recently watched You Tube video lead to this snippet:

Perhaps this post is a change of perspective, you were not expecting.

Life is a journey.

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No, it’s not all selfies up in there. As I said on a recent post, it is all about how you use a platform. In an attempt to look for the beauty in the mundane, some of my friends post stunning landscape, city-scape and nature pictures.

So, what are you waiting for? Come check out @shiningseeds on Instagram and let your own surroundings inspire you.

*This post has been the seventh day of ‘it does not need to be perfect‘, a series currently running on this blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:



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What a bird thought me about opportunities

“Knock, Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Bishop who?”
“What do you mean, Bishop who? You seem to have a birdy loose up in here. To be more precise a Southern Red Bishop”

Lately, I’ve been getting a visitor. He’s been knocking on my window. How odd, I thought. A stunning bird that I’d not seen in these parts has been knocking on my window. The fellow seems to have built a few nests in my husband’s fruit tree. So I took out my husbands Roberts Bird Guide (that’s a book to identify birds of the area) and found that we have a Southern Red Bishop who has decided to make his home here.

It is somewhat odd because this specific bird’s natural habitat is marshy grassland and wetland. Since I live in an urban area, not close to any dams or marshy grasslands it’s quite odd that this fellow seems to have found a home here.

Then again, we are experiencing a terrible drought in the area. Watering plants have been made a felony, so to speak. Thus, we have been giving our trees water from the washing machine and shower (which is not a wrongdoing). We also have four pet birds, whose chirping attracts quite a lot of wild birds here, including my new ‘knock, knock’ friend. The leftover bird seed also serves to feed the wild ones.

It gives an entirely new meaning to the phrase, ‘when opportunity comes knocking’, doesn’t it? The little Bishop has had to adapt to new circumstances due to the drought.

It gives me pause to think. Can I identify new opportunities in my life?

His appearance certainly seems the right opportunity to write a blog post. I’ve also taken the opportunity and snapped a few pictures. You’ll need to excuse my poor photographing skills, the little fellow takes flight when I get too close. Armed with only my cell phone camera it has been hard to get a better shot. But, at least I got a relatively nice picture. Considering that the first rule of good photography is that you need to photograph with the light not against it, I’ve not been able to take any good pictures from within the house.

There you go. Sometimes the universe gives us the most subtitles of hints. The small reminders! The little things, we so often overlook. The wind whispers. Do you hear it speaking? This time it has asked me to not overlook the opportunities that come knocking, even if it are only the small ones – such as natures prompt to write a blog post.

What opportunities have been knocking on your window lately? Have you opened that window to let the opportunity in?

p.s. This post has been the fifth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.


About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:



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Join 3,097 other followers

Hugh ‘s Photo Challenge: Week 8 – Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge.

Hugh has a Christmas tree top challenge for charity going on. He will donate 1£ for every entry up to the amount of 250£.This is still open until the 5th, do stop by his blog if you have not done so already and give it a go.

You can find his blog here. Along to my picture.

We are having a terrible drought. It was hard to find a tree with any greenery. By the 26th this poor thing was already curling up. But I did manage to get a nice picture in at Christmas eve.


As you can see the leafs of the tree was
it’s topper. And yes those are real candles.
Thanks Hugh for this wonderful idea.

Are you the white elephant?

From one of his business travels my husband brought home a wooden carving of a mother and baby elephant. My toddler was delighted with the new addition to the household furniture and thought this the ideal toy.  “No, that’s daddies” my husband told her, something she did not accept. “Daddy and me” she said. “Okay, it’s daddy’s and yours – but it remains up there!” my husband said – having put it out of her reach.

Since then she has been quite fond in pointing towards it and telling us “Daddy and mine”.

It literally is a woodcarving of an elephant. That made me think of the expression “the white elephant in the room”.


The “white elephant” refers to any object that is simply taking up space and is not serving any purpose. I have several of these items in my house. Mostly I am thinking of all the home exercise equipment we possess. What a waste of my living space these things have become. Yet we always think that they would still be useful – if we could just make the time. Mind you, they are never in use for more than a day or two. How easy it is to come up with an excuse, not to exercise.
I have joined the gym. Paying my monthly fee is a motivating factor. Additionally my medical aid offers me a rebate if I attend a certain number of times a month. I have nothing there to distract me from exercising. The gym instructors will motivate me to get my full workout. It’s strange how a little change of scenery and motivation can make all the difference!

On a different level, we sometimes feel like “the white elephant”. A waste of the space we occupy. I’ve been there. I go there, perhaps more often than I would admit. It takes an active effort on my behalf not to go there. Like going to the gym – I actively need things to motivate me not to go into “the white elephant” attitude about myself.

Depression is the kind of monster that will suck you into it. However if you are reading this, I’d like to tell you – here right now as your eyes and brain make sense of the very words you are reading – and the process of understanding is being formulated in your mind – right now you are not a waste of space. The interactions you have with people on a daily basis – they matter. You have the ability to choose to be a positive force within this universe – despite the suck fest of monsters that try to tell you differently. Even the white elephant serves a purpose. The unused exercise equipment in my house reminds me to go to the gym and not let my fees go to waste.

Those of us with depression and inferiority issues – we often have compassion so great, it becomes too much to handle. We have insight into the suffering of the human spirit – which others lack. Compassion and insight are the very things; this burnt and suffering world needs to heal.

That wooden elephant – which simply sits as a decoration beyond my daughters reach, inspires her imagination. Each other day she will bring her little drawing book and ask me to draw her a baby elephant and then the mother. When I tire of drawing her elephants, she will go to my husband and ask him to draw elephants. When they choose an animal involved creative activity at the daycare – she will choose the elephant.

The elephant drives her to try to draw her own elephants. This has her learning a new skill, which will be very beneficial to her in later life. Who knows to what other wonderful and positive things this will lead?

So do not think you are just a “white elephant” taking up space. You are a living, breathing spirit connected to the collective that makes up the consciousness of this universe. If a carving of an elephant can do so much in a little child – then how much more can you who has the ability to think and connect with others do?

Find a way to shake off the darkness and start shining. The world needs you, here, right now.