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Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

In the last two posts we started filling our anxiety busting toolbox and we are now down to our final three tools.*

Thank you to all the bloggers who added their own personal tools that work. They are most helpful and are incorporated into our toolbox. Choose any tool(s) that might work for you, and discard any/all that are not a good fit. Add more of your own resources that work. Adapt your toolbox to suit yourself. The most important thing, regardless of the specific tools, is to have tools in your awareness, to improve your mood, and ease your anxiety, when bad things happen.

Here is our toolbox:

ANXIETY TOOLBOX:

Self Talk Reframing (Cognitive Therapy)

Guided Imagination/Visualization

Exposure Management

Progressive Relaxation

Distraction in Action

Self Soothing

Second Voice

Spiritual Meditation/Prayer

Exercise, Diet & Good Health Practices

SECOND VOICE

Carl Jung emphasized the importance of paying attention to our inward self and inner voice and felt that, “engagement with the inner voice is pursued not as a form of inner housekeeping, but rather in the humble service of the development of a relationship with an intelligence present within us but greater than our own. Committing to that service means relating more deeply to our inner nature; its only end-goal is the whole-bodied, whole-hearted, full blossoming of who we really are.”

https://themindunleashed.com/2015/12/five-ways-carl-jung-led-us-to-the-inner-life.html

I wait for, seek out, and listen to my ‘second’ voice, which is often corrective, more helpful, and more calming to me, than my first immediate thought. If this makes any sense to you, try it. When an event occurs, and you have an immediate thought about it, pause, ask yourself, “is this right?” Your second voice may well chime in giving you a more helpful and accurate option. The more you practice listening for your second, more rational thought, rather than accepting your first immediate impulsive thought, the better you get at doing it. Jung felt that our inner voice was direct communication with the collective unconscious, hence the Divine.

SPIRITUAL MEDITATION/PRAYER

Taking time each day to clear your mind of worries and concerns by focusing your attention on the bigger picture is immensely helpful. There are many ways to do this. Prayer and spiritual meditation are methods for connecting ourselves to the greater whole which is profoundly comforting. This spiritual connection can be reached through independent or group prayer, formal or informal meditation, religious or spiritual practice and study. Immersing oneself in nature helps us feel comforted, part of a grander design. Exercising creative pursuits and talents help us feel spiritually connected. The idea is to take time daily for spiritual retreat and connection, eliminating all the noise, chaos, and negativity of the temporal world.

These practices encourage us to fully live in the moment and feel gratitude for being alive. In times of serious stress like a pandemic, turning inward spiritually, connects us outward, bringing calm and comfort. And now that most of us are isolated, finding a way, remotely to be of service and help to others, could never be more important.

EXERCISE, DIET & GOOD HEALTH PRACTICES

We all know the importance of exercise, a healthy diet, hydration, plenty of sleep and rest, in maintaining our physical health. These practices boost our immune system and improve our emotional and psychological health. This becomes more important when we are under sustained and serious stress. As part of your health plan don’t forget to have fun. Be creative about fun, include daily relaxing, distracting, and fun activities, that you have more time for now that you are home. Don’t forget to enjoy life, after all, it is passing, and you are living, now.

  • I tried to upload new photos specifically for this post but wasn’t able to. It seems my wifi is overwhelmed. So I reluctantly include prior posted photos.

Cheers & calm to you, from me, at The Holler~

What a Big Mouth You Have~

The better to growl at you,

besides it’s hot for a polar bear, and I pant and get grumpy when it’s hot.

I’ll growl at the dirt if I want to.

Whose gonna stop me?

Baby Bear, like a pint sized Narcissus, practices panting and growling at his reflection. Someday, he hopes to grow huge and growl as fiercely as Mama Bear, but for now, all he can do is practice.

What big teeth,

huge tongue,

and what fine bears you are!

Your sleepy cub is quite handsome,

and your home is lovely too!

Cheers to you from the awesome bears in their stunning Hudson Bay home~

Patagonian Sea Lions~

Check out los lobos del mar playing in Peru!

This group was photographed in Los Islas Palominos off the coast of Lima.

They were quite curious about their unusual human visitors,

and kept popping up to get a better view!

This bull was hanging out near La Serena Chile.

Southern bulls are more massive and furry than their northern counterparts,

and they seem more threatening too!

These happy guys were playing around Islas Balestras near Pisco Peru.


I am only intermittently near functioning wifi so please excuse my absence, and cheers to you from Los Lobos del Mar~

Wilder Ranch~

I wish I could travel back in time to the mid-1800’s and live at Wilder Ranch. You are looking at the original ranch buildings which are now a museum.

The Wilder’s bought the property as a dairy farm in the late 1800’s.

The ranch covers 7000 acres of pristine coastal and marine habitat in Northern California’s Santa Cruz County.

The good news is, the Wilder family sold the property to the state in the 1960’s and it is now a protected marine and wildlife sanctuary and state park.

As you can see, it is a rich habitat, home to 1000’s of birds. I was amazed by the number of bird species I saw and photographed here.

The ranch has some 34 miles of hiking trails, all with stunning views of the coast and coastal valleys.

It is also a diverse marine environment with otters, seals and whales. Even Blue Whales are here, attracted by the mile deep Monterey Trench, the deepest marine canyon off the west coast of North America.

Camping is prohibited to protect the wildlife, but you can spend as many days as you like exploring the ranch on foot. I recommend visiting in winter when the whales are swimming by!

Cheers to you from stunning Wilder Ranch~

Birds of the Far South (pt. I)~


There are lots of birdies in the southern hemisphere! They can fly where humans (and boats) flounder.

This osprey was the furthest north of all the birds pictured here. Ospreys are the most widely distributed bird in the world after peregrine falcons, and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. This guy was in Peru.

Magellanic Oystercatchers live on the tip of South America in Argentina, Chile, and The Falkland, Sandwich, and South Georgia Islands.

Peruvian Pelican’s are a near threatened species and are twice the size of their Brown Pelican cousins.

They can be found off the coasts of northern and southern Chile and Argentina. Standing next to them, they reached my shoulder!

These Brown Pelicans live as far south as the northern coast of Chile, which is where their territories overlap with Peruvian Pelicans whose distribution continues to the south.

This juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron,

was busy catching and swallowing a snake!

Cheers to you from the incredible birds of the southern hemisphere, and stay tuned for more, even further south~

Awestruck~


by Dubrovnik!


George Bernard Shaw called the city “paradise on earth,”

and it is easy to see why.

Dubrovnik is a 12th Century masterpiece sitting on the jewel like Adriatic Sea.

The old city is surrounded by towering medieval walls, looming up to 80 feet over the city.

The walls can be walked in entirety,

offerring incredible views over the old city and the sea.

Game of Thrones was filmed here,


because the city retains a magical sense of unique ancientness.

Cheers to you from magical old Dubrovnik~
(Excuse my absence, but I should be returning to available wifi in a few days!)

Bouncing Baby Buffalos~

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don’t like birds on their bum!
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Some fight with their friends,
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while others prefer their sulfur-bath time!
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They are cute enough,
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to want to bring home,
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although they need their prairie to roam.
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Cheers to you from Yellowstone’s baby buffalos~

Grizzly Daze~

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Glacier National Park is Blackfoot ancestral land. The Blackfoot people believe that grizzly bears can see into a human heart and read a person’s intentions. This is mama grizzly and her cub when we first encountered her on the trail and she went into high alert.

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Here is mama after she looked into our hearts, approved our intentions, and took one of several naps. We spent several hours watching mama and cub, and have encountered bears every day since, both in Glacier and Waterton National Parks.

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Here mama and cub are both relaxed enough to nurse in our presence!
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She knew we were here, and looked at us regularly. We respected her space and never moved close enough to provoke any anxiety.
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We watched her forage,

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turn over rocks, hunt for rodents,
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and fish.
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We watched baby bear scratch his back on a little pine tree,
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and we saw mama yell at him!
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This is mama bear’s home. She is as magnificent as her surroundings. Grizzly populations have been decimated in the wild. I have a lot more bear and other wildlife photos to share with you, but wifi out here is far less present than bears! This my first connectivity in days and it won’t last!
I miss you and your blogs, and send you cheers from the wonderful wild grizzlies who see into our human hearts and look to us for protection~

El Mundo del Flores~

This post didn’t show up in the reader so I am forced to reblog. Sorry!

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The World of Flowers~
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Our world of pain (passion flowers, Florida),
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is also our world of beauty.
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Consider the flowers (salt water marsh flowers, Patagonia).
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Gifts to remind us everyday (freesias, The Azores),
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in every corner of the planet (tulips, Ireland),
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that although there is pain (tulips, Netherlands),
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there is also beauty (water lily, Huahine).
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Cheers to your from all the flowers on our beautiful planet (ranunculus California)~

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Holler Hummer Home~

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This hummingbird has quite a long tongue for a tiny little creature doesn’t he?
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It’s good to be home, because the Holler Hummer’s live here, and I missed them!
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I counted 35 today, at our three, 40 ounce feeders.
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Anna’s, Black Chinned, Allen’s and Rufous hummingbirds live at The Holler.
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I read in an online hummingbird forum that people don’t believe that feeders get more than one or two birds each.
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They should stop by The Holler around 6pm when each feeder is mobbed by more than 10 hummers.
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Hummers have the largest brain to body mass of any bird in the world i.e., they are clever little buzzers.
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These tiny birds can migrate 1000’s of miles.
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But many call the Holler home year round.
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Which is why, there is no place like home!
Cheers to you from the astonishing, numerous, and quite clever, Holler Hummers~