Lifestyle Fashion

Add depth of meaning to your photos by adding your story!

When your family sees your photo album 50 years from now, what will it mean to them? How about 75-100 years from now? Really matters?

We are creating a living legacy with every word we say, every choice we make, and every action we take. Everything is poured into our DNA as powerfully as eye color, hair texture, and physique. Our life stories are deeply etched in our memory, but memories fade too quickly if not recorded.

We are a generation away from oblivion unless we harness the power of our words and actions and add stories to our photos and other memories.

This afternoon I wanted to take a picture of the red cliffs in Thermopolis, Wyoming. The setting sun has cast a burnished glow on the towering mountain giants that overlook the Big Horn River. Interspersed with the red giants, the overlapping velvety green hills shimmered in the fading sunlight… their sagebrush faces almost seemed to be made of jade.

Birds fluttered from tree to tree, their songs filling the wide expanse of blue sky, carrying it directly to the ground. A unique bald eagle soared gracefully from one end of the river to the other, its piercing eyes no doubt expecting a great fish dinner.

It’s early April in the canyon and the bare trees rustle with last year’s brown leaves clinging bravely to the bare branches. Along the Big Horn River is the Fountain of Youth Trailer Park, home to the largest outdoor hot mineral pools. 1.4 million gallons of hot mineral water is poured into a series of three large pools, cooling as the water passes from one pool to the next.

Just after sunset, the fountain plunges into a reddish glow, its plumes of smoke pulsing like fireworks as the last puffy clouds of the day part to reveal a midnight blue sky already glittering with starry diamonds. On weekends, country music floats through the night as kids swim and play ball while parents float side by side in the misty water, heads together and swaying slightly in the waves.

The water is thick with mineral content and the rich sodium makes my body float nicely, almost like there is no gravity in the world. As my own weight decreases, the cares of the world melt away from my soul and I feel lighter inside and out. My waterbed is both pillow and blanket as swirls of mist curl around my face, enveloping me in a misty embrace. The air is cool and crisp, but I am as comfortable and warm as a little girl in a feather bed.

I feel my Father wrapping me in His embrace, and He reminds me that He is present all the time, everywhere.

Nature is a healer. She knows exactly what we need. Sixty percent of our North American population depends on some form of medication to control their disease. Anxiety is at an all time high and stress is the root of most illnesses. No one has prescribed anything for me and I don’t take any medicine… yet I almost died from an illness that appeared shortly after my husband’s body healed.

As I soak and soak and soak today, I can feel my body shed the weight of stress and release toxic memories, words and experiences. Extra baggage that can actually make us overweight as our bodies deal with the stress hormone cortisol by storing it in our belly fat and other fat storage areas. Big huh?

As I watch the bald eagle, I am reminded of my home in northwestern Montana, where seven bald eagles lived down the driveway from our house. A river ran noisily in our front yard as beavers built dams while cougars stalked beavers for their next dinner. Muskrats and otters filled the water with joyous leaps and plunges. A chorus of bullfrogs became the backing musicians to a butterfly choreography performed by thousands of fluttering blue and lavender beauties.

I miss home… my heart was just beginning to heal in that haven of beauty and rest. Not many people understand the peculiar stress of being the sole caretaker of a seriously injured husband. Anxious days and sleepless nights turned into years of never knowing if the pain was going to win and he would take his own life. Always watching, always on guard. Missing my best friend who couldn’t walk with me anymore, who didn’t seem like himself anymore. With drugs normally reserved for terminal cancer patients, something changed in our relationship…

The insurance ran out, but I wouldn’t have paid for a sitter’s care, anyway… who takes care of the sitter? There is a season for everything. Winter is passing and a plump robin hopping among the dandelions is a welcome harbinger of spring. And so, in my own soul, spring is here. I just needed a place to immerse myself, a place to just “be”… a place that would remind me of home.

Caregivers also need care. When a family suffers from a serious illness, the whole family suffers, but the one who cares 24/7 and is the closest often suffers things that no one else sees or hears about. They weigh on the soul and drain energy from the body. If you are a caregiver, you understand the demands, the risks and the fatigue.

Perhaps one day the doctors will treat the caregiver as diligently as the injured patient, but in the meantime, Creation is teaching me the hidden value of immersing myself in beauty and truth. Nature is healing internal wounds that only a long-term caregiver of someone who was severely injured will understand.

A geothermal pool, burnished reddish-orange cliffs, a soaring bald eagle, a plump robin and dandelions… strong healing powers and my “medicine”.

Have you tasted the power of Creation in healing your own soul? I would love to hear your story!

This is part of my own story… a continuation of other stories:

“Return of the Bionic Man”

“Resistance, eat my dust!”

“Looking for treasures in the ruins of accidents, abuse and addictions”

“When it hurts so much you want to die”

“A 5-year-old boy surfs the waves”

“Mind Over Moose”

“The Gourmet Horse”

By writing your own life story, you can jump. You don’t need to worry about chronological order, unless you want to. You can always change everything. The important thing is to start.

Pick a photo or two… try to remember what made you take that photo. What were you feeling at that moment? Why is that place, that person, that event special to you?

What will your family lose if this memory is forgotten?

Don’t try to be perfect. Fumbling around for words is natural. If talking is better than writing, have someone use a video camera or audio recorder and follow our step-by-step plan in the all-in-one life story book kit to incorporate multimedia into your life story. .

I recently took a picture of my mother holding her 70 year old doll and listened to her heart along with her words as she described what made this doll so special to her. The photo turned out well (my mom is very photogenic) but without her story, it’s just a pretty photo!

Stories add a deeper layer of meaning when combined with photos!

I know you’re very busy, and although you care about preserving your family’s heritage, you may not have as much time as you’d like to gather those photos and stories.

You’ve been on my mind a lot lately, and I don’t want you to miss out on creating a living family legacy and writing the story of your life!

So I thought, why not turn this into a game? A game that can be played a few minutes a day or an hour a week… you can play alone or make it a party!

Let me know and I’ll send you the “Life Story Game” today!

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