Thursday, April 12, 2018

Beautiful Children in Beautiful Photos from iPHOTOS.com and Clipart.com That are Sure to Heal Your Soul

"The soul is healed by being with children." — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Such a powerful truth spoken in so few words.  Especially in the mind of a grandparent. I loved my children with all of the devotion and adoration that any parent does. I knew when I first met each of them, that there was magic in my my life that hadn't been there before.  But it wasn't until my grandchildren arrived that I was able to relax a bit and truly enjoy every wakeful minute spent with them.

Looking at the world through the eyes of little ones is like seeing it for the first time. The pleasure of their company, for even a few brief hours,  fills the space around you with energy and light.  Children are laughter and play, song and dance, imagination and creativity. Being with them lets us forget for a while that life isn't always fair or right, that there is a world full of worrisome events and troubles out there.

Any time they come to visit is a breath of fresh air infused into the staleness of the everyday. They bring alive a a house that sits too long without the exuberant aura of children.  The questions they ask, the stories they tell remind us that it's okay to question, that it's good to learn and wise to see things from unique perspectives.

When they come to visit, life as I've complacently come to know it, stops. Household chores that can wait actually do. Stresses are replaced by quiet games and reading.  Indoor projects are traded in for playgrounds and other outdoor fun. A mind made stagnant by daytime routines is suddenly wakened to creativity and imagination.

Our oldest grandchild arrived 18 years ago and spent every weekend at our home for a good many of those. A truly gentle spirit he was the first to teach me how to breathe again, to take those slower steps, to pass on the dish washing and read a storybook instead.

It wasn't until he was 12 that our second grandchild arrived — a sensitive, athletic miss, who has shown us that it's okay to just sit, but when the mood strikes to run. With all of the carefree abandon you can.

Her baby brother was next and from almost the start it was obvious that here was the quintessential boy.  Charged and ready to go at all times. Yet, he approaches every project, whether it's transforming blocks into a tower or working on the wheels of a bike,  with fascination rather than impatience.

Their first younger cousin has never lost the rose-coloured glasses through which she views the world around her. There is a dance in her every step and a song in her heart no matter what she's doing.

Completing the pack are a two-year-old and her one-year-old brother. The elder shares her cuddles, her very entertaining stories and a love of books — all very good excuses to stop what I'm doing and take advantage of the quiet time with her. As for the dynamo she calls Buddy he's raring to go, loves people and takes great pleasure in just about everything.  And isn't that a soul-healing approach to life?

Because children are truly the beautiful people, here are some wonderful photos of them, their innocence and vitality:

iPHOTOS.com Pictures of Children

Clipart.com Children Photos

Monday, April 9, 2018

Inspire Your Projects and Your Life With 2 Amazing Collections of Yoga Images from iCLIPART.com and Clipart.com

Clipart image of a female silhouette doing yoga on a fantasy background
"The very heart of yoga practice is 'abyhasa' — steady effort in the direction you want to go." — Sally Kempton.

For roughly five years now I've been trying to make a steady effort in the direction of improved health by practising a bit of yoga — first with attendance at a weekly class, full of grunting and groaning women,  now on my own,  guided by books and videos.

The inspiration for joining a class came mostly from common sense. The creaking and cramping that was going on in this body of mine was a good indicator that life wasn't going to be getting any kinder to it if I didn't soon find a way to slow the downhill slide a bit.  Though I've far from mastered any of the many poses, I did recognize swiftly that my stamina, balance and strength improved dramatically. The challenges of yoga clearly were outweighed by the benefits.

Our yogini often shared articles that spoke to these many benefits, too, in case we were ever in any doubt. Arthritis relief, fighting osteoporosis, toning and strengthening muscles, improving flexibility, balance, posture and focus add up to make this one of the best activities you can do for your body over the long term. Given that much of the exercise I had done in the past contributed to a lot of the physical woes I experience now, the expert opinions made plenty of sense to me.

The condition of my feet and hips has been blamed on years of high-impact aerobics, from back in the day when Jane Fonda said it was a good idea. Cycling without understanding the importance of a good stretch has tightened my hamstrings and quadriceps to a point of no return it seems, while shin splints and tight calves are leftover from my 1990s speed walks. Step aerobics did nothing to help my knees either it seems.

Since all of this has been blamed, at least to some degree, I took a more proactive approach in determining what options were left to me. Ultimately, after a little research, factoring in my existing conditions as well as those that are part and parcel of an ageing body, it became clear that yoga had a lot to offer me. It's focus on strengthening and stretching, as well as on improving concentration, clearly made it the right choice for this time in my life. Besides,  with its cool Eastern vibe, it quite appealed to the old hippie in me.

In the years since I first reached the decision to practise yoga, despite the aforementioned grunting and groaning, I've recognized that this might very well be the first exercise I've truly loved doing. Though challenged by many poses, there's plenty I can handle. The positive effects were felt almost immediately. I am calmer, more grounded, and after a good session I sleep like an old dog basking in the summer sunshine.

So in celebration of this positive turn in my life, and in the hope that I might have inspired it in a few other people, here are some wonderful collections of yoga clipart:

iCLIPART.com Yoga Images

Clipart.com Yoga Images