This week I felt like I was getting into the late-winter doldrums, so I decided it was about time for some imaginary travels. A winter photo of a castle seemed just right for my digital art display. The caption identified it as the Alcázar of Segovia.

Alcázar of Segovia on a dark, snowy winter day. 

I didn’t know anything about this particular castle, so I looked up the history. The castle was built over the foundation of a Roman fort in the city of Segovia in Spain, and many kings and queens ruled from it in the Middle Ages. Later it became a state prison and then a military college. The castle has been restored beautifully with its medieval artwork and is now open to the public.

Looking at the photo displayed on my wall, I could almost imagine that I had traveled to Spain and was looking out the window of a hotel in the city below the castle. That put some fun into what might otherwise have been a dull winter day!

Over the weekend, the weather turned rainy, dark, and chilly here. It’s starting to feel like winter is not far away. Before I sat down at the computer to write this post, I put on my fluffy winter socks and comfy pajamas with a matching scarf.

But I’m not quite ready to give up summertime feelings of adventure and settle into long months of quiet hibernation, so I put this photo taken in Japan’s Yakushima Forest on my digital art display:

Mossy rocks in a stream in Yakushima Forest, Japan. 

Doesn’t it look like an illustration of an enchanted forest from an old-fashioned book of fairy tales, where anyone who followed the stream far enough would discover a magical cottage full of hidden treasures?

And with that picture on my wall, it’s almost like my house is the fairy cottage and I am looking out the window at the path I followed to reach it, after bravely daring to walk in the front door and finding no witches or goblins lurking there. Just right for the day before Halloween!

Now that the summer is winding down, my subconscious mind seems to be telling me that it’s about time for a vacation. Instead of the nature scenes I often post on my digital art display, I’ve found myself picking images like this quaint, narrow street:

Narrow street with cobblestones and tall old buildings. 

I don’t know where the photo was taken, but it looks like an older area of a city somewhere in Europe. The next day, I displayed an image of a ship with tall sails bravely crossing a storm-tossed sea. Then I chose a photo of a waterfront resort, and the next picture was a sunlit staircase with old-fashioned décor in Barcelona. So, adding up those clues, I would say they’re telling me it’s adventure time!

I had a busy weekend with a lot going on. It’s all good, but it left me feeling like I need to give myself more time to just rest and breathe. Also, can’t forget to de-stress by looking at a few good cat pictures, right? Wouldn’t want to end up like this poor kitty…

Cat picture that says "I'm so stressed out over being stressed out that I can't even remember why I'm stressed out... and it's stressing me out!" 

In the interest of avoiding stressed-out kitty syndrome, I put a beach photo on my art display this morning, with a nice relaxing view of the tide coming in. That, along with getting some exercise rowing for an hour or so this evening, should do the trick.

Beach photo with rising tide 

I’m hoping that this post gave everyone visiting my blog a little bit of stress relief too!

Although I’m not really going to the beach for Memorial Day weekend, I decided to get in the mood anyway by putting a cute beach and pool cartoon on my art display. Okay, maybe I can’t jump into the picture and be there; but hey, my inner child doesn’t know that, right?

Cartoon image of a pool with lounge chairs at the beach. 

Who says that doing therapy on oneself has to be all about angst and excavating mounds of deeply buried negative emotions? I honestly think that sometimes it might be more worthwhile just to invite my inner child to hang out at the beach for a little while, build a sand castle or two, and enjoy a yummy confection from the ice-cream truck.

At the very least, it can be a useful reminder not to take life too seriously!

May 9, 2017 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

This past week has been unseasonably chilly for May, and too much rain made the river unrowable for days, so I’ve mainly been sitting indoors and trying to shake off grumpy feelings. After looking out the window at another dark and cloudy morning, I put a view of a forest trail on my art display today, with sunlight softly filtering through the trees.

Forest trail in springtime, with light filtering through the trees. 

Such a peaceful scene! But however much I tried, I couldn’t quite manage to convince myself that I was really just about to go for a nice long walk in the forest on a warm sunny day. The sky was still just as dark after work, and I finally got off my rear end and ran around the block a few times, just to get some fresh air even if there wasn’t any sun to be found.

Without the chilly wind that we’d had for the past few days, it actually felt pretty comfortable; and then two women driving by in a big SUV stopped to compliment me for being in shape. By the time I got back home, I was more cheerful than I’d felt earlier. I walked past the art display again and—just for a moment—almost caught myself thinking the sunlight was real.

I put a picture of a manor house surrounded by lovely gardens on my digital art display today, so that when I see it on my dining room wall, it gives the impression that I’m looking out a window at the swanky mansion next door. Of course, in real life my neighbors just have another ordinary suburban house; but I believe such images help to cultivate feelings of abundance because the subconscious mind often doesn’t distinguish between real life and the stories we choose to tell ourselves.

Manor house with garden in foreground. 

Most of the pictures I have displayed so far, though, are of a different kind entirely. They are nature scenes, quiet paths or forests that invite imaginary wanderings. That choice is itself a powerful message, this time from the subconscious—telling me, in no uncertain terms, that what my soul really longs for is simplicity rather than material things.

Now that the last remnants of winter finally seem to be over, I’ve been wanting to spend a day on a nice long rambling springtime hike. However, this is just another ordinary workweek and I’m not in fact taking a day off, so instead I put an image on my art display that shows the bright cheerful greenery of Kerry Way Trail, Ireland. It certainly looks like the earth springing to life, don’t you think?

Bright springtime green of Kerry Way Trail, Ireland 

Even though I’m not really gazing out my window at this wonderfully inviting trail, I can at least get my subconscious mind halfway believing that I could just step outside at any moment and be right there!

They’re predicting more wintry weather blowing in on Thursday, with temperatures falling all day, rain turning to snow, and howling winds. Seriously? I want summer already! Wah! But since the forecast is not cooperating, I’ve decided to go on an imaginary vacation and turn my art display into a window of a comfy beachfront cottage, where I can breathe the salty ocean air, smell the tropical flowers blooming on the balcony, and watch the waves roll in.

Ocean view with a corner of a wood balcony. 

Ahh… now that feels much better! If you’re also in a place where winter just won’t give up, I hope you stay warm and safe, with plenty of fun distractions to keep you cheerful.

The digital art display that hangs on my dining room wall is more than just a decoration. I’ve found that when I take a few minutes to browse through the online library and change the picture every day, it gives me insight into what’s going on in my subconscious mind, guiding me toward whatever I might need at the moment.

The image I chose for Sunday was a quiet pond with bare trees. I don’t know where it is; the caption simply said “Pond.” The idea that it could be anywhere in the world fits the mood quite well, though—silent and reflective as winter holds on, not yet ready to give way to springtime.

Pond with bare trees in winter 

Soon enough, there will be busy days again, exciting new adventures and explorations. But for now, all that I needed was a peaceful, meditative day of rest—and the picture on the wall gave me that message as clearly as if it had spoken.