Exploring . . .
What does resilience mean to you?
For some resilience seems to come naturally while others seem to need to practice and learn resilience.
Does resilience come from knowing who you are as well as the belief and trust you have in yourself?
I think so! If you cannot trust yourself, who can you trust, right. You have the tools in the toolkit, the mind set and the resources to deal. You have the ability to handle it. Really discover your strong!
You have to exercise your whole being, right!
Really put yourself to the challenge to become more flexible and versatile! To overcome the unknowns and conquer those fears. To know what you can control and to accept what is out of your control. How to really be open when faced with challenges and changes!
Really be more! To be aware and listening to tune in as well as tune out. To be mindful and in the present moment. To focus on the task at hand. To do what you truly love!
Do you think resilience comes from having a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives? Do we really belong to something greater than ourselves?
We all have that innate desire to belong as well as be loved! To find what we love and are passionate about. To discover our talents and gifts. To tune and tap into goodness in general that surrounds each and every one of us!
We look to be part of a team or look for our tribe!
A major part of that is our greatest someones who love and support us in everything we do!
In Sawgrass Lake Park again. Can you tell I like to go here to explore and adventure.
We encountered a gentleman on the boardwalk and he introduced us to Mama Gator. He stated she has about 24 babies. I saw one of the babies.
These are Beauty Berries
I could not figure out what species of bird this was, so I sent a picture of it to the local Audubon Society to help me identify.
Let me introduce you to a Limpkin. Looks like a cross between a crane and a rail. However, this wading bird does not have any close relatives. I got to see not 1 but 2 Limpkins! These birds are usually solitary.
An unusual bird of southern swamps and marshes. These birds like to eat apple snails hence the shape of their long bill to extract the snails from their shells. This bird enters into Florida and Southern Georgia to satisfy its dietary requirement for apple snails.
I encourage you all to do an internet search for the “Limpkin Call”. Its screaming call is like a haunting banshee wail. This bird was too busy searching for food, so it did not make any noise when around it. In my research I found out these birds mainly call at dawn or at night. I cannot imagine traipsing through the swamp at night and hearing this bird scream – gives me goose bumps writing that!
Do you see the snake?
(Photos by RSheridan)
Strolling Along . . .
A Glob of a Jelly – Watch Out!
An Ocean Bubble
(Photos by RSheridan)
The name Okeechobee comes the Hitchiti words oki (water) and chubi (big).
The largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida! 730 square miles with an average depth of only 9 feet. At its capacity the lake holds 1 trillion gallons of water!
There is something about being out on a big body of water versus standing on the shoreline! The airboat tour was 2 hours and the 1st hour was in the fog and the 2nd hour with the sun slowly peeking through the mist. It made for an interesting composition of photos!
Not that deep!
Lake Okeechobee sits in a shallow geological trough that also underlies the Kissimmee River Valley and the Everglades. The lake is the headwaters of the Everglades. The Kissimmee River provides more than 60% of the water flowing into the lake.
The 100 foot dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee is part of the Florida National Scenic Trail. Used by hikers and bicyclists.
Interesting Fact: Lake Okeechobee is featured in the first episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show.
Chartered an airboat from Florida Airboat Charters to get out on Lake Okeechobee. Our Captain and guide was Jason, a TWS Certified Wildlife Biologist, Coast Guard Licensed Captain, experienced airboat operator, and state certified airboat instructor. He has worked extensively with alligators and knows his lakes and marshes in Central and South Florida. In Very Good Hands!
Florida Airboat Charters offers a custom airboating experience tailored to your wants and needs. Exploring. Wildlife (Gators) and Bird Watching. Ride On!
Highly recommend taking an airboat tour on Lake Okeechobee! A learning opportunity, an experience and oh so much FUN!
aka Bufo Marinus or Bufo Toad. Also known as a Marine Toad or Cane Toad.
Jason talked about the Bufo toads. The largest of the frogs and toads found in Florida. DO NOT Touch!
The toad’s call is a low-pitched trill and a chorus sounds like an idling diesel engine.
This toad is not native to the U.S. Released in the U.S. in the sugar cane fields to help control white grubs. Then accidentally released from a pet dealer at the Miami airport in 1955 (about 100 toads released). There were subsequent releases by pet dealers in the 1960’s. These toads will eat all types of native frogs and toads. These toads breed year round too!
When this non-native species is threatened or handled it secretes a highly toxic milky substance from its large glands at the back of its head, behind the ears. This secretion can burn your eyes, may irritate your skin and can even kill cats and dogs if they ingest the secretion.
There are 5 Counties around Lake Okeechobee.
All five counties meet at one point near the center of the lake!
Okeechobee is known as the ‘Speckled Perch Capital of the World’. Lake Okeechobee is a natural resource for the fishing industry and is a sportman’s paradise, including several nationally sanctioned bass tournaments.
Interesting as well as Scary Fact: The Lake Okeechobee area was the site of the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, the first recorded Category 5 Hurricane in the North Atlantic. One of the deadliest hurricanes ever to strike the United States. Two years before that was the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926. Both hurricanes dramatically altered the landscape of the area.
A city in Glades County on the Southwest shoreline of Lake Okeechobee.
The city was named after James A. Moore, its founder. In its early days, Moore Haven was often called “Little Chicago” due to being a boom town.
A city in and the county seat of Hendry County. The city began as a settlement on the Caloosahatchee River around the time of Hamilton Disston’s efforts to drain the Everglades in the hope of promoting growth in the area. The settlement laid on the western edge of Captain Francis A. Hendry’s large Monroe County’s land. Populated with cattle drovers and trappers. In 1909, Captain Hendry subdivided his land to be sold. the majority land holding stake was bought by E.E. Goodno, which increased the size of LaBelle almost twenty times its original size. In 1925, the Florida Legislature chartered the City of LaBelle, which replaced the Town of LaBelle.
LaBelle hosts the annual Swamp Cabbage Festival, which is held in honor of the Florida state tree during the last full weekend of February. The festival includes a 5K walk/run, beauty pageant and rodeo.
A city in Hendry County near Lake Okeechobee.
Clewiston is known for it sport fishing, particularly of largemouth bass. This area was once used as a fishing camp by the Seminole Indians. The first permanent settlement began in 1920 and was incorporated as a city in 1925.
Large sugar plantations were established around Lake Okeechobee. The US Sugar Corporation remained the dominant manufacturer in Clewiston, which became known as “America’s Sweetest Town”. There was plenty of sugar cane to see driving around in this area!
By the 1950’s and the 1960’s the cultivation of citrus and vegetables as well as raising cattle were important to the economy.
Lake Okeechobee is at capacity right now with all the rain and the vegetation was full! It was hard to tell at times if I was on water or a big, grassy field!
These gators know how to camouflage really well, especially among the full vegetation! Plus it has been warm, so prefer to be in the water swimming about!
A favorite area of mine!
My 1st time seeing a Snail Kite! I was not able to captured the Snail Kite with the snail in its talons though – move so fast as well as pretty much without sound!
Snail Eggs (finally know what this is!)
I am so not a fan of the eight-legged! I had to suck it up though while going through hundreds of webs while sitting on the airboat. Those webs are quite sticky too. I would have lost it if I ended up with a full face of spider though!
Then Jason had to ask, “How many spiders do you think are out here?”. Too many in my opinion looking at all the webs surrounding me. Plus 1 Spider is more than enough for me!
(Photos by RSheridan)
A place to breathe.
A place to unwind and slow down the pace.
A place to relax, reconnect and recharge.
(Photos by RSheridan)
When you are feeling stressed out and on “over” everything remember to connect to your whole being from your feet to your head! Just breathe and communicate to your inner being. Just breathe and connect to you. Just breathe and focus on your heart to center!
“I am enough. I have enough.”
“I have all that I need. Come what may, I have all that I need.”
“I breathe in the light and love.”
“I breathe out to release and let go.”
Breathe in and count to 3.
Breathe out and count to 5.
Focus on a good, positive and happy memory. Hold on to it.
Breathing exercises are a good practice to start in becoming and being a healthier and happier being! Calm . . . Center . . . Connect . . .
I know it helps me clear my mind and relieve the tension and stress! I can tune into my emotions, feelings and thoughts. I find my calm and centered self. I find the love, kindness, caring, and compassion that I need for me. I focus on the good and the positive and release and let go of the bad and the negative!
I am trying to see the good as well as the blessings that came from having doubts and fears! Change and the unknown are a great way to learn and grow as a person. I am engaged and stretching outside of my comfort zone too. So far I am very much alive and surviving my fears and embracing change!
I have 3 things in my life that keep me on my toes.
I really want to move through my doubts, fears, emotions, and changes! I do not want to get stuck in the motions and feed into it. It is okay to be afraid, but you need to understand why and how to handle it! There are times you move forward and proceed with caution. There are times you step back or back off from a situation to really evaluate it. There are times you need to take a breathe and clear the mind before taking that initial step; “standing on your tip toes“!
I often wonder where my strength and courage comes from and how it knows I need it too! Especially when I feel as if it is MIA. I usually go within myself and tap into my inner strengths to handle a situation. I know I need to be ready to act and deal with what comes my way; the good, the bad and the ugly!
I know I need to follow my heart and listen to my inner voice! I know getting myself into the negative self talk and putting myself down is so not going to work and is so counterproductive too. I want safety instead of risk. I want protection instead of putting myself out there. I want MORE out of life, so I do what I have to do when it comes to living my life and creating the life I WANT!
Thank goodness for social support, cat-like reflexes of being able to land on your feet and when all else fails parachutes! I want to feel motivated and inspired to gain those life lessons and life experiences. I want to be following my path and listening to myself and my needs when it comes to living my life! So I am going to get out there and live it large.
(Photos by RSheridan)
The best lesson I have learned in the last year is to take the time to rest and recover! I feel better when I give myself a day or two between exercise workouts. I feel better when I give myself a break with food and just treat myself. My mantra lately is to NURTURE and NOURISH myself, my needs and my whole being!
I use to push the rest and recovery process and not allow it to happen naturally! I am discovering that my body will take care of itself if I give it the time to do so. The muscles, joints and bones can repair, rebuild and strengthen. The biggest benefit I get from a good workout is a great night of sleep!
I did not give my body the recovery it needed at times, so I ended up with repetitive motion injuries as well as overworking certain areas throughout the week! Especially when you add in weights to your workout. Recovery and rest makes a difference as well as not working the same muscle groups two days in a row. A muscle needs at least 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild. The muscle needs time to strengthen and not weaken and risk injury.
During a good workout the body is breaking down muscle tissue and depleting energy! So rest and refueling the body is so important after a good workout. Do not forget to HYDRATE too! I hydrate before, during and after a good workout.
I find a warm up, a cool down and stretching beneficial before, during and after a good workout, especially to avoid any injuries! Stretching helps with the strain on the joints, muscles and tendons as well as improves flexibility. I love a calf cramp at 2 am in the morning, NOT! The muscles are already in a strained mode after a workout, so stretch slow and easy and do not hold the stretch for too long either. Remember to breathe too!
I enjoy what I do for myself because it makes me happy and gives me pleasure! I know for me when it is no longer fun that I have to switch it up and make some much needed adjustments. What makes me FEEL GOOD? It is certainly not about what I am giving up, but what I am gaining!
I think of that movie Risky Business and the scene of dancing around the house! It gets the heart rate up, the sweat on and there is an element of fun, laughter and silliness. Just get your groove on and move!
I have to be supportive as well as commited to myself when it comes to making those choices and decisions to be a healthier me! In order for me to be successful in being a healthier me I have been taking it one step at a time over the past 3 years. I am learning to make better choices by educating myself on wellness and nutrition as well as health and fitness. I am trying to find that balance in being consistent instead of swinging from one extreme to the next!
Support vs. Swing
The #1 place I face sabotage is with me, myself and I! The second place is the work enviroment and the laden goodies that dominate the break room. The treats, the sweets and the candies, Oh My! The third place is at the grocery store and not putting certain items of sabotage in the cart.
I made the decision to be my own accountability partner! This includes being proactive about my health as well as creating a team of support to assist me in my goals in becoming a healthier me. I am not all that amazed in what I do to myself on a daily basis for the better and for the not so good too! I have to take better responsibilty for my actions and for my needs on a daily basis.
I did not listen to my body and my needs when it came to exercising 3 to 4 to even 5 days a week! I enjoy being active, but not when it becomes a health hazzard for myself. I had to make a change for the better! I have recently discovered a better groove as well as getting a total body workout by exercising 2 to 3 days a week now.
I have not been the greatest sleeper lately while recovering from an injury! I try to stay on some type of sleep schedule and adjust as needed. I am like Dr. Jekyll when not rested and like Mr. Hyde when rested – ha! If nothing else I try to catch up on the weekends by sleeping in or taking that 20 minute power nap in the afternoon.
I am slowly getting into the whole meal planning process for myself by adding in more mixed meals (carbs, proteins, fats, fruits, veggies, etc.)! I also make up meals on Sundays to have throughout the week, so I am not stopping for the not so good stuff that is fast on the way home from work. I always make sure to have good pantry items on hand as well as plenty of fruits and veggies too! This certainly helps out in making a 30 minute meal at times.
I am guilty as CHARGED when it comes to blaming the extra junk in my trunk to STRESS! I only have one person to blame too and that is me. I am in control and I am the change in MY LIFE, so have to OWN IT! I need the good and the positive in living my life. I am the one HOLDING myself back, so need to start CHALLENGING myself more!
I am learning that ONLY I can take care of myself, my needs and my whole being for the better by making lasting changes in my life! Plus everything is connected too from you and your whole being as well as your personal and professional lives!
I am learning that change can be good and that change can go in a positive direction too! It is about making those small to minor changes along the way that prepare me for the big changes and major transitions in my life. I can procrastinate, make excuses, and just avoid a situation. However, all that really does is frustrate me even more and drain my motivation and energy. It is so not worth it and it is pointless too!
The most important way I track my progress in becoming a healthier me is by HOW I FEEL! I also ask myself questions the following questions too.
The Whats . . .
The Whys . . .
The Hows . . .
You have to DO what works BEST for you, your needs and your whole being! It is NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!
I FEEL the Beach Calling Me (Photos by RSheridan)
(Previously 'Year of Vulnerability') - Follow me as I try to live life on the vulnerable side
CONSCIOUSLY CREATING WITH EVERY THOUGHT, WORD AND DEED
...experiences with spirit's voice...
Philosophy / Mind / Art
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52 weeks captured through photos
From May 2015 - March 2016, Sherry and Sean traveled the country and lived in a 5th wheel R.V. They took pictures, hiked mountains, and saw amazing sights. They are now settled in Fort Myers, Florida and are continuing to take pictures and seeing amazing sights. This is the blog of their journey from leaving St. Louis and starting an adventure, to living in Florida and doing photography. Enjoy the stories, and leave comments if you have one to share!
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