Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 31 October 2016

Ease your stress by following your passion in your life

I've been in a funny place of self reflection lately.

My friend Melissa is an occupational therapist who owns Whole Body Wellness Therapy. She specialises in soft tissue treatment with trigger point therapy and has been helping me with a long term shoulder issue and soreness. In the process of working on my shoulder she found that I had a lot of muscle tightness in my neck and back. Melissa asked me what stresses did I have in my life? What did I do for relaxation? What activities did I do where I could totally loose myself in the moment? What did I do for myself? She really had me pondering these questions.

Also recently I attended a workshop for carers at the South West Womens Health & Information Centre where I met many women who were in caring roles whether it be caring for an elderly parent, a sick partner, or a disabled child. Part of the day was a beginners Eco-dyeing workshop with Jane Flower from Folios and Fibre which was a lot of fun and something I'd like to do more of. After a delicious lunch there was a talk focused around carers. One thing that came out of the discussion was the importance of making time for ourselves.  

Beautiful silk scarves we made dyed with eucalyptus leaves

You might notice there is a common theme running over these two separate situations .... making time for ourselves where we can loose ourselves in our passions. If we give ourselves this space, and we are happier in ourselves, we can be more able to cope with stress and the challenges that life puts our way. 

This could be as easy as just going for a walk. Recently I went bush-walking with photography friend and she opened up to me that she had recently had what she called a "melt-down", brought on by the stresses in her and her partner's life over the past 6-12 months. This stress had manifested itself in both physical and emotional ways. She had closeted herself away, but she had found that walking, whether it was walking along the beach or through the bush near her home had been very beneficial in starting to pull her life back together. 

It's amazing where life might intervene in times of stress. I know of a couple of instances in my life where I actually sustained accidental physical injuries that forced me to "take time out" -  in one instance for 6 weeks, and the other for 2-3 months. I knew these unforeseen accidents was life telling me to slow down. 

I know as I get older I feeling like I am less able to manage stressful situations. Do you feel like that? Perhaps now not dealing regularly with stress as I did when I was working, I am not practising managing those stress levels. Or perhaps it is just part of my aging process

When my physio friend asked me what stress I had, I thought it was absurd that I should have any stress - I am retired for goodness sake! In April 2015 I thankfully left a job which was extremely stressful emotionally, both the work load and certain people that I was working with. It was not a happy environment and I was very stressed. I was ecstatic to leave this work place, take early retirement and give myself time to explore things I wanted to try creatively - through my photography particularly. 

So when I was asked what I do for myself where I can totally loose myself in the moment - I answered immediately - my photography. Indeed when my father was very sick in hospital in 2014 my photography was my solace that I would turn to. 

We all have stress in one form or another. Sometimes we are so wound up in our lives that we don't recognise that others are also going through issues in theirs. It got me to pondering a few questions.

What do you do to help lower your stress levels?
How does stress manifest in you?
Do you have a passion that you don't make time for? 
Are you lacking inspiration? 
Is there something that is blocking you from indulging in your passions? 
Is fear of failure something that blocks you from moving forward?

We shouldn't see indulging our passions as selfishness. This time can really be of benefit to us both mentally and physically. I saw this quote today from Anne Frank:

What are your passions? Do they help you overcome or deal with stress? Different things work for different people. Here are a few suggestions.
  • Dancing
  • Listening to music
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Flower arranging - if you have ever watching an Ikebana demonstration - the art of Japanese flower arranging - you will know what I mean -  Harmony through flowers
  • Reading
  • Bush walking
  • Bike riding
  • Walking on the beach
  • Yoga 
  • Painting
  • Craft - join a craft group and meet new people
  • Start a new project
  • Attend a summer school class - look for one in your area
  • Sewing
  • Photography
  • Cooking
  • Writing - hook into a web-site that has writing prompts to get you going
  • Golf 
  • Fishing
These are just a few ideas. I am sure there are many more. Perhaps you could add to this list in your comments.

You might also find this blog post interesting from life coach Marthe at The Freedom Experiment blog - 17 tips on how to invite passion and inspiration back into your life

A little bit of me time indulgence and fun

To finish today I also wanted to share with you the story of the little brown honey-eater that nested in our garden. I blogged about her here - Go away winter
We first saw her two tiny eggs on 9 October, the chicks on 21 October, and yesterday 30 October, we saw one baby bird sitting on the edge of the nest. The other one had already flown. His mother was flitting about chirping and encouraging him to fly. He sat there quivering and I could see his tiny heart beating against his chest. He just wasn't ready. So he went back into the nest for a nap. This morning when I crept by to look he had flown. I had so much enjoyed seeing the unfolding story of this little bird family. 

It represented to me the promise of new beginnings and the courage to take that first step towards flying.

Today is the last day of October. Here is some gorgeousness happening in my garden.

What is happening in your corner of the world? Perhaps you'd like to share in the comments how you minimise stress in your life. 
What are you going to do for yourself this week? I'm going to start going to Pilates classes on Wednesday morning. For a healthy mind we also need a healthy body. 

Banksias are flowering in our bushland now
 Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!


Mosaic Monday 
Life Thru the Lens 

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard


  1. What a wonderful post. I don't think that many of us are very good about taking time for ourselves. I am glad you do take the time for photography - you certainly take some wonderful shots!

  2. I also find photography my saving grace, but cannot do because cannot go hiking because using walker. bummer

  3. Jill this is a fabulous post and one I need right now to remind me to pursue my passions to unwind and destress. We have recently had an ailing old dog and although we tried every treatment available with visits back and forward to the Vet, we finally had to admit she was not getting any better so we had her put to sleep last week. This has been the most traumatic and stressful period in my life and I feel as though I have been hit by a bus. I am continuing to walk, do yoga and pilates and write, but I think I need to get away with my camera for a few days amongst nature to really destress. We are planning a caravan trip out to Esk in the Brisbane Valley next weekend so I'm hoping this will help. Sometimes a combination of little things just creep up on us and make us stressed. We need to be mindful of this and take preventative action. Your photography is fabulous Jill and I know that feeling of the pure release of tension when you get out into nature with your camera. :)

    1. thanks so much Kathy. I am sorry to hear about your dog, and I hope that your trip out to Esk will help sooth your soul. Yes I agree, little things, seemingly insignificant can combine to give us stress. Have a wonderful trip and I hope you find some time and space.

  4. I think you've hit the nail on the head for so many of us Jill. The outward manifestations of our lives may not really show the amount of stress there is just beneath the surface, ready to boil over at any moment. I think as we get older we have all sorts of unseen stresses that mount up and threaten to engulf us. You are so right that we need to explore what we really enjoy doing, and which really takes our minds off daily life in a non confrontational and easy way. Photography is both your passion and de-stressor and you are so brilliant at it - don't stop! I hope that your aches, pains and stresses are a little better this week and that you are finding lots of time for photography.

    1. Thanks Jo. You are certainly indulging your passions in life I think. You are certainly an inspiration to all us over 50s...60s...that are letting life slip by same old same old every day. Thanks Jo for your lovely comments and for your Life Style 50 blog.

  5. This could not come at a better time. Tomorrow I will have my first trigger point dry needling treatment for my knee issues that just will not give me peace for long. I enjoy having the manipulation that the therapist hands can provide as much as my part in doing the exercises required, but the muscles are battling me and so the needling may help me. I enjoy photography so much, and when I can, I will take long, leisurely walks in the wooded ares near me. Travel to the many parks is always with such sweet pleasure. I would enjoy horse back riding again one day. I dance to the music and hope no one spies on me ;) In the colder months when I cannot be outside, I will do crafty things and also being out my watercolours and mess with that. Sometimes I empty myself out onto paper as well. I enjoy cooking healthy meals and I also like to do Yoga when I can. Feel better soon my friend. Hugs to you my friend!

    1. I hope your trigger point treatment will help you Mary. You certainly have had many health issues to contend with. But I am glad you are still finding time and are able to enjoy walks in the wood, your photography, dancing (yes I do that when no one is looking), and painting. I start a Pilates class today and am thinking of giving yoga or tai chi a go. Thanks for stopping by Mary.

  6. I will need to think about this: what are my passions.
    Thank you for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/10/guess-where-i-went.html

  7. I so enjoyed reading your post today, it has given me much to reflect on and the questions you've asked I'll be asking myself again and again over the next few days I'm sure.
    Recently a good friend remarked that I lead a "charmed" life! On a good day I'd agree with her on others I'd say it's all "smoke and mirrors".
    How we present ourselves to the outside world comes down to the coping measures we use and several of my activities are already on your list.
    I love my weekly beach walks with my husband and our dog Fleur.
    Gardening, baking, taking photos to use in my scrapbooking and on my blog.
    I've practiced Reiki for several years, following the five Reiki principles combined with regular self treatments is the therapy that works for me.
    Just for today I will not worry,
    Just for today I will not anger,
    Just for today I will honour every living thing,
    Just for today I will earn my living honestly,
    Just for today I will show an attitude of gratitude.
    I'm grateful for your company for Mosaic Monday this week once again.

    1. I love your mantra Maggie of "just for today". I think we should all practise that. Have a loving week Maggie and thank you for continuing Mosaic Monday. It was the very first link-up that I linked up with years ago. I've made many "friends" through Mosaic Monday.

  8. What a great story and photos of your little garden visitor! The scarves are so pretty, too. We, indeed, need to take care of ourselves so we can keep going on.

  9. I like to go on walks, but have enjoyed a massage a few times.

  10. I love that Anne Frank quote. Sums it up for me really!
    Thanks for joining the Lovin' Life Linky. Hope to see you again next Thursday.

  11. Photography is it for me as well... still life in particular where I can immerse myself into something for hours and not think about anything else. But, landscape is also freeing for me, particularly when it is accompanied by a long hike, nature really balms my soul. And finally editing, I love editing photos, the creative side of it really feels me to the brim.

    Fabulous post Jill!!


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