catnipoflife

Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest!

catnipoflife is Back Online!

To all my friends and family – past, present & future – I am back where I belong, in the writing world! After three years since its completion, I have pulled to the forefront and removed the dust from the pages of Catnip of Life. The manuscript is complete, 200+ pages of poetry, times for reflection, musings on life and famous quotes that make a personal connection to each poem.

catnipoflife blog is ready to reawaken your senses to the world around you! Today, more than ever, we need to remain thankful for the beauty of this earth that brings abundant gratefulness for simply being alive. Whether you followed me in the past or are new to catnip, welcome to my world that offers insight to help you “keep a smile on your face, joy in your heart and optimism on your tongue” (Lou Vickery, former New York Yankees, Author & Radio Show Host)

It is time to take Catnip of Life manuscript off the shelf, remove the dust from its pages and share its presence with all who desire to examine life through a personal lens and ponder what is or has been missing or gone unnoticed. The essence of Catnip of Life is 200+ pages of poetry, time for personal reflection, musings on life, and quotes that make a connection of the verses to real life.

I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?

            —James Thomson (Scottish Poet, 1700–1748)

Note about catnip: Catnip targets feline “happy” receptors in the brain.

            To inevitably understand the catnip of life requires opening your senses to the world around you: Observe life at its best, Listen to life’s songs, Embrace life’s bounties, Breathe the breath of life, Savor life to its fullest! The sky, the hills, the sea, the birds, the blossoms—each takes you to its own unique world. Captivating moments are right before your eyes, music to your ears, within your very grasp, under your nose waiting to be enjoyed.

           Catnip of Life exposes nature as a diamond in the rough with its power to heal, outwardly in addition to inwardly. The verses reveal openness to the world, how simple everyday observances make a difference in your life, furthermore allowing you to touch the lives of others. From reflections where happiness is found in the darkest of times to sunshine easing innermost fears to experiencing life being given a second chance, there exists lightheartedness, along with heaviness of heart.

            Keys to the catnip of life: beauty, imagination, nature, reflection, wonder!

First up is Diamond in the Rough. You have the option to read or listen to the audio (see below).

Diamond in the Rough

Awaken to the raw power of nature
When crashing waves, lightning cavort
Embark on a journey of pure imagery
Where the mind’s eye is the transport

Blend the defiant power of nature
With wonderment amid fascination
Draw on the earth’s primordial spirit
Charisma amongst imagination

Succumb to nature’s wilder places
Mysticism within self-awareness
Become lost in nature’s miracles
Healing, transforming consciousness

Perceive rapid-flowing rivers
Cascading through rocky terrain
Imagine deafening sounds
Waterfalls, hammering rain

Evoke visions of pure impulses
Those of unbridled natural power
Peaceful before quite overwhelming
Surpassing any meditative hour

Observe nature untouched, unpolished
Like finding a diamond in the rough
Leave with a better understanding
Of yourself interestingly enough

Proclaim the exhilaration
A freedom deep within your soul
It’s observing life at its best
Totally under mind’s control

Quote of the Moment:

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.             —Daniel Defoe (Journalist, 1660–1731)

AUDIO is for your Listening Pleasure! Close your eyes and enter the visionary mind.

Don’t leave yet! Time for observation and reflection…

As you go through the days ahead, focus on observing life at its best.

Observations—

On a scale of 1 to 10, right now in the moment, leave a comment rating your catnip level in observing life at its best. With the mindset of observance in the next few days, elevate your awareness of the world around you. Remain alert to capture something new or become more deeply acquainted with something familiar. Then, return to this post, leave a smile and add comment upon something you feel you never truly noticed…until your observance through the lens of the catnip of life.

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Diamond in the Rough

Raw, rare beauty…that’s the diamond in the rough! It exists within the yard clutter of overgrown grass, scrubby shrubs, deciduous trees being housed in the most conspicuous, often non-conspicuous places. Eruptive, wildly beautiful engagements mix with snapshots of ethereal beauty as Mother Nature balances auras of delight with intensity. From the opening gates of dawn until the final curtain of daylight, nature channels its power of enchantment bringing you to your knees or lifting your spirits skyward. At the closing of day through the midnight hour, from dusk ’til dawn, nocturnal creatures add to your world of imagination with fascination.

Diamond In The Rough.jpg

 Awaken to the raw power of nature
When crashing waves, lightning cavort
Embark on a journey of pure imagery
Where the mind’s eye is the transport

Blend the defiant power of nature
With wonderment amid fascination
Draw on the earth’s primordial spirit
Charisma amongst imagination

Succumb to nature’s wilder places
Mysticism within self-awareness
Become lost in nature’s miracles
Of healing, transforming consciousness

Perceive rapid-flowing rivers
Cascading through rocky terrain
Imagine deafening sounds
Waterfalls, hammering rain

Evoke visions of pure impulses
Those of unbridled natural power
Peaceful before quite overwhelming
Surpassing any meditative hour

Observe nature untouched, unpolished
Like finding a diamond in the rough
Leave with a better understanding
Of yourself interestingly enough

Proclaim the exhilaration
A freedom deep within your soul
It’s observing life at its best
Totally under mind’s control

©2015 CatnipofLife
Sharla Lee Shults

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.
—Daniel Defoe (Journalist, 1660–1731)

Diamond-in-the-rough

3 Comments »

Beyond the Box

The expression ‘stepping outside the box’ takes you away from redundant routines into territory filled with intensiveness, often nervousness, but at the same time, opens up new horizons, bold ideas. It is a mindset establishing an entirely new way of thinking ultimately guiding you toward listening to life around you from a totally new perspective. When you wake up in the morning, what are the first thoughts that come to your mind? If they encompass dread or a boring outlook, it is time to cast off the dreary atmosphere that surrounds you. Gaze out the window, listen to life’s songs!

BEYOND THE BOX

 A room bears semblance to a box
Ceiling to floor, wall to wall
Confining that which is inside
Posing not much change at all

Outside a bedroom window
Surfaces life beyond the box
Unfurling naturally
Without the need for alarm clocks

As daylight filters through the window
The new morning rises into view
Not to be seen as melancholy
But one bidding the old adieu

Greetings with the beam of light
Snap attention when your alarm rings
Not much else greets early morn
Except the voice a “good morning” brings

Consider the birds as they awaken
Filling the atmosphere with song
An ambiance of joyful melodies
To carry with you all day long

Ponder how nature greets the morning
Eye to horizon, in between
Unfolding in striking harmony
Monopolizing your first scene

Ease toward the window’s light
Thwarting thoughts of the day before
No reason stuck inside the box
This day, days to come, no more

Thoughts now align with the day ahead
Beyond the box into the light
Listening patiently, intensely
Not to miss a moment in flight

©2015 Sharla Lee Shults

I desperately needed to reevaluate, get outside and beyond the box and my head. Time out again to reinvent. Fight or flight.

            —Marilyn Grad (Self-taught artist, n.d.)

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Wonders of Nature

What’s Happenin’ over @ Awakenings is Nature Photography Day! Sometimes repetition is the best practice so here it is @ her sister site catnipoflife! Be sure to visit all of the sites whose photography is featured…you won’t be disappointed! To all whose photographs appear, links have been provided and full credit to each owner! MORE @Awakenings!

Impromptu @ catnipoflife

From dewdrops clinging to soft petals of a flower
to a spider spinning its web within the hour
nature’s wondrous beauty whether stormy or calm 
emanates poetry in motion like a psalm

A Web in the Morning Dew @ Life in the Foothills

A Web in the Morning Dew @ Life in the Foothills

There is nothing more breathtaking than a sunrise
unless it’s the splendor of a sunset’s surprise
 the wonders of nature beyond imagination
capture priceless moments in anticipation

Thankful for the Morning @ Oh, The Things We Shall See!

The roaring sounds a waterfall creates
draws attention for a magical place awaits
Mother Nature always alluring, never boring
invites you into her world, forever soaring

The Waterfall – Up Close & Personal @ Serendipity

Wildlife, hummingbirds, butterflies and bees
creatures of all kinds bring you to your knees
nature’s habitats from forest floor to the skies
woo, amaze and ablaze before your eyes

the-lace-of-a-wing

The Lace of a Wing @ Life in the Foothills

Birds of all feathers flock together
withstanding ice, snow, stormy weather
Nature! Nature! at its worst or best
Shouts raw imagery…a camera’s test

Fluffy Ducklings @ A Mixed Bag

Fluffy Ducklings @ A Mixed Bag

What are you waiting for? Nature is calling…calling for you!

Don’t forget your camera!

9 Comments »

Raindrops & Rainbows

All across America, the world in fact, is indescribable beauty often referred to as visions of grandeur. Each day presents itself in living color with sights, sounds, even smells that tempt and tease innermost emotions. Skies may be crystal blue and cloudless, or dark and dreary with hints of an impending storm. Even within the storm lies beauty…a calm at the end of which one may be lucky enough to sight a rainbow.

What awakens your senses of a forthcoming rainbow? Is it the sight of cloudy skies, the smell of oncoming rain, or the sound of raindrops pelting the earth? Perhaps lightening pierces the haziness of morning and rolling thunder disturbs the short-lived stillness of the air with news a storm is approaching.

With each sense comes anticipation of sighting that well-known arc across the sky whose splendor boasts a colorful array of pastel hues. The RAINBOW!

Have you ever taken the time to count how many colors you see in a rainbow? Is there a set number or a continuous innumerable spectrum of colors? Speaking of colors, what about Roy G. Biv…ever heard of (him)? Are the colors the same for every rainbow that comes into view?

O-o-o-o-ooh! So many questions. Why not add a couple more: What actually forms the rainbow and is there a connection of rainbows to raindrops? Afterall, the RAINbow and RAINdrops both have ‘rain’ in common!

Did you know?

To see a rainbow, one must have both rain and sunshine,

A ray of sunlight enters and is reflected inside a raindrop, thus breaking white sunlight into colors,

There is never a single size for water drops in rain but a mixture of many sizes and shapes,

The sun is always behind you when you face a rainbow and

The center of the circular arc of the rainbow is in the direction opposite to that of the sun.

In other words…

The Rainbow
 
Since the beginning of time
Questions arise again and again
Like how far away
Does a rainbow start and end?
*****
How far away are the raindrops
That capture the sunlight?
The nearest may be miles upon miles
Yet sparkle in the daylight

 The rainbow is nature’s gift
After the cleansing rain
Is each one unique
No two ever the same?
*****
Can the eyes of two people
Seize the same rainbow in time?
Each observer sees different raindrops
Making each vision sublime

 Size of the raindrops
Sets the color’s purity
Does bigger mean brighter

The smaller less clarity?
*****
What makes the colors
As vivid as can be?

It’s all about angles and light
The colors that we see

   A red band on the outer edge
A primary rainbow declares
Yet what happens when
A secondary rainbow appears?
*****
Are the double rainbows

Mirror images of each other?
Colors of the second reverse
Complimenting one another

Seven colors
Tiny prisms beget
Orange, yellow, green

Blue, indigo, violet
*****
Another question arises
Since above are only six
Have you forgotten
Red is first in the mix?

 
Where, oh where
Is that pot of gold?
The one we’ve heard about
From the days of old
*****
It’s the rainbow itself
That’s the golden prize
What greater splendor
Than right before your eyes!

catniplogosm1©2014 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

May each rainbow sparkle with the seven colors of the rainbow: strength, joy, sunshine, harmony, faith, wisdom and spirituality.” ~SLS


6 Comments »

When More is NOT Always Better

We live in an age of MORE, MORE, MORE! We have more than we possibly need yet the need for MORE surpasses the need for what we truly need indeed. Try to say that fast 3 times! The point is

WE WANT

Can you imagine a world without wildlife? It would be as mundane as mundane could possibly be. Of course, some of you might welcome silence from chirping crickets, barking dogs, screeching owls, howling coyotes but in giving those up, you also lose the drumming sounds of the Red-headed Woodpecker in spring, the chuckling Summer Tanager, the whistled warble of the autumn Yellow-rumped Warbler, the energetic tune of the Winter Wren. That is only sounds of some of the birds!

I’ll take the sounds of wildlife, what about you?

“I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?”

                                                                                 —James Thomson (Scottish Poet, 1700–1748)

6 Comments »

NATURE’S SYMPHONY

A very special poem from Len Carver depicting the true essence of the catnipoflife! Thank you, Len, for your inspiring message.

Song_of_Storms

myownheart.me

Do you hear the music of the world around you?

Hear the crashing CYMBALS of the thunder
music of a raindrop as the clouds begin to weep?

A snowflake as it descends to earth?
Ivory keys fading to-night shades slush
Building to the crescendo of many PIANO keys

Smell the roses as they bud
to the unfurling as they bloom
Emitting scent of exotic perfume
A soulful sound of many VIOLINS

Hear the sound of butterfly wings?
The music of little fluttery things
music of HARP’s gentle strings

Hear the whisper of the trees
as the wind blows soft breath
Through the rustling leaves
Echoing softly …CELLO

Listen close if only to hear  music for
Lovers as they begin to swirl and twirl
in a dance of their beating hearts
like  passion of SPANISH GUITARS

Hear orchestration of earths symphony
Walk quietly with open mind and ears
Let sounds of…

View original post 9 more words

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A Pristine Side of Winter

catniplogosm1©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Awaken inner thoughts of beauty and solitude even in the bleakness of Winter. Put your imagination to work with some new, rather unique, visions of Jack Frost. While it may be br-r-r-r cold outside, there is so much beauty to behold during the season of Winter. Yes, that’s right! Don’t be misled by visions of the drab, dreary, gloomy side of Winter but look around at the amazing sights that can only be encountered in the coldest season of the year.

Relish in the Winter spirit. The cold, crisp air refreshes the lungs with a quiet walk where the only sounds are the crunching of ice crystals underfoot. Listen to the wind-chimes as the North Wind sends a swift brush of cold through the air.  Examine every tree, shrub, plant and field as it displays its own uniqueness having been gently touched by nature’s paintbrush of downy white.

You can find solace deep within yourself once you are lost in a daydream that explores the magical mysteries of Winter. Cleansing, refreshing, invigorating! Then, enjoying the warmth of a cozy fireplace after such an exhilarating experience invites a steaming hot cup of white chocolate cocoa spiked with a stick of cinnamon.

Even within the bitterest cold of winter one can find breathtaking beauty.

Ice-Cardinal

7 Comments »

Eye Candy from God

There are times when something crosses your path or shows up unexpectedly in a message that screams to be shared. Here it is…ENJOY!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

—Albert Einstein (Theoretical physicist, 1879–1955)

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Misty Morning Fog

Fog2

Early Morning 11/02/2013

Images appear subdued
Amidst the dense, pesky fog
Softly kissed by stratus clouds
Disturbed by a croaking frog

Figures in the far distance
Emit varying shadowy hues
A feel so melancholy
Reminiscent of ol’ country blues

The highest peak of a mountain
Enshrouded within the thick fog’s bed
Converges with the sky’s splendor
Striking patterns of gray overhead

Just a mere touch of fog
Steamy haze in view
Evokes mystical thoughts
Chilling through and through

Silhouettes against a blue sky’s backdrop
Endure nature’s transformation
Misty morning fog amid dawn’s glory
An object of fascination

From the sky to the terrain
Trickling rays of sunlight drift
Transparency emerges
As the fog slowly lifts

©2013 catnipoflife©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.

—Carl Sandburg (U.S. biographer & poet, 1878–1967)

6 Comments »

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