Watch Your Thoughts

I have a tendency to be critical.  That often comes off as complaining, whining, grinching… call it what you may.  Most of the time, I hold the thoughts, keep them to myself, because I don’t want to be perceived as a negative person.  Am I a negative person?

There’s a poster at one of the schools I visit with a quote, apparently by Rabbi Hillel:

Watch your thoughts, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny…

Moccasin Flower Taken With Kit LensWow.  That’s pretty powerful stuff.  I’ve been pondering this quote for a couple of years now and it haunts me sometimes… Especially on days when I’m feeling grinchy…  like yesterday, for example.

I had a perfectly marvelous morning.  In fact, my entire work day went very well.  At the end of the day, I decided to walk out to the spot where a Moccasin-flower grows.  I had time.  I didn’t have to go fast, which was good, because by this time of day, the temperature was in the high 80s.  I’m not complaining!  It’s just an obvervation.  (There is, however, a reason I accepted the name WinterWoman when it was given to me.  Sweat generated through hard work is acceptable to me.  Sweat that drips down your back just because you stepped outside…  oops… am I grinching?  No!  ‘Cuz if I were grinching, I’d mention all the mosquitoes and black flies I had to battle.)

Moccasin Flower taken with Closeup LensI did get a couple of nice shots with my new macro lens, though.  The Moccasin-flower, or Pink Lady’s Slipper, is protected in New York State, as are all wild orchids.

Far more common is the little Canada Mayflower.  I’ve taken plenty of shots of it, but here’s my first with the lens attachment:

Canada Mayflower Taken with Closeup Lens

Fiddlehead UnfurlingAs you know from a previous post, I’m a big fan of ferns.  I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of the fronds, fiddleheads, and spore cases up close.  I didn’t post them all, but here’s a pretty cool one.

I probably would have taken a lot more shots with my new lens yesterday, if hadn’t been for the heat… and the bugs…

And yes, I probably AM complaining… I think it’s in my blood:  Get a load of this shot of me as a kid:  everyone else was happy, but I was grumpy.  Hmm…. what was THAT all about? Seems to be a habit of mine to be grumpy.  I had better watch my thoughts!  I don’t want grumpy to become my destiny.


I must embrace the heat…  It’s only going to be in the high 70s today.  I think I’ll go hunt dragonflies after work…  Must have heat (and bugs) for dragonfly research…  OK… I can do this…  No grinching…

8 thoughts on “Watch Your Thoughts

  1. I’d be grumpy, too, if my mommy put that hat on me and not on my sister! Heck, it looks like she put a little head scarf on you, too. What’s the story here? You ought to run a caption contest all about this picture. Um, let’s see, “As soon as I can cross the street all by myself it’s ‘hasta la vista’ baby sister!” Now there’s a girl with attitude, though not quite what the Rabbi had in mind.

  2. Oh, I love ferns, too Jen, and wildflowers. Are you going to put all of your fern photos on Flickr so we can see them? I love the photos you’re taking with your new lens.
    Wow, that is a powerful quote.
    I don’t mind this abnormally high heat, but the biting bugs have got to go.

  3. Somebody put the Rabbi’s words on the back of all the washroom doors at work so we can meditate on them! Our May Apples are finally blooming here but when I went into the woods to look at them, the mosquitoes landed on me in squadrons so all my pictures are blurry. Love the honest emotion in your picture…better than a fake smile.

  4. Well, who knows what was buggin’ you that day. But, look at your mom. She’s the one who captures my attention in your picture (sorry, Jen.) She looks radiant and strong, ready to handle anything that 3 small kids could get into on a summer day. I always liked your mom.

  5. Jennifer

    Several years ago my brother had sent me the anonymous quote in a random email. I don’t think that he ever would have imagined that it would have stuck with me for as long as it has. I keep a copy on an index card in a holder that is with me or near me most of the time. I have read variations over the years on other sites & blogs…, but never found out where it originated – so if anyone knows….

    I also call these little profound snippets a Microfilo. Microfilo (not to be mistaken for Microphilia) is a term that I’ve coined for myself. It stands for ‘micro philosophy’ or ‘micro philosophies’. They are little ideas, practices, beliefs, commitments, convictions and disciplines that make up the fabric of who I am, who you are – our character. They can be a favorite quote or a morning ritual. Regardless of whether physical or intangible, a microfilo is something that you embrace and absorb into your being. You make a personal religion, you breath it daily and commit yourself to it until it becomes natural and effortless. Your intention is to respond to your day according and aligned to your own personal microfilos. It does not have to be a heavy and serious dogma. Microfilos are fun and light.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s