The Celery Farm is a marsh-like nature preserve in Allendale NJ. I’m not quite sure if it used to be a celery farm for real, or if there is something else to the name. Nonetheless, it’s one of my favorite places to go on a nature walk and take pictures. In fact it’s a very well known place for “bird photographers” because it attracts all kinds of water fowl. Many of the photos from my 365 project were taken here. It’s truly a magical place.

Lately, on my hikes…I try to get to a place of self awareness and peace and see what inspirations arise. The trail around the lake goes through many different types of environments, different plants and trees, flora and fauna. It almost feels like you are walking through completely different parks at times. But the one thing that is pretty consistent on the path, is that there are roots coming up all over, and are very visible. You have to make sure you look down to keep from tripping over them.

One of the first things I noticed was that there were quite a few trees that were completely uprooted from a storm we had recently. And how interesting the bottom view of the uprooted tree was. I started to think about my past, and all the things that helped make me who I am today. Truth is, everything makes us who we are. Every single experience… Good and especially bad.

 

But this is not something to get upset about. In fact, if you can look back on your life and realize how the ‘hard things’ shape you for the better, you then begin to see everything as a blessing. Sometimes having an incredibly life altering experience, getting the rug pulled from out of you- being uprooted, can be one of the most transformational & life-altering–for-the-better-experiences, if you only allow it to be.

It’s easier said than done. But being older and wiser, I have noticed that all of the ‘so called tragedies’ of my life, have been so incredibly important in making me stronger, smarter and have helped me to grow and evolve into a much better version of myself. I am kinder, I am more aware, and I finally understand what true self-love means. Really valuing myself, and no longer putting myself in the position to get taken advantage of. I am so so grateful for ALL of the experiences that help get me here. I’m pretty bad-ass, if I do say so myself.

Another deep realization I had about self-love is this; Self Love is not only about liking and valuing yourself. It’s about connecting to that unconditionally loving part of you, your inner-being that is Divine. You drop the ego- and become “the one who loves” and exude that love outwards. It’s not always easy to do. For me, at this point, I have to consciously connect, and then shine it outward. But I feel it growing and becoming more natural. Instead of being guarded, I am able to just shine my light outward, and not care how others receive it. It’s not personal if they can’t receive it. I know, they are trapped within themselves, just like I used to be. More on this… soon ❤

Check out this cool old dude- a huge snapping turtle, just chilling on the path.

From an amazing band called Tonight Alive

A part of me always believed
I must have brought this on myself
‘Cause I’m not where I want to be
And every time I want to change my life
It just feels like trying to turn water into wine

It doesn’t have to be a world away
I can hear the song like it’s inside of me
I know that if I get to know my pain
I unlock a hundred different doors to better days

Though I take hit after hit
I realise the higher reason is accepting challenges as gifts
And through the fight
I never really knew that I would find myself
That’s why I give my thanks to you

It doesn’t have to be a world away
I can feel the sun like it’s inside of me
I know that if I get to know my pain
I unlock a hundred different doors to better days

My life is what I make it
I choose to rise and take it
From your hands
My life is what I make it
I choose to rise and take it
From your hands

This is not my punishment
This is my catalyst for growth
I know I will survive this
I’ll be the strongest person I know

It doesn’t have to be a world away
I can see the light like it’s inside of me
I know that if I get to know my pain
I unlock a hundred different doors to better days

My life is what I make it
I choose to rise and take it
From your hands
My life is what I make it
I choose to rise and take it
From your hands

This is not my punishment
This is my catalyst for growth
I know I will survive this
I’ll be the strongest person I know

~Marybeth 💖✨⛰

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