Cold And Beautiful

Winter Is Coming Canvas Print featuring the photograph Winter Is Coming by Maria Jansson

 

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

– Edith Wharton

 

It’s been unusually cold for the season. Yesterday morning it was 25 degrees, and everything was covered with frost. It was very beautiful. (I bet it will be beautiful today as well, but it’s still dark out.)

Those are blackberry bushes to the left, closest in the picture above. It wasn’t that long ago since we picked the ripe blackberries under a merciless, burning sun. I love the changes of the season. It definitely makes life more magical!

 
Frozen Canvas Print featuring the photograph Frozen by Maria Jansson

Closeup on the frozen blackberry bushes.

 

Reaching Out Canvas Print featuring the photograph Reaching Out by Maria Jansson

A naked tree, with branches reaching towards the sky, standing in front of a walnut groove, admiring her beauty in the lake. 

 

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

– Tecumseh

 

We don’t have any snow in the valley where I live right now, but our big volcanos, Mount Shasta, and Mount Lassen are covered in a big white blanket. I can see them both when I drive in to town, and they take my breath away almost every day (if it’s cloudy I can’t see them.) The view of the volcanos humbles me, and put things in perspective. I’ve noticed that my eyes always are searching for them. I’ve lived most of my life in the mountains. I love mountains.

Something else that I’ve noticed lately, is that it’s more than just a preference. When I can’t see mountains, and wide open spaces, I get irritable. It became very clear to me yesterday when I had to drive into a small town, (that most people love,) with very narrow streets, how I felt almost claustrophobic. No, not almost, I felt claustrophobic. This is a very beautiful little town in northern California. It’s always on the list of the most beautiful places. I’ve only met very kind people there. It doesn’t really make sense to not like this place! It’s situated in a beautiful area, BUT when you’re in town you can’t see the mountains, even if they are very close. All you can see is houses, and cars. The streets are so narrow, that even though there isn’t very many people there, it always feel crowded. I remember thinking that the first time I went there, five years ago, but I haven’t experienced what I experienced yesterday before. A need to leave right away, as fast as possible. It is like my senses have become more sensitive. Or something..

With that I wish you a wonderful day, (it’s 5.30 am here.) Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you! What familiar view do you have where you live, that you appreciate the most? Is there a particular feature in the landscape that makes you feel on top of your world? What is it?

 

All the best,
Maria Jansson

Merry Christmas!

Virginia Range Mustangs Wood Print featuring the photograph Virginia Range Mustangs by Maria Jansson

I wrote this motivating post about achievements, and goals, almost a year ago. With 2017 quickly approaching, it’s time to look over my long term goals, and see how they are progressing. Am I on the right path? Enjoy the post! The updates of my longterm goals are written in red, directly after the goals.

 

Designing Happiness 

Lately I’ve been thinking about who YOU are. I’m grateful that YOU found your way here, and I would love to get to know YOU. Who are YOU, amazing, awesome person that smile when you see my photos? And relate to my story? I believe you are a unique person that appreciate beauty, happiness, and the kind of ”not settling for the Joneses” kind of adventure. That’s why we connected? Right?

We’re more than half way through the first month of 2016. Everyone is starting out the new year with big, and bold new years resolutions. This year my only resolution is going to be; Say yes more, and be kinder. It may sound simple enough, but when you think about it, the two often contradict each other. Saying yes to others sometimes means that I am saying no to myself, and vice versa. My new years resolution is that I am going to try my best to find a balance. Saying yes to learning new things, and helping others, while staying true to the beliefs that I actually find worth fighting for. One of my tactics for knowing when it’s a good idea to say YES, is to make sure that I know where I’m coming from, and where I am going = my past achievements, and future goals.

 

Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design. – Jim Rohn

 

I’ve found that it is easier to stand straight, and look forward, when I’m clear about what I already achieved. Is it in line with what I want? Where I want to go?

If you try this method, be sure to turn the more challenging experiences of the past to your favor. (I’m certainly no saint, or perfect in any way.) The purpose of the exercise is to become happier, more focused, and motivated. A list of your ”failures” will not help you achieve that. Becoming a single mom was not in my plan, nether was a failed marriage, but by writing about what I actually overcame/learned from it, motivates me.

A year is a relatively short period of time, you can do this exercise on a yearly basis, but I found it more helpful to use it for a bigger picture. That’s why I am looking at the past five years, and the next five years to come. This is, even though they are personal, more general achievements and goals, that can be broken down in smaller pieces for shorter periods of time. I’m simply sharing them with you, because it’s part of a routine that helps me wake up happy every morning. That makes it possible for me to experience the”not settling for the Joneses” kind of adventures, and since you’re here I’m guessing that something that you have some kind of interest in, right?

 

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. Jim Rohn

 

My achievements the past five years:

Complete a University Education.

Get a well paid/fun job based on my education.

Quit the same job in pursuit of happiness.

Had the guts to change my universe by moving to another continent.

Learned to be more open to new things/possibilities.

Became fluid in written, and spoken English.

Overcame my strong dislike for weapons. (Something that have given me peace of mind, when I’ve spent time in wilderness areas. Even though I’ve only used it on rattle snakes a couple of times.)

Developed my skills as a photographer (camera use/editing/marketing/sales.)

Survived the first three years with a new baby, in a new culture, without a supportive network (doing so feeling good about my role as a mother.)

Learned more about living in the moment, and letting go of guilt, based on subconscious beliefs from my childhood.

Discovered what I need in a relationship, and what I don’t need. What I can contribute with, and what I am not willing to contribute with.

Gaining the trust of numerous rescue horses, and one wild horse.

Creating a system for passive income through my photography.

 
Equine Photography Wood Print featuring the photograph Happiness by Maria Jansson

 

Goals for my next five (now four) years:

Becoming a master of marketing my products! I am working on this. I need to continue working on it!

Improve my English skills further; grammar, and becoming a better story teller. I’ll let you decide about this one!

Grow my blog. Yes, to some degree my blog is growing. Thank YOU! I could, and I am going to work more on this 2017.

Create a positive cash flow to my business. Learn more about building a sustainable business, in todays ever changing world. Working on this. You have seen my new wood prints, right? I love them, and I am excited about this new venue!

Grow as a photographer by only working with the best (most suitable for me) equipment, explore extraordinary nature with my camera, participate in photography workshops etc. I did purchase a new camera body, and one good lens during 2016. I have been practicing different kinds of photography. I completed a photography/business class during 2016, that helped me to further niche  my business.

Live a full, satisfying life, with a positive partner, that I’m crazy in love with. A man that lifts me up, that I can respect, and support with all my heart. I know this is asking a lot…

Teach my daughter true values, and become an even better role model for her, by being happy, and living a full life. I can honestly say that I am working on this every day!

Become more fit and healthy every year. My daughter and I grew the majority of our food this summer. I’ve learned a lot about gardening this year. Fitness level is about the same as previous year..

Improve my communication skills. Oops, I need to work more on this!

Read more books. I’ve been committed to this during 2016. I plan on making time to continue expanding my references, and learning new things through books during 2017.

Publish and launch a best selling book. I am writing on my book! There’s a few more pages adding up every week!

Create an off grid homestead, in a place I love. Still in the planning stages of this one, BUT my plans are getting more specific by the week. I want to lay a solid foundation for success. That is what I am doing now. There’s so many variables to think of, and so many things to learn. Of course there’s also the financial side of it, to make the dream work longterm. I am getting closer to this goal!

 
Color Wood Print featuring the photograph Colorful Appearance by Maria Jansson

 

Your turn! I strongly encourage you to try this method. It doesn’t have to be about winning the Nobel Peace Prize, or getting an Oscar’s. It’s OK if you don’t share it with anyone, I usually don’t. If you do feel like sharing your game plan, please do! Sharing goals is one way to kick your own a**. It’s very likely that you will work harder when you’ve made your goals more definite.

 

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. – Jim Rohn

 

Do you already have a method that keeps you on the right track? Tell me about it in a comment!

 

Love & Light, Always, and a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Maria

PS. Having the last Jim Rohn quote in the back of my mind have helped me to stand up for myself more than once..

Family

Beautiful Mustang Family Framed Print featuring the photograph Beautiful Mustang Family by Maria Jansson

 

For millions of people spending time with family is one of the highlights of the holidays. The anticipations of seeing, talking to, and hugging your loved ones, is one of the greatest gifts.

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything. – Michael J. Fox

 
Foals Framed Print featuring the photograph My Best Friend 2 by Maria Jansson

 

….and families can be different things for different people. It can be your family by blood, or your friends that are like family. For others family might even be their cat, dog, or horse. This is something that I have been given some thoughts, since my own family by blood lives thousands of miles away.

 
Mustang Framed Print featuring the photograph Wild Horses by Maria Jansson

 

Something that I’ve noticed while watching mustangs on the range is that their family bonds are very strong. Their family can change a little through the years, with young horses coming and going, but the core often stays the same. I’ve been following a couple bands more than four years now, and it’s still the same mare taking the family to their dinner table, and the same stallion looking out for his family’s safety.

 
Family Portrait Framed Print featuring the photograph Family Portrait by Maria Jansson

 

I hope that you get the gift of spending time with your family for Christmas!

 

All the best,
Maria Jansson

 

 

 

My Number One Feel Good Thing

Ever since I was a little girl, horses have been my number one feel good thing. No matter where in space and time I am, spending time with horses makes my soul smile. Doing nothing with horses, just breathing, being in the moment, that’s my remedy for everything. Yes, I love riding horses as well. I love just about everything about horses.

If I had to choose one activity, and exclude all the others, it would be; just to do nothing with them. Quietly sit on the range watching wild horses graze. Or in a horse pasture, letting them come up and breathe on my face. Just watch them being horses. That makes me feel grounded. Connected to something higher, and more important than myself, and my small problems (whatever they might be.)

 
Wild Horse Annies Mustangs Wood Print featuring the photograph Wild Horse Annies Mustangs by Maria Jansson

 

I believe that sharing my number one feel good thing with others like YOU, are part of my purpose here. Since it makes me feel incredible, of course I want you to be able to feel the same way! Cheers to feeling good!

 

 

Be well my friend,

Maria

 

Blog: MJanssonPhotography.com

Gallery: Maria-Jansson.Pixels.Com

 

Disclaimer: The horses in today’s wood print are wild horses. Horses in general are potentially dangerous animals, wild horses in particular can be very dangerous. Do not approach! Spending time with horses is something I treasure, I do not recommend anything, except enjoying my photos. Everything you choose to do is on your own risk.