Monday, April 16, 2018

Using Your Imagination to Ground Yourself and Focus on What Really Matters in Life Guest Post By Children's Book Author Daniel Linsteadt

I'm all about finding holistic ways to calm and ground ourselves. I'm also a HUGE fan of children's books. When I reached out to children's book author Daniel Linsteadt to request an author guest post, he really nailed it. He managed to give us a post that addresses both of these topics and more. Take it away, Daniel!

The other day, my coworker said in an excited tone, “Come check this out!” There was a colorful image on the computer screen that I was to relax and stare at. As I looked, the colors on the screen faded away. Unable to hold my gaze, I blinked or readjusted my eyes and the color would reappear. The physical world around us is truly a miracle. This is the playground for my stories.

In my new Nila series (Water, Air, Fire), I toy with all our senses. Our first scent of the ocean is exquisite, but quickly fades with each exhale. Taking in your first breath of pine scented air in the mountains is strong and vibrant, but this too dissipates with time. Why does this happen? What other sights or smells am I missing that are right before me? I believe love for another person is the same, which requires us to readjust and refocus on that person to rekindle that sensation back into a flame.

I adore nature and all the wondrous sights, smells and textures she provides…life-giving properties that are just as important as water, air and food. Nature grounds me from all the static I absorb throughout a busy day. Our bodies and mind need that calming energy to stay vital, like the first day we opened our eyes to this world and our life.

© 2018, Susan Barton

You only need to watch a child place his fingers in running water for the first time—wow! First, there’s a slight frown from not being able to possess it, then a smile at how it flows over his skin. Water reflects color and light from the world around it, as well as the temperature…another sensation that is acute at first and then dulls—we call it getting used to. The young child then begins to laugh and talk to the water as they splash themselves and others with their newfound water friend. But as we age, water becomes, well, just water.

© 2018, Susan Barton
To bring that child back into me, I only need to step out into the sunshine with bare feet and breathe in the fragrant air. My imagination runs rampant with stories as I gaze at colorful flowers, multi-shaped leaves and fluorescent dragonflies darting through the air. Isn’t this what we did when we first arrived on planet Earth?

My second Oaf story, Oaf in Bear River, was born in this way. As I watched dragonflies bouncing off the glinting water’s surface and I rested my back against a log in the middle of the river, an idea began taking shape. A rainbow of light fluttered just beyond my arm’s reach on the streambed, and boom! My mind was off to the races, and the story was practically written before I came ashore.

I have a folder on my computer called “Stories” that contains many Word documents. Each saved with a title, and its contents a budding tale discovered when out in play. If I only had enough time write and give attention to each fantasy that has popped into my head. Going to work is important, but it does get in the way….


Daniel Linsteadt is the author of the Nila children’s book series and the Oaf children’s book series. He has a BA degree in Environmental Studies (emphasis Geology) and a BA degree in Geography (emphasis Remote Sensing) from UC Santa Barbara.

Daniel has spent most of his career as an IT programmer and administrator. His joy has always been creating tales, so now he shares his passion for life with inspiring and uplifting stories.

Daniel can often be found sipping coffee in the foothills of Auburn, California where nature is still wild ... if you know where to look.

Readers are invited to connect with Daniel on his author website.

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