Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Playing with Powerful Images

Images and symbols surround and impact you night and day.  Are they empowering or disorienting you?  Are they ones you have chosen or are they by default simply the ones that others place around you?

Images speak to us in a far different ways than words.  When chosen consciously they have the power to:

  • reach into the depths of our sub-conscious mind to heal childhood wounds and the battle scars of adult life
  • help us to re-pattern our physiology
  • aid us in unleashing positive qualities
  • create empowering stories
  • transform our beliefs
  • symbolize our goals
  • establish a new reality around us

Come explore the power of images with me.

Images of Whales

“Don’t mess with me or I’ll swallow you alive.”

Whales are the world’s largest mammals and thus are extremely powerful.  At the same time, they are vulnerable to drowning if they don’t breath consciously.  Some species express themselves using melodic sounds.  According to Wikipedia, “Whales are known to teach, learn, cooperate, scheme, and even grieve.”

Whales can teach us to protect and insulate ourselves, appreciate the sacred power of water, and take time out to breath.  They connect us with our creative and intuitive energies and invite us to heal the past through listening to its stories and messages.

Images of Pure Love

Once, after receiving a session of deeply relaxing body work, I sat up and found myself gazing directly into a painting by Mary Cassatt.  In that moment of profound receptivity, the powerful love exuded by a portrait of mother and child sent a bolt of lightning straight into my heart.

We can heal our heart or strengthen our capacity for love by surrounding ourselves with images that express love, kindness, compassion, joy, appreciation, and gentleness.  Though love may have been missing from our childhood, it’s never too late to infuse ourselves with our own concoction of unconditional love.

Images of Cats

Cats can introduce us to our creativity, intuition, and psychic powers.  They are known to be resourceful, flexible, adaptable, agile, fearless, mysterious, confident, self-assured, single minded, loving yet independent.

The energy field of a cat rotates in the opposite direction of a human’s.  Thus, being around cats can neutralize negative energy that might be affecting you.  This is why cats are thought to have tremendous healing power.  You can also evoke that healing power from an image or visualization.

I’ve completely fallen in love with my cats and have learned so much from them too.


I find images to be a powerful tool for healing and personal development.  The images above are all ones that are calling to me.

The reflection this week involves exploring the images in your life.  What images are present in your life?  Are they helping or hindering you?  Are you choosing images consciously? What images inspire and help you?

Image credit:  Wikimedia Commons Reference: Animal Totems

If you enjoyed this entry, please spread the word by using the share buttons below.  And I would love to hear from you in the comments. Thanks so much!  Sandra


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  1. Hi Sandra,

    Lovely article on images and animal totems. I love the images of cats, especially big ones. My favourites are the cougar and the cheetah.


    Cougar spirit will teach us to assert ourselves, and take control of our life so we can become leaders. Cougar’s graceful swiftness shows us how to understand the natural flow of our environment and move into a position.

    I also like the coyote. I think this is largely the result of my love for Wile E Coyote and roadrunner when I was growing up.


    Coyote teaches us to laugh at our mistakes so we won’t get mired in the pain of life’s lessons. Coyote comes into our lives when we need to understand the balance of wisdom and foolishness.

    Thanks for sharing your insights! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • Irving,

      I thought about including a big “cat” so I’m so glad you brought this image to bear here as well as your coyote friend. Animal symbolism is such an easy and fun way to explore new qualities we would like to add into our life.

      Thanks for these additions!

  2. Perhaps the image that inspires me the most is an image of an ocean’s beach.

    The sound of the surf, the smell of the salt air and the the feel of the sand on my feet is a place of peace and beauty for me.

    When I need a brief escape, I close my eyes and go there.


    • Alex,
      Your vivid description is awakening my senses. How wonderful that you have such an excellent ability to visualize and bring peace to yourself in any moment. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. I love this post!
    About images – I like images of cats (obviously, since I live with two of them). I also like images of natural landscape, especially countryside with rolling hills, trees and lots of green – very relaxing.
    Flowers too are very inspiring – love their cheerful colours, delicate pattern of petals, beautiful shapes…
    Animals in general, water reflections, children absorbed in what they do…so many inspiring images!

    • Cristina,

      I love your blog in particular because it seems that each image is chosen with care and set against a backdrop of simplicity. I notice your attention to the finer details. It’s a joy to be able to bask in all these images, indeed!

  4. Sandra, if I hadn’t subscribed to your blog long ago, you totally would have had me at the section on cat images. 🙂 (A picture of Brie might combine the pure love and cat sections for me!) I’m intrigued by what you said about their energy field. Tell me more?

    Images that speak to me are mostly about detail and texture. I love the perfect mathematical spiral of nautilus shells, and the fine webbing of leaf veins. I like the way bare winter tree branches turn to fine watercolor strokes against a foggy morning. I just saw a cross section of a pine cone a few days ago and am amazed at the intricacy, energy, and balance in such a common item. I find that everything, viewed closely enough and with enough interest, can hardly fail to be interesting.

    • Jennifer,

      Your comment is an amazing instruction on the art of seeing. I’m enticed by your intricate images from nature. I would like to enmesh myself in such beauty much more! Your words are a treat.

      I’m delighted to hear how Brie embodies both pure love and cat energy for you. I found this point about the energy field of a cat once on the internet and it captured my interest. It didn’t say anything further than this. I imagine that this is something an intuitive would see and tell us, but that is not necessarily validated by science. If we observe and tune into our own cat, we might get a sense of whether we find a healing quality within them.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Jennifer. It might also be some curiosity of the cat’s heart EM field. Apparently every living thing with a heart generates its own electritro-magnetic(EM) field. But Sandra could be right that it is the aura or other subtler fields.

    • Hi Sandra. This is indeed an interesting topic. I must confess at the onset that I haven’t paid much attention to the meaning that the images in my life have. This might be the way many people with severe intellectual disabilities and perhaps the public at large relate to the images around them.

      I have in recent years made an attempt a fairly successful one to eliminate the violent image that fills our airways from my life. I find that the less tv I watch the better the results.

      One thing that I thought of from the beginning of reading this article is that in the very early Christian movement the church Fathers considered how and what images the people saw made a big impact. So much so that for perhaps the first nine or so centuries the crucifixion was only displayed on Good Friday. Even paintings of the station of the cross deliberately omitted the crucifixion. But retained all other stations of Jesus passion and resurrection.

      Well I do like the desert and the outdoors as you may already have noticed. I also like the ocean and I love trees as well. Too many of the Creator’s fill me with wonder but it is in natural settings that I find the most peace and renewal.

      • Hi Gary,

        I with you on reducing / eliminating t.v. time. I haven’t had a t.v. for more than 5 years. I rarely go to movies, but, when I do, I don’t hesitate to walk out of a movie that is overly violent. Even a movie like Avatar that received so much acclaim seemed to me in one sense a celebration of violence.

        That’s a very thought-provoking comment about the crucifixion. I wonder what the intention was. It’s an image that evokes aversion rather than inspiration in some.

        I too like natural settings, as well as having those types of images around me.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        • I haven’t watched much tv. I don’t even own or want to own a tv. If I need to see a documentary or or other videos I can either rent a movie play it on my laptop or I can watch something on Youtube or other video sources on the net.

          As for the calcification I think it works kinda like this. While St. Paul and other aposltes knew Jesus was Crucified and it is a cornerstone of the Christian faith. The early church Fathers appaently were very much aware of how images effect people so they would fill their churches with images of living saints and a renewed world. But because the crucifixion was so important for the the reality of faith they would only display icons of it on Good Friday. I understand that this is still the case in the various Eastern Churches. But the west around 1000 CE started displaying crucifixes in churches and around 800 CE after Charlemagne hijacked the church to further his conquests we started to become very violent and destructive of others. I think this shows the wisdom of the early Church Fathers in the regards to images.

          • Thanks for adding more of the history of the image of the cruxification. It’s interesting to see how Christianity has changes. That’s why it’s always so important to look for what’s true. Thank you, Gary.

  5. One image that really has a huge positive effect on me is the one of tropical islands. I feel love, warmth, serenity, peace and joy at being able to slow down.

  6. Hi,

    I appreciate this one in particular because I live on a tropical island and I find it to be very healing. However, the forces of nature are especially strong and visible where I am so it can sometimes be more dynamic than warm or peaceful. In those moments, I need the image of the sunny, tropical beach!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite image.

  7. There is something about whales that absolutely captivates me. Each time I come to Hawaii whale watching trips are essential. I have had the awesome experience of sitting on a beach on Maui and seeing a pod of half a dozen whales frolicking just off shore for a full 30 minutes.

    They are magical and magnificent mammals. I envy you, Sandra, for living among them.

  8. I did not know that at all about cats. Fascinating. Too cool. I will have to consciously tune into each one see what I feel. I know they are healing and calming.

    You bring up a good point about consciously surrounding ourselves with images. I think that also extends to colors and textures and just the energy something exudes for you individually. I love the colors from the fall palette and greens and browns. Similarly, I find about any nature image or scene comforting.

    • Bob,
      I feel exactly as you do. Whenever I see a whale or dolphin, my heart sings. Everything else fades away for awhile. I go to sit on my special lava rock for a break around 5 pm on most days. I saw whales last week 4 or 5 times. I’m glad they bring so much joy to you too.

    • Debbie,

      Our three cats have such different personalities! Yet they do have many of the qualities mentioned above in common. I love them to bits.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts about colors, textures, and energy too. So much affects us unconsciously. We may never know if we don’t tune in consciously to find out.

      I also love nature scenes as you can tell from my choice of blog headers. 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts.

  9. I agree. Images are powerful, and I find myself attracted to different ones at different times in my life. For years, my most powerful image was a wolf. My cabin is full of photos of wolves. I like their intelligence, their family loyalty, and their playfulness. I read that wolves symbolize teachers, so I guess that is apt since I love teaching.

    The dragonfly as my profile picture is a different image. I was drawn to that because dragonflies symbolize seeing through illusion, something I’m working on in my own life. Besides, I just like the picture!

    You have definitely got me thinking about images now. I’m going to consider what other images speak to me. Like rainbows. I always feel the power of hope and promise when I see one. Let’s see, what else….

    • Hi Galen,

      That’s a good point about how our attraction to specific images will change over the years. I love the symbolism of dragonflies in particular! If we could all see through illusion, the world would be quite the different place.

      I see rainbows frequently even when half the sky is sunny. They always make a smile light up. It’s amazing how some images have almost a universal power.

      I enjoyed getting to know you more through your chosen images.

  10. Lovely Sandra,

    Your writing continues to inspire me with every post. Gratitude to you.

    I love cats as well. I had two of my own who have gone ahead of me to other realms. 🙂 My hubs has allergies to pet fur, but I’m okay with that as I’m with these felines in spirit!

    I love that you explained the how images move you, Sandra. Oh my, I love, love, love the oceanic environment, too. Mammals of the sea move me in a way I can’t even describe in words. When I see the rare occurrence of dolphins swimming in pods near the coastline where I live, I sometimes am so moved I can’t help but to shed some tears. (I know, I’m such a softie!) 😉

    Thank you for providing me, yet again, with points to ponder. As you’ve already found, I spring boarded from your site to write my own post based on your encouragement. Thanks for visiting my site and sharing your thoughts, Sandra.

    Here’s to blogging energy transfer! Keep smiling and keep up the great work here. Wishing you a peaceful day and a balanced heart.

    • Hi Jane,

      I love the way we start to ping back and forth on topics in the blogosphere. There so much inspiration and creativity in our world. I found your article and chosen images especially personal and powerful. The close up of the jaguar face is wonderfully intense. Unlike you, I’m a bit backward when it comes to working with the creative and intuitive side of my brain, so I’m looking forward to accessing it more.

      I’ve seen so many whales in the past few weeks. Like you, they always make my heart sing! Why do they move us so? I really don’t know but just simply try to be there with it.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts and so much for spring boarding off this article into a special one of your own.

  11. Hi Sandra. I just found my way over hear via Lori at Jane Be Nimble. I love this post, and it tickles me because I just finished drafting a post about using our senses to lead us back to the joy in life.

    I love these images and your beautiful words about them. And I too didn’t know that about cats. I don’t have a cat–I’m an obsessive dog mom :), but I plan to have one or two in the future and now I’m even more keen to add them to my fur-family.

    I have found that focusing on the simple image of Ducky, my Springer spaniel, sleeping can soothe me more than almost anything. And I can become utterly lost in the intricacies of a dog’s paw.

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder to explore the images that feed my soul.

    🙂 Ande

    • Hello Ande and welcome,

      That sounds like a post that I will want to read right away! It brings me joy just to know that an image of Ducky sleepy can soothe you so profoundly. The connections we have with animals are amazing indeed. In my view, it’s an achievement to “become utterly lost in the intricacies of a dog’s paw” in this day and age when most of us are consumed by thinking too much.

      I enjoyed reading your thoughts on images and look forward to connecting with you more. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. All the best to you.

  12. I agree whole-heartedly, images speak to us powerfully in many ways. I especially like what you wrote that images are a tool for healing and personal development. For me the subject matter is important, but equally important is the color, mood, complexity and style.

    ps: Sandra, I love what you’ve been doing with your header image and blog layout :~)

    • Sue,

      You have such a smart sense of these image qualities: color, mood, complexity and style. I am a big fan of inspired type! I know I will learn so much from you just observing your new creations.

      I love playing with my blog and its layout. I’m not finished, just trying out different styles so we’ll see what we land. I think I prefer greens and browns, but I haven’t found the right image for a header yet in those shades. Time will tell. Thanks for the feedback.

  13. > resourceful, flexible, adaptable, agile, fearless, mysterious, confident, self-assured, single minded, loving yet independent
    With the way you define cats, I think I now have a new role model.

  14. What a lovely post, Sandra. One of my favorite images is that of a dark night with the moon and stars all aglow. A dark night can make one feel alone and isolated, but not when the stars are out. I liken us to the stars, seemingly small, but not at all insignificant and ever poised to be connected to others.

    • Fabulous imagery, Belinda! I’m very inspired by the meaning you draw out of the stars on a dark night. It’s the recognition of this very interconnection that can transform the world. Thanks for your comment.

  15. Hi Sandra, interesting information about cats and energy. I didn´t know that. For some reason I have always felt close to cats, maybe because of their independence. Even though I haven´t had any one of my own now for a few years.

    Talking about images I find the best ones to be those one experience live by being outdoors in the nature 🙂

    • Tom,

      Our intuition seems to bring us into contact with the images we need at times. I too bask in the beauty of nature. But since I can’t be outdoors all the time, I like to be conscious of the images in my surrounding and chose them for their positive potential.

  16. I love all the kinds of images you’ve presented examples of, Sandra. As a happy health care worker, I also really like gazing at well-done x-ray films and MRI scans. Body structures are so complex and lovely. It’s nice to alternate the mystery and majesty of the outdoors with the inner mechanics of human beings. The vistas of big trees and mountain ranges refresh me each day when I wake. I put my machine into another machine and drive to go use other machines to look inside other people’s machines – and then drive back out to the forest, the water, the mountains, birds and deer. My wheels turn on the Great Wheel.

  17. That’s really interesting, Mike. I would never have thought of x-rays and MRI scans, although looking at cells is awe-inspiring for me. So I can get my mind around it. What a great humor you have about our machine-oriented existence!

  18. The picture of the whale surfacing triggered memories of an experience while boating in Nova Scotia when a whale surfaced about 50 yards away. Images as a picture and in the wild are two different experiences. I think the visual is greatly enhanced by the other senses ( sound, smell etc.).

  19. That must have been a powerful experience, Riley! You are right, images and being in the wild are two different experiences. But we can enhance the power of an image by using our imagination to add the other senses. For example, we can visualize a deity and reciting its mantra combining both an image and sound for a potent positive effect.

    Thanks for sharing your memory.

  20. A lovely consideration Sandra. I especially love the whale. What a majestic, glorious animal. They sing to each other and speak to each other as they make their great journeys. You are saying dwell upon what is beautiful and inspiring and true and I agree totally.

  21. Whales really make my heart sing too, Christopher. Yes, that is the essential point –> when we dwell on what is beautiful, inspiring, and true that is what we bring to the world. Thanks for summing this up so wonderfully.

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