Category: conscious change

The Magic of Ireland

The Magic of Ireland

Back in September I spent ten days in Ireland, mostly on the island of Inis Mor. The pull was strong to return to the land where I felt most free, most able to be myself.

So four months later I find myself sitting in a cottage on a hill in Doolin looking at stars twinkle through the window before me while the lights of the village twinkle down the hill. Beyond that, the mighty Atlantic Ocean.

Yesterday the Cliffs of Moher called to my spirit as I hiked the muddy path perched high upon the edge. Even with the multitudes of humanoids that visit during the summer season, the power of the land and sea remains steady and enormous.

By way of recommendation of a shop owner, my friend and I traveled to Ennis and I purchased a new Irish whistle to add to my collection of Irish instruments, the intention being to purchase it on the visit and play it in various locations. I wanted to infuse the sweet sounds of it with the magic of Ireland.

Today found us on a beach during low tide. Rivulets of sea water reflecting the sky reminded me of the sea running through my veins and I felt at one with the land and ocean…perhaps more so than ever before.

The Poulnabrone Dolmen has called to me from the first time I saw photographs of it so it was on the list of places to visit. When we arrived heavy clouds were moving in and after being at the portal tomb for only a few minutes, it began to rain and sleet. Everyone left but me…and the spirits of the place.

I kept my camera out and removed the whistle from my pack and sat down. The wind made playing very difficult but I managed to produce a few sweet notes. As a played I sent love and thoughts for a peaceful rest and afterlife for those thirty-three individuals that had been laid to rest there perhaps 5000 years ago.

From my heart I played and then stopped, closed my eyes and dropped into stillness. The rain stopped. The clouds parted and within minutes the only clouds in the sky overhead were feathery wisps that seemed to decorate the top stone.

Tonight at a local pub, Irish music filled my heart and brought tears of joy. The magic of Ireland is helping rekindle the magic within me. And for that I am ever so grateful.

Patterns

Patterns

SimoneLipscomb copyWe find magnificent patterns in nature…sand ripples, turtle shells, leaf structure, rock formations…an endless list. There are the patterns of global wind and ocean currents, weather, movement of stars through the vast, velvet sky as well as river’s pathways and crystalline formations. Amazing, magnificent patterns abound and give us structure, things on which we can depend.

SimoneLipscomb (10)With one of the last iPhone updates, my phone automatically gives me estimated time of travel to various locations based on patterns in my life. It’s a little freaky that my phone can guess my travel based on regular moments. 29 minutes to Fairhope it tells me when I start the car at 7am. Or 25 minutes to home from cycling or walking Buddy in the state park. When it doesn’t predict my destination correctly I taunt it. Ha, you are wrong! That’s not where I’m headed. It’s a bit strange to be so predictable that my phone can usually guess where I’m headed.

SimoneLipscomb (1)Sometimes patterns are wonderful…yoga, cycling, walking the dog, meditation, nourishing meals. All healthy. But what about those other less-than-healthy patterns?

On my way to yoga this morning I was enjoying the beautiful back-country roads and contemplating stuff….you know stuff. I saw how behaviors and choices in our lives become habits or patterns. Chemical grooves are literally worn into our brains like the grooves on vinyl albums. Inner patterns can be beautiful or can be self-destructive.

SimoneLipscomb (9)The vision came of standing in the eye of a cyclone and experiencing the calm at the very center of life. Fears swirl around inviting me to grab hold and collapse into that old way of being. The familiar, the practiced behaviors can entice us so temptingly but the moment we step out of the calm center and grasp the old fear pattern, we are jerked into a chaotic cyclone. This is one example but the possibilities are truly as endless as the patterns we find in nature.

SimoneLipscomb (2)The beginning of true personal power comes with the realization that we have choice. So often we simply choose the familiar reactions, practice the same behaviors and we stay stuck in our lives. The moment we pause and listen before leaping into old, reactive behaviors of action and speech is the moment we begin to see there is no prison except the one we create for ourselves. As surely as we build our inner jail cell, we have the key to exit it at any moment and create a life without in-prisoning behaviors and actions.

SimoneLipscombWhile this certainly applies on a personal level, it also applies on a community level or global level. What are the choices we make each day that keeps us stuck or frees us? Imagine a planet where we collectively pause and reflect upon our actions…our reactions. The potential for peace and love grows with every one of us that pauses before reacting, before practicing old behaviors and patterns of speech and being.

SimoneLipscomb (3)I celebrate beautiful patterns in life….those that enhance beauty and peace, love and compassion….those that keep us in the sacred, calm center.

 

 

Crossroads….Thirty Years

Crossroads….Thirty Years

IMG_2282Thirty years ago I stepped onto a conscious path of personal development. That sounds so neat and clean. In reality, my life fell apart into an ugly, beautiful mess.

IMG_2297Thanksgiving 1985….it seems like a life-time ago when everything I knew fell apart. When I made the decision to grow into my potential everything I knew as familiar and safe fell away and I stepped off into the Void, into the Abyss. Some call it the spiritual warriors empty-handed leap into the Unknown. Whatever the label, it was scary.

IMG_2320I was 25 years old, had a 6 month old daughter who was my life, my world and the ground upon which I stood literally fell apart. It was the most difficult time of my life for I had to make the choice to grow into my potential or…not. It was terrifying. But I took the leap anyway.

IMG_2323Thirty years of hard work, pain, joy…letting go…letting go….letting go. Surrender. Every time I thought there was nothing more to surrender, something else within me would rise up that I had to release. Personal growth, clearing the personality-self, is not work for the faint of heart. Scuba diving, cave diving, traveling alone to remote places is nothing compared to facing the scary monsters within that can thwart or paralyze.

Details of the trials and challenges remain in memory but no longer haunt me. There are regrets that center around not being able to balance relationships with the intense growth taking place within and I get to practice self-forgiveness as the years unfold.

IMG_2303Once a person commits to personal growth and healing, there is no switch that can turn off what we learn. There were many, many days where I would pray to forget what I had learned so I could return to an unconscious state and just be happy….but was I really happy in ignorance? Digging deep unearthed a lot of treasures and debris.

The birth of my daughter was an awakening and she was the inspiration to dig deep and embody light and love as best I could, even if it meant being apart from her….the most difficult experience of my life repeated many times as we parted when she was with her father.

This Thanksgiving marked thirty years of stepping onto a conscious path and it found me with her, at her home in Michigan with her husband and dog child. I cannot think of a more profound place to mark this time than with her, my beautiful daughter.

IMG_2333I walked out into 23 degree pre-sunrise temperatures on the frosty grass and enjoyed the beauty of stillness and color. The pond was icy and reflected the colorful clouds creating a lovely meditation. The railroad tracks beckoned me so I walked up the hill to the crossing and watched deer cross the tracks toward the sunrise.

IMG_2330In the quiet beauty of the day, I saw myself at a crossroads. Every direction is filled with beauty and potential. The journey continues with every step as I gather the wisdom cultivated along the way….trust life, surrender thoughts and behaviors that keep love from flourishing, keep an open heart, forgive myself and others constantly, be fearless in expressing the creative impulses within, celebrate beauty.

 

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

The grooves of brain coral remind me of the chemical grooves worn into our brains by the stories we repeat to ourselves, the stories we re-live over and over again.
The grooves of brain coral remind me of the chemical grooves worn into our brains by the stories we repeat to ourselves, the stories we re-live over and over again.

The brain is an amazing organ upon which we depend for survival. It’s like the movie director of the body giving directions that enable us to move, breathe, think…the list seems endless. Chemicals in the brain transmit thoughts and create neural grooves, like grooves in a record album, and the more we practice the thoughts associated with a particular groove, the deeper it becomes.

Take the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It’s a small part of the brain that acts like a filter between the conscious and subconscious mind. It takes instructions from the conscious mind and passes them along to the unconscious mind. And here’s the amazing part: It cannot distinguish between real and synthetic reality. It believes whatever message you give it.

By repeating the same, old stories to ourselves, we stay stuck in the traumatic event, unable to create a better life.
By repeating the same, old stories to ourselves, we stay stuck in the traumatic event, unable to create a better life.

For instance, if you had a bad experience in your past that was very traumatic and created a deep scar on your life, you focus on the event and think about it for years creating messages you continue to send to your subconscious mind. If your spouse was unfaithful and your relationship dissolved and you lost everything, this negative experience replays over and over in your mind. When you have other relationships, your conscious mind tells your subconscious mind the story associated with your relationship experience. If you haven’t healed those old messages, then your mind creates scenarios where you believe your current partner is doing the same thing as the original partner who was unfaithful. You begin to act as if it’s happening again, your behavior becomes suspicious, you withdraw and the current spouse is clueless as to why you are angry, upset and blaming for no reason. The end result? Your relationship ends and your storyline is reinforced.

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BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill…I documented this for a year while I lived in North Carolina. It took me a very long time to free myself from this trauma.

Or perhaps you have an experience of an environmental disaster and witness, first-hand, the death, destruction and devastation caused by such an event. Your mind creates a negative experience and communicates daily messages through your RAS in your brain. The result? Depression, anxiety, frustration, anger and the message of gloom and doom.

We can apply this to each of our lives in many situations. What is the message we are telling ourselves? What are we creating by telling ourselves the same stories? Without judgment we can look at our self-talk and the thoughts we dwell on and begin to unravel the tales we tell ourselves, the stories that can make us leave life, give up hope and withdraw into our own self-created hell.

We chain ourselves to past trauma when we continue to tell ourselves the same story.
We chain ourselves to past trauma when we continue to tell ourselves the same story.

Quite simply put, whatever we think about, picture in our minds, repeatedly on a daily basis and put emotional energy into is what we experience. We might have been victims of a tragic event or illness, but how we choose to move forward from those events becomes vital to the quality of our lives and the possibility of a bright future.

When we live stuck in the past, reality is overshadowed by the event that happened in the past. The tragic event becomes bigger than real life.
When we live stuck in the past, reality is overshadowed by the event that happened in the past. The tragic event becomes bigger than real life.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote of the evolution of consciousness in three levels described as the Camel, Lion and Child. The camel is sleepy, self-satisfied and dull and lives on delusion, thinking he’s everything, the ultimate but is so concerned with other’s opinions that has hardly any energy of his own.

Coming from the Camel is the Lion. Nietzsche wrote that once we realize we’ve been missing life, we begin to say ‘no’ to the demands of others and we don’t allow ourselves to be used. We find ourselves alone, by choice, proud and roaring in our truth. But he reminds us that this isn’t the end.

SimoneLipscomb (15)The Child emerges from the Lion as innocent and true to his or her own being. Moving from the depression and sleepy state of the Camel to the rebellious Lion, the Child finally emerges as spontaneous and centered, whole.

_TSL3955When we dare to become aware of the stories we tell ourselves, we can become full expressions of our most authentic selves. There’s no need to repeat the same stories of our wounded past or expect that those who love us will repeat the same behaviors that created the wounds. And on a macrocosmic level, if we dare to stop repeating the same stories and envision a planet of health, peace and love…well, anything is possible. It’s time to become aware of the stories we tell ourselves….and create new ones.

Leaping Off the Cliff

Leaping Off the Cliff

SimoneLipscombToday I wrote a friend, “I feel a nudge to fly off the cliff….my toes are hanging over the edge and I’m looking back…looking down at a faraway salt water Ocean realm….and a blue sky in front of me….and so I stand…trembling a little…excited….and grateful.”

SimoneLipscomb (2)It feels as if I’m at a huge turning point in my life that seems to have appeared suddenly but in truth it has been in process for decades. It began when I made a decision to clear out anything keeping me from doing whatever my ‘mission’ was. Sounds funny now but as a 25 year old, it was serious stuff.

SimoneLipscombLittle did I know my journey would take me through really rough times. The more I resisted inner change, the harder it became. There came a point where everything fell apart. I lost basically everything. It was a true dark time in my life. But it was a time where I was able to clear out inner debris as well. I released fears and other crippling emotions as I worked on healing. As the darkness cleared, light was exposed.

SimoneLipscomb (21)The more I surrendered to my path, the clearer the direction became. Looking back I can see those turning points and the narrowing of direction clearly but at the time it was pretty intense. Support came for my work in many forms. My first book was published by an indie company. Making ten percent in royalties on my first book, after all the work, prompted me to publish my next two books. Another book co-authored was picked up by another indie house in Kentucky. Another book was co-authored and done in E-format. That may sound exciting and it is satisfying, but being a writer and photographer has yet to create a supportive income. But thankfully the support has come in other forms as I continue to surrender to the direction of my heart.

SimoneLipscombRecently another narrowing of focus and intention occurred through a series of events that I wrote about in an earlier blog. Now that I’m on the other side of the decision-making process it’s a bit scary. Other financial commitments arise as I further the work of my heart….marine education, volunteer researcher, underwater photography at a more professional level, more writing and publishing of books on marine animals. I went away for a week and came home with a list of things that will be the next steps in my life. And amazingly, support has begun to arrive for this next phase of my work. I feel grateful for the direction and the support.

SimoneLipscomb (2)I lit my candles this morning, after a unsettled night of wrestling fear and anxiety about the upcoming opportunities and projects. I asked to be given a specific sign….”Show me if I am going in the right direction.” Late this afternoon I had two signs happen within minutes of each other. Why do I need signs? Because I dream big at times and wonder if I’m sane. And yes…that’s a joke but I want to be headed in the direction that is true to my path of service. So yes, I asked for confirmation that the direction was correct. It’s like, “Yes I know I had all of those amazing events happen a couple weeks ago but was it real? Can I trust that I correctly interpreted the experiences? Can life be that amazing?”

SimoneLipscomb (24)Yes. It can be. And yes, I’m taking the leap. I haven’t worked this hard on my life’s path to suddenly give up because a bit of fear arose. I’m standing on that cliff. I’m looking around and down. I lift my arms and realize they are wings. A warm breeze rushes past. I rise and glide over the ocean. The direction is clear. It’s a fine day for flying.

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There have been so many people that have been part of the warm breeze that lifts me up.  The depth of support grows and adds strength to the wind. To each of you, I am deeply grateful.

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