Category: conscious change

Reflections

Reflections

SimoneLipscomb (22)I sit drinking hot tea while listening to bowhead whale song. It touches that place in me where wildness resides, where instinctual wisdom is present. Deep, deep in the inner waters that remain still, untouched by external chaos, global destruction, and consistent attempts by humanoids to pave over anything if it creates profit, I find peace.

This week has been profoundly healing, immensely wonderful. It has been a time of coming home to myself and refocusing my life’s work. And it all came about because I followed my intuition and opened my heart to doors that are open and waiting for me to walk through.

SimoneLipscomb (21)The 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach gave me a nudge to make my yearly pilgrimage to visit manatees in south central Florida. Since I’d already be two hours in that direction I decided to go. But this time rather than arrange everything in advance, I allowed the entire trip to be fluid.

In the interim of trip planning and the festival, our area of Magnolia River had a manatee rescue by Sea World so I decided to ask Sea World if I could visit our gal while she is in rehab. Wouldn’t it be neat to see her and be able to report back to our community?

SimoneLipscomb (86)All plans remained open. I hadn’t received a response from Sea World but decided to leave a day early anyway and simply head south. When I weighed the two departure dates it was obvious which day would be best. And it made all the difference.

As I neared Crystal River a huge rainbow appeared. The arch was steep, a circle of rainbow light over my left shoulder. I stopped at a traffic signal and glanced at the name of the street: Follow Your Dream Parkway. At that point I knew the trip took a deep dive to other levels of experience–the realm where spirit resides.

SimoneLipscomb (97)I signed up for the early boat trip on the way down and was one of only four people on the trip. A true rarity in Crystal River during peak manatee  season. Also on the trip was a marine biologist from Australia. As we talked it felt as if we knew each other and were picking up where we left off at some other time and place. He is pursuing a PhD in Marine Education so our conversation was immediately on track to expanding ideas and sharing concern and grief over the status of our Ocean.

SimoneLipscomb (74)While the water was murky when we arrived at the site, it was for a good reason. Manatees were so thick in Three Sister’s Springs I refused to enter. They were stacked on top of each other sleeping. It’s illegal to swim over a sleeping manatee so the only option was to quietly exit without entering the main area of the springs. Well…my only option. It’s more important to allow them rest and quiet than for me to get a photograph. When I enter their realm it is with a sense of respect and awe….reverence. Their world is a cathedral, a holy place. I listen to their whistles and squeaks as holy choruses that strike deep chords of harmony within my soul.

SimoneLipscomb (8)The following day Rich, the marine biologist, and his wife Deb and their beautiful two year old daughter and I hired a guide in Homosassa to take us out on the water. While the water is greener there, the experience of absolute quiet with no other humans in the area was amazing. We all share a deep respect for wild animals and simply laid still in the water, away from each other, and allowed any curious animal a safe, respectful encounter with us.

SimoneLipscomb (2)Immediately after entering the water I had a large animal swim under me and start rolling around on the bottom. With each roll he would stop and glance at me and pause while I took video and still photographs. I could feel ripples of love and light flowing out from my heart as I remained motionless, an observer in awe.

SimoneLipscomb (14)Two juveniles played around me, coming to my camera housing and butting noses on it. They would get hungry or miss mama and would squeak and swim off to find her. I remained floating where I was and in a few minutes they would return. With the limited visibility, it was as if a phantom gradually appeared from the green depths and slowly changed from verdant algae tint to gray as it approached.

SimoneLipscomb (26)After a couple hours of floating and relaxing in the watery bliss, I grew cold. As I was thinking of heading back to the boat a very large mother manatee swam up behind me and rested her head on my left shoulder. Behind her, a juvenile rested her head on mama’s back. I glanced back and couldn’t believe the image I saw. Tears of wonder and joy flow even now as I reflect on this encounter. In stillness I laid on the water’s surface and marveled at the love I felt, prompted by this rare encounter…one of the most sacred moments in my life.

SimoneLipscomb (18)On this trip I experienced large manatees swimming up to me and laying beside me, snuggling for lack of a better word. We floated side-by-side in stillness. I dared not move as I didn’t want to kick or in any way disturb them. So in stillness, in depths of silence, I was one with animals that weighed 1000 pounds more than me. There was no separation of spirit, of love. They taught me to go deeper, deeper into myself to find that place of stillness and quiet where perfect peace abides.

SimoneLipscomb (94)I struggle about writing and sharing these experiences as I don’t want to suggest that everyone has experiences such as this. I don’t want to create even more masses of humanity descending upon these endangered animals. But for those who are quiet and still and are passive observers of these magnificent animals…they can change your consciousness, alter your perception, bring out the best that resides within you. But it only comes on their terms. You must act as a manatee….move slowly, float calmly…observe life gently…open your heart.

Rich and I were discussing manatee behaviors after our trip to Homosassa. He mentioned that as soon as he wanted to ‘manipulate’ the encounter…by wanting the light to be this way or the animal to be in a certain place….the animals that had been with him left. He didn’t move but his thoughts changed. Surrender to the encounter, let go of what ‘you’ want and magic happens. Very keen observation on his part. And how true for life.

SimoneLipscomb (25)Since we cannot stay underwater forever, the real benefit of experiences such as these is how they create lasting change within us. After years of observing people observing manatees I am more convinced than ever before that these animals are incredibly sensitive to not only human behavior, but human thoughts and emotions as well.

Yesterday I observed two permitted photographers — #1 and #12 (professional photographers apply for a permit through USFW) harass a mother and juvenile in the springs. The mother moved three times to try and find a place to sleep and rest with her calf and the photographers followed and continued their pushy behaviors. They may have images of manatees but they will never understand the spirit of these beautiful animals, never grasp their own arrogant and aggressive behaviors as being the exact opposite of how these creatures live and move and have their being in the water.

Photograph by Richard Wylie...THANK YOU!!
Photograph of me with a juvenile manatee…. by Richard Wylie…THANK YOU!!

I take away from these days with manatees a simple yet profound realization: Open heart, open doors. As I keep my heart open, the open doors will be made known. I will feel my way to them through an open heart.

Everything is getting clear on the path before me and with gratitude for the teachings they offered, I wish my manatee friends safe journeys through the waterways of life.

SimoneLipscomb (20)As I reflect on the week I remember the rainbow arching over my left shoulder, Follow Your Dream Parkway and the mother manatee and juvenile that rested on my left shoulder. The meaning isn’t lost on me. The visceral connection of the teaching is working deep within me. I remember the mother taking my right hand off of the camera housing with her flipper and holding my hand within her flippers and then directing it to her heart.  How can I not experience long-lasting and powerful change after this?

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SimoneLipscomb (11)And yes…Sea World called and I got to visit Magnolia in her med pool. She is recovering nicely and being treated for deep propeller wounds along with other manatees who are injured. The rescue and rehab program at Sea World is simply amazing. Simply. Amazing!

 

 

Dancing in the Fire…Part 2

Dancing in the Fire…Part 2

 

Collage/Self-portrait by Simone Lipscomb
Collage…Self-portrait by Simone Lipscomb

A couple days ago the idea of self-transformation, dance, and opening the heart prompted me to write a post. Evidently the idea is still growing in my consciousness.

This morning brought a beautiful dream. In it my mentor from England was directing a play and I was playing the role of a young queen dressed in a lovely, lace gown. My role in the play was two-fold. First, I shared two beautiful floral arrangements with the audience and secondly, I performed a transformative dance. While there was a male partner in the dream, he was simply there as an ‘unknown’ support as I danced.

The setting was outdoors and surrounded by the green of nature, I allowed my heart to direct the dance. I leaned backwards and felt my heart opening to heaven and felt complete oneness with nature, Spirit…with who I am. This dance…this dream…was a dance of surrender and opening.

Hours later, after a day of contemplation, cycling and creative fun, I still feel the power of the dream and the surrender of allowing love to move through my heart in sacred dance. May each moment be a beautiful dance of love and may the fire of transformation burn brightly for us all.

 

 

 

Artist of the Spirit

Artist of the Spirit

simonelipscombA long time ago I had a teacher ask me to write my personal myth. I wrote about what I did and what my dreams were but knew that didn’t fulfill the assignment. I didn’t quite understand the idea.

Over the years I’ve come to grasp the concept a little better. Each of us has a story. We create our story with awareness or without awareness. With awareness we weave our story with truth and love and without awareness we create a personal myth based on lies.

simonelipscomb (4)The personal myth or story is the internal dialogue we repeat over and over in our minds. The chatter, the busy-talk, the mantra on permanent replay that is the white noise of our lives. The problem with the story is that most of the time it is a distortion. Until we can clearly listen, it quite literally is the old trick of putting short micro-second clips or subliminal messages in movies that create within viewers the urge to buy popcorn and soda at movie theaters. That’s illegal these days. But clearly nobody has outlawed the story we tell ourselves about our own lives. Too bad.

Since we don’t have advocates for truth-busting our internal dialogues, how can we excise the pervasive messages that keep us stuck? It takes practice to tune in to the internal narrator that bombards us with propaganda. You might have heard your internal storyteller whispering your story in the first person.

simonelipscomb (6)“I can’t do this.” “I’m not strong enough.” “Why do I think people will buy my books or photographs?” “There’s nobody out there for me.” “Nobody cares about the planet.” “Corporations rule the world so why should I bother? My voice is too small.” “I don’t need his or her help.”

The list my internal storyteller (tyrant) tells me is endless and on constant replay. Yet that voice is so soft I must be very diligent in listening. Otherwise, the dialogue becomes habitual and my life yields a perfect mirror of the near-silent lies.

simonelipscomb (7)I’ve been able to trace my core myth to my toddler years. One specific experience remains vivid because it became such a family story. I was riding my tricycle under my grandparents carport and came to the end of the concrete. My uncle asked if I needed help turning my trike. I stopped, stood up and replied, “Nope,” as I grabbed the metal bar and seat, lifted it and turned it around and continued peddling.

In today’s meditation I reflected back on that moment and how my basic myth is ‘I don’t need anyone.’ I saw my core personal myth is based on this huge lie. As the realization grew, patterns of behavior became evident and I saw how I have created my life on that foundational belief.

The crazy part of this story is there is nothing I want more than a good partnership, a true love. What I desire most will never come to be until I change my story, alter the internal dialogue that is the foundation of what I believe about my life.

It takes courage to listen and become aware of our story. The courage part is necessary because we will discover darkness woven into what we believe about ourselves. And others. We all can fall prey to the inner tyrant–that ranting storyteller who weaves very negative tales.

simonelipscomb (3)So how do we create a story that is true? First, we simply listen. Carefully and without judgement, listen to what is repeating in our minds. And most importantly, if the internal voice goes against us, puts us down or reinforces those negative beliefs we have about ourselves, then stop believing what it’s saying. “Truth survives skepticism but lies don’t.”*

I’m weary of the inner tyrant narrating my story. I see glimpses of the truth as I open my heart and mind. It’s not easy but freedom comes when we create a personal myth based on love rather than lies.  All of us have the capacity to be an artist of the spirit.

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*Several years ago I read the Don Miguel Ruiz book, The Voice of Knowledge. I was recently guided to re-read it. For a deeper exploration into uncovering personal myth I suggest reading his book. 

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I Stopped Trying to Save the World Today

I Stopped Trying to Save the World Today

simonelipscomb.com (10)Solstice. Sunrise. Sunset. Moon. Stars. Inky blackness in a space vacuum pierced by pinpoints of light.

simonelipscomb.com (2)Cosmic glue. Love. Source. Spirit. Animation of matter through particles of light.

simonelipscomb.com (14)Heart and mind open, light sparkles through eyes and aura.

simonelipscomb.com (7)Light, mist of Love manifested in physical. Light and love, same expression of the Mystery, the Unnamable.

simonelipscomb.com (4)Defining It lessens It and contorts It into our image.

simonelipscomb.com (11)Light came from Dreamland with me this day–a flower opening, a single ray of light from the sun…smile of a friend after a belly laugh slurped from the same straw.

simonelipscomb.com (15)Today I stopped trying to save the world. Now there is only laughter and beauty. Outrageous laughter. Delicious beauty.

simonelipscomb.comStopped pushing, began allowing. Profound peace is at home within me. And now….everything is possible.

A Wild Heart Always Has Hope

A Wild Heart Always Has Hope

SimoneLipscomb (15)Stanley Kubrick awakened me this morning in his attempt to snuggle closer. My orange tabby and his sisters missed me during my two week absence as I recharged and renewed my life in my spiritual home, Bonaire.

Unable to return to the land of dreams, I felt a shell forming around me…the one that I unconsciously assemble when away from the wilds of the magic of the desert island that touches me like no other place. When I make my yearly pilgrimage I feel it immediately cast off as soon as I walk down the stairs from the plane to the ground in the high, dry winds. Once the ground of Bonaire is underfoot I enter a deep place within myself.

SimoneLipscomb (1)On the final dive of the visit home, I turned to face the deep, blue water past the reef. My hands folded in a prayer position, I thanked the community of life there that welcomes me and nurtures me so profoundly. As I gently flipped my fin to turn back toward shore, I noticed a smallish green turtle slowly and effortlessly swimming in across my path. I stopped and watched and started laughing with joy. How perfect! For many years my logo has been a sea turtle and so the many, many teachings received and lessons learned from these two weeks were given the proverbial icing on the cake.

SimoneLipscomb (6)As I surfaced I turned and look back over the Ocean toward the mountains at the north end of the island. The setting sun was golden as it sparkled on the water’s surface. Suddenly I burst into joy-enduced laughter that was in no hurry to subside.

Another desert visit on Friday and then it was Saturday, time to leave. This is no easy task for me…aside from repacking dive gear, photography gear, computer and clothes. Uprooting myself from this sacred place is painful, so deep is the connection I feel to it.

SimoneLipscomb (18)As I sat next to the Ocean in the pre-dawn moments, the full moon hung amidst puffy clouds in the lightening sky. The rising sun’s light began to reflect onto the cloud which in turn reflected on the Ocean’s surface and then to me. It felt like the resplendent light of the Universe was touching me to ease the pain of leaving.

The pull of the moon on the sea has the same pull on me, my own inner tides. Turquoise and indigo saltwater bliss were inches from my toes and once again I was conscious of the Oneness of life.

Little crabs, at home in their crab kingdom, creeped closer and closer to my still toes. Wind whipped through my long mermaid hair. Salt air filled my lungs with each deep breath I took and with the exhalation feelings were given space to be…joy, sadness, grief, gratitude.

The bells of Her voice spoke through the tinkling coral pieces washing in the surf, in the wind whispering through cactus needles and by osmosis as I spent over 31 hours beneath the surface during my time there. Be fluid, be movable. Be open to the tides of your life. Live in awareness and awake to the energies of the planet. Be an ally to all life of the planet. 

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The downy breast of the tiny dove cradles her heart thats warmth touches mine. The iguana’s reptile heart, encased in rough scales on leathery skin, beats a rhythm I feel. The small but strong hearts of tiny crabs skittering along the shore’s edge, give yet another cadence. Each part of life pulses to its own, unique beat yet exists in harmony with all other life. We are all connected by one beating, planetary heart.

My favorite experience of the two week journey happened on a solo dive:

SimoneLipscomb (4)While diving at the Salt Pier I floated weightless among a huge school of small-mouth grunts. Their deep gold stripes and fins were brilliant against the deeper blue water beyond the pilings. Hovering horizontal, unmoving except how the Ocean chose to move us, the fish and I became one life, connected by water. Their large black eyes watched me, unconcerned. I was no threat, only part of the whole, in sync with them, in harmony. Almost an hour spent floating, gently drifting with the ever-so-slight undulations of the sea, surrendered, at peace. Part of the whole. Connected.

A friend recently reminded me that a wild heart always has hope. This is my life’s song:

SimoneLipscomb (1)Into the blue, into the blue

Deeper and deeper I drop.

Gliding down to the briny deep,

The spiral continues in my journey of love, 

Of compassion…of hope.

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