Category: conscious change

This is the Wound

This is the Wound

simonelipscomb (8)The  wound we all carry is that we feel separated from the cosmos.” This was Otto Rank’s conclusion.

Thomas Berry believed that it would take leaders with ‘shamanic personalities’–people that could bring about a deeper sense of the sacred–to heal this wound. There is no one career path that produces these leaders. They come from all walks of life and guide us to reconnect with Earth and the Cosmos in a sacred manner.

simonelipscombBack to the instinctual, back to feeling our hearts beat in unison with the Earth, with each other. Back to an understanding that all life is worthy of compassion, love, attention….care. People called to do this work often carry a wound  but often it is the wound of the larger community.

Out of the concrete and glass and artificial light into the sunlight and dirt and clear water reflecting the beauty of creation. Away from plastic boxes with fingers glued to keyboards into the dirt with fingers warm from soil and microbes enlivening our living planet.

simonelipscomb (1)Each of us has the capacity to transform our own lives and our planet by living the example. Conscious effort every day, every hour. Where does water from the faucet originate? What makes electricity that powers my computer  and air conditioner…coal, solar, wind, oil? Where does my garbage go? Where do recyclables go? Conscious connection, mindful connection of how our needs are met.

Thomas Berry wrote and taught about the ‘grand liturgy of the universe.’ He suggested the universe itself is a ritual and called us to participate in it. Be aware…be present with this beautiful functioning of life.

Black Elk said, “The human heart is a sanctuary at the center of which there is a little space, wherein the Great Spirit dwells, and this is the Eye of the Great Spirit.” Berry said that at the center of every heart lies the center of the universe. So our journey begins in our own heart where we find the Eye of the Great Spirit. When we come from this place of intention, all things are possible.

simonelipscomb (4)How did we get to this disconnect? Berry said we became enchanted with ourselves and our ability to control the functions of the planet. He said, “We have lost our capacity for communication with the natural world in its inner life, its spirit mode. We have become a death-dealing presence.”

The wound….the wound that each of us carries is the disconnect we have from the planet. The solution? Mindfulness. Conscious awareness. Knowing things like if the plankton in the ocean died most living beings on our planet would die. Knowing that the multitude of soil bacteria enable food to be produced and without them, all life would quickly die-off do to starvation. Knowing that we don’t have all the answers and that fascination with our ability to manipulate and control the environment will certainly lead to our downfall unless we wake up.

800_0234“The natural world itself is the primary economic reality, the primary educator, the primary governance, the primary healer, the primary presence of the sacred, the primary moral value. We finally realize that we are earthlings, that we are born our of the earth, that we have no future except within the larger Earth community.” When we understand what Berry wrote, we will begin to understand the wound and how to heal it.

Finding Our Voice

Finding Our Voice

simonelipscomb (13)In her book, When Women Were Birds, Terry Tempest Williams writes about what it means to pair voice with inner truth. She shares two examples that reminds us to keep speaking our truth, even when people refuse to hear it.

She was at a public hearing speaking up for Utah wilderness lands that were being put on the chopping block by politicos. As she stood to speak Congressman Jim Hansen began coughing, yawning, shuffling papers and in general trying to distract her and show he wasn’t listening. She stopped speaking and asked him if there was anything she could say that might change his negative perspective on wilderness. His reply? “I’m sorry, Ms. Williams, there is something about your voice I cannot hear.”


It wasn’t the microphone he was referring to; it was a metaphor of the politicians, elected to hear comments from citizens– more than 70% of whom wanted more wilderness, not less–to show their displeasure in having to listen. Their mind was already made up without consulting the will of the people.

In another instance Senator Larry Craig stood up during the conservation delegation’s testimony and said, “This one is your Senator Hatfield,” and walked out of the hearing. Senator Hatfield then read a book during the entire testimony before Congress.

The result of the senator’s behavior fueled the determination of those speaking on behalf of wilderness. They hurriedly got writers and poets to submit a piece of their work on wilderness, had a graphic designer work for free to design a book and produced Testimony, which was eventually read aloud by various senators during a filibuster about the wilderness areas that were proposed to be sold. The vote that was eventually taken upheld the law that set them aside. The vote favored the protected the wilderness areas.

May our beautiful water planet be blessed. May we be good stewards of our water resources.

About a year ago I signed up for a one hour telephone call where I could listen to a live interview with Terry. I greatly respect her writing and work as a voice for all things wild and was excited to be able to hear the conversation. I called a couple minutes early and listened to silence and then a voice came on the line, “Hello? Hello? Is anybody there?”

I didn’t say anything. Not wanting to connect with anyone really because I didn’t know what to say, I remained silent. The voice would occasionally say, “Is anybody there?” This went on for over five minutes as we waited for the interview to begin. Finally another voice came on line, the moderator. She began talking…talking to Terry who was the one asking if anyone was there. I could have been having a meaningful conversation with a woman I greatly respect and I chose to remain silent. Several minutes of valuable time with a mentor was lost.

morningglory (1)It was a valuable lesson. I could have asked her about her work. How do you stay inspired when facing such apathy? Where do you find the will to keep working when the message goes unheard? I could have learned from this woman of power. Instead, I chose silence.

Random, wandering horse in desert. Bonaire, N.A.

Is there something that needs your voice? A mountain? A river? Sea turtles? Manatees? Black-foot ferrets? Your heart?

Speaking our truth has never been more important. Bringing light to our planet, our communities, our homes is a practice that must be cultivated to help shift us from the darkness that we see and experience around us.

With compassion and love and gentleness let us speak from our hearts and together create something truly beautiful. It’s time to use our collective voice.



No Longer Stuck in the Muck

No Longer Stuck in the Muck

800_4930 (1)Have you ever been stuck? The kind of stuck where your axels are mired in mud and nothing will budge you. I’ve been there in a Landcruiser many years ago and let’s just say exiting a vehicle over the roll bar because your door won’t open makes you very grateful the top is off.

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Tides are extreme in Devon, England. I am familiar with feeling stuck…unmovable.

I haven’t been four-wheeling lately but there has been a definite mired-in-the-mud situation. Seems nothing would move in my life. From designing new business cards to moving along with a project I’m doing for a sea lab…literally everything was locked down and it felt as if I was four axels deep in a pit of muck. (Remember the Pit of Despair in the Princess Bride?”)

Even though I’m not one to exhibit overly-patient behavior, I allowed myself time off from forcing a fix and simply allowed those feelings of stuck-ness to be totally experienced. This went on for weeks…months. Then little movements began and the mud began to slowly wash away.

800_2025It started with being intensely physical through Pure Barre classes. I felt emotions loosen from the physical efforts and that’s always a good sign that overall movement is eminent. Then I went on a photography retreat and that really lifted my sagging spirits and once again I had hope that forward momentum was ever-so-slowly happening.

Then, after a series of communications with a person from my past, I did some deep inner searching and clarity arrived like sunrise after a hurricane. Finally.

Photo by Sherry Sander Parks
Photo by Sherry Sander Parks

It seems so simple now but when I was in it I couldn’t understand what was keeping me stuck.

Once I knew the specific behaviors I had practiced the fix was easy: Stop giving away my power and call in all of the energy I’d wasted. It was still bouncing around the universe, trying to find a home where there was none. When I set this intention, I felt immediate inner change. I felt myself filled with my own energy that I had carelessly sent forth.

The result was the most productive afternoon I’ve had in months. It felt as if I was free and rolling again. The shift is a magnificent change in my life…an opening and a most welcome change.

I am captain of my ship...once again
I am captain of my ship…once again

Freedom has finally found me and so I’m no longer stuck in the muck. I’m very grateful to be free and moving forward once again.


Please share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…anywhere you would like to share. And have a wonderful day as well.

The Moon

The Moon

simonelipscomb (1)After listening to hatchling sea turtles half-heartedly dig their way up the nest and rest, I drove home. No emergence tonight, or so I suspected. But listening to their sweet sounds was a balm to my weariness. Sitting on the beach under stars and a slight breeze made it doubly worth the drive to Gulf Shores.

I arrived home at midnight but was restless. Too many emotions, too much unsettled within my soul. Too many harsh edges.

So my cats and I migrated to the back screened porch. They took up silent vigil gazing into the darkened courtyard. A hammock swing was my perch as I sat listening to sounds of the night.

simonelipscomb (3)Soft sounds of insects created gentle, soothing music while the moon’s silver light peeked through branches and leaves of the grandmother live oak tree that hugs my home with her sturdy branches.

Most thoughts ceased. The steady gaze of the moon upon me brought a peace that was difficult to find this day. Small flashes of wisdom came as I listened as my heart–stirred to speak by the peaceful, moonlit courtyard–reminded me of things forgotten.

simone (3)I took a deep breath and with gratitude retired to a peaceful night of rest and dreams of new life filled with love and peace.

I Choose Love

I Choose Love

simonelipscombThe past week’s meditations have been about connecting with animals…wildlife and domesticated. It has been challenging. Once we determine to be aware of what is happening in our world, we can never go back and forget. I discovered this while documenting the oil spill in 2010.

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Necropsy of young dolphin whose tail had been entangled in fishing line.

Ignoring news was my way to deal with the multitude of sins humanity commits against the planet. But when the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill occurred, I felt called to action. Ignoring was no longer an option. But it came with a cost. My life was changed and not in a good way. Once the blinders are off, there’s no going back into forgetfulness. No returning to blissful ignorance.

Fishing line discarded with embedded in sea gull's mouth/throat
Fishing line discarded with hook…now embedded in sea gull’s mouth/throat

So this week of meditating on animals has only served to remind me (as IF I needed reminding) of how humans perpetuate such darkness by our actions. Lack of compassion when killing for food, using fishing practices that harm sea turtles and marine mammals, not recognizing the spark of Spirit within all life….how can we do this and think it’s okay?

Northern Gannet being cleaned of oil in 2010. BP Deepwater Horizon spill.
Northern Gannet being cleaned of oil in 2010. BP Deepwater Horizon spill.

There are excuses for all behaviors we practice. Haven’t we heard them all? Sacrifice the land to drill for oil with fracking procedures. Pollute the rivers because it’s cheaper. Deafen dolphins, whales and other sea creatures just to test sonar. Is anyone else just fed up? The grief I carry within is so vast, so deep I truly feel paralyzed at times by it. I look in the mirror and am ashamed that I am human…part of a species bent on destruction and selfish greed…profit at any cost.

simonelipscomb (7)Joanna Macy teaches us to stay with our grief for it will fuel us to make positive changes. Right now…and for the past several months….grief has simply clobbered me. And I’m not writing to generate sympathy for myself…not at all. But it is time to simply be totally truthful  about what it feels like to be a human engaged in the planetary process…at least from my heart and mind.

simonelipscomb (4)I’m tired of pretending it will all be okay or things will magically get better. I am weary of humans ignoring responsibilities we have to clean up our messes and to stop doing destructive practices to our planet, each other…wildlife…domestic life.

simonelipscomb (3)I am crying out for an end to our closed hearts and an opening to love…to spiritual love that binds us to each other and all life. Living like we have been living is fast becoming an obsolete option. We have seen what living with closed hearts does to each other and the planet…ALL life on the planet. I refuse to live like that any longer. At the risk of standing alone I choose love. I choose an open heart!

800_1019I choose love. No matter the consequences. I choose love.