Category: Eco-Spirituality

Just Another Magic Monday

Just Another Magic Monday

The process of giving up television has given the gift of showing just how much it and other mindless past times have separated me from life, from a deeper connection with my Higher Self…the spiritual self…the soul. I have discovered, through this process, that I have used mindless television-watching—even though I didn’t watch that much—to numb myself from life. I used it as a way to cut myself off from a voice within that wanted to come out and sing, speak, play. I had no idea….but then I discovered it wasn’t only television….it was anything that put me on auto-pilot and that included books I had read many times before, favorite movies. As I tracked myself I became more aware of the distractions I used to keep my inner voice quiet.

After culling TV, I recently pulled up a completely mindless book I’ve read several times simply as a pacifier, something to take the edge off, to dampen that inner ‘something’ that wanted to happen. My excuse was, I know there is something calling me but I don’t know what to do. The problem was I was thinking of the solution as being something I had to ‘do’ instead of simply being still and listening.

So this morning the pouring rain and storms kept me off my bicycle. Couldn’t even do front porch yoga due to lightning. What to DO….what to DO!??! That voice within found a way to tap my mind and suggested I dedicate this day to listening and not distracting myself. Why not?

 

I went upstairs to the gathering room where I meditate, where women’s drum circles are held, and dialed into stillness. I began drumming and an inner journey began.

I saw myself inside a shell…something between an egg and a chrysalis. I have been feeling this shell-like structure around me for several days so wasn’t surprised to see it in the meditation. A crack started at the top and went to the bottom, opening the shell. I saw myself with butterfly wings at first, with brilliant colors, and then I morphed into a Pegasus horse with wings that had a slight rainbow tint.

In the journey, I flew from my home in coastal Alabama to a place near Chimney Rock, North Carolina…a wooded place. It was amazing and perfect for me.

When the journey was complete I offered gratitude and went downstairs for lunch. I began researching Pegasus and found his father was Poseidon, god of the sea—that’s rather appropriate for me—and his mother was Medusa, the goddess that had hair made of snakes…and onlookers turned to stone if they looked at her. Pegasus was born from her blood when her head was cut off.

As I looked at the bottom of the search page it listed my search origin location as Chimney Rock, North Carolina. I had been there in the journey, no doubt, but at that particular moment my body and phone were sitting in my home in Magnolia Springs…Alabama.

Then one of the pages about Pegasus had a rainbow background…reminding me of the rainbow colors of myself as Pegasus. Oh, and let’s not forget the walk I did after lunch with my dog Buddy. As we went under a magnolia tree I saw a cicada shell and the freshly hatched insect known as a translucent cicada… with beautiful wings drying in the air. I had the exact same experience in the journey as my wings dried after ‘I’ hatched from the hard shell.

The Bangles song, Manic Monday, came to mind but with a new title: Just Another Magic Monday.It seemed that taking the step to put aside anything that distracts me from inner experiences wanting to be birthed was worth it. Synchronicities were popping like lighting bolts that filled the sky earlier in the day.

How would our lives change if we put the beautiful, sacred self as a priority and stopped trying to cut off its voice…with television, news, social media, mindless books, arguing about who’s right and who’s wrong? Just one morning of doing this resulted in amazing experiences and clarity and…quite honestly…a big dose of WOW!

One other bit of information came to me about Pegasus. He has always been in service to poets. I reflected back to my recent writing about Freddie Mercury and living your life purpose. When I feel most aligned with the reason I came into this life is when I can take an experience and titrate it down into magical words of poetry. So…welcome Pegasus. I think it’s time we work together.

Patrick Kavanagh, an Irish poet, wrote one of my most favorite poems, Pegasus. Perhaps this poem, more than anything, explains the meaning of seeing myself break free as Pegasus in the journey.

 

My soul was an old horse

Offered for sale in twenty fairs.

I offered him to the Church—the buyers

Were little men who feared his unusual airs.

One said: ‘Let him remain unbid

In the wind and rain and hunger

Of sin and we will get him—

With the winkers thrown in—for nothing.’

Then the men of State looked at

What I’d brought for sale.

One minister wondering if

Another horse-body would fit the tail

That he’d kept for sentiment-

The relic of his own soul—

Said, ‘I will graze him in lieu of his labour.’

I let him for a week or more

And he came back a hurdle of bones,

Starved, overworked, in despair.

I nursed him on the roadside grass

To shape him for another fair.

I lowered my price. I stood him where

The broken-winded, spavined stand

And crooked shopkeepers said that he

Might do a season on the land—

But not for high-paid work in towns.

He’d do a tinker, possibly.

I begged, “O make some offer now,

A soul is a poor man’s tragedy.

He’ll draw your dungiest cart,’ I said,

‘Show you short cuts to Mass,

Teach weather lore, at night collect

Bad debts from poor men’s grass.’

And they would not.

Where the Tinkers quarrel I went down

With my horse, my soul.

I cried, ‘Who will bid me half a crown?’

From their rowdy bargaining

Not one turned. ‘Soul,’ I prayed,

‘I have hawked you through the world

Of Church and State and meanest trade.

But this evening, halter off,

Never again will it go on.

On the south side of ditches

There is grazing of the sun.

No more haggling with the world…’

As I said these words he grew

Wings upon his back. Now I may ride him

Every land my imagination knew.

We Will Shine

We Will Shine

“When I know they are listening, when I know I really have them, I couldn’t sing off-key if I tried. I’m exactly the person I was always meant to be. I’m not afraid of anything.” In the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury’s character says this to his girlfriend after the band begins to attract large audiences and she asks him what it’s like to perform in front of so many people. This scene in the movie replays in my mind often.

I allow my mind to wander through experiences in life…When have I felt I am exactly the person I am meant to be?

Recently as I explored this question, as if on cue, an email arrived with various teachers sharing their idea of being on purpose. Here’s a bit of what they said:

-Be patient and loyal to something deep within you. Be loyal to it no matter what.

-There is a crystal clear path within…follow the way that creates lightness within your body.

-Find the place where deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

In the high school football stadium in the 1970’s, Queen’s music inspired a generation. Stomp, stomp, clap…stomp, stomp, clap…stomp, stomp, clap rocked the bleachers as We Will Rock You inspired us. I remember feeling alive with amazing, endless hope for the very essence of life as the entire student section came alive. Carefree, with my spirit open to every possibility, their music was fuel for life. We Are the Champions was even our senior class song…

During my teenage and young adult years I never knew the story of Queen, of Freddie Mercury. Their music is what spoke to me, what made me join with others of my generation to stomp, stomp, clap…..stomp, stomp clap and rock the world around us.

Odd that now, as I dive deeper into my life and purpose, their story becomes known to me and these decades later Freddie Mercury’s dynamic energy and passion is inspiration…long after he died.

After reviewing old videos of his performances there is no doubt that he was fulfilling his life purpose when he was on stage. The magnetism and profound energy he generated between the audience and the band was magic. Freddie’s final wish was to do what he was born to do as long as he could—perform…like a shooting star.

Days ago this bit of writing began to come together but the question kept echoing in my mind and heart…when do I know for sure I am doing what I came here to do? Today, as I cycled at sunrise, the question continued to repeat. And still, as I sit with Buddy dog curled up beside me, the answer isn’t totally clear.

There have been moments….photographing humpback whales while floating motionless in the Atlantic Ocean, a calf a few feet from me…a manatee laying its head in my hand and gazing into my eyes, sharing a transmission from the deepest realms of Nature…a female spotted dolphin healing my headache and swimming with me and her calf…kneeling at a standing stone circle in north England and weeping about the election and ‘hearing’ the outcome would hasten the awakening…standing at a cliff in Ireland and feeling the immense Presence that has been with me ever since…writing about these and many more experiences and sharing them…diving with an octopus that danced with me…hearing the Song of the Sea as I was diving in Bonaire…diving in caves in Mexico that awakened the shaman in me…being present for moments such as these and more but perhaps sharing these experiences with others and watching their faces light up with wonder and awe and feeling their appreciation for deepening with Nature helps me really feel I am doing what I was born to do.

In that recent email one of the teachers said this: There is nobody designed to do your life’s purpose better than you.

When I write from my heart, I feel that truth. When I facilitate women’s circles I feel it. When I am in the water with humpback whales…or manatees or dolphins…and listen with my heart, photograph them and then communicate the experience by writing or speaking so that others can touch their sacredness…I feel a sort of personal mastery. I come alive when I connect Nature with humans.

I’m not a performer like Freddie Mercury but I feel the dynamism within awaken when I feel deep passion and love for Nature and the desire to share the sacredness of life on this planet. When I allow that to flow I become transformed, on fire with purpose. It is during these moments that I become a channel and simply allow Earth to rise up and move through me—a crystal channel—an arrow of fire traveling at the speed of light.

The lyrics to Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now have been in my mind all day…“I feel alive and the world I’ll turn it inside out, yeah…and floating around in ecstasy…I’m a shooting star, leaping through the sky like a tiger defying the laws of gravity…I’m burning through the sky, yeah, two hundred degrees. That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit. I’m traveling at the speed of light…”

Perhaps the movie is helping me remember and clarify my purpose. Maybe Freddie’s life reminds me to do what I was born to do and drop the fear. Once we fully commit to our purpose and come alive to it, the fear can be burned up in the passion. Sometimes it takes a while to figure that out but if we pay attention to the whispers within and listen when our heart speaks, we will find our way…and we will shine.

On Being Sensitive

On Being Sensitive

“All trees are not good trees,” she said as she leaned over, placed her hand over my arm and smiled with that knowing smile that she was right and I, because I dare to care about all trees, was wrong. It wasn’t the first time I was put in my place because I am sensitive to life.

My first memory of being ‘put down’ for being sensitive was when I was a child. My dad and I were watching a movie on television where an old man had saved, at great hardship, to purchase a piece of glass for the window in his cabin. After he bought it and installed it, his mule kicked a bucket through the window. I cried and my dad laughed at me for crying. That’s my first memory of feeling compassion and being pushed out of the tribe.

Those of us who are sensitive live in a world where we are put down, outcast, made to feel less than, called names and in general judged to be stupid or simply wrong. And because we are sensitive as part of our very nature, we sometimes feel completely out of step with the rest of the world. I know many of you are keenly aware of this truth.

It is a painful life we live until we become strong enough to recognize the bullies for what they are, until we come to value our beautiful sensitivity and champion ourselves…and even then we can get stung and so begins the process of healing that deep wound again….and again.

Because we receive negative feedback so often about our deepest, truest selves, we have difficulty believing that we are whole and beautiful. If the world mirrors back to us that empaths are silly, flakey, ridiculous then how do we believe the truth about ourselves? How do we learn to trust ourselves? How do we claim our space in the world?

Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, in her series Mother Night, that people who feel, that are sensitives, are pushed to the edge, are outcast…these people who are the artists, the creatives, the healers with their open hearts and minds…they are pushed to the fringes of society. But when this happens, she warns, the culture dies because they are not allowed to do their work, for their work is nourishment for the psyche.

I was having a rough day and asked for guidance. When I arrived home from cycling I put the sound files on my phone on random play and Clarissa’s series was what came to me…as a big answer. Listening to her reminded me that my empathic ability is my gift. My ability to feel deeply is a gift…to the world. How many of us can breathe that statement in? Try it… My ability to feel deeply is a gift to the world.

Besides the fact that we are outcast and have to deal with that our entire lives, we are keenly aware of the seemingly multitude of beings crying out in pain these days….children, families, animals, wildlife, wild places and yes, even trees. So how do we cope with this two-edged sword of empathy, of sensitivity?

I would suggest not trying to fit in to a world that tries to consistently push us out. So you want to push us out, okay. I will walk along the fringe…I will dance along the fringe and I will find those who will dance with me. I will connect with my sisters and brothers who also bear the scars of feeling in an unfeeling world. Clarissa calls us Scar Clan of the Tribe of the Sacred Heart. We recognize each other by our ability to feel deeply, love deeply and we have the audacity to care deeply.

And then I would suggest spending time to connect with our feelings of love and compassion and to do so without shame. We were taught to be ashamed of our compassion and kindness so let us un-teach that to ourselves and simply sit in stillness and silence with acceptance for ourselves….our beautiful, bright selves.

Everything is Possible

And lastly, I would suggest allowing the beautiful feelings to be expressed through the creativity we bring to the world….writing, photographing, painting, dancing, singing, speaking, connecting with Nature. What do we love? What do we feel such burning compassion and kindness toward? What are we waiting for my loves?

The Age of Restoration

The Age of Restoration

Claire Dubois speaks of the Age of Restoration beginning now. As we turn our creative envisioning from focusing on everything that is falling apart to how we wish to see the world, we began to create the world we want.

A few days ago I wrote that we are literally building a new world as the old paradigm is falling apart around us. Claire says we do this by accessing our feelings– by deconstructing the dams we’ve built around painful emotions and then acting from a clearer inner place.

Last night a friend came over for a time of drumming. We spoke about issues that we wished to send healing energy to, called in angels, ancestors and other helping spirits and acknowledged the gateways of the six directions. Spontaneously, the issue that seemed to call us both was the children and families held in detention centers.

Usually the room fills with ancestors, animal spirits and angels and it was the same with one exception. The room filled with children last night. As we prayed with our drums and open hearts a dam broke within both of us as we wept for children and families held in for-profit detention centers. Then we shared visions of children being loved and held by grandmother and grandfather spirits, loved by gentle animals.

As we continued to drum we sang, “Jesus loves the little children….all the children of the world…red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight….Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Tears continued to flow and we continued to build a vision of love and compassion for all those suffering in separation from loved ones and risking everything to escape war, famine, violence, persecution.

The energy of love and compassion filled the room as we envisioned children being cared for, reunited with families….on and on we build a vision of restoring families, of politicians stepping up to take right action, of light illuminating the for-profit detention center goals….light, light, light, light, light.

Generally when we close a drum circle there is a feeling of completion, of bringing it to a close. Last night, the spirits of children wanted to stay in that space of healing so we left it open for their spirits to be nourished. And this morning I still feel my heart open to them and their families. This then is acting as a restorer and it feels quite amazing to allow myself to feel past the grief and sadness to a depth of love and compassion that changes everything.
Where two or more are gathered…..we opened a gateway to healing that started with our willingness to feel the intense grief and sadness. Once we had the courage to do that, we became channels for love and light. Then we were able to act as restorers.

What if each of us longing for a better world took the time to actually envision it rather than keep envisioning a world that is falling apart. We know the old paradigm is falling apart. Now let us plant the seeds of the world we wish to create.

There is an incredible amount of light flooding the planet these days. That’s why the old paradigm is crumbling—the old ways are falling. Let us remember that the light is here for us to heal as well…and to open and to grow beyond our wildest dreams. It is a catalyst not only for the breaking down but for the re-building. What is it you wish to create, to become? What kind of world do you want?

Let It Go

Let It Go

While cycling yesterday I put my iPod on shuffle of all songs on it. I do that sometimes as a way to let the Universe choose my inspiration for the ride. David Wilcox’s song, Let It Go, really touched me…

I watched it sinking down…the treasure I’d almost found is gone…I had been holding on so long I had to let it go….I wagered my heart and soul, all of that weight in gold and dreams….the woman I thought I should be, I had to let it go….High above the broken opening I see the light of love is spoken, welcoming me…Now that I remember how this love can be, full of my surrender emptying….Into the deep blue sky when it’s my time to fly away I can release this weight, now I can let it go, now I can let it go….all of this love I’ve saved, I get to let it go.”

This seems so appropriate for the place in which I find myself. Letting go of the woman that I thought I should be. Who was she?

That question is so wrapped in expectations…of family, culture, institutions…my interpretation of what was expected and what I expected of myself.

The past 18 months have been a deep journey into all of these expectations and as I begin to move from this long threshold moment in this life, I gain perspective of what has been happening.

Today I listened to an interview with a guy who does some truly inspired work and he said he had gone through two major awakenings in his life. One led to his first spiritual opening where he moved more into alignment with his path and was very happy doing the work but eventually he began to feel called to deeper work and wasn’t sure what was happening. He related that his intuition, his guidance that he had grown to trust, disappeared and he felt as if he was stumbling in the dark. It went on for a few years until finally he came through that long period with guidance that was specific about the next phase of his work. He had no idea how it would work out but he listened and the result is simply amazing.

This resonated so deeply with me as I have been very happy in the work I’ve done over the past decade or so. Photographing underwater wildlife, writing about the connection with Nature and sharing with others has been amazing but my guidance is taking me to different work. And no matter how much I question and wrestle with the direction, in the end I completely trust it.

For many, many years–even when I lived in the mountains years ago– I have heard guidance to go outside each day and connect with Nature. I didn’t know what that meant…not really. I meditate and do yoga and even when I cycle I’m tuning into Nature. What exactly was this guidance telling me?

Over the past few months, as I have started to come out of the threshold and begin the first tentative steps to the other side of this transitional period, the meaning has become clearer. There’s a different level of opening that occurs when we take our wholeness into Nature and sit simply with the intention to connect.

For example, if I (personality self) connect with my soul self (higher self) and allow that soul self to expand into its proper ‘size’ I notice an inseparable connection and flow with Nature….complete Oneness. Nature and this expression of life known as Simone exists in the state of Oneness with all life….trees, insects, bats, dogs, cats, grass, stars, you, the homeless woman, the wounded child, the cow in the pasture.

That experience helps me deal with the insanity happening all around the planet. Nature is teaching me how to be balanced while it seems everything in the world is falling apart. And this is key to being present with this mess and not going crazy. It seems the answer lies in realizing Oneness.

I believe the solution to the problems of the planet begins within each of us. And it seems that recognizing Oneness and experiencing it is the first step. Perhaps our only task is to stand in conscious awareness of Oneness with Nature and all life. What if we all did that? There would be no war, no hate, no pollution or destruction of our planet, no fighting…imagine.

I’m not suggesting that we stop everything we are doing to help make a difference and just meditate (well, not really) but I am suggesting we take a few steps back and clean up our own emotional, spiritual, mental and physical selves and find our own experience of Oneness so that the actions we take come from an egoless intention. Sometimes the rhetoric of the ‘good folks’ is as scary as that of those committing the atrocities.

My work is unfolding from this shift in focus, this beautiful place of connection. The animals I have worked with through my photography and travels are encouraging me, from inner guidance, to take the work deeper and share what I’ve learned from them with others. The first stage of this is through a course of study called Deepening with Nature. It’s a thirteen lesson self-study course in which animals guide participants through 28 days each lesson with exercises and meditations to deepen the relationship with Nature and thus the self. Each lesson is guided by a wisdom keeper animal spirit. It begins with a Humpback Whale. Lesson two is a Wolf…three is a Dolphin and four a Bear….and so on.

The other way the work is unfolding is to consult with individuals wishing to gain insight on their current life path. I do this through intuitive consultations via phone or in person. This is unfolding quite beautifully. The synergy that occurs expands the process of healing and wholeness.

I’ve had to let go of the direction I thought life would unfold and allow it to organically blossom into a deeper expression of my heart’s profound love of this planet. Years ago I made the commitment to be a bridge between humans and nature and envisioned it would be through me connecting with Nature and then sharing photographs, videos and writing and that would be it. Now I see the depth of the work I am called to and it’s quite humbling. I’m being asked to go much deeper in helping people connect to Nature, not just from a superficial level but to the real core of it all.

All the energy invested in the previous direction, all the love for what I was doing, I can release and allow it to guide me deeper…and help guide others deeper into relationship with Nature, with themselves.

When we open our hands and hearts and let go, we can once again receive.