Category: Eco-Spirituality

Reflecting on Bigness

Reflecting on Bigness

DSC_8569“Dance with their bigness,” my friend reminded me. He was referring to a humpback whale trip that is coming up for me in February. I told him how committing to the trip was difficult due to the cost involved but that in meditation, when making the final decision to go or not go, I got a very clear message: look around this meditation space…the entire room is built around humpback energy. Remember the positive change they created in your life and trust your journey.

SimoneLipscomb (4)Allowing my mind to drift back to the first of this year, I thought of the rainbow that filled the sky as I pulled up to Follow That Dream Blvd last year on my way to photograph manatees as I was actually speaking into my voice recorder about following my heart’s calling and the dreams of my life. That one moment defined my entire year. What are the odds of all that coming together at one intersection?

Los Islotes ShotBut isn’t life a series of intersections filled with opportunities and ‘chance’ meetings that change our lives?

Last September I met a friend that helped me find my joy, my laughter. Not long ago he sent a quote that was very helpful to revisit –Marianne Williamson’s writing about our deepest fear is that we are powerful and it is our light that most frightens us…we are children of God and playing small doesn’t serve the world…as we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others. He reminded me again recently that I am on the right path with my creative work…something I have been questioning.

It feels like a time of major change coming in my life and I haven’t really known how to proceed. I’ve been evaluating the work I do and wondering if I’m heading in the ‘right’ direction. This questioning of direction has been ‘up’ for months.

With friends sending me messages of encouragement and reminding me to step into my bigness, to dance the big dance with humpbacks, I decided to read my journal from the humpback trip this past March. The answers I’ve been searching for are written in it, by my hand.

DSC_8937“Rainbow Thursday…

I awakened at 5-ish and went upstairs by 5.30. I sat high on the boat awaiting the dawn. A dark rain cloud was due east so the sun had a difficult time illuminating the sky. A wall of rain began to move toward the boat so I was driven down to the 1st level which is covered but still open.

The rain came…its loud shuuuuuuu sound was beautiful music on the ocean’s surface. I looked out, past the small boats tied behind the mother ship and saw a tail lob…and another…and another and then a baby fluke appeared beside the mother and joined the tail slapping but only occasionally as the baby’s tail was weaker than mamas.

I just said to another passenger…’There has to be a rainbow with the rain and sunrise’ and suddenly a brilliant rainbow appeared in the sky, arched over the whales and the calf breached. And more tail lobbing….

Brilliant rainbow, mother and baby whale, ocean…breaching into the rainbow. Really? Was it really happening?

After the other early-risers–who had witnessed this mind-blowing moment–wandered away, I stepped down on the dive platform so I could see the full arch of the rainbow. The mother and baby were still there but calmer now, coming up to breathe and then resting.

As I stood level with the Ocean, saltwater washing over my feet, I felt the immensity of this vision. Not just the vision of this incredible experience but the vision that guided me here…to this place….to this life.

I felt support of my spiritual family so powerfully…guides, teachers, friends, family…my higher self. The words I heard in my mind were, “Your work is supported, your life is guided. This is the promise–you will always have our support.”

As I sit here writing this, remnants of the rainbow still touch the Ocean and the whale is exhaling with her baby. Their breath-mist carries soft, pastel colors into the sky…the rainbow of their breath…symbol of promise.

I reflect back to the trip to Crystal River and talking into my voice recorder about following my dreams, the intense rainbow over my shoulder and Follow That Dream Blvd, meeting Rich and Deb from Australia and him encouraging me to be with humpbacks…and to come to Tonga to visit his whale research center….and the overwhelming push to get on a waiting list for a humpback trip to the Dominican Republic and within a month having a spot on a trip…this trip.

Mom and baby are still there….at the end of the rainbow. With certainty I know that I am guided, supported and loved beyond anything I can imagine….and I am grateful.” 

DSC_8024In this evening’s meditation the recent messages of supportive friends echoed in my mind. I envisioned myself dancing the big dance with humpback whales and realized they called me home to my Self. They have been calling me for many years and at the beginning of this year, I listened. And my life was changed.

Another friend and I were chatting a couple weeks ago and he clarified a struggle I’ve been having. He said, “Simone, you’ve been trying to figure out the next step in your path using your mind, your intellect. You are more fully committing to the work of your heart so the intellect cannot make sense of it or give you answers. This is a time when to answer the question, what’s next, you must use your heart…allow it to speak and guide you.”

_TSL6508As I reflect on this year and prepare for the next trip around the sun, it is clear I am doing the work of my heart. There isn’t another direction I need to go. The change needed is to simply respect and value the work I do and put all of myself into the vision that has led me thus far. It’s time to step into my bigness.

SimoneLipscomb (157)Let us hold our dreams and the dreams of others as sacred. Let us step together into our bigness and dance with wild abandon into being fully alive.

 

 

Love Anyway

Love Anyway

SimoneLipscombAn elderly man walking across a busy intersection got caught in traffic as the light changed. I waited to allow him to cross. After I began to move forward the guy behind me laid down on his horn and swerved around me screaming at me. So much for compassion.

Each day I work on cultivating compassion. I say work because of people like the driver who honked and screamed because I waited for a confused, elderly man to get safely across the road. One moment my heart was pouring forth love and concern and the next I was trying to keep from shouting back at the guy screaming at me.

_TSL3955In no way could I make sense of the guy’s reaction to kindness…actually to safety and the law (pedestrians have the right of way). In what world does he live in to leave a confused, old man in between two lanes of traffic whizzing past on a five land highway? So I glanced over as the guy wheeled around me and mouthed: what is your problem?

There’s a mime on FaceBook going around that goes something like this: I meditate daily, I light candles, I do yoga and sometimes I still want to slap people. And that’s okay because I’m still working on myself. And I love the old man who was crossing the street and needed assistance. I love people who are kind and generous and compassionate. And I’m working on loving those that are mean, pushy, uncaring, violent….I really am…but I’m not quite there. And that’s okay.

SimoneLipscomb (3)I’ll continue to light candles, do my meditations, practice yoga and search my heart for places that haven’t opened yet and there will be moments when dark actions in others trigger my anger…and that’s okay, too. I’ll love anyway….beginning with myself.

 

A Tuesday

A Tuesday

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Connection

There’s a children’s book called, Tuesday. It’s my favorite. There are only two sentences in the book. First one is: “Tuesday evening, around eight.” The pages of illustrations that follow are of frogs that are magically transported on flying lily pads. The second sentence is at the end, ” Next Tuesday, around 7:58pm.” The next-to-last illustration is the shadow of a pig high on a barn wall.

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Friend

Some times there are no words that adequately describe an event or a place of beauty so today, on a Tuesday, I wish to simply share some of my favorite images. The words are for you to form but I hope there are more emotions than words.

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Contact
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Team-work
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Cloud-like Being
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Playing with Mama
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Will you be my friend?
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Flow

Sometimes there are no words, but for a photographer who is also a writer that will be when pigs fly.

Tuesday...around 10.30am.
Tuesday…around 10.30am.

 

Harmony

Harmony

SimoneLipscomb (5)There’s an old joke that goes: How can you tell a happy motorcycle rider? She’s the one with bugs in her teeth. As I was cycling in the pre-dawn darkness I remembered the joke. I was laughing, smiling and rejoicing in the dark, quiet stillness and wondered if I had a collection of bugs in my teeth.

Birds were just awakening and were surprised by my whirling by in a blur of neon green, headlamp and red-flashing taillight. There was pure magic in the swampy woods and live oak forests before the sun arose and dissipated the gentle energy of the inky night. How could I not smile…or laugh out loud at the depth of beauty?

Deeper into the woods, deeper inside myself I went until there seemed to be no separation. At one point it was as if I took off dark glasses, so clearly did I see and connect with the energy of the backcountry. I thought of  a verse of scripture that goes something like…Now we see through a glass, darkly; someday we shall see clearly. For a brief moment I saw the Oneness, the lack of separation of this body, my consciousness, my energy field and that of the forest. I felt the deep joy that comes with the experience.

_TSL7676Through the marsh I pedaled with its beautiful openness barely illuminated by the rosy-orange sky. Breathing in….breathing out…the beauty filling me, my love and gratitude going into the marsh…the tall grass, flowers, water, creatures.

Then a turn to the left and a bird flew across the trail and I saw the bird as a musical note.  All of creation is part of one harmonious chord. How lovely this planetary song, I thought.

DSC_8937Onward I moved and the realization came: When a species is threatened or in danger of extinction, the musical note it holds in the whole dims and fades and if that species disappears, there is a minor tone instead of a clear tone and the planetary music sounds mournful. The more species that die off, the more minor the key, the sadder the music of our ocean-planet home.

IMG_1705Likewise if a place is destroyed the particular note it vibrated in the whole chord is gone and the music is more distorted. Imagine the planetary vibration, once in perfect harmonious accord, changed with each act of violence, each act of destruction. Eventually the chord, the vibration can dissemble into distorted chaos.

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Brent Durand took this image of me diving in the Sea of Cortez. My deepest meditations are underwater while diving. Harmony…ah!


The resolution to this disharmony, this destruction, is to vibrate our hearts with love and to act from a place of compassion. As the vibration of the planet changes, humans can restore balance and harmony with the intention of love and by concrete, daily practices of recycling, using less fossil fuel, buying less ‘stuff,’ supporting organic farming, re-purposing articles, helping neighbors, helping animals, meditation, self-healing…..

_TSL3873Light of the rising sun began to illuminate tree branches, spanish moss, and autumn flowers. Palmetto fronds reached toward the light, palms wide open to receive, ‘fingers’ releasing gratitude skyward. They are an example for us. Hearts open to receive, hands giving love back to the whole by our actions, thoughts and the daily intentions we hold. Planetary harmony is in our hands.

Two white-tailed deer stood alongside the trail as I neared the end of my ride. They peacefully watched me approach and moved off as I quietly pedaled past. Such beauty. Such harmony. Such gratitude.

 

Awakening

Awakening

MagnoliaSophiaElders, sages and mystics say that now is the time to awaken. The stars are in alignment, the planets are dancing in just the right rhythm and the window of opportunity is upon us.

SimoneLipscomb (14)What does it mean to awaken? Is it a one-time, light-filled moment of blissful awareness? Or is it small moments where instead of screaming at the droning leaf blower next door you turn on music to drown out the mind-numbing sound and smile? “Let’s just breathe….” sings Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Or choosing to take a deep breath after beeping your horn when a driver swerves into your lanerather than yell obscenities.

SimoneLipscomb (12)Awakening…maybe it’s just awareness. Awareness of what’s going on in body-mind-spirit. Yes, even Eddie Vedder on repeat can create angst….did I put iTunes on repeat? 

Brazalian Bossanova…that’s better. Maybe awakening is as simple as knowing what we need to stay balanced. No leaf blowers today. No songs on repeat. Meditation please. Yoga please. Ten emails demanding action immediately…no, not now.

Me and the Sea...the Sea of Cortez

More time outdoors.

SimoneLipscomb (23)More time underwater with my camera gear.

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Perhaps awakening is learning to be in neutral rather than speeding or going in reverse. Maybe awakening is simply learning to be still and quiet…there seems to be a wealth of wisdom in that neutral place of stillness.

_TSL7226Could be that awakening is simply learning to dance with our own energies….active, receptive and neutral. Balance.

_TSL5004Maybe we leave clues for ourselves in our self-expression….

“These stones and dust fade into wrinkles and colors of earth, sacred earth whose face is marked with smile lines from laughing at wind and sea lions frolicking in tides that kissed Her beautiful Self. Lay bare these bones to bake in the sun and cleanse me in Her reflective glow. These white-chalk, pock-marked bones whiter still from nesting shore birds…red, pink, salmon, rust, orange roughened, weathered, ragged by forces beyond control…lay bare these bones. Layers and layers of color and texture open to elemental forces so powerful only mountains such as these could behold them and survive the beauty. Around me stretches the vast, ragged peaks of Guardian Angel Island. Its massive face affects me deeply. I am struck with awe to my core and I find myself unable to turn away from the massive rock that lies before me, unable to hide from Her gaze.”

_TSL3955Perhaps little-by-little light fills our minds and hearts and we simply become more awake, less unaware, of what’s happening in the microcosm that is the individual, human experience.