Category: SUPPORT!

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.


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.

SimoneLipscomb (3)


Really Right Stuff

Really Right Stuff

My manfrotto tripod has allowed me to capture images in low light situations as well as images of myself when there's nobody around to squeeze the shutter
My manfrotto tripod has allowed me to capture images in low light situations as well as images of myself when there’s nobody around to squeeze the shutter and I want to remember that I WAS HERE! In Cornwall, Great Britain

My old Manfrotto tripod has been with me in mountain streams, in the Gulf of Mexico, to Bonaire, the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, in Mobile Bay, Cornwall, Glastonbury….and places in between. During my travels it has supported my camera in low light situations and thus supported the work I do.

Sunset at Gulf of Mexico
Sunset at Gulf of Mexico…the salt water and quartz sand just about finished my poor Manfrotto off….(sigh)

Last summer nearly destroyed my work-horse tripod. I was using it in the Gulf taking photographs of the sunset. Sand and salt water got into every crevice until the legs sounded like a pepper grinder with glass in it when I attempted to adjust them. I took it apart after rinsing it and cleaned it but it has given notice that its days are numbered. Too much irritation from those pesky granules of white quartz sand. One too many trips in checked luggage handled by gorillas who work in the baggage handling black hole of airports (remember those commercials?).

So after much gnashing of teeth I have invested in a Really Right Stuff ball head carbon fiber tripod. Or I have ordered it. New support system on the way! The thing about these tripods is they are the best support you can purchase for cameras….or so they claim. Strong, durable, made in the USA! And with their support, the Nikon D 800 can almost turn flips panning to get those shots I’ve never been able to get before…just because of the incredible support provided.

A good support system allows a photographer to capture images that she can be in...where she doesn't want to forget the place or company
A good support system allows a photographer to capture images that she can be in…where she doesn’t want to forget the company or the place. This was taken at Observatory Beach on the western peninsula of Washington

Support. Isn’t it amazing to receive. The definition of support includes words like sustain, hold up, bear, serve as foundation for, maintain by supplying necessities. Throughout my life there have been definite supporters–believers in my work, my path. Yes…they have even believed in me when I haven’t. When I doubted.

My mother is such a support…a “tripod” in my life that has witnessed my first breath and lived through my cave diving, solo travel abroad and other exploits that have pushed her fear buttons. I really appreciate her. (And no mom, I don’t think of you as the old Manfrotto…smile).

There have been many others as well. And maybe there are taboos on writing about a former husband but I’ve never been one to follow rules. The support that Ray gave me throughout our time together was solid. He was a foundation for helping me gather myself up from a time, many years ago, when I had lost nearly everything. From the beginning he believed in what I came to the planet to do, even when I felt smothered in self-doubt. When my first book was published he gave me a framed copy with the words Dreams Do Come True printed beneath the book. I keep it hanging over my desk as a reminder.

Without support, this image wouldn't have been possible. Ray gazing into the night sky on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Without support, this image wouldn’t have been possible. Ray gazing into the night sky on the Blue Ridge Parkway

While the winds of change blew us apart physically, I know without a doubt that his support over a decade ago, and throughout our relationship, is what made the difference in my life. That is truly the really right stuff. And I remain deeply grateful.