Tag: BEAUTY

Hero’s Journey

Hero’s Journey

I have never felt so much at home as I have within the walls of this house, within the embrace of these ancient grandmother oaks. This is where I traveled to come home to myself. This part of my journey was about reclaiming all of myself I had left behind–given away to people and places that no longer embraced the growing and expanding ‘me.’ This is the ground where all parts of my soul decided to return.

Beautiful Live Oak Tree in Courtyard

So now I can, with the deepest gratitude, release this place and step forward onto my path more fully than I’ve ever experienced…ready to move and shake the world a little more with light and love and transformation.

The container we choose….or that calls us…is an important part of our life experience. It’s the chalice that holds our lives as we negotiate the hero’s journey.

In this journey to wholeness we are called to adventure and face trials and tests. We experience dismemberment of our lives–our hopes and dreams–and wander in the desert of our own lives. We sacrifice things we have accumulated….material possessions but also emotions and thoughts that have possessed us. All of this is laid down with love, with gratitude, in order to clear the way for something ‘more.’ We are resurrected and become dancers of the world, masters of our inner world  and our outer lives. And then….then, my friends…we are able to fully embody the light within and do our good work in the world in miraculous ways.

Every threshold along the way offers choice: stay the same or step through and grow into the fullness of being…the fullness of living.

Entry Way

Home is the place that nurtures us, offers rest and rejuvenation. It is the place where roots go deep and drink deeply from the waters of life. For this amazing home, I give thanks and offer it to the next souls seeking peace and joy…and delight.

 

Dare to Listen

Dare to Listen

From my journal, March 15th…One thing stood out from the afternoon–I need more time underwater. You know my gills are dry when floating in cold, green water brings immense contentment.

For months I have felt change coming. I knew I would sell my large, beautiful home nestled under grandmother live oak trees and move but had no idea where. I thought it would be a local move but nothing was clear. In meditations I kept hearing to wait until March and the answer would come.

I was scheduled to be in Crystal River for a book signing mid-March so loaded my kayak and camera gear, wet suit, dry suit and a few clothes. After arriving I was on the water, paddling in high winds, just 30 minutes after a 7 hour drive. After half-hour paddle I was underwater.

The tide was high, the water was green but as I floated watching particles float by with my underwater housing and camera, I was happy. Cold, shivering but happier than I had been in a while. That was when I knew it was time to move to a place where being underwater was a regular occurrence, not a special treat.

On the drive from Crystal River to O’Brian, Florida I saw a huge gathering of migrating birds….and scribbled this–Chaos of white bodies and wings black-tipped in flight, swirling, random uncertainty. Invisible alignment of orderly progression into three V’s moving united to true North. A pause. A massive spiral of flight–breathing, expanding, contracting–infinite mind of Oneness riding the thermals, a vortex of living matter organized in the moment as birds in migration. Random thoughts colliding in confusion of where, when, how, why and then fresh wind blows through to carry away thoughts about thoughts. Slowly ideas begin to form over the vortex of my life and the path opens before me.

Being with manatees always changes me, helps me ground into my life more and the connection in March helped me get clear about my next step….more underwater photography regularly. My intention to document and share the beauty of nature deepened. And in the process of determining the next step in my life, another passion has arisen.

Years ago I lived on 18 acres of land and started working with the land and connecting people with nature there. A series of personal life events brought that to a close and now, almost 15 years later, I find myself wanting to once again help people deepen their relationship with nature through creating a sanctuary where they can visit.

As I deepen my commitment to be underwater more and share the story of our water planet, I renew the intention to create a sanctuary with land, trees and a home that calls me….somewhere near High Springs, Florida. Fears creep in and questions about how it will all come together, but when that happens I drift back in my mind to the cold, green water and manatees that reminded me where my heart beats happiest.

I have built a strong foundation of work on the Alabama Coast and that will remain solid as my work expands and deepens into the flow of freshwater springs and quiet rivers. The voice of the soul moves us ever-closer to perfect alignment with our purpose if we dare to listen.

The Journey

The Journey

What an amazing journey the course of a life offers. Choices are continually offered to us. With every sunrise we have the capacity to offer the world the precious gift of the Self.

How interesting it is to actively participate in the creation of the Journey….to make conscious choices…to follow the possibilities that come through ‘chance’ happenings, travels, regular daily experiences.

As I reflect back on my life, the promise I made to follow my heart’s calling has been the most prominent method of determining each next step. Oh, how I wish there was a black and white formula that could be easily shared with people to determine each next step…but it involves more than carefully calculated rational thought processes. Much of the journey of the soul is discerned through the language of the heart, feelings and intuition.

Helen Keller wrote, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” Perhaps there is no greater truth about the Journey.

Each time I have felt the stirrings of change, I have done my best to listen to clues that appear. Several months ago I felt those stirrings and suspected I would be downsizing…selling my beautiful home…and moving to a smaller living space. The beauty of this place is amazing yet the size for one person is overwhelming at times. So I allowed the stirrings to stir and began clearing out ‘stuff.’ Lots and lots of stuff. Material ‘stuff’ that simply weighs me down.

A few months ago I begin to question aloud…Where? When? And the resounding answer every time was, Wait…you will have more information in March…just wait and you will know.”

So I kept cleaning and clearing my home, closets, books…gazillions of books! And waited….and waited.

I had a book signing scheduled in Crystal River, Florida March 17th and while there…at the book signing….felt the stuck energy of the past several years ‘whoosh’ open. WHOOSH! Something shifted within me and I knew that the long-awaited answer was beginning to be answered.

I stayed a night with a friend on the way back home about two hours north of Crystal River and remembered how much I love the area around High Springs and Ft White. But….really? Florida?

After arriving home I was significantly freaked out. I thought I would be moving locally, downsizing to a smaller home and staying in the area…and that may be the case. But the energy is opening towards the freshwater springs of Florida. And as I type this fear begins to rise. It’s one thing to keep it in my head and another to share it with the world before I am 100% sure.

The other day my mom and I were texting about decisions we are both making. In an effort to encourage her to follow her heart, I told her if I had listened to all the negative comments people had and their judgments about my life and the decisions I’ve made through the years, I would never have created the work I’ve put out into the world. But it’s challenging not to listen when people begin giving you their opinions and telling you what’s best for your life. So fears arise when I share something that might  happen….because everybody has an opinion….

So how does one proceed when faced with choices? For me, clarity always comes with the recognition of where the energy flows freely…where the feeling of opening happens…where obstacles drop away. It’s like allowing the river to carry me without trying to control the direction.

Show me, is my prayer. How can I serve this magnificent planet? Where can my work best take root and grow? 

A big opening happened in Asheville when the mountains supported my ability to soar among the clouds. Strong foundations of my work have grown here in the beauty of live oak trees and white sand in Coastal Alabama as my work rooted into fullness. And now, the flow of clear water seems to be pulling me to the largest gathering of magnitude 1 freshwater springs in the world where I suspect the work will expand and flow into the world in a bigger way.

As I was floating in the water–surrounded by sleeping manatees–while at Crystal River a few weeks ago, I heard myself saying, I don’t spend enough time in the water. I listened to what I heard myself saying.

 

My work is centered on our Ocean planet….water. Being underwater or in the water is imperative to the work I am called to do and being able to be in or under the water on any and every day is what feels like the exact right next step in my life’s Journey.

What’s your next step?

 

Threshold of Spring

Threshold of Spring

The transition from one season to another can be challenging for plant life; perhaps none more challenging than winter-to-spring. When the first blast of warm air arrives, the sleeping ones awaken and without hesitation begin sending fragile tendrils of proclamation out into the balmy breezes. YES! It’s time to grow!!

So often on the Gulf Coast, we get those first warm days….80 degrees the last weeks of February this year….and the profusion of pollen soon follows along with flower buds and unfurling bright-green leaves. They take a risk, to bloom so early…to put so much of their energy into their first burst of growth. There’s always the possibility–the probability–that cooler weather is yet to return. The time between seasons can be a risky time for growth.

As human beings,  we experience life as a reflection of nature. Thresholds are a time of change. We want to leap into the new direction awaiting us yet there is wisdom in patience, in waiting for that sweet moment when everything aligns and our stage of growth is ready to catapult us toward the next stage of our journey.

We yearn for new direction and deeper resonance with our path. The anticipation of expansion builds and finally, we can hold back no more. We burst forth with our beauty shining, our light beaming. What a wondrous experience. What an amazing thing to witness.

 It’s wise to be patient and when the time is ripe…BLOOM!

 

1972

1972

When I was a teenager, caring people with vision were fighting for the health of the planet….clean air, clean water, and an environment free of a toxin that was creating a huge die-off of birds. Bald eagles, brown pelicans and other species were not able to reproduce because levels of DDT caused egg shells to be too thin. DDT accumulated in soil and river sediment and was finally banned from the US.

As I was standing in Gulf State Park watching a bald eagle feed her baby the other day, the year 1972 came to mind. I was 12 years old when DDT was outlawed.  I remember the outrage and grief I felt over the horrors happening in our country…even as a kid. But people paid attention to those fighting for health of all life and we made steady progress until the current administration was elected, even with setbacks suffered through various administrations. A friend of mine recently said, I would hug Ronald Reagan if he could replace Trump. And Reagan was no friend of the environment.

The bald eagle watched over the eaglet from above the nest, high in a pine tree. As it swayed in the spring winds, tears formed as I remembered….1972….hope as a young kid…. the environmental ‘movement’ that gained support for clean water, air, land, wildlife….and now? I found anger and frustration arising as I reflected on many hard-fought protections that are rapidly being swept away by people concerned only about wealth and power.

It seems completely absurd these hard-fought battles are having to be fought again. Just one example: During the Obama administration the EPA proposed banning chlorpyrifos because of evidence of some bad side-effects….it attacks the nervous systems of people and insects….all animals. Residues are still on the broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries and citrus when it reaches consumers. But less restrictive regulations on environmental concerns is the forte for the Trump administration….because it encourages businesses to grow (cheaper ways to produce food, oil, gas, etc etc etc etc). Damn the consequences to human health, wildlife, water, air, land…and this is only one example.

One of the lies we tell ourselves is, it’s all going to be okay. But is it? On a deep, spiritual level…of course it is. But our physical lives and those of generations to come are in danger. If we allow this kind of undoing of environmental regulations we are going against what research tells us, in black and white, will happen. And more importantly, what is morally and ethically the right course of action. But the ‘leaders’ of our country simply don’t consider clean air, water, land important issues.

I like to write about beauty and the feel-good stuff. Who wants to read about the rapid backslide into pollution? Toxicity? But I would betray the very beauty I treasure so dearly if I didn’t speak up, if I didn’t cry out, and remind us of where we have come from and where we are certainly headed if we don’t stop this reckless behavior.

Every time I cycle by the bald eagle nests, the year 1972 blinks in my mind like a neon sign. I can’t forget what it took for environmental laws to be birthed. Can you? Are you willing to risk the health of your children…grandchildren? What are you willing to give up so the wealthy and power-hungry in our country can thrive?