Tag: BEAUTY

Conscious Connection with Gaia

Conscious Connection with Gaia

For over a year when I ride my bike or walk, the same message is heard: make a conscious connection to nature. It began when I was in Ireland in February 2018. My friend and I were staying in a little holiday home that had very little heat. It snowed during the night and was quite cold. It was more than the cold weather and lack of warmth, the entire energy of the place was ‘off.’

After a night spent snuggled under the covers, I got up early and walked out with my camera. The light dusting of snow was lovely and the creek below had white frosting on the rocks surrounding it. As I stood at the top of a steep embankment, I noticed a lot of trash that had been simply pushed off the edge when the cheap holiday homes were constructed. Vines and vegetation had grown over and concealed much of it but the evidence was still there….pipes, cans, old lumber bits and pieces.

After spending over a week along the Wild Atlantic Way with pristine scenery and amazing vistas packed with raw, elemental energy, it was quite a shock and disappointment to see the mess. I ran back to the house and grabbed my new Low F Celtic Whistle…which sounds more like a flute with its beautiful mellow tone. I arrived back at the pile of trash above the creek and began playing.

Due to the freezing temperature, the sounds weren’t perfect. Not to mention that I had just purchased it and wasn’t yet familiar with the wider finger placements…which had my hands twisted like a pretzel. Regardless, I opened my heart to the place and sent love and compassion to it through the music. As soon as I began to play I felt the energy of the place shift. It was as if it perked up and took notice. I felt it communicate a sense of surprise that a human would send appreciation to it after other humans trashed it.

So I played with intention and felt a returning energy of gratitude and a soothing of hurtful wounds. Even with freezing fingers and metal that wasn’t sure it wanted warm breath moving through it, the low tones filled the frosty air with love and appreciation for Nature and all beings that lived in that area.

The idea to consciously play music for the Earth really took root within me. Perhaps it isn’t grand gestures that will shift our human consciousness but rather everyday efforts to intentionally connect with the Earth….the living Earth.

It will look and feel different for everyone but here are a few suggestions: read a poem to the Earth each morning; sing a song to Her every day; dance barefoot on Her every day; do yoga outside and work with nature energies as you move through your practice; meditate  outdoors and consciously connect with Earth Mother; write a love letter to the Earth each day and read it aloud to Her; when you’re walking outdoors speak your gratitude for flowers, trees, grasses, soil, birds, worms, butterflies; go outside and simply listen with an open mind and heart; say prayers for Mother Earth outdoors and say them out loud.

Cliffs of Moher with a new high D whistle purchased in Ireland

It’s not about changing the Earth, it’s about changing our relationship to Her. We are the ones who need healing. We are the culprits of Her destruction but we can be the purveyors of stewardship through taking the time to make a daily conscious connection to Her.

Suggestion: keep an Earth journal and note what you did and your experience during and afterwards.


Gaia, also spelled Gaea, is the personification of the Earth. Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess.

Gaia Hypothesis by James Lovelock, a UK chemist, claims the resident life forms of a host planet coupled with their environment act like a single, self-regulating system.

 

BumbleBee Meditation

BumbleBee Meditation

The macro lens wanted to play amongst the azaleas. Admittedly, it was my love of abstract flower power that called me to these amazing bloomers. While there I connected with many bumblebees. They are now an endangered species….so many of our pollinators are dying. So my meditation was to simply connect with them, send them love and thank them.

As they buzzed around me and feasted on the sweet nectar–while gathering pollen–I repeated the mantra, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you sweet pollinators.

They brought me into the present moment and from there I found gratitude and peace.

The Doe

The Doe

My nervous system felt like it had been tightening and fraying all week. I wasn’t sure why until Saturday arrived and I had a serious day of showing my beloved home to three wonderful couples, two of whom really felt and saw the magic of this peaceful home under ancient live oak trees as I did seven years ago. I didn’t sleep much Saturday night, my mind wondering about the next step as my path unfolds into deeper communion with deep earth in the mountains.

Sunday morning I had to give my nervous system some relief, even in my fatigue. So my uber-fun road bike was loaded into the wagon and off I went for a nice ride.

Once I got helmet, gloves and cleats on I saddled up and started pedaling. A quick warmup past the bald eagle nests, with babies no less, was my plan. But I was struggling from lack of sleep and a mind that refused to stop the chatter. So I said aloud to nature, I need you to help my mind quieten and let go. 

As soon as I turned the corner on the trail, standing in the trail was a big white-tailed deer….a doe. She didn’t run. She stayed right there staring into my eyes. I felt a deep peace envelop me. I wanted to grab my phone to take a photo but dared not move any more than I was already. (These photographs were taken by me in Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National park).

It seemed as if our eyes were locked forever as she showed me a deep sense of grace and grounded peace. I know my lower jaw was hanging slack until I managed to whisper….thank you.

She finally stepped off the trail, but just barely so, and looked back at me as if to say, Did you get that?

Tears slid from my eyes as I experienced the answer to my request.

I rode past the eagle nest and saw a tiny head peeking above the edge which reminded me of the poem I wrote a few days ago…my love letter to Mother Earth.

The state park is my cycling place, my place to take Buddy on long walks and has been a place of incredible beauty…and frustration as I watch the park get more city-park-like every day. They are chasing the wild out….but that’s another blog.

I continued for nearly 20 miles feeling immense gratitude for places that are wild and especially for this place that has been in my life since I was a child swimming in Lake Shelby….a teen working in the campground or at the interpretive office…and later as park naturalist after I graduated from Auburn. It’s where I worked when my daughter was born…and where I go to to ride through the flat, coastal living landscape.

I’ve seen deer, a jaguarundi, bobcats, foxes, bald eagles, osprey, cottonmouths, armadillos, all kinds of other snakes and lizards, owls, shore birds and hawks. I even saw a groove-billed ani on a Christmas bird count one year….a rare sighting for our area. And lots of woodpeckers and alligators, raccoons, opossums, squirrels….oh, the other day I had a squirrel run between my tires as I cycled past…the closest I’ve ever come to running over one. I always wondered how bad the crash would be with a squirrel….it doesn’t take much for a crash to happen. So yes….a lot of wildlife has been revealed to me at Gulf State Park. And no, I didn’t crash but I don’t know what happened to the squirrel.

So I felt some sadness about moving away as I pedaled but also felt a deeper sense of my work calling me forward where I know more adventures and more people await.

It’s funny how one encounter can so change me. I still sense the energy of that beautiful doe staring at me, reminding me to stay in my body, to release my racing mind and to simply be present…with her, baby eagles, squirrels, pine trees….and myself.

All photographs copyright Simone Lipscomb.


In preparation for our move I’ve been telling Buddy about bears….that really, they are just cows with longer fingernails….so he doesn’t freak when he sees one and get him and me both in serious trouble. He loves the black cows that live in the pasture next to our home….so here’s hoping a big bear won’t be too much of a shock.

on the deck of my former home in the mountains
Love Letter to Mother Earth

Love Letter to Mother Earth

Love Letter to Mother Earth

I love you baby bald eagle whose soon-to-be magnificent head now peers shakily over the edge of that giant nest looking out into the great vastness of this wonderful world.

I love you gnarled live oak tree whose branches, though twisted and broken, still reach for the heavens.

I love you magnificent Mind of Humpback Whales that gazed into my soul through one of your embodied masters.

I love you matriarch of the spotted dolphin tribe who befriended me, claimed me as a daughter and encouraged me to swim hard to keep up with the pod.

I love you slithering baby cottonmouth who warned me kindly to stay away and give a wide berth to your infinite bigness.

I love you Appalachian Mountains whose strength reminds me of the earth within my bones.

I love you Atlantic wave that telepathically warned me before arriving and slamming onto rocks that you were coming…you gave me time…to climb, to live, to celebrate life and Ireland every day.

I love you wild wind that tries to push my bicycle over as I pedal…you crazy wind that brings out curses, laughter, shrieks and childlike joy.

I love you shimmering stars that kissed my mind as I lay on the edge of Ireland feeling the thundering roar of waves through rocky cliff.

I love you ancient stones circled at Castlerigg that took me to an ancient time of initiation into the Blue Snake Clan.

I love you misty, fishy whale breath that drifted over salt water in moonlight and reminded me who I am.

I love you Ocean whose deep indigo draws me deeper and deeper into Communion.

I love you Mother Earth as my heart breaks more each day at what your human children do to you and all life upon you.

Thank you.

 

The Harp

The Harp

On my final day in Ireland a gift was given in meditation. A cave was my point of visualization and in this amethyst cave I found a black zippered case. A Grandmother being was with me and said, “Once you open it, you can never go back.” I unzipped it and removed a small harp. “This is the gift from Eriu and you are now a trusted carrier of this wisdom. You have to carry it forth.”

I had absolutely no idea what a harp meant but she told me, as the meditation ended, to research the meaning and the significance would unfold.

After the meditation ended I went to my laptop and began researching the harp and Ireland. Coat of Arms….King of Ireland 13th century….high status among musicians in Ireland historically….in 17th century traditional musicians were outlawed or under control…harpist accompanied poetry recitations…became the resistance to the Crown and England….banned at end of medieval period…legend of Dagda, protector of people, had a magical harp that played itself….Queen Elizabeth I banned harps and harpists and even executed them as they were suspected to be the focal point of causing rebellions among Irish people against the crown….motto: It is now strung and shall be heard. 

It is now strung and shall be heard. The harp as a symbol is a call to awaken.

That message echoed throughout my consciousness and today, as I write this, it is especially meaningful. Yesterday, during a session with my life coach, we discussed the deep work of allowing my self to be seen for who I really am, to cease hiding my light and strength and allow my beauty and the beauty I offer the world to be fully seen.

The same message came to me months earlier when I was in Ireland on Inis Mor. I was standing in the prehistoric fort and a modern-day fencing pipe stood facing the Atlantic Ocean. The wind was fierce that day and it played the pipe. The low notes of the pipe reverberated in my body and I was reminded that we are like flutes…the more we clear out the inner obstructions, the more beautiful our expression as Spirit moves through us.

Resistance to an old, repressive authority was symbolized by the harp. By gathering together all of who they were, the Irish played their ‘harp’ and let England know that independence was theirs. They claimed their right to live in freedom instead of oppression.

The Grandmother reminded me of my right to freedom from the old, inner oppression. From birth and experiences of life, I organized my thoughts and behaviors and direction…we all do this and all through our lives we have opportunities to unlearn the unhealthy, deadening patterns. Once freedom is experienced, returning to a fear-based life is not acceptable…but the journey out of fear can be challenging.

As much as I love Ireland and appreciate the raw, elemental beauty perhaps the greatest gift I received there was the symbol of the harp that reminds me to gather in all of who I am…the fearful parts, the strong parts, the gifts, talents…and allow the Universe to move through me.

When I play my low Celtic whistle, the mellow tones remind me to be an open channel for Spirit. When I sing or speak….or photograph nature….or write….or just sit and do ‘nothing’ it’s about being fully present with all of myself and letting that be enough. Because it is enough and it’s wonderful just to feel wholeness and to embrace the journey of the Pilgrim who goes out into the world seeing everything as sacred, including the self.

John O’Donohue said, in A Celtic Pilgrimage, “Always in a pilgrimage there is a change of mind and a change of heart. The outer landscape becomes a metaphor for the unknown, inner landscape.” Traveling into beautiful landscapes reflects to me the beauty of the soul. It reminds me that we are part of nature…we are nature. There really is no separation. Travel is sacred to me because it is a reminder to reflect inward to that precious journey of the soul.

The journey to wholeness is perfectly summed up when John O’Donohue said, “If you enter into the dream that brought you here and awaken in its beauty in you, then the beauty will gradually awaken all around you.” Beloved Eriu, Beloved Ireland, you showed me beauty that awakened me and gave me glimpses into the beauty of the soul that still shines through the eyes of my heart. It is time to shine….the harp of my heart has been strung and now must be played.


All images copyright Simone Lipscomb