Tag: conscious change

Rise Up

Rise Up

In the too often pattern of not sleeping well, my mind was reviewing the long list of things that frustrate me. I had dreamed of a therapist friend of mine earlier in the night so decided that perhaps I needed to allow my inner psychotherapist to work with my meandering mind.

Almost immediately I heard that my angst comes from a feeling of powerlessness over the many assaults on the environment, wildlife, innocent humans, the ocean, sacred lands, people of color, women…my particular list seems endless these days. Every day…every single day…I witness first-hand some destruction that pushes me to anger, sadness, and grief so enormous it’s difficult to find stillness and peace. It’s like my full-time job these days is just trying to stay sane when I see all of the meanness, destruction and abuse happening.

So if I’m feeling powerless, I’m guessing that others are as well. I know there are many people who care. There are many people who are frustrated and who wake up with anxiety, concern and breaking hearts over the brutality of the administration of the US government…and other governments and corporations who put money as ‘god’ and damn anything that gets in the way…who don’t abide by ethics or morals or even common decency. We are stressed by the state of things and more so because we feel powerless.

As I pondered this my inner therapist suggested that we use every negative thing we witness or hear about or read about as a call to open more to kindness…compassion….love. Instead of giving up in frustration, let every evil deed, every sting of anger, frustration and heartbreak be our cue to love immediately, to show kindness immediately….to open ourselves to compassion. Not as a concept or idea but as an action….an immediate action.

If I see the local state park being cleared of old-growth underbrush and get angry while cycling, send love to every plant I see as I go past. I mean…really send them love. Thank the plants for being there. Apologize for those destroying the flora of the park.

If I read about the ‘president’ creating a border crisis as a publicity stunt for his re-election campaign, allow my anger to be a cue to stop and love my dog and cats….to shower them with open-hearted affection. Take immediate action to show compassion, to take my mind and heart to a place of love…a counter balance to the other stuff.

Perhaps I read a story of polar bears starving from lack of sea ice on which to hunt and I feel overwhelming grief…I can pick up a book of poetry and go outside and read a poem to the Earth….and take my tears to the soil and share them with Her….she’ll listen.

What if I read of an oil and gas lobbyist being installed as head of the Department of Interior….I can go outside and walk among trees and tell them out loud how much I love them.

Angry at sonar blasts killing whales? Turn on whale songs and dance, opening my heart and allowing their songs to guide me to self-expression.

I suggest we create a list of ways we can open our hearts when we feel the familiar sting of anger and heartbreak over what is happening. In the moment we can too easily spiral into our grief and anger so if we create a list in advance we can access it and choose a way to remain open and direct the energy into something that helps us and puts good juju out into the world.

This isn’t a polly anna way of dealing with the insanity we face…this is the way to transmute it, to create the change we want by being the change. It’s not easy. It’s probably the hardest work we will ever do…but check it out beloveds….WE CAN CHANGE THE COURSE OF THE WORLD BY OUR KINDNESS, OUR COMPASSION, OUR LOVE.

Let us rise up. Let us create the world we say we want by taking responsibility for our reactions to what is happening. Let our anger, grief, sadness, frustration remind us to meet brutality with positive action that shifts us…real changes begins within individuals. And many individuals positively shifting their energy leads to really amazing and wonderful change on a large scale.

What’s one thing you can do today that adds compassion, kindness or love to the world? What’s stopping you?

Here’s a partial list of immediate actions of kindness, compassion and love we can take when our anger, frustration, grief, sadness is triggered. Add to it…share it with others. Let’s RISE UP!

Stop and hug your dog or cat or horse….have a favorite poem ready to read out loud to the trees…have favorite music accessible and play it and dance in joy and love….stop and smell flowers (literally)….walk among trees and talk to them and then listen….write a poem about your feelings….sing a love song to the Earth….walk in a park and notice every thing that is beautiful….write a letter to a friend….make up a funny story and write it down….call a friend to tell them you love them….play a musical instrument and imagine love pouring forth with every note….look in the mirror, look into your eyes and thank yourself for being part of the solution….write a love letter to the Earth or to polar bears or whales or whatever species your heart is breaking for and share it with a friend….use children’s building blocks to spell out words such as love, kindness, compassion…pray for wild ones, innocents…visit someone who is ill and read them poetry or a funny story…donate money to an organization or individual working to create positive change…sit in the sun and allow it to touch your heartbreak…walk barefoot on the Earth and let every footstep be a kiss for the planet…create a list of people you can call when you feel overwhelmed with grief or sadness or anger and reach out to one for support….

Whatever you do, do something that nurtures yourself, shifts your energy and from that positive change flows out into the world.

(Thanks Thom)

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

Rugged and Wild

Rugged and Wild

Diamond Hill…not far from the beginning of the trail.

The walk started out with an overcast sky and warm. It was beautiful weather. The path from the parking lot was well-marked and well-maintained. Connemara National Park is outstanding in its untamed beauty.

The park offers various ways to walk around Diamond Hill. I opted for the full climb while my friend opted to more knee-friendly environs. She remembered to ask me for the car key this time, unlike our adventure on the Cliffs of Moher where one slip off the trail on my hike and she would be stranded for eternity.

By the time the hike was over I was very glad someone knew I was out there in that wild place. It wasn’t long after we separated that the weather began to turn. Thankfully I had my rain parka in my pack. Unfortunately I was wearing my new awesome ‘cow girl’ hat which didn’t take kindly to the eerie wind that started to build as I climbed up the mountain.

With every step up, the wind seemed determined to push me back. Heavy clouds appeared to come from the bowels of hell as the temperature plummeted. I stopped and removed my camera pack, pulled out the jacket, gloves and exchanged my big Nikon for a waterproof GoPro. And…it was steep. So with the exertion, there was sweat and yet the biting cold wind, my body struggled to regulate temperature.

“It was an unforgiving environment with steep mountains and changeable weather. I felt the nature energies unapologetic for their strength, unwilling to temper their power. This is who we are. Deal with it, is what I heard as I climbed. I thought….Oh, great!”

And it did feel like I was shown the incredible power of the spirits of nature. There was no touchy-feely sweet little faery energy. This was the unabashed, unleashed, in-your-face experience of the elementals.

I did okay until I got near the summit, even with wind whipping around me and fog mixed with sleet beginning to blanket the summit. Even now, a year later, as I write this I feel the fear of mis-stepping, slipping on the wet rocks. I was alone and the conditions were deteriorating fast. At least Gabriela could alert someone if I failed to return to the car.

I began to wonder if I should continue. The signs warned to not turn around, to keep moving forward on the one-way trail but the summit appeared to be a very narrow ledge and with winds increasing and fog hovering the wisdom of moving forward was questioned.

Are you FREAKING kidding me?

Finally, I made the difficult decision to turn around rather than chance slipping off the summit and flying toward the Twelve Bens. And then, not even five minutes passed before I begin to pass others walking up. I could have asked to walk with them but decided to just keep heading down, driven from my goal to do the loop by fear and perhaps a bit of wisdom. Sometimes it’s challenging to know which voice I’m listening to as wind is screaming around my ears and sleet is stinging my face.

I met a guy hiking up the trail after I turned around. He stopped me to inquire about the conditions. He said he had tried to summit many mountains nearby in his travels and each time the weather had turned him back. He was determined to make it….I hope he did. Another time, I will make it to the 445 meter high mountain and finish the loop.

Just recently I read about Luka Bloom’s song, Diamond Mountain. I’ve loved the song for a while now but never understood the meaning of the lyrics until I learned that local lore describes Diamond Mountain as the best vantage point looking west across the Atlantic Ocean. During the massive emigration to America during the Great Hunger, those staying in Ireland could climb the mountain and watch the ships departing with their loved ones leave.

Luka sings, “I will be here when you need me.” He reminds us how painful it is to part from those we love, especially knowing we may never see them again in this life. The song took on greater depth as did the experience of climbing Diamond Mountain.

Nice boardwalks across the mountain bogs

The Irish supposedly viewed America as a place of exile, not as a land of opportunity. I feel that way, especially given our political climate these days. Exiled in a hostile land….oh, how I wish someone was waiting for me on Diamond Mountain so I could return to the land I love the best.

Lyrics from a favorite song haunt me: “When angels with wings come to collect you and carry you over the stormy sea; Whispering things as they caress you, gently they’ll press you with sweet words undress you, Will you fly to the land that holds and keeps you or the land you love the best. The land you love the best, the land you love the best. Will you lie in the garden of peace and of order or the cold wild field in the west. When night and her shadows come to surround you and touch you with fingers of cold, cold fear. When the voice of the stranger echoes around you when strange words confound you, strange accents drown you will you fly to the land that fed you or found you or the land you love the best.” (John Spillane)

In researching John’s song I came upon this song of his….I really needed to hear it and allow the question to echo through….hope you enjoy it as well. Funny how the simple act of reminiscing about a journey to Ireland leads me to this…

Wild and Whole

Wild and Whole

Late this afternoon Buddy and I went for a walk in the woods of the state park near where we live. It was a survival move. A passive aggressive man decided to unload on me earlier. And you know, my wild women sisters, when a passive aggressive man starts pointing fingers at us, he’s struggling with taking responsibility for his own mess. So we have to take care of ourselves and get back to the wild places in nature that can reflect the purity of the wild places within us.

On the way to our regular walking trail I had a dark, familiar energy arise that felt very self-abusive. I hadn’t felt that way in a while so I immediately paid attention and it brought amazing clarity as I tugged at it.

When people wish to control others but wish to be nice about it, they twist and turn their words to try and pry under our boundaries. If they can just plant a tiny seed of their passive aggression within us, we take it from there and turn the knife ourselves. I saw clearly today how that works energetically. They know they cannot be outright aggressive but if they are passively aggressive….well, then their work is simple….that is until they meet a wild woman.

Today, as we walked the trails and watched wild deer watching us, I also looked inward and saw how I used to allow other’s passive aggression to work its way quietly into me and rattle me, make me doubt myself, make me hate parts of myself, and make me not want to even exist, so intense was the pain. I think women are especially prone to do this as we allow ourselves to become domesticated and controlled by receiving ‘silent’ aggression and then using it to destroy ourselves.

Why? To be loved….to have security….to have attention…to feel safe….to be noticed….to advance our careers…to not have to deal with our own wounds…the list is endless but perhaps the saddest of all is we are willing to take in another’s passive aggression because we believe that’s all we deserve.

Later today, in meditation, I sat with this and realized it’s a chronic problem women have faced for how long?…from the beginning? Passive aggressiveness is a lazy person’s way to get what they want–control. And the need to control is based in fear. The insidious part is that we destroy ourselves….yes, sisters. We do it to ourselves by taking that tiny little seed of someone else’s quiet aggression and become the assassin. We are the hired hit-man for our own execution.

We have been conditioned and domesticated to the point that we are not even aware it’s happening. We just gradually know that we feel less engaged, more depressed, sadder and our self-talk becomes darker and more abusive. We lose friendship with ourselves and rightly so. Who wants to be friends with a bully?

After a while we begin to think we are crazy, wrong, at fault. We doubt the truth. We doubt our truth because we have swallowed the bitter seed of passive aggression and turned against ourselves. When we do this, we lose the essence of ourselves. We lose that beautiful, wild, free, amazing woman. We give our power to the aggressor and become depleted.

As I connected with that strong, powerful wild woman within me, she was able to help me see that this isn’t an isolated case of one woman struggling to keep her power. No, my sisters, this is a global issue women deal with all over the planet. It’s in families, the workplace, politics, churches, schools…everywhere.

Aggression is masculine energy warped and mutated and it can come from anyone. In my particular life it has come mostly from men, thus the reference to males. But the process is the same for anyone who uses aggression or receives it. It’s a dance of power.

Perhaps the idea of passive aggression is unfamiliar with some readers. Think of a person writing an inflammatory letter where they are subversively threatening you and then at the end writing God Bless…but you know that what they really mean is F#%k You! When that happened today I burst out laughing. I know what you really mean mister. I hear you loud and clear. Now hear this…you can’t have my power. You can’t control me with your ‘polite’ aggression.

Dear sisters….and brothers. Let us stop the nonsense of aggression and take responsibility for our own lives so we don’t have to try and conquer or steal others power so we don’t feel afraid. And women….wild women…take the time to notice if you allow other’s seeds of ‘polite’ aggression to become the method you use to abdicate your beautiful, shiny, fierce power…your life force.

If you are blaming anyone else for your misery it’s time to take a walk in the woods, on the wild side of yourself, and take full responsibility for your life…whether you are the aggressor or the willing recipient of ‘polite’ aggression. We heal our lives when we say, NO MORE! to any power struggles and live fully in our own, beautiful, wild nature.

I return to nature to re-charge, to reconnect with myself. I am a part of nature. We are nature. I always feel better in the woods or underwater, but especially need to connect with the pure essence of wildness when facing abusive human interactions–whether coming from another person or I am perpetrating them on myself.


Irish Music and a Blessing

Irish Music and a Blessing

In remembering the last journey to Ireland my mind goes back to Hotel Doolin and the amazing music we experienced each night. One night in particular we were able to get a table adjoining the musicians table. Yes they have a table….they sit around it and play. The rest of us are just there to witness their magical circle of music.

My journal reminds me, “The music was transcendent tonight! Absolutely transcendent. I called in all of who I am and listened with my whole self. YIPPEE!”

I drifted off to sleep with the sweet sounds of Ireland echoing through the dream time.

We flew in to Dublin on a super-eclipse-blue moon that hadn’t happened since 1866. Every morning the moon was hanging over the ocean when the frost kissed the tender blades of green. She inspired me quite a bit and I wrote this about her: “She shines over us in her elliptical journey, from one horizon to the other, with soft light causing tides and other invisible stirrings in hearts and minds as we open to touch the Unseen. We breathe in her grace and carry her rhythms into our soul.”

The music and moon must have inspired my writing. February 5, 2018 as I wrote this blessing in my journal that morning:

“May the dawn find you at peace with the coming day.

May the beauty of the first flower of spring cause joy to burst forth with gladness.

May the cycles of coming and going of the moon ever remind you of the cycles of your own coming and going.

May the life that longs to live in you rise up like the Earth’s daily awakening

And guide you ever onward to your heart’s true calling.

May every breath that warms your lips be one of peace with your life.

May your life be the true expression of your soul’s brilliance.

And may you find friendship with all of creation so that you know you are never alone.”

With gratitude I embody this path of a pilgrim, seeking inspiration and wholeness wherever I find myself. I hope to ‘find myself’ in Ireland again…soon.