Tag: healing

Turn to Oneness

Turn to Oneness

Therefore turn your attention to the Oneness–the relationship between you and your Self–and away from fear. When you do this you create new ground upon which to build your life. Observe the fear but connect with the Oneness. This then creates a new reality from which to build your life.

Fear creates separation…between you and your Soul self, between you and others. Fear is the great divider.

When you feel fear arise imagine your Soul self standing beside you. Together observe the fear and work to see the fear as something that is not a part of you. It has been circulating in your energy field but it isn’t you.

Our tendency is to run from fear…to keep moving so perhaps we don’t have to look at it in the face. But once we have the courage and support to stop…to p a u s e….and look at it, we come to see and understand it is not who we are nor is it a part of us. It’s simply floating around in our quantum field and the more power we give it, the more it steers our lives.

At first, pausing to look at fear takes a lot of focus and concentration because it is so interwoven into our story, into who we think we are, we cannot discern the voice of fear from the voice of freedom, our Soul self. With practice we come to understand that the voice of fear has few positive things to say to us while the Soul voice speaks in amazing unfoldments of truth…synchronicities, dolphins leaping up at just the right moment, a friend stopping by to visit and helping you piece together a mystery of growth, an email that answers the question you held…small little everyday miracles that are always present if we simple stop and pay attention.

Once we learn to discern the voice of fear from the voice of the Soul self it becomes crystal clear who is speaking. The more choices we make to listen to the Soul self voice, the more relaxed we become, the less we run from life.

Stillness, breathing, compassion for self…all vital keys to this process. When we become the observer rather than the reactor, fear doesn’t know what to do. It is used to controlling us but when we turn the tables on it, it’s like deflating an over-filled balloon. It sits there, head down, going…where did I go wrong? I had her so wrapped up in this fake story of her life.

My friend Rose Bator reminds us that our body and soul have all the intelligence and we can simply cooperate and observe. The changes become a natural, organic flow from our willingness to cooperate and observe the process. She says to allow fear to wash over like waves at the ocean. We don’t have to grab a wave or try to figure out where it originated. We just observe. Allow.

Becoming an observer of fear rather than a victim to it is like slipping between worlds. Most of the 3D world operates in fear. Political systems are motivated in fear, religions seem quite at home with the leverage fear provides, society thrives by fear–conform to our group or be outcast, buy our expensive gadgets and clothes so you will be cool like the others.

I saw a funny quote recently that was about FaceBook so I altered it to apply to life in general: Being a celebrity or ultra-popular in this insane society is like being at the cool table of the mental hospital. When we heal our lives and stop allowing fear to steer us we step out of the world we know into something new and different…and honestly, quite amazing.

A daily practice for me lately has been observing fear. When it arises I pause, connect with my Soul self (higher self, guide, inner teacher, God….whatever works for you) and sit as an observer, not reacting, not spinning off into all the what-if’s and staying present…very present…with my Self. It has changed my life.

We are taught from infancy to fear–as if fear will keep us safe. Fear pushes us away from our true self and we come to rely on fear as our touchstone rather than trusting our true self to lead us safely through life. We grow up in a constant state of struggle between being who we really are and being true to that or betraying ourselves to fit into this messed up false reality based on fear.

The more we deny our true self the more we buy into the fear-based method of survival. Eventually we cannot even see our true self until something happens to break us open and then we are given the opportunity to see the fear for what it is, an unreal experience of something that feels real, or we pause and look it in the ‘eye’ with the support of our true self and call bullshit.

When I experience Nature deeply, I connect with my true self. I remember the first time I returned from cave diving in the Yucatan. The jungles and magnificent, clear-water caves with massive formations took me so deep into my Soul self that I was transformed and in perfect alignment with who I really was. Then I returned home and walked into a Target store and nearly had a panic attack. I felt myself want to use my tiger sharp teeth and claws to gnaw my way out of the trap of a world that I no longer wanted to belong to…the world of greed and ‘more’ and fear.

As we practice breathing with our Higher Self and seeing it as part of us, strength arises and we begin to feel empowered. When we begin to see our True self as a friend and regard It with unconditional, positive appreciation we build this strength. Breathe in the Oneness of relationship with our Soul self. Every day but especially when fear arises. When we do this we become a force instead of a runner.

I suggest a new path away from fear and into the truth of who we are. No dogma, no rules, no pleasing anyone, no paying anyone for the secret formula. You have it now. The mystery has been revealed. Now, it’s in your hands to do with as you see fit.


Painting by Donna O’Neal

Nurturing Life

Nurturing Life

It felt as if my body was wound around the busyness of the past four days of work in an outdoor clothing retail store. No matter how much I like my coworkers and the quality of the clothing, the constant music, influx of customers and steady-non-stop-going is as far from my ideal way to generate money as I can image….almost. I’m so sensitive energetically that I don’t have time to download the extra stimulations when I’m working so many back-to-back days. So many, you ask?

I’m a contemplative…an artist, writer, poet, lover of nature who thrives on conversations with trees and rocks and occasionally cool critters such as whales, dolphins, bears…you get the idea. There’s lots of space in that life. So the shock of retail sales, even with a great store and company, is taking a toll on me.

I am grateful for work and it is teaching me that I’m excellent at sales (who knew?) and this confidence in talking with people and selling great practice for the next step in my own work…but I am learning just how much space I need to feel healthy and whole. I left this afternoon, after the four days in a row, feeling shattered.

After dinner and a movie at home with my dog and cats, I felt my body wanting some restorative yoga so I got out my mat and lit a candle and put on my favorite soothing music…the same music I used when I did yoga with humpback whales a couple years ago. Just the act of caring for myself made me feel better immediately. I realized I need to set limits on how many days I can work without a day off….to restore my sense of stillness…of wholeness.

I’ve been working on the Deepening with Nature study course and it has suffered with my retail commitments. The work of my heart has taken a back seat to the retail world…and that’s not okay. That is a breeding ground for frustration and depression for me. So I’m learning how important my soul’s calling is and how it needs to be given priority.

That’s part of nurturing my life.

Here’s the thing…the stress I feel isn’t just from a part time job; the insanity and chaos of our country, failing ecosystems and all the social injustices adds up. Whether or not I dwell on any of them, I know they are happening and that adds to the heaviness of what I carry around with me.

But you know that dear reader for you, too, carry the stress of the wrongs of this mean-seeming world. We all feel the burden and the helplessness when we hear of children locked in cages and not properly cared for…when we hear of polar bears and gray whales starving….of ice melting at unprecedented rates. We might try to fool ourselves into thinking we’re not worrying but it’s still there in our subconscious mind. Our hearts are still breaking whether we acknowledge it or not.

So listen to your body….listen carefully….for it will tell you what you need to hear. Listen….listen….listen.

Restore yourself….restore your life. Join me….light a candle for your life. Tell your heart’s work it comes first and make time for it, even if it means cutting back hours of paid work. Don’t short-change the soul’s longing.

Just the act of unrolling my yoga mat, lighting a candle and putting on soothing music helped my body relax and feel appreciated. The intention I set was to be present with myself, my life….my light. And that simple act helped me breathe a bit deeper, release stress and then pick up my laptop to finally write….

The world needs us….our soul needs us to listen, pay attention and honor the sacred work we feel called to do. It’s time to nurture the life that longs to live in us.

Are You the Hundredth Monkey?

Are You the Hundredth Monkey?

I was staying in a cottage in northern England when the news came in. He won the election. I collapsed into a heap on the kitchen floor and wept as wildlife and wild places entered my vision and flooded my heart with grief. I knew what he would do, what he’s always done in business. Ruthless, reckless development and profit at any cost. NO! I cried.

As I wept I felt a Presence touch my shoulder and say, Go to the Stone Circle. My friend and I were only a mile or so away from Castlerigg Standing Stone Circle. She was in her room asleep after staying up late to check on the election results. I quickly ran up to my bedroom and got dressed in layers…it was November and snowy. Within a few minutes I was out the door and defrosting the windshield.

I arrived at the Circle before anyone else. I entered and walked clockwise around the huge circle and came to what I came to call the Priest Stone. I knelt there and placed my hands on it and wept and cried out…WHY!?!?! Then I listened.

What I heard as clearly as if someone was standing there talking was this: This will speed up the awakening process. Do not despair. He will be used to awaken the masses to action. As I knelt I began praying and then singing….help us, help wildlife, help wild places.

Those paying attention knew this would be bad. And actually it’s worse than I ever imagined. And yet, in the end I suspect the guidance was correct. He will unite us, even though it appears quite the opposite.

There’s a theory called the Hundredth Monkey Effect. Basically there was a group of monkeys on an island and they learned to wash sweet potatoes. Once a critical mass of monkeys learned to wash sweet potatoes on the island, the behavior instantly spread across the water to monkeys on a nearby island. This was a study that has been popularized with the idea that once enough people awaken, there will be a massive awakening that happens spontaneously.

This idea answers those that say their efforts cannot make a difference, that we are too far gone, that humans can’t change. For many years I have suspected that the only way this great awakening will happen is for individuals to take responsibility for their own healing, to clean up their inner worlds. This light will be reflected to the outer world and when enough people do this…BAM!

I’m not saying it’s going to be a magical cure if there is a massive awakening of consciousness. But the cure can be found within that awakening….by all of us working together to heal our lives, support others who wish to heal and then collectively we can hold a space for planetary healing.

I know…I know. It sounds a little fluffy but know this, the work of self-change changes the world around us. Not from outside us, but from within us. Each of us is an important part of the whole and when we begin to see ourselves connected to all life, then real change can begin to take root and grow.

After documenting the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill for a year, I was completely burned out. After spending a week with Joanna Macy in workshop and healing space, I had a vision. I imagined myself standing in the board room of BP. I looked around the room at all the people in suits and made eye contact with them and said,  You are my brother, you are my sister. I consume fuel, use plastic, enjoy air conditioning and heat…as a consumer I am part of the problem…but I can also be part of the solution.

If you embark on the journey of self-change it is guaranteed to be the most challenging journey you ever undertake but it is also the most rewarding, the most freeing. Don’t give up on yourself because you, my friend, just might be the hundredth monkey.

Letting Go of Hope

Letting Go of Hope

It’s a relief to give up hope. Then I can focus on the here and now. I think Catherine Ingram wrote this in her article, Facing Extinction. Or maybe that’s what I thought while reading it. Or perhaps it was Dahr Jamail in his book, The End of Ice. It felt as if I was finally letting go of something very heavy and when I gave myself permission, it was freeing.

Nearly ten years ago, after documenting the BP Deepwater Horizon for a year, I was emotionally spent, exhausted and had no ability to allow joy or pleasure into my life…how could I while Nature was suffering so? I spent a week with Joanna Macy which helped me heal the deep wounds generated by what I witnessed.

While my eyes and throat burned with the smell of hot diesel fumes erupting from the Gulf of Mexico, people living only a few blocks off the beaches refused to believe the beaches were heavily oiled. That taught me how denial works in the human psyche. Something so unimaginable and painful is perhaps simply unacceptable in the human mind. As soon as the well was sealed, the attention of the masses was off to the next media circus leaving me angry and in disbelief. How did this not wake up the entire world, I fretted.

Since that time of photographing, writing and videoing seven areas along the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast for a year, I have struggled with trying to maintain hope…that people will wake up and care and do something!

One of my mentors told me during the year I worked at the Gulf that there was a reason I was being asked to witness such devastation. I knew then I had never witnessed anything so traumatic. Watching sea creatures die on a daily basis, birds suffering, beaches heavily oiled while humans walked in bathing suits or frolicked in oiled waters was a living nightmare where reality was warped. Two worlds collided every day as cleanup workers dodged beach-goers and families let their children run and play in the toxic water.

So yes, I know crazy. I know denial. I know grief.

After working on the oil spill I decided to start documenting beauty and began writing about encounters with humpback whales, dolphins, manatees, sea lions…the Ocean itself and other sacred places. Surely, I reasoned, this will help people see the preciousness of our planet and maybe it will encourage them to action as protectors and champions. “This is what we risk losing!!!” I seemed to shout through my prose about my whale friends or the dolphin who seemed to adopt me into her pod or the adorable sea lion pup who played hide and seek with me.

I was still in a place of hope.

In the last decade, the reality of just how bad the climate crisis is has escalated. I thought the grief I felt over the oil spill was intense. Now, every day the grief deepens and yet, thanks to Joanna, I refuse to turn away from that which saddens me. As Dahr Jamail wrote in his new book, “I am committed in my bones to being with the Earth, no matter what, to the end.”

And the grief many of us are experiencing is anticipatory grief. We know what we are losing every day and we know the outlook is very grim. Catherine Ingram wrote, “For those of us who cannot look away, we carry the anticipatory grief for those who cannot bear to look.”

Why am I here? Why did I come to the planet at this time? I suspect, if we have a choice, it was intentional. The deep love I feel for this water planet and all life here is worth being here as a witness to the beauty and kindness and compassion….the capacity of humans for greatness. And yet with that capacity comes the other side of human behaviors that are selfish and plow through life with the profit-at-any-cost mindset.

I suspect that many of us who came here at this time did so to offer our love and compassion in a time where that is greatly needed. As empaths it’s not easy to do because we feel it all….not only human grief but that of all life. I don’t think we would have come if we didn’t have something to offer.

Over the past couple of years a major shift in my work has been taking place. I have had clear guidance that one phase is ending and another is beginning. It feels like a bell is ringing in my soul, calling me to step forward and begin. It’s like the first 59 years of my life was about laying the foundation and now, the deeper work begins.

I know that I can’t be in a passive role any longer. I cannot ignore the sound of the bell calling me to work and gradually the vision is getting clearer.

My own inner work has taken me into deeper relationship with Nature. Without a doubt, the healthy way forward is to expand our individual and collective connection with Nature. As part of my work I will be offering opportunities for individuals and groups. There will be multiple opportunities for Deepening with Nature…a regular, outdoor circle to build community; day retreats; weekend retreats; sacred travels and individual consultations. This will be enhanced by my move back to the mountains of North Carolina.

We must re-learn how to listen to Nature and slow down to fine-tune our ability to hear our own heart’s voice. Dahr Jamail wrote it perfectly, “Grief is something I move through, to territory on the other side. This means falling in love with the Earth in a way I never thought possible. it also means opening to the innate intelligence of the heart. I am grieving and yet I have never felt more alive.”

I am releasing the dark visions of the future so I can remain present and be of service to this planet and those wishing to deepen their relationship to Her. I will use every talent I have to be present with all life here, whether it is connecting with a whale in the ocean or holding space for someone to feel their grief.

Dahr poses this question that I pass along: “How shall I use this precious time?”

 

 

 

Other Side of the Threshold

Other Side of the Threshold

On the other side of the threshold lies unlimited possibility. I see an endless sky filled with stars and a single, brilliantly huge star leading the way home—hovering like a diamond in the night sky over mountains calling me home. The embrace of those ancient mountains calls me hometo myself…to frolic in my own freedom.

On the other side of the threshold lives the truth of my being in this world. No longer chained or imprisoned by the push for always something more I can do, be, create I relax in the infinite wisdom that I am…enough. Right now. There is no need to strive for anything more….ever. It’s all here now. I am. Here. Now.

On the other side of the threshold is a different way of being in the world where I no longer feel guilty for resting or sitting in nature with no goal or pen or paper or camera. I am free to meld into the woods, into rock, into the very mountains themselves and simply listen to what they wish to teach me.

On the other side of the threshold is recognized Oneness with all life…from the tiniest grain of sand, to the mightiest humpback whale….from the homeless young man to the executive of a corporation….from the saint to the sinner and despot.

Unbridled compassion for self and others awaits me; tender kindness for all life anticipates my arrival; beauty and grace prepare a place for me….as I step through….

Now.

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All photographs copyright Simone Lipscomb.