Tag: healing

Yes, You!

Yes, You!

_TSL6602I have struggled for a very long time with acknowledging the value of the work coming through me. People say, “Wow…love your work!” and I’m like….What work? 

Over the past ten years I haven’t held a regular job…you know where I punch a clock and sit at a desk and fade until Friday. Since young adulthood I promised that if circumstance allowed, I would give myself completely to the work that wanted to come through me. I would do it and forgo the ‘security’ of a regular paycheck. And then it happened.

Simone Lipscomb 6352A land sale gave me the opportunity and I leapt into the Unknown, following up on that promise. Yet I have struggled with the value of the efforts put forth. There’s not a lot of financial payoff and so I find myself stumbling with it at times. But not always. There are moments of complete clarity and I release the fear and ego’s cynical voice and surrender…and walk forward….fly forward on wings of light.

We are so conditioned in our culture to assign value to work based on money. It has been a struggle to continue creating books, photographs and paintings, not because I don’t want to but I wonder….am I wasting resources by following my wild heart? Many other questions arise that lead me to doubt the Vision that calls me forward in perfect trust and love. Sometimes there’s doubt. Other times….those wings of light grow bigger.

Simone Lipscomb 6354Today a story popped up on my Facebook feed from my friend Christiane Pelmas. She so eloquently writes about value of who we are and what we bring to this wounded world. Here’s a bit of what she shared:

“How do we become people who perceive a greater story unfolding, of which we are an inextricable part? In order to see the web of wholeness and healing, we must have the capacity to acknowledge our value. If we cannot, or do not, acknowledge our value, we walk around like the living dead…..We all must know our value, our important and humble place in the order of things. We must know that we matter to a larger story. If we do not acknowledge that we matter, we throw a wrench in the whole extraordinary process, that relies, so very simply, on the fact that all things exists, and thrive, in healthy relation and relevance to each other.” Christiane Pelmas.

_TSL6139The next time you wonder if you make a difference on this planet, stop and know….You! Yes, YOU! are part of the greater whole and like Christiane reminds us, “we thrive in healthy relation and relevance to each other.”

YES!

 

What We Do Matters

What We Do Matters

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Recently I came across a book by Boyd Norton entitled, Conservation Photography Handbook: How to Save the World One Photo at at Time. Dr. Jane Goodall endorsed the book saying, “Boyd Norton inspires you to take action with your camera to save wilderness and wildlife everywhere.” His life’s work is impressive and he gives good tips. But it was the title that really grabbed me….How to Save the World One Photo at a Time.

In a time of increased pressure from over-fishing and pollution…noise, plastic, chemicals, excessive nutrients, raw sewerage…the Ocean struggles. All life within it struggles. And with an estimated 70% of the planet’s oxygen produced by phytoplankton, it’s not that much of a stretch to see that all planetary life dependent on oxygen to survive will be negatively impacted if the Ocean systems fail. Plain speak? Human life is in danger as much as any life connected to the sea.

As an Ocean lover, a person dedicated to working for the sea, it’s really difficult to know what to do on a daily basis. The path of science wasn’t my calling. It was the call of the relationship with the salt water and her life that lit the fire of passion within my heart…relationship to beauty and the intense desire to translate this beauty and the emotion it stirs within me to others. How does the life of an artist lend itself to saving whales or manatees or phytoplankton?

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Reaper with her calf (left)

Today I submitted images of humpback whale flukes I took in February to the Center for Coastal Studies, an organization that protects whales. They shared with the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog. I was able to share photographs of Reaper, a female humpback, and her calf with these organizations. I found out that Reaper summers in the Gulf of Maine. From metadata on my photographs I could give dates and times seen.

Reaper's calf breaching
Reaper’s calf breaching

That might not feel like much of a big deal to some folks but for me, a woman driven nearly insane witnessing the struggles all life faces due to human carelessness, this was a big deal. It felt as if my work adds to the efforts of these scientists who work to protect whales. It felt like something I did mattered.

Grocery list and notes about whale photos...my desk is a creative cauldron
Grocery list and notes about whale photos…my desk is a creative cauldron

One of my yoga teachers shared a Jack Kornfield quote with me recently. “It is not given to us to know how our life will affect the world. What is given to us is to tend the intentions of our heart and to plant beautiful seeds with our deeds. Do not doubt that your good actions will bear fruit, and that change for the better can be born from your life. May our actions be a product of our wisdom and compassion even when the immediate result is uncertain or not visible.”

It’s nice when those good intentions of the heart find a home, make a difference.

SimoneLipscomb (25)When I helped organize the rescue of Magnolia, our wayward Alabama manatee, it showed me what a few people can do to create a crowd of folks willing to help. Following her story from rescue, through rehab at Sea World Orlando, to release at Three Sisters Springs was an experience that changed my life and encouraged me to keep doing the work of my heart.

Mother and Calf Bliss
Mother and Calf Bliss

Everyone isn’t called to the Ocean to swim with whales or manatees or sharks. Some may find their heart’s work in schools or in inner cities, working as a nurse or physician, a computer programmer, a scientist….or by sharing music, painting, prose and poetry with the world. Each of us brings a special gift by simply opening our hearts and following our passion. We create a kaleidoscope of beauty, each bit of it necessary for healing and wholeness.

Reaper with a massive tail breach
Reaper with a massive tail breach

What we do matters.

A Most Amazing Year

A Most Amazing Year

SimoneLipscombThis year brought me back to myself. That’s the short of it. Expanded the year’s summary includes rainbows of epic number and proportions, manatee rescues and encounters, humpback whales, whale sharks, sea lions, Dominican Republic-Silverbank, Bonaire, Mid-Riff Islands-Sea of Cortez, La Paz-Sea of Cortez, morning sea turtle nest patrol. It was a year packed full of Ocean and the intention of bridging humans and nature.

DSC_8937I recently read through the journal I kept while anchored 80 miles offshore for a week with humpback whales and noted that I was finally in my body, fully present with myself. That’s what the Ocean and its creatures do for me.

The past few months I’ve reflected on my work and life and what’s next. After taking the time to pause and listen deeply it’s clear that the ‘next step’ is simply deepening the work I’ve been doing and allowing it to expand with my complete attention and commitment.

IMG_1729Friends have shared powerful words with me lately that have touched deep places within me. Two in particular stand out.

Marianne Williamson said this: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world.” And Donna Faulds said, “Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining through the open door?”

_TSL7226On Day Four of the New Year Yoga Challenge my teacher, Augusta, began class with the poem by Donna Faulds. This stayed in my consciousness as we progressed through the class: “Why wait for your awakening?…..Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons?” At one point we were stepping and opening forward and backward into balance poses. As I breathed in and stepped forward it felt as if I was meeting Light and Breath and the quote echoed in my heart, “Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons?” Then the music changed and the song, Marry Me, by Train began to play.

Tears flowed. I don’t pretend to understand the Great Mystery and can only share my experience. Today it felt as if an invitation to step toward It was extended and with every breath, every step and move into balance I said ‘yes‘ to the Sacred Marriage that happens when we are willing to partner with our Higher Self, our truest self…the Divine part of ourselves.

SimoneLipscomb (2)A couple months ago I was in a yoga class being taught by Sean Johnson and he posed a question for us to ponder in Child’s Pose at the beginning: What do you wish to manifest in your life? To be my true self completely, I whispered as tears rolled down my cheeks onto my mat.

_TSL7177As this year winds to a close it’s clear that the theme for me has been coming home to myself. Thanks to manatees, humpback whales, whale sharks, sea lions and friends, this has become a reality.

_TSL6631We were asked to set a one-word intention for the year at the beginning of today’s yoga class. Mine? Light. LIGHT! This new year is all about Light….Laughter and Love.

_TSL4724With gratitude and an open, humble heart I offer my thanks to all who gifted me with wisdom and support: the mother humpback whale who showed me pure peace, the deepest peace I could scarcely imagine; whale sharks whose gentle nature and grace was amplified through their gigantic forms; playful sea lions who reminded me to be outrageously open to fun; Magnolia manatee whose strong spirit strengthened me; the baby manatee and mother who embraced me–literally; friends who brought hours…days…of laughter in La Paz; the dream-team-last-kids-in-the-whale-shark-playground in Bahia de Los Angeles; yoga friends; neighbors; mom for loving my kitties so I could travel; those who supported my new book, Manatee Mindfulness; music friends; and for those mysterious friends whose invisible presence lifts me up….with a grateful heart I bow to you. May all of you and all beings be filled with peace and love.

SimoneLipscomb (15)Happy 2016!

Addendum

Dream January 1st, 2016….4.45am: Amid a scene of judgment and confusion I stepped away and saw light beams coming from everything. They were coming from people, animals, plants and me. Yes, my friends, it’s gonna be a year of Light. Namaste.

Selfie at Sunrise, La Paz, Sea of Cortez
Selfie at Sunrise, La Paz, Sea of Cortez
Crossroads….Thirty Years

Crossroads….Thirty Years

IMG_2282Thirty years ago I stepped onto a conscious path of personal development. That sounds so neat and clean. In reality, my life fell apart into an ugly, beautiful mess.

IMG_2297Thanksgiving 1985….it seems like a life-time ago when everything I knew fell apart. When I made the decision to grow into my potential everything I knew as familiar and safe fell away and I stepped off into the Void, into the Abyss. Some call it the spiritual warriors empty-handed leap into the Unknown. Whatever the label, it was scary.

IMG_2320I was 25 years old, had a 6 month old daughter who was my life, my world and the ground upon which I stood literally fell apart. It was the most difficult time of my life for I had to make the choice to grow into my potential or…not. It was terrifying. But I took the leap anyway.

IMG_2323Thirty years of hard work, pain, joy…letting go…letting go….letting go. Surrender. Every time I thought there was nothing more to surrender, something else within me would rise up that I had to release. Personal growth, clearing the personality-self, is not work for the faint of heart. Scuba diving, cave diving, traveling alone to remote places is nothing compared to facing the scary monsters within that can thwart or paralyze.

Details of the trials and challenges remain in memory but no longer haunt me. There are regrets that center around not being able to balance relationships with the intense growth taking place within and I get to practice self-forgiveness as the years unfold.

IMG_2303Once a person commits to personal growth and healing, there is no switch that can turn off what we learn. There were many, many days where I would pray to forget what I had learned so I could return to an unconscious state and just be happy….but was I really happy in ignorance? Digging deep unearthed a lot of treasures and debris.

The birth of my daughter was an awakening and she was the inspiration to dig deep and embody light and love as best I could, even if it meant being apart from her….the most difficult experience of my life repeated many times as we parted when she was with her father.

This Thanksgiving marked thirty years of stepping onto a conscious path and it found me with her, at her home in Michigan with her husband and dog child. I cannot think of a more profound place to mark this time than with her, my beautiful daughter.

IMG_2333I walked out into 23 degree pre-sunrise temperatures on the frosty grass and enjoyed the beauty of stillness and color. The pond was icy and reflected the colorful clouds creating a lovely meditation. The railroad tracks beckoned me so I walked up the hill to the crossing and watched deer cross the tracks toward the sunrise.

IMG_2330In the quiet beauty of the day, I saw myself at a crossroads. Every direction is filled with beauty and potential. The journey continues with every step as I gather the wisdom cultivated along the way….trust life, surrender thoughts and behaviors that keep love from flourishing, keep an open heart, forgive myself and others constantly, be fearless in expressing the creative impulses within, celebrate beauty.

 

Love…Fierce, Strong Love

Love…Fierce, Strong Love

_TSL3872On Saturday I was stopped at a traffic signal at a major intersection in a small town and several individuals with Bibles and signs reading: Fear God…The Wrath of God Cometh, were standing and screaming at vehicles. It was a bit intense but luckily I was listening to music…a chant invoking Love. I just kept on singing and envisioned Love coming through me and touching every one of the angry people screaming their message. It felt as if my car filled with Light as my heart remained open. I saw Light and Love touching all, no matter what they were doing or who they were. And it went beyond that moment to all humans, animals, places. Love has no boundaries. It knows no strangers. It was so amazing to feel that Love isn’t conditional…what a relief!

To quote I Corinthians 13: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keep no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”

_TSL3955As I sang and danced in my car, it wasn’t an act of defying those on the corners, screaming their message. I wanted to know what it felt like to keep my heart open without judgement and allow them to coexist peacefully. At one point, at this rather long red light, I glanced over with a smile and one of the young guys was watching me and I knew he felt it for he wasn’t screaming and his face didn’t show anger. He just stood there, open…questioning.

SimoneLipscomb (2)Love is powerful. There is nothing more powerful than Love. Love is fierce. When did we forget this? Why is it so scary?

SimoneLipscomb (1)Be Fierce….Look trouble in the eye. Let it see your courage and strength. Stand firm in yourself, grounded in love. Feel your bigness, know your truth. Face fear, chase fear. Be fierce.”*

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*Quote from my new book, Manatee Mindfulness. It’s a book about mindfulness filled with images of wildlife and available on my website or from me personally. Check it out!