Tag: Light

I Stopped Trying to Save the World Today

I Stopped Trying to Save the World Today

simonelipscomb.com (10)Solstice. Sunrise. Sunset. Moon. Stars. Inky blackness in a space vacuum pierced by pinpoints of light.

simonelipscomb.com (2)Cosmic glue. Love. Source. Spirit. Animation of matter through particles of light.

simonelipscomb.com (14)Heart and mind open, light sparkles through eyes and aura.

simonelipscomb.com (7)Light, mist of Love manifested in physical. Light and love, same expression of the Mystery, the Unnamable.

simonelipscomb.com (4)Defining It lessens It and contorts It into our image.

simonelipscomb.com (11)Light came from Dreamland with me this day–a flower opening, a single ray of light from the sun…smile of a friend after a belly laugh slurped from the same straw.

simonelipscomb.com (15)Today I stopped trying to save the world. Now there is only laughter and beauty. Outrageous laughter. Delicious beauty.

simonelipscomb.comStopped pushing, began allowing. Profound peace is at home within me. And now….everything is possible.

Light of the Soul

Light of the Soul

SimoneLipscomb (4)Seeing the light of a person’s soul is one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever known. He had a wide open heart and unbounded love shining forth for me and I had an open heart and mind to receive it. To know love as given through an open heart can be rare, but it need not be.

While it wasn’t a forever relationship for me, the love generated from it lives on strongly in my heart. And I continue to be grateful.

SimoneLipscomb (9)As humans we have moments of allowing our light to shine and other moments when fear takes over and creates a cloak around the light. It can be scary to be open if others are changing around us. When life events create change, the temptation is to withdraw and not risk being open, not risk being vulnerable. That’s when all our filters kick in and we see the world through our wounds instead of with the eyes of spirit. Every person alive has most likely experienced this.

SimoneLipscombLast week a three hour lunch with a friend produced pages of notes as we bounced ideas off of each other about how to make a difference, how to be a positive force. One of us chewed food while the other spoke…all the while the chewer listened and allowed inspiration to come forth. Then we switched roles. Both of us have experienced frustration in our life’s path and the direction we feel guided. What came from that meeting was the simple idea of allowing love to move through us and open the way. An answer for all?

SimoneLipscomb (1)I find that when I become fearful, I get tense. As I tense my body, my thoughts follow and I feel smaller. And then…love is struggling to shine through the tiny cracks of space left open in my heart. But when I relax my body, my mind relaxes and then my heart opens and there is room for love. Or maybe the mind is first…or maybe the heart. But somehow the mind, body and spirit all work together to create an expansive and open heart. Or one that is shut down. The choice is ours.

As I have worked to move forward in life, I have struggled to understand why my heart keeps returning to that relationship. After months of no contact, my heart still feels the love. Clarity arrived as I finally realized that seeing the light of his soul changed my life for the better. Knowing the light of another’s heart was profound and I’ll not settle for anything less in relationship. But I also understand that maintaing that kind of openness takes a lot of work. And it begins with me. To find others whose hearts are open requires that mine be open. And it requires that I am willing to be vulnerable.

SimoneLipscomb (11)Each of us has the capacity to allow our light to shine. We have choice. When we live more open to love, love becomes the reality, the expectation…the way of being. As we are grounded in love, determined to stay open, we must be disciplined for it is easy to close down, to hide. But love is what will sustain us..not our fears or our anger. Love generates both urgency and patience. As we intend to live love, love changes our reality.

I have tried anger and frustration and impatience. I have tried to force change…but none of that ever works. Only through softening…and opening…and embracing light and love has my life shifted, has my vision cleared.

SimoneLipscomb (2)Love has known me. Light of another’s soul has touched me. That isn’t something I want to forget…ever. This is how we are designed to live.

May we collectively shed the cloaks of anger, hatred, frustration, hurt…. the past….and be willing to show the light of the soul to all.

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Bring in the Light

Bring in the Light

photo copy 6I awakened this morning thinking of the Solstice…yesterday’s Solstice. Geez…I didn’t even mark the event, I thought but then quickly realized that I had climbed 177 steps toward the light in a tight spiral. Upwards I climbed with my daughter and son-in-law until we were almost inside the many-prismed glass sculpture that housed the light of the Pensacola Lighthouse.

photoWe had just visited the Naval Aviation Museum with my mom and decided to stop at the lighthouse and make the climb. Mom waited for us in the gift shop as we made our way up and up, winding tighter circles in the brick structure built in 1859. The wrought iron steps were chilly on my bare feet as I abided by the climbing rules and carried my flip flops rather than risk tripping on the steep stairway.

As we climbed I thought of the lighthouse keepers from years past whose jobs were vital to the safety of those traveling by ships. Before there was GPS, LORAN and other modern navigation tools, there were only charts, stars, sextants and lighthouses to keep sailors on course. The lights were illuminated by a lamp fueled with oil or kerosene instead of electricity. The rotating element was introduced in 1790’s houses and the Argand parabolic reflector system introduced in the early 1800’s. Electricity and carbide or acetylene gas began replacing kerosence around the turn of the 20th century. At that time the lamp could be automatically lit at nightfall and extinguished at dawn, eliminating the need for a keeper to climb the stairs carrying fuel and tending it during the long hours of the night.

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I tried to imagine how gallons of fuel might have been carried up the steep, tight stairway and marveled at the dedication required for those keepers all over the world whose job it was to bring light to all who needed it. As I reflect on the Solstice and the season of light, I ask this question: Are we any less in need of Light today?

photoWalking through the Naval Aviation Museum I noticed the machines of war…planes, aircraft carriers, markings on the sides of ships and planes denoting how many enemy planes, ships and other targets were destroyed. I felt such sadness that through the long history of humanity we still have not evolved beyond war. Success is still measured by some people and governments by the number of enemies we destroy. We continue to live based in fear. Fear that if we don’t destroy others, we will be destroyed.

In the spiritual tradition in which I was raised, I learned that Light entered the world through the birth of a man, a messiah, a Light that taught us to move from the Old Testament ways of an eye-for-an-eye to lives lived with compassion and love. But I ask….where is  love when decisions in our lives are based only in fear, in retaliation, in one-upping, and taking out (in one way or other) those who don’t believe like we do…dress like we do….worship like we do…look like we do.

photo copy 5By making the commitment to climb steadily toward the Light we reach greater understanding by seeing from a higher perspective. No longer operating from fear, we are able to see with new eyes, with open hearts.

We have spent far too long living with the mind-set of fear. Now is the time to bring in the Light.




Making a Difference

Making a Difference

simonelipscomb (7)Several weeks ago I met my friend in the Smoky Mountains for an afternoon photography shoot. As we drove through Cades Cove we caught up with each other and shared a bit about our lives. We are both committed to our paths and want to make a difference in the world and shared our frustration at not really knowing how to do that or if what we are doing is really positively impacting the world.

A friend in Japan has been exploring how she wants to work to help make the world a better place and is frustrated as to how she can do this. She has volunteered in an elephant sanctuary and in the past has worked with marine mammal rescue but she, like others I know, wants to make a difference every day.

Over the past couple of days another friend and I have been in contact about the desire to make a difference in the world. It feels like the HID light was just turned on deep in an underwater cave. His clarity encouraged me.

A funk, for lack of a better word, has been dominating my life for the past several months. I am not sure of the origin of this downward turn. There is so much negative everything happening and the environmental issues coupled with atrocities humans perpetuate on each other have made it difficult to know what to do. After working with vigor and with passion documenting the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and before that, in creating books of beauty and inspiration, all with the goal of making a difference, I find hundreds of books in boxes in my home…their message of beauty and hope sitting tucked away from the world. A perfect metaphor of how I feel. Despondency and feeling a loss as to what I’m really supposed to be doing with my life has been the question that occupies my mind.

simonelipscomb (5)The heart-friend I recently wrote of retired from over thirty years of service to his community. He was a leader as a firefighter and trained in many disciplines so he could be excellent in his work. Rookies and seasoned firefighters alike looked up to him and his valuable skills. His career of rescue work is truly inspiring. Upon retirement he wasn’t doing what he wanted to do…making a difference. It was a terrible adjustment for him as his heart is huge and his intention of service matches the size of his heart. It wasn’t until he followed his path to serve in a war-torn country that he once-again fulfilled, in his mind, his goal. He has found what he was looking for–making a difference.

We follow little breadcrumb thoughts which lead us to decisions. We act on these decisions and make changes in our lives–some are huge, some are small. We direct our energy toward the slow-growing momentum and then hope for the best. But how do we know our efforts really are making a difference? How do we maintain trust in ourselves and in our decisions? Here’s a cave-diving analogy.

Photo by Ed Jackson
Photo by Ed Jackson of me and my buddy Ray and his light in the distance

When cave diving a diver knows that caves are dark. It seems a silly statement but I cannot count the number of times I’ve been asked the question: Are underwater caves really dark? Think of the darkest, inkiest, blackest darkness and then think of it as flowing and moving around you. Yes…underwater caves are dark. So a diver takes redundant equipment into a cave–air and light. Three lights are required equipment–a primary light and two back-up lights. The primary is a very bright, strong light and the back-up lights are smaller and always contain fresh batteries.

Photo by Ed Jackson
Photo by Ed Jackson…Yes, that’s me diving with my buddy, Ray, behind me.

So if I’m diving in a cave and for some reason my primary light fails, out comes a back-up light. If that fails, out comes the other back-up light. If we apply the analogy of cave diving to our lives, think of our life’s path as the primary light. We are born, we develop and learn and find our way to our path. A natural light is emitted from it as we progress. But there comes a time when we lose faith in our path, we find ourselves far from those we love, and who love us, we retire, or move to a new area, and that light wavers and then blinks out. We are left in the dark.

It’s not a happy place, this darkness. It’s difficult to orient ourselves, find our way. Which way do we go? Where is the line? Which tunnel is the way home?

Photo by Ed Jackson
Photo by Ed Jackson….I miss these caves!!!

When this happens we can contact a friend, one of our back-up lights, to help light our way. Sometimes the path we tread must have light from another source. When our own light seems dim, there are others who can help us see the path we have chosen. Their light can help us stay true and move forward when we have lost faith in what we do. We may come to a side tunnel in our underwater cave and the extra light may be necessary to see which way leads us home.

Some may think the primary light in cave diving is the most important but ask any cave diver who has had to deploy a back-up light or two. Those little lights are the real life-savers.

I am grateful for my heart-friend that reminded me to keep working on my path of service. His light encouraged me to stay with it, even when it feels like I am not making a difference. Sometimes I stumble along in darkness and then a ray of light comes forward to illuminate the way.

simonelipscomb (6)May we all be lights unto each other.

Thanks for reading. Please comment or share as you see fit. 



Running Toward the Light

Running Toward the Light

simonelipscombWhen I opened the curtains and door to the porch off my bedroom this morning the light was a soft, deep orange. I peeked out and looked around the corner to the east and the sky was a palette of brilliant color. To add to the dramatic beauty, fog hugged the ground beneath the oak trees.

I hurriedly threw on shorts and a hoodie and sprinted upstairs to get my tripod. I couldn’t find the ‘L’ bracket and hex wrench that attaches it to my camera. Dang it! Where is that thing? I said in a not-so-gentle-voice. I couldn’t find it so I grabbed an attachment for my old tripod and ran downstairs, tripping and nearly falling on the stairs.

My camera was still in the kitchen where I left it last night when I came home from a music event yesterday afternoon so I quickly attached the tripod foot and headed outside, grabbing my old tripod from the garage. As I was walking to the pasture fence I was attempting to extend the legs of the tripod. Of course, the legs wouldn’t extend (the reason I replaced it after a busy summer of salt-water shooting last year that basically ended its life). The sun was rapidly rising and the brilliant blue and orange and yellow hues would be gone within minutes.

simonelipscomb (4)Screw it, I mumbled and threw the tripod to the ground, adjusted the camera settings and started shooting. It was frustrating because I love very long exposures in light such as this as it enriches the colors. But this morning, I was doing the best I could given the time constraints and equipment snafus.

Challenges like I experienced at sunrise today are really quite funny. A part of me was calmly watching myself scurrying and hurrying and I knew that all of the effort might be for nothing….I could miss the sweet light. But as beautiful as the sunrise was, I had to make the effort.

Things in life that are beautiful are indeed worth the effort.

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