Tag: love

Moving Beyond Fear

Moving Beyond Fear

SimoneLipscomb (11)As is the usual case when cycling, I went into a meditative state and allowed the miles, humidity, heat, green tunnel of the trail and my mind to meld. Thoughts and ideas surfaced and I began to tug on a string of thoughts on fear.

We see fear daily…people carrying guns openly into schools and grocery stores; people destroying the Ocean, land, wildlife and human health to grab more money, more profit at any cost; humans lashing out at others because they look different, practice a different religion, live in a different country, come from a different culture; killing snakes, huge granddaddy alligators, rhinos, lions, whales, dolphins…an endless list.

SimoneLipscomb (15)So how does all of this relate to fear?

Many years ago I read the statement: What is not love is fear (ACIM). This statement has bounced around in my mind and heart for over thirty years and each time I chew on it, it seems more true. Here’s a short list of other ideas on this:

1. “There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.” I John 4.18 (ISV)

2. “When you don’t choose love you choose fear. To transcend fear, we must move somewhere else emotionally; we must move into love.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler

3. “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” John Lennon

SimoneLipscomb (12)4. “Love is the only antidote to fear.” John O’Donohue

5. “Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch non-fear, you are free.” Thich Nhat Hanh

6. “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” Plato

7. “Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” Marianne Williamson
8. “Hate is the consequence of fear; we fear something before we hate it.” Cyril Connolly
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I grew up shooting guns in a family with guns and still enjoy shooting my pistols at the range, so please don’t mistake me as a person that is anti-gun; however, I can only draw one conclusion from grown men wanting to open carry semi-automatic rifles into grocery stores and schools–they are afraid. Sadly, much of the fear is created in their own mind. A few weeks ago an image blazed through social media of men wearing their semi-automatic rifles into a grocery stores…really? Is it that scary to purchase ice cream these days? Or veggies? Has the beer aisle been invaded by prohibitionists? Open carrying your big guns in schools? Doesn’t that only generate more fear…especially in the children who are trying to focus on learning? (Sigh). As I pedaled the only conclusion I came to was…they are afraid.
SimoneLipscomb (4)The mega-corporations that trash our planet and all life on it…aren’t they fearful of not having enough? The profit-at-any-cost mentality has at its roots a fear of not having enough money…or power.

SimoneLipscomb (4)Fishermen that call manatees ‘speed-bumps’ and lobby to have them de-listed from the endangered species list are, at the foundation, afraid that they won’t get to the fish quick enough, that somebody else will get more than them, that an animal as gentle and sweet as manatee should, God forbid, have rights to live in their own watery realm safely.

There are some that physically attack others who are different. Think of women that have been abused, gay individuals who have been tortured, black people, Native Americans…what could possibly be at the basis of the horrendous acts of violence? If you pull the thread long enough, fear is at the foundation. Fear of losing control of another you consider ‘property,’ or fear of your own sexuality, or fear that individuals with different colored skin will ‘take-over.’

Every scenario I pondered as I pedaled, came to one basic foundational cause: fear.

SimoneLipscomb (81)So what is the answer? How can we collective move past this to stop the violence born of fear?

As is often the case when pondering a lingering question, I found a random movie on Netflix. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’s basic storyline is a comet is going to hit the earth and it’s the story of how people deal with an impending global disaster. I noticed three ways people dealt with it: 1) Violence and anarchy; 2) Survivalist mode; 3) Love and peace.

We are living at a time when some humans alive now could see the end of civilization as we know it. There are countless ways this is progressing so there’s no need to go into those. But how we choose to deal with these stressful times is the same as the movie: 1) More violence against the earth and each other; 2) Defensive/survivalist actions; 3) Love and peace.

At the end of the movie the female lead character whispers to the male lead, Steve Carrell, “I thought we would end up saving each other.” He replies, “We did.” The comet hits and everything turns to light.

SimoneLipscomb (3)Isn’t that the answer? Love each other, love life, and we transform into light. We save each other.

Perhaps the only way we will make true, lasting, planetary change is to move beyond fear and find a way for love to blossom. Each of us…individually…can excavate the fears within our own hearts and minds. If we are serious about creating a better world, the change begins within ourselves.

photo 6“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Rumi.


Journey of an Inch

Journey of an Inch

We chain ourselves to past trauma when we continue to tell ourselves the same story.

The past couple of weeks have been difficult. And this past week….it felt like a storm of physical, mental, and emotional chaos.

On the flight back from Bonaire I was exposed to some respiratory bug so I’ve been recovering from that while packing for a dive trip. Seems a bit silly but it’s paid for and what the heck? It may become a snorkeling trip for me. Then old emotional wounds opened up and have been knocking me around a bit. And then of course, my mind has been in ‘monkey-mind’ mode during this entire time. Difficult? It’s relative, depending on who you are, but yes…difficult, challenging, exhausting. Yep.

_TSL3955I called a friend of mine and chatted with her about it and felt better afterwards. Then I ran across information on the New Moon in Cancer and how Pluto and Uranus were at odds and it felt like a lightbulb went off over my head illuminating the darkness of the past couple of weeks. Whether you, kind reader, believe in such science or not, it caught my attention.

After looking at several sites on the internet, the following theme was consistent: “Dive deep within to uncover the hidden pearls of self-love and compassion. While the seas of change threaten to bring us under, we must find our flow and ride the currents to new shores. Pluto staring down Mars-Mercury in opposition, a deluge of all that’s been stuffed down, and that’s felt too intense, even dangerous to express….Purging of core, compressed soul contents which can feel like a devastating tsunami of feelings and raw emotion….all this with the promise that riding out the emotional tidal wave will re-vitalize because we’re reclaiming energy and dimensions of our souls. And then there’s Uranus in Aries…shocking events that potential fire us up to take leaps of faith forward. Also a time of deep truths coming to the surface for individuals and institutions.”

Yep. Can I get an amen?!

_TSL2301Exhausted, emotionally drained and sleep-deprieved while recovering from a bug has created a ripe situation for surrender. Just letting go, resting and watching it all bubble-up, unfold and move. What else could I do?

The past two nights presented a turning point with a series of dreams. Two themes were present: reconciliation and love. I dreamed of coming back together in peace and harmony with a loved one and then I dreamed of walking with friends along a river. One of my friends was a songwriter and was working on a song. I got the lyrics from his notepad (is that wrong to do in a dream?).

The moon sees me through silken light
She bathes my soul and makes me bright
I become a star when she’s done with me
She heals my soul and sets me free
The blessed moon and the deep blue sea

SimoneLipscomb (1)I greeted the morning feeling better after waking up several times during the night an jotting down the dreams. Even tired from lack of sleep, I felt stronger energetically. My subconscious is working very, very hard to heal the wounds, to make them right within myself. And it’s showing me the connection to the moon, the sea and the Cosmos, which is always very healing.

During today’s meditation I heard to relax and go with the flow, to go deep into the Silence and allow my deepest, inner silence to connect with the Silence of the Universe. I also heard to play more and take things less seriously and keep an open heart. Everything is shaking inside me and feels like it’s falling apart but I heard to simply observe it with detachment and to let go, let things fall apart. And overall, the message was one of Harmony. Listen to my heart, play, be in the silence and be soft and receptive…Joy is just around the corner.

This poem of Wendell Berry’s came up on my Facebook page this morning and it seems appropriate. It sums up the experience of the past two weeks.

SimoneLipscomb (14)A Spiritual Journey

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey, 
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.

~ Wendell Berry ~



Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

SimoneLipscomb (6)Today I read a story about two men who lost loved ones in the tsunami in Japan a few years ago. The two women, who worked at the same bank, were swept away in the huge wave and left behind a husband and a father. After the devastating event, the men decided to learn to scuba dive.

This wasn’t an easy task. Both were in their fifties and while that’s not a deterrent, they both reported it was difficult learning to dive; however, their desire to dive pushed them to complete the training.

SimoneLipscomb (3)It wasn’t a recreational pastime they sought but a way to search for the women they loved. Now they regularly dive in the cold waters off the coast of Japan looking for anything they can find of their loved ones….a shoe, a purse, a dress….their physical remains.

I was reminded, while reading the story, how we search for those we love. They may no longer be with us in the physical sense yet can continue to be very present emotionally, spiritually and mentally. We hold their love, their shiny brilliance and the good they brought to us, like priceless treasures. And like the divers from Japan, we are willing to explore dark, cold waters of the subconscious mind to gather in the remnants of memory that keep us connected to them.

_TSL3407The loss of someone close–through separation, divorce, death–is profound, deep and difficult to move beyond, especially when the love was strong. It’s been over three years for me and the love is strong and deep and the memories of our first few years together sparkle like sunbeams in my heart. Even though it was a choice we both made, the pain is no less real, the loss is no less great, than death. And it was a death…of us as partners.

It’s okay to dive deep within looking for those beautiful moments and memories…not to stay stuck in the past but to celebrate something that was really good and beautiful once upon a time.


I See the Light in You

I See the Light in You

SimoneLipscomb (5) The mind is a powerful tool. Many times we forget how our thoughts, especially thoughts charged with emotion, can affect our lives and the lives of others. If we pause and simply monitor our thoughts we might be surprised at how much negativity we put out into the world.

SimoneLipscomb (9)Usually it’s subtle. It’s not the angry rants that lie just beneath the surface, sending out energy that is harmful. Those are relatively easy to see. It’s those very subtle thoughts that lie in the shadows, avoiding conscious attention yet almost imperceivably going out into the world to cause harm.

SimoneLipscomb (4)During the Gulf Oil Spill I discovered that I had very serious hatred of BP and Halliburton. As I walked the miles of oil-coated beaches, my eyes and nose burning from crude oil chemicals and dispersant, I seethed in anger and rage. Finally, I stopped and realized how harmful this was to my own well-being and realized the energy I was putting out into the world was incredibly harmful and offered no solution to the problem.

So one day in meditation, I imagined a huge table. Executives from BP and Halliburton were seated around it and I saw myself there with them. I looked each person in the eye and said, “You are my brother” or “You are my sister.” I saw that they were human, capable of mistakes. It brought much-needed peace to me.

SimoneLipscomb (10)As I monitor my thoughts, I seek those subtle, sneaky bits of messages that tend to repeat in my mind and especially look for those charged with emotion. It’s amazing what can be found lurking in the shadows of our minds. Oddly enough, we might discover that our emotionally-charged, negative thoughts about others help to create the situation in which we feel wounded.

Given this realization, what can we do?

The great hurdle is realizing our own role in creating the situation. One way to promote healing is to offer the simple practice of seeing light in others.

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For example, as I worked out on the elliptical trainer today I listened to meditative music and imagined myself telling someone from my past what I admired about them. I reflected to them their beauty. Thirty minutes was spent directing positive energy toward this person. It felt as if a window was being washed, so the person could be seen clearly.

SimoneLipscomb (7)Hours later, asI sat to do my daily mediation, I had in my hand a fossilized whale ear bone this person had given me. As I went to stand up I put pressure on the stone and it broke. How can I fossilized bone that turned to stone break? It felt like a significant and great mystery was being shown. Perhaps things we think are hardened like stone need to break open so the wounds can heal.

SimoneLipscombSeeing the light in others is not always easy. In the relentless assaults on Mother Earth and all Her creatures it is especially difficult to find light in the perpetrators. Yet if we can’t imagine there is light in the darkest heart, how can we ever have hope?

SimoneLipscomb (2)To those whom we love the most, we must forgive ourselves when we project negative opinions to them and be a mirror that shines the bright light of their highest self to them. And we must have the courage to see the light within ourselves, which is perhaps the most difficult task of all.


The Sea, Beatitudes and Dawn

The Sea, Beatitudes and Dawn

SimoneLipscomb (1)Sweet bird song awakens me and draws me outdoors. The sweet, salty air and soft waves reach out to me and I walk with paper and pen in hand toward the sea.

Beside the broken concrete, a reminder of the power of the Ocean, I sit. There is just enough light to see ink on the page. The wind is whipping around the corner of the pink sea wall and I wish I had worn my lightweight jacket.

The sea is rolling this morning, even here between Klein Bonaire and the main island. Shore birds are just awaking. A gull flew by, silent in her passing. A small heron follows her. Just now a tern shrieked and dove for breakfast.

A wispy, white cloud in the shape of an angel or sea gull hangs to the south. I face west, watching the gathering light illuminate the sandy edge of Klein Bonaire.

Within a few feet of me two tidal crabs walk, in their crab-like march, to their chosen breakfast spot. The iguana family are late-risers and must have had a long night as they are still asleep, safely curled up under the broken concrete.

More crabs are waking and walking from their night’s rest to breakfast. A fisherman putt-putts by in a small boat. It’s legal to line fish for locals in the National Marine Sanctuary but I feel sad to think about my fish friends becoming dinner for a two-legged species. So few large grouper are here these days.

Over the past 14 years of diving, I have witnessed a steady decline of large fish everywhere. But this morning, right now, I want to celebrate what is here and send love and gratitude to all Ocean life for it is the Ocean that gives most of our oxygen, that truly is the lifeblood of the planet. Without a healthy Ocean, life as we know it is unsustainable.

The angel seagull cloud has dispersed now and glows with a soft peach color. The turquoise and indigo water is brighter now and a soft line of peach-colored haze stretches across the southern sky. To the north, gray clouds hang over the mountains.

More terns are hunting now, flying and hovering, then diving over schools of small fish. The surface of the water ripples with thousands of tiny finned wonders. Something for which to be grateful and happy.

As the gray, pre-dawn light lifts, it’s as if my inner vision clears and mysteries I’ve never known are revealed. I cannot form words about them so must be content to know and trust the wisdom is kept and understood on some deep, visceral level.

A snowy egret just flew past, no doubt finding her perfect breakfasting location. Thousands of gnats are flying in great streams within inches of my face. It’s almost disorienting. Thankfully they don’t bite.

It’s easy to lapse into deep contemplation as the energy of sunrise wraps itself like a blanket around me. So many questions….and yet it seems pointless to engage in internal dialogue. In this eternal moment, everything is in balance. Peace, calm permeates my being and I realize there are no questions…not really. There is just an Ocean of Love.

That’s what it comes down to really. Love is the force that creates this magnificent world. The only thing that disrupts the balance is fear.

The Beatitudes come to mind and for a brief moment I see clearly how human fear is what destroys beauty. The continual drive for more at any cost has, at its base, an intense fear of lack. If we step away from fear and remember the wisdom found in the Beatitudes, we can live in a world of peace and balance….harmony…love.

Small silver-white clouds now dot the sky above me. As I sit with the breeze playing with my hair and chilling my bare skin, I feel a distinct impression of a long-time friend walking down the stairs to my left. So strong is this feeling that I turn to see if he’s there. Perhaps not in body, but in spirit he joins me in the silence and we sit quietly and watch the celebration of life unfold with the dawn.

A whirlwind from beside the step picks up a large, dried leaf and tosses it toward me…a reminder that love never dies, it simply changes form and evolves into higher expression.

I walk up the steps and as I reach the top the golden light of dawn kisses my cheeks. And I smile with deep knowing and understanding.


The Beatitudes….happiness with a focus on love and humility rather than force and exaction. A call for spirituality and compassion. This is the answer that came this morning and one that can heal our world…no matter what religion you practice or don’t practice or if you believe in God, Allah, a higher power, Great Spirit or any named deity.

Blessed are……

…The poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

…Those who mourn: for they will be comforted.

…The meek: for they will inherit the Earth.

…Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled.

…The merciful: for they will be shown mercy.

…The pure in heart: for they will see God.

…The peacemakers: for they will be called Children of God.

…Those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.