Tag: love

Awakening

Awakening

MagnoliaSophiaElders, sages and mystics say that now is the time to awaken. The stars are in alignment, the planets are dancing in just the right rhythm and the window of opportunity is upon us.

SimoneLipscomb (14)What does it mean to awaken? Is it a one-time, light-filled moment of blissful awareness? Or is it small moments where instead of screaming at the droning leaf blower next door you turn on music to drown out the mind-numbing sound and smile? “Let’s just breathe….” sings Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Or choosing to take a deep breath after beeping your horn when a driver swerves into your lanerather than yell obscenities.

SimoneLipscomb (12)Awakening…maybe it’s just awareness. Awareness of what’s going on in body-mind-spirit. Yes, even Eddie Vedder on repeat can create angst….did I put iTunes on repeat? 

Brazalian Bossanova…that’s better. Maybe awakening is as simple as knowing what we need to stay balanced. No leaf blowers today. No songs on repeat. Meditation please. Yoga please. Ten emails demanding action immediately…no, not now.

Me and the Sea...the Sea of Cortez

More time outdoors.

SimoneLipscomb (23)More time underwater with my camera gear.

SimoneLipscomb (15)
Perhaps awakening is learning to be in neutral rather than speeding or going in reverse. Maybe awakening is simply learning to be still and quiet…there seems to be a wealth of wisdom in that neutral place of stillness.

_TSL7226Could be that awakening is simply learning to dance with our own energies….active, receptive and neutral. Balance.

_TSL5004Maybe we leave clues for ourselves in our self-expression….

“These stones and dust fade into wrinkles and colors of earth, sacred earth whose face is marked with smile lines from laughing at wind and sea lions frolicking in tides that kissed Her beautiful Self. Lay bare these bones to bake in the sun and cleanse me in Her reflective glow. These white-chalk, pock-marked bones whiter still from nesting shore birds…red, pink, salmon, rust, orange roughened, weathered, ragged by forces beyond control…lay bare these bones. Layers and layers of color and texture open to elemental forces so powerful only mountains such as these could behold them and survive the beauty. Around me stretches the vast, ragged peaks of Guardian Angel Island. Its massive face affects me deeply. I am struck with awe to my core and I find myself unable to turn away from the massive rock that lies before me, unable to hide from Her gaze.”

_TSL3955Perhaps little-by-little light fills our minds and hearts and we simply become more awake, less unaware, of what’s happening in the microcosm that is the individual, human experience.

 

 

 

 

REvolution of Love

REvolution of Love

_TSL7676The moist, cool breeze enveloped me as I pedaled through the live oaks and pines of the woods. Goldenrods and asters, still heavy with pre-dawn dew,  nodded as gentle stirrings from the draft touched their delicate petals.

During the past few months I have started a practice of acknowledging beauty whenever I am outdoors. It’s simple. As I approach a flower, tree, body of water, land formation, animal I open my heart and mind and say thank you. Not a rote or meaningless practice but one of reverence where I make a conscious connection. I feel a conscious, return flow of appreciation…dare I say it…love. The outcome has been an increased capacity for joy.

_TSL7712While this has enhanced my life, it has brought other realizations. It feels like a revolution of love happening in my mind and heart…right there on the trail as I cycle.

In the process of my daily practice with nature, there has been an increased awareness of what human connection is intended to do for us and that has created an evolutionary awakening for me. Dare I claim spiritual evolution? An evolution of consciousness?

_TSL7177Without an easy or eloquent transition into explanation of the learning that has happened in my life I’ll jump right in: What if the purpose of a soul mate is simply to help us open and enhance the connection to our Higher Self.

When me meet someone we resonate with we feel the spark, the connection, so it’s easy to ‘fall’ for someone. But when we do fall, we give our power to them…the power to make us happy or sad, joyful, miserable depending on how they respond to what we think they should do for us. That first glimmer of recognition can easily turn into manipulative, possessive behavior…more, more, more we whine. Rather than allow them to help us open more to Spirit, Source, the Universe, we become fixated on them as the source of our happiness and joy and fail to see that they are a facilitator that helps open a pathway to the Universe…God…whatever your description is of the Creative Intelligence.

_TSL6830What would it look like to feel the connection with another human, a soul mate, who lights our life with electricity, and simply appreciate that connection as one promoting deeper awakening to our higher purpose? Without wanting ‘more.’ Without manipulating for ‘more.’ Without screaming the mantra, mine, mine, mine.

It may be that most of you, kind readers, have already figured this out but for me it felt like a major leap forward in growth. Could it be that I am becoming (gasp) wise?

Doe taken in Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National Park...can't get photographs while I am cycling.

Nature’s healing ways have always promoted balance in my life and lately I realize the inner message received over the past ten years to get outside and connect with nature daily wasn’t just to groove on the flowers or water or critters who might cross my path. My Higher Self has been sending that message as a true pathway to healing, to wholeness.

_TSL6631Shazam!

 

 

 

Stealth Cycling

Stealth Cycling

SimoneLipscomb (10)The orange orb of dawn had just peeped over the horizon when I turned from the roadside trail into the woods. Light under the canopy of pines and live oaks was gray. The paved trail was littered with pine straw and oak leaves. The snake didn’t see me. My wheels were over the small garter snake when I saw it. Dang it! I love these little guys and gals and hurting one…or worse…brought sadness.

Image of bobcat taken at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park
Image of bobcat taken at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

The bike wheels whirred over sand scattered on the hard surface. A few minutes later a bobcat was leisurely strolling down the road and didn’t see me. I slowed and quietly coasted, observing this magnificent creature. After a few minutes she glanced back, saw me and leaped across the pavement into the open sandy area. A gaze as I passed saw her sitting, licking her paw with one eye watching as I pedaled past.

Image of Sampson, a rescued bobcat that somebody had illegally and had all four paws declawed. He lives at Emerald Coast Wildlife Rescue Center
Image of Sampson, a rescued bobcat that somebody had illegally and had all four paws declawed. He lives at a wildlife rescue center

More sunrise splendor of Little Lake, brightening sky, glorious green plant life, coastal forest trees…marshes, gopher tortoise burrows. A typical morning on the trail.

Doe taken in Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National Park...can't get photographs while I am cycling.
Doe taken in Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National Park…can’t get photographs while I am cycling.

Then several miles later a doe walked out into a patch of sunlight and gazed ahead, the light illuminating her large size. I slowed, she waited. Then she saw me and trotted off into the forest. Right behind her a spotted fawn tiptoed and balked at the pavement, acting as if it were slippery ice. The smile that enveloped my face was tremendous. Then with a flash both disappeared into the piney forest.

Doe and fawn taken in Smoky Mountain National Park....one of my favorite images
Doe and fawn taken in Smoky Mountain National Park….one of my favorite images

Observing wild creatures without them knowing, even if for a moment, brings such joy. To view them in their natural state of calm learn how they interact with their realm is a true gift.

For some reason the wildlife witnessed today wasn’t aware of my presence….at least at first. Stealth-mode. Quiet mind? Peaceful emotions? Lately nature has been teaching me to be present and mindful as I ride. Perhaps the result is becoming more wild…part of the world of wildlife, marshes, forests…maybe I’m becoming more myself. More integrated with nature. More whole. More joy-full.

Paradise Right Here*

Paradise Right Here*

SimoneLipscomb (1)It was still dark as I pulled onto the highway and turned east. There, in the lightening sky hung venus while Dreamer’s Sky, Will Kimbrough’s song on the new Willie Sugarcapps CD eased me into the morning. The last sea turtle patrol of the season begins here, in my car, with music carrying me toward the Gulf of Mexico.

A turn south and another song, another turn east and there’s Venus again with Anthony Crawford‘s song, Love Be Good to Me, sweetly sung by Savana Lee Crawford. The planet of love and these lyrics…..”Love be good to me, Fill my heart again. Love, can you still hear me calling out to you?…..Everything happens in its own time.”

SimoneLipscombAnother turn south and more wonderful music. Grayson Capps, Love, surrounds me with soulful words and notes. And finally, a turn west at the beach and the full moon hangs in a perfect square notch in a massive cloud as Will Kimbrough’s, Paradise Right Here, begins to play. For less than a breath the moon is cradled by the towering cloud and then it disappears.

The words of the song touched me deeply the first time I heard it at the Frog Pond. Tears streamed down my face as I listened to Will’s lyrics. Today, they touched me again as I thought of daily abuses to our planet that take more of the paradise away….the paradise that literally is in the palm of our hand, as Will sings. It is totally up to us if it remains or is destroyed.

MagnoliaSophiaI reach the beginning of my sea turtle patrol at the edge of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and grab my camera as I exit the car. The full moon is still bright in the sky and the sun not yet risen. As I reach the water’s edge my faithful dolphin friend swims up and we journey east, toward the rising sun. He, swimming just offshore, and me, walking close to the water’s edge. The past several Sunday’s we have shared the sunrise together and the thought of not seeing him next Sunday saddens me.

_TSL5715The sky is in full sunrise celebration with crazy clouds and colors of phenomenal beauty. Joy leaps up within me as I frolic along the shore which seems to excite my cetacean buddy. As Will sings, “I’m glad to be alive and I’m thankful for this paradise right here, paradise right here. Right here, by the warm inviting water, right now with my bare feet in the sand, right here share it with your sons and daughters, paradise in the palm of your hand. Paradise in the palm of your hand. Paradise in the palm of your hand.”

_TSL5769So grateful for the paradise of this shoreline, the Alabama coast and the greater Gulf of Mexico….all life here…and hopeful that we can make it even better with efforts to be good stewards and approach our walk on this planet with love and compassion for all life.

_TSL5711The end of my walk neared and I saw two of my teammates approaching from their section. We celebrated the beauty of the morning and a successful patrol season and sea turtles. We remembered our loggerhead friends who lure us out each Sunday morning from May 1st through August 31st to chase the sunrise and re-discovered paradise…in the palm of our hand.

_TSL5808*Paradise Right Here is Willie Sugarcapps new CD title and the title of Will Kimbrough‘s fantastic song. Check it out!

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
SimoneLipscomb (3)
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.