Tag: love

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.

 

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.