Tag: Simone Lipscomb

Sometimes Life is…Amazing

Sometimes Life is…Amazing

The smoke detector went off at 2:42am this morning. Just little beeps that indicate the need for a new battery. I wasn’t sleeping well anyway but had drifted off just as the blasted thing started acting out. The ceiling is too high to reach with a baseball bat and the ladder is outside…in the cold…in the dark. And I don’t have the proper replacement battery.

Obviously I’m not supposed to sleep. I’ve been putting off writing this because I truly can’t piece it all together in a single blog post, can I? How can I take two years of intense growth with the aim of returning to the mountains and all that it entailed into a single entry?

The summary? It’s truly amazing how everything came together after a really difficult and challenging period of inner clearing. If you wish to know more, read on. If you just want to look at the pictures, enjoy. This is to honor the Path. And the incredible journey that ensues when a person dares to step onto It.

Even back then I knew change was coming. I felt it. And as usual, I see things that will happen in the future and think that it means now. When it means a lot later than now. Here’s the jest of the entire two years–trust the Path and the places it takes you with unyielding faith. Do your inner work and wait on the right timing.

After my home had been on the market a while, I had a contract and a few months later they had a contract on their home but the deal involved no less than six closings happening. Any bobble and the entire thing would collapse…but that never happens…right?

When I came up to look at homes again I was directed, by a cousin and another cousin, to look into an area I had considered in passing as my favorite place as a child…the area around Cherokee, NC. I had looked for over a year in the Asheville and Black Mountain areas and wasn’t feeling it. The growth and crowded conditions and high prices were all turn-offs for me. Nothing felt right.

So once my buyers had a contract it all started to be clear…I needed to look where I had always dreamed of living. I found a home and everything was aligned. Finally.

Until a week or so from closing and my buyer’s buyers pulled out of the deal because of a three day delay in closing.  And then my buyers backed out. My home was packed. I had just purchased a new vehicle. Had quit my part time job. And quite honestly this broke me apart….or open…it was stressful (like a bomb going off in your life is stressful).

So I cycled to stay sane and when I realized I was pushing myself too hard I started walking on the beach before sunrise. I couldn’t eat. I was in freak-out mode. How can this happen?

I had the thought that I should just look for a job and rent a home in the mountains as I didn’t have a mortgage but dismissed it. Later that day my friend Rose called and said she was standing there washing dishes…I think or was it me washing dishes when she called…and had the thought to call me and suggest I look for a job and go ahead and move. Okay….that was good confirmation.

So I looked at the tribal website and found a teaching position that closed that very day so I had to work hard to get everything submitted. I also applied for other jobs as a children’s therapist with a private agency. And then I let go.

Then, the next week I got three calls to show my home, one from a couple who had seen it months previously. And they made an offer and we agreed on a deal. The house I had a contract on in Sylva had a new buyer by that time so I knew that wasn’t my home but I had to return to the area to find a home.

On the home-buying trip I had an interview scheduled for a children’s therapist position in Sylva. I hadn’t heard anything from the Cherokee tribal human resources.

I was supposed to stay with a friend in Sylva but that didn’t work out so I called and stayed in Cherokee that first night. I awoke before sunrise the day of the interview and decided to dress for the interview, check out early and go up to my favorite sunrise overlook in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

When I got there I stood outside and looked out over the layers of mountains and sky and asked to be shown where to go and what to do…I asked to be given clarity. And the entire drive back down to Cherokee I kept hearing, the therapist job is not what you want. I decided to do the polite and keep the interview appointment anyway.

I was walking around the visitor center in the national park and my phone rang. The person that was supposed to interview me had double-booked herself and couldn’t see me after all. I just started laughing and got a few stares from wary visitors.

After a hearty breakfast in Cherokee I returned to the visitor center and changed into jeans and hiking boots and spent the morning walking around my favorite places. One is a pull-off in the national park and I walked down by the river and said a prayer: Show me where I can be of service, where my gifts and talents can be used.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot back at the visitor center a bit later, I got a call about the teaching position on the Reservation. That was a quick answer. But I still had a house to find.

In reality, the house found me…and the land. It’s a quirky cabin style home with one tiny closet and a master bedroom that is too small. So I inhabit the expansive loft as a bedroom and office and one basement bedroom is being converted into a storage closet.

As I sit at the dining table, the view is of the national park. And the view is exactly where I said that prayer for clarity…looking back at me.

I start the teaching job in four days.

A great cycling shop has given me connections to my love of cycling and has helped me re-connect with mountain biking…the technology with mountain bikes has changed so much since I had one 15 years ago it’s mind-blowing. Everyone is so nice and helpful…thank you Motion Makers!!

There’s a favorite bathroom stall at Lowe’s now and I think they are about to offer me my own marked parking spot.

I installed bi-fold doors today where the ghetto curtain hung to hide the washer and dryer. I nearly poisoned myself and four animal companions with fumes from stain…and got up at 1am to remove the doors and place them on the front porch without caring if the cold messed up the stain.

The fire alarm needs a battery and I have to haul a big ladder upstairs to make this happen. And return to Lowe’s for batteries. Why would I go anywhere else?

But here’s the thing–when I sit down to eat I am the view looking back at itself. This area is what I saw that morning and so many other mornings when I photographed the sunrise from the park. This place  is part of the layers of lavender and pink, this is where my prayers carried to that morning.

Never would I have imagined during that time of breaking open that I would feel so very grateful the domino deal fell apart and I lost money from a home offer in Sylva. As I felt the intensity of fear and disappointment and loss I could never have imagined how incredibly perfect everything would be as it comes together. I fully expect to meet a nice guy soon that loves cycling and diving and dogs and cats. And the way it’s going there will be bluebirds and butterflies hovering over his head.

I’m only ten minutes to work and the national park. The little house, in all its quirkiness, is already very dear to me. Buddy’s fence is ordered. The cats screened porch is in the works. And I have a job working with children…always my heart returns to the young as they are our greatest hope.

How can things go from being so completely messed up to being so incredibly wonderful? Perhaps we need to allow ourselves to break open, to unravel a bit for then the light can reach those dark, scary places and the healing goes deeper and opens us up to exactly what we dreamed of as children…what’s been waiting all along.

So many people have supported me during this journey and for that I am deeply grateful. There has also been support in the realm of Spirit that has been unwavering and as steady as a drumbeat. Thank you. I feel that beat in my bones calling me home.


P.S. The smoke detector never made another peep…or beep after I started writing.

When Miracles Happen…Preview

When Miracles Happen…Preview

Never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamed that this view, from my favorite sunrise overlook in the Smoky Mountain National Park, would be where I am now living. I remember being in awe of the pink and lavender sunrise and writing about it.

Now, many years later, I sit at my computer looking out a window across to the point where this image was taken. To the far left from where I sit is Clingman’s Dome but to the near left is the overlook where my favorite image of the Smoky Mountains was taken.

It’s been just over a week since the move and every day I am discovering more delightful and deep synchronicities that led me here. During the past two months there have been miracles that make my jaw drop but for now I’ll just say I’m here. Where I belong. It took a while with a lot of ups and downs but I’m here. And grateful to the depths of my being.

Right now the fog that was at higher elevations when I started writing this has settled into the valley. Like the fog, I’ll settle and write more later in the week but I want to allow the words to come and right now I’m still rather speechless. And grateful. Profoundly grateful.

Turn to Oneness

Turn to Oneness

Therefore turn your attention to the Oneness–the relationship between you and your Self–and away from fear. When you do this you create new ground upon which to build your life. Observe the fear but connect with the Oneness. This then creates a new reality from which to build your life.

Fear creates separation…between you and your Soul self, between you and others. Fear is the great divider.

When you feel fear arise imagine your Soul self standing beside you. Together observe the fear and work to see the fear as something that is not a part of you. It has been circulating in your energy field but it isn’t you.

Our tendency is to run from fear…to keep moving so perhaps we don’t have to look at it in the face. But once we have the courage and support to stop…to p a u s e….and look at it, we come to see and understand it is not who we are nor is it a part of us. It’s simply floating around in our quantum field and the more power we give it, the more it steers our lives.

At first, pausing to look at fear takes a lot of focus and concentration because it is so interwoven into our story, into who we think we are, we cannot discern the voice of fear from the voice of freedom, our Soul self. With practice we come to understand that the voice of fear has few positive things to say to us while the Soul voice speaks in amazing unfoldments of truth…synchronicities, dolphins leaping up at just the right moment, a friend stopping by to visit and helping you piece together a mystery of growth, an email that answers the question you held…small little everyday miracles that are always present if we simple stop and pay attention.

Once we learn to discern the voice of fear from the voice of the Soul self it becomes crystal clear who is speaking. The more choices we make to listen to the Soul self voice, the more relaxed we become, the less we run from life.

Stillness, breathing, compassion for self…all vital keys to this process. When we become the observer rather than the reactor, fear doesn’t know what to do. It is used to controlling us but when we turn the tables on it, it’s like deflating an over-filled balloon. It sits there, head down, going…where did I go wrong? I had her so wrapped up in this fake story of her life.

My friend Rose Bator reminds us that our body and soul have all the intelligence and we can simply cooperate and observe. The changes become a natural, organic flow from our willingness to cooperate and observe the process. She says to allow fear to wash over like waves at the ocean. We don’t have to grab a wave or try to figure out where it originated. We just observe. Allow.

Becoming an observer of fear rather than a victim to it is like slipping between worlds. Most of the 3D world operates in fear. Political systems are motivated in fear, religions seem quite at home with the leverage fear provides, society thrives by fear–conform to our group or be outcast, buy our expensive gadgets and clothes so you will be cool like the others.

I saw a funny quote recently that was about FaceBook so I altered it to apply to life in general: Being a celebrity or ultra-popular in this insane society is like being at the cool table of the mental hospital. When we heal our lives and stop allowing fear to steer us we step out of the world we know into something new and different…and honestly, quite amazing.

A daily practice for me lately has been observing fear. When it arises I pause, connect with my Soul self (higher self, guide, inner teacher, God….whatever works for you) and sit as an observer, not reacting, not spinning off into all the what-if’s and staying present…very present…with my Self. It has changed my life.

We are taught from infancy to fear–as if fear will keep us safe. Fear pushes us away from our true self and we come to rely on fear as our touchstone rather than trusting our true self to lead us safely through life. We grow up in a constant state of struggle between being who we really are and being true to that or betraying ourselves to fit into this messed up false reality based on fear.

The more we deny our true self the more we buy into the fear-based method of survival. Eventually we cannot even see our true self until something happens to break us open and then we are given the opportunity to see the fear for what it is, an unreal experience of something that feels real, or we pause and look it in the ‘eye’ with the support of our true self and call bullshit.

When I experience Nature deeply, I connect with my true self. I remember the first time I returned from cave diving in the Yucatan. The jungles and magnificent, clear-water caves with massive formations took me so deep into my Soul self that I was transformed and in perfect alignment with who I really was. Then I returned home and walked into a Target store and nearly had a panic attack. I felt myself want to use my tiger sharp teeth and claws to gnaw my way out of the trap of a world that I no longer wanted to belong to…the world of greed and ‘more’ and fear.

As we practice breathing with our Higher Self and seeing it as part of us, strength arises and we begin to feel empowered. When we begin to see our True self as a friend and regard It with unconditional, positive appreciation we build this strength. Breathe in the Oneness of relationship with our Soul self. Every day but especially when fear arises. When we do this we become a force instead of a runner.

I suggest a new path away from fear and into the truth of who we are. No dogma, no rules, no pleasing anyone, no paying anyone for the secret formula. You have it now. The mystery has been revealed. Now, it’s in your hands to do with as you see fit.


Painting by Donna O’Neal

Soul Walk Through the Threshold

Soul Walk Through the Threshold

The gull had swallowed a baited fish hook and was dragging ‘invisible’ fishing line behind her. Looking back over her shoulder she kept puzzling over the line that followed her wherever she went. When she walked or even when she flew away to another place, it followed her…haunted her and eventually, it would kill her.

The morning began with a dream that awakened me long before sunrise. In the dream I was traveling to the mountains and a young woman was present. I invited her to ride. She needed to come along for some reason so we rode in silence and arrived at a music fest somewhere in the mountains. Some people I knew were singing on stage and I was invited to sing with them and asked her to join. I said, just be yourself and let light shine through you.We sang together and later, I saw a video of myself–in the dream–and couldn’t believe how my face was pure light, as if I was channeling pure light through my singing and by simply being myself. Later we sat at a table with musicians I know and she was there with me. The fellowship was amazing.

After awakening from such a powerful dream, I remembered that my house didn’t sell, my possessions were boxed up and I was still living a nightmare. I wrote in my journal, October snow drifts around my heart. Frozen tears slide from hollow eyes. I only know the pain of loss. Where is the sun to melt this grief?

I needed sunrise.

Rather than ride my bicycle, I decided to do a long pre-dawn walk on the beach and try to leave behind the insanity of the past week where mere days before closing the deal fell apart and left me and three other families with our homes boxed and ready or worse, one family had already vacated their home. To say it had been a shitty week is like saying the ocean can be tumultuous during a storm.

When I arrived at the beach I said aloud: I am leaving all that behind. Please tell me what I need to know, I am listening.

I stopped and did a live video on social media of the intense line of orange reflecting off of the smooth sand, saturated with moisture. I saw how the turbulence washed away shells and left a smooth surface where light reflected was even more beautiful than the light itself. I said, My hope is that I can be swept clean and light can reflect off of me and through me this day and every day. Setting that intention was powerful medicine as the experience unfolded.

As I walked alone yet surrounded by beauty, I stopped and turned and spoke these words to the Gulf of Mexico: Show me what you want me to know about myself.

Immediately a dolphin popped up offshore and I began to smile. Remember who you are…you are Dolphin Woman.Throughout my life dolphins have been such powerful companions and teachers. I wrote an entire chapter of a book on amazing encounters with dolphins.

So on I walked appreciating the beauty and finally stopped to simply sit on the sand and listen to the waves and await the sunrise. Sometimes it seems to take forever for the sun to peek over the horizon.

A dolphin leaped out of the water just as the tip of the sun slid above the horizon. I couldn’t make that up in my wildest imagination. As the words WOW!!were coming out of my mouth the sun rose. That WOWturned into OH MY GOD! You wanted that first glimpse of sun!

After such a stunning display of dolphin magic I decided to continue on after a pause to watch a blue crab await breakfast in a tidal pool.  My mind tried to interject thoughts about the past week and I simply said, Nope. Not now.Then I would repeat the question, What do you want me to see and hear?

In my mind’s eye I saw a red thread that seemed attached to me and heard, I cannot run away from myself…and this is my pattern….over and over again….learned very early in my life. Abandon myself to please others or to decrease fear or for whatever reason a child learns to abdicate her power in order to survive….or an adult does the same thing. Bargain with life, I’ll trade ‘me’ for safety and security. I will deny myself to be loved. I will leave myself rather than risk being who I am and be rejected. I need to take myself with me where ever I go, where ever I live. Don’t leave without taking myself with me.

I kept walking after making a few notes on my phone. There was some unmistakable soul guidance coming through and I wanted to piece it together later.

A great blue heron was standing in the rising light of the sun. The beauty was stunning and I felt a thawing of the frozen tears and October snow that has been heavy on me over the past week.

I reached a turning point, literally, and headed back letting the sun push me along with the increasing heat of the day. As I neared the exit point the gull with the fishing line was in my path…on the wide, wide beach it was right in front of me. After such a great walk, what is this insanity?

With a focus on calming my energy in hope that the gull would allow me to approach it and take it to receive help, I stopped. The gull refused to allow me to get close, even when I knelt on the sand telling it on the inner to please allow me to help it. It would walk and the ‘invisible’ fishing line followed scaring it. The hook most likely was baited on the fishing pier and the gull caught it and the fisherman cut the line rather than deal with helping the bird. That story was crystal clear. The fact that the bird flew away rather than allow me to help it was clarity that it would die with that hook imbedded in its gut…unless it took the risk to stop and allow someone to help.

So I left the beach upset that the bird would have a very painful death. I sat in my car writing about the walk and the bird and returned home with a huge question mark over my head…why did the walk end like that?

Buddy and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and as I was walking I thought, right about now we’d be in Montgomery with the moving truck following behind. A tinge of sadness arose but then I heard, But wouldn’t it have been sad to leave myself behind?

I stopped walking and smiled. Oh, yes indeed. I needed to see that pattern of leaving myself so that where ever I am I can include my self…be myself…embrace myself. Never allow any part of me to be left. Every bit of pain and suffering was worth it to remember my Self.

Once inside I was just about to begin writing about the walks when my phone rang. My friend Rose was calling to check on me. She is an expert listener and has helped me piece together my life over the past year…and especially the past two weeks as I was pushed to find a home in North Carolina and then pack my house…and then…well….have the deal come smashing down a few days before moving. So she’s been an anchor to me and a most amazing listener.

I began telling Rose about the walk and how it ended with the weird experience of the gull. She immediately pointed out that the thread I saw that was following me through my life was reflected by the gull who literally had a thread of line attached to a hook swallowed.

My energy field lit up like a light-bulb. That gull was my teacher reminding me that if I continued to swallow hooks, ways I have left myself behind, I would also die a slow and painful inner death. And isn’t that what we do when we abandon ourselves? We suffer soul loss that affects us increasingly through our lives.

The gull was the weaver of the entire story….of my life. I reflected on how I have compromised myself, changed to fit in, worked places that do not reflect my ethics, accommodated others so their feelings are not hurt, made myself feel less than others to build them up, to belong no matter what….and the way out of these patterns of self-abandonment was to stop and recognize the pattern and when I move and where ever I go take all of me with myself. Stop running from who I am. Shine like the singer I was channeling light through an open heart.

What would it be like to open myself so completely, to allow the turbulence to wash over me so I could be a clearer, brighter reflection of Light?

This ‘move’ is about moving into a New Paradigm of self-acceptance and staying present with myself…my true Self…no matter what. It’s about connecting with Dolphin Medicine, that place of Oneness I have experienced so many times with my cetacean brothers and sisters. It’s about being part of the pod who accept me for who I am, not for who they want me to be. It’s about freeing myself to shine and connect with Light and be a channel for that brilliance to come through an open heart. It’s about being in a place that calls me with such power I cannot help but go…no matter what.

How sad it was to see the Gull that swallowed the bait and hook; however, it was the Gull that tied the story of my life together. And Rose reflected that truth to me. It is with the utmost respect and gratitude that I say thank you Gull…thank you Rose.

My walk this morning was a Soul Walk. This is how the Soul speaks….dolphins leaping into the rising sun, glistening reflections of Light…animals that appear illustrating the very ‘thing’ I just heard in my head…friends that call and help piece it all together in a brilliant story of birth, life, death and rebirth.

All the suffering and pain of the past week, the past three years…oh, honestly the 59 years in this life…led me to that walk on the beach. What a powerful gift that resulted.

Today, October 5th, 2019, I was given my Soul Story. I was given a rebirth into my true identity. I am Dolphin Woman, Medicine Woman, Shapeshifter, Pod Member…embracing myself, bringing along that young part of me that’s afraid, inviting her on stage to sing with me and be herself.

The Soul is always giving us glimpses of our truth if we will simply stop and listen and look. Today I was given the gift of my Self after a very long and dark journey.

Let the turbulence wash over me so I can reflect the Light. May I sing my song with such joy that I become a flame of Light.

The dolphin literally leaped and brought up the sun for me and thawed my frozen and aching heart. She reminded me of my true identity.

This Threshold I’ve been standing at for three years…or 59 years…or lifetimes….this Threshold was successfully crossed today. Let the celebration begin!

 

My Manifesto

My Manifesto

I’ve never been one to give much credence to manifestos. They are sort of like…ooohh, look at me….I have something to say. And I find that most of us have something to say but nobody really pays much attention except to their own voices in their heads. Everything else just goes through their filters of who they accept as okay and who isn’t and they look for everything possible to uphold their belief about themselves and others. Oh, there’s the evidence that she IS crazy.

But this cluster of a house closing and moving has brought up enough fear to shake me to my core and make me wish I was anywhere but here, in this skin and bone experience. Not just regarding my own personal challenges but for the planet. I keep hearing to write my own manifesto. Maybe a last word of an old life that helps open the doorway to the new one. I’m ready for that crossing. That Threshold has been looming for over three years or 59 years or lifetimes. I don’t really know. Regardless, here goes.

I am so freaking angry at humanity and wish I wasn’t a human. The shame I feel from being part of a species that is hell-bent on destroying itself is huge. It isn’t only the miserable leadership of this country (USA) that is taking us backwards at warp speed….racism, environmental lack-of-protection, elitism, corruption…it’s happening in many places on the planet. The gains so many worked for so diligently for so many decades have been lost in nearly three years. Three years. Three years of insanity supported by politicians who don’t have the guts to stand up to a maniac because greed is their guiding light. There is no moral compass in this country where such bigotry, hatred and nihilism is encouraged and fueled by leadership.

I don’t want to live in this insanity. Enough.

There are those in my life that think they know what’s best for me. If I only got a ‘real’ job I’d be just fine. As if me having a job would fix any of the woes of the world…or fix the angst in me.

I worked for six months for an international company and found how insidious their practices are regarding the environment yet they wanted the lowly workers, earning less than $10 an hour, to ‘sell’ how great they were environmentally….while thousands and thousands of plastic hangers get trashed every year at just one store and plastic bags wrap every shirt, pants, hat, coat, vest….plastic that doesn’t get recycled. Yes….by all means let me just get a job to solve my problems. It only opened my eyes wider to the insanity of this world based on greed and profit at any cost.

I’ve never felt like I fit in and have felt I am at least one step off from the rest of humanity. My goal has been to connect people with Nature in an effort to preserve at least some parts of the planet and Her species. While my efforts have been sincere and well-received, they have never supported me financially. So I’m left either selling my soul to corporate America or watching my finances swirl down the drain as I try to make a difference.

While sports figures earn millions each year and politicians income increases from bribes, sponsorships and other illegalities, people that are really trying to make a difference…non-profits, artists, conservationists, environmentalists, social workers, teachers….are scraping by. It’s very warped and messed up.

In my travels I have connected deeply to the land and sea, to humpback whales, manatees, dolphins, sea lions. I have felt the immense power of the sea and wanted to kiss the ground upon release from a storm-tossed boat. I have sensed the stillness of the sea that reflected the heavens so perfectly it was difficult to tell where the sea stopped and the sky began.

There are no regrets about my traveling to other countries such as England and Ireland where in stone circles or other ancient, sacred places I have awakened to deeper levels of my soul and the vast connection to Earth and Stars and Sea. Each journey has gifted me with something priceless. Had I grasped my money in fear, I would have never had those experiences.

I have watched an octopus dance with me, had squid explore the dome port on my underwater housing. Had manatees kiss me. Humpback whales, after spending three separate weeks with them, have taught me how intelligent they are and how caring and loving they are to their young…they broke me open to love like I had never known before. And they began calling me when I was only a teen through their song. They have been a guiding force for me and the kinship we share is profound and on the level of soul.

Diving in the veins and life-blood of the planet has been a gift like no other. Being inside Her….within Her beauty changed me, altered my perception of what is truly important.

The beauty I have witnessed has inspired me to share with others, to help awaken them to this incredible planet upon which we live. And yet it doesn’t bring an income to me. I never figured out how to commercialize beauty and love and depth of soul. I hope I never do.

For the past three years there has been an intense dismantling of my life…or 59 years or whatever. But these past three years have been a true letting go…letting go….letting go. And now, poised to finally pass through the Threshold, a block appears and threatens to stop my forward progress. The fury and fear I feel about this is absolute. The deep, hard work of the soul and clearing the personality has exhausted me in ways I cannot begin to describe but here I stand ready–after this long, hard journey–to leap. And a glitch stops everything and makes me go deeper still when I thought I had reached the bottom of it.

Every fear I’ve ever had is awakened as I teeter on a financial precipice. A precipice where the ground upon which I stand gives way, below me is endless depth of Unknown and just across the way is solid ground.

I have moved through my life with trust in the Universe, even when things were at their worst for me personally. And now, after everything had seemingly come together perfectly for this big leap into the next part of my journey, I stand on a precipice knowing I cannot return to how I was–I won’t unpack the boxes and carry on as if nothing has changed–knowing I might not survive if I leap and fall into the Abyss but knowing that the only way forward is to actually step out in faith over the Abyss trusting that if I fall there will be grace in my passing and peace. And if I make it to the other side, there will be grace as well.

Artists….photographers, writers, painters, dancers, composers…are often troubled because we exist to express and share our experience of the world with others, not for profit but because we must express. Our souls call us to this and to try and cram us into a box, into a job that steals our reason for being is torture. But we live in a society where these gifts are undervalued and profit-at-any cost is the norm.

Those that do not have the soul of an artist will never understand the pain we experience when we cannot express ourselves, when we are not supported for our heart’s work. Get a real job is the same as Just kill me. To be at odds with our heart’s work is to not live.

So I say to anyone still reading this, pay attention to the artists…the writers, dancers, photographers, painters, composers. Not just the ones receiving accolades but to all those who have a message to share with the world that comes from their direct experience of beauty…or pain. And support them.

My manifesto wanted to be written. It’s for no one’s benefit but my own, delving into my own feelings of frustration, fear and love for this planet, for the beauty that seems to be disappearing so fast I can scarcely keep up. My manifesto is one of deep and profound grief. Of fear for an uncertain future personally and planetarily.  I don’t want to live in a world without bees and butterflies, without right whales and orcas, without black rhinos and gorillas, without kemp’s ridley sea turtles and orangutans, without love and compassion and common decency. For to live in a world such as this is not to live at all. It’s simply to exist in a living hell.