Tag: conscious change

Divine Madness

Divine Madness

Filled with beauty, I didn’t think I could receive any more. Yet a short distance up the trail, more cascading pools of crystal-clear, cold water greeted me. I stopped to gaze into the bubbling, churning whitewater as it leaped over moss-covered boulders. WOW, I exclaimed out loud. WOW!

A few weeks ago, the same area created the need to open myself more—to expand—to be able to take in the outrageous beauty. Like then, I stood there today laughing hysterically, tears forming in my eyes, and felt drunk on beauty, inebriated on the pure energy of this sacred place. I felt my body staggering as if under the influence of some potent cocktail; instead, my body, mind and spirit—my entire being—was in flow and balance with Nature, with all life. Completely at One.

The first part of the trail does not affect me like this. It is beautiful and wonderful there, but energetically it’s not as pure. It’s two miles up the trail when the real shift occurs. Fewer humans venture past that place so Nature is less tinkered with, abused or interfered with the farther up the trail one goes. 

There are places that I call Fairy Lands after about three miles. Tiny, white flowers carpeted the forest floor today as random boulders sat stoically among massive trees. The wind tossed the tops of trees and further up the ridge, a sort of roaring, rushing sound of wind through tree limbs created a stereo effect with the music of the creek.

The rare humans one meets up there are different than those that venture only a mile or so in and then turn back, having seen enough of Nature. Those that go further and commit to experiencing Nature are changed by visiting this special place.

I was surprised today when I had such a strong reaction. I expected the awe was used up when I visited it the first time. I thought it would be pleasant and beautiful; however, I did not guess that I would go through the same feelings I did before—discomfort that I couldn’t open big enough to take it in. Yet, as I listened carefully to inner guidance, I heard: Open your heart, breathe in what you see. When I practiced that guidance, a huge shift happened within and I experienced the inebriation of Oneness, of beauty, of the pristine energies of Nature that pushed me into a state of Divine Madness.

Taking It In

Taking It In

The beauty was absolute. I found myself struggling to take it in: gray boulders; clear, cold, rushing water; soft, green moss; trees standing naked in their late-winter/early spring anticipation; intense, crystal-clear, blue sky. 

I breathed and opened my heart. It was it challenging to create a space large enough, within myself, to receive such profound and amazing beauty.

I sat and allowed my mind to still. As I scanned my body, I discovered something akin to pain as I attempted to take in such bountiful beauty. In stretching on the inside, and releasing whatever blocks kept me from receiving, I moved deeper into communion, into Oneness.

So many times we expect our growth must arise from dark, difficult times. But what if inner growth can happen just as powerfully from experiencing good things, beautiful things. 

For many years I’ve asked Spirit, What can I do to make a difference?, I received the same two words: GO OUTSIDE. I challenged the answer, doubting the significance of how that could make a difference, yet it hasn’t wavered. I follow that direction more often as I have discovered that Nature draws me into deep communion with all life and helps me be grounded and present. If distractions keep me from the friendship with Nature, I get out of balance quickly.

Today, as I melted into Oneness, I felt intense grief arise for every moment I’m not in deep communion with Nature. I was in my natural state of being…in wonder and awareness of Oneness. I wasn’t separate from the water, rocks, trees, sky…until my mind took me out of that harmony and I felt that deep longing for home.

It reminded me of a story a teacher once told. He said he walked along the sea and saw millions of fish swimming, crying out in desperate need,  Water, water, water, water!!! Sometimes we mourn separateness while the only thing separating us are our thoughts. It’s here, in front of us, within us, all the time. Can we recognize it? Can we feel it? Can we take it in?


To dive deeper into Nature and the path it offers to wholeness, I invite you to pre-order my new book, Book of Nature. I opened myself for Nature to speak through my photographs and words as It guides us into deeper relationship with Spirit, ourselves, and all life. If you pre-order you’ll get free shipping and a matted 5 x 7 photograph from the book. Send money to a friend ($18 each) to my PayPal email: simonelipscomb@me.com.

My two editors….
calling my children home

calling my children home

After a very rough few days, I decided to walk along the river and then up the closed parkway. Focusing on breathing in, breathing out I was able to come into presence with my self, the water, trees, rocks and sky. By the time I reached the parkway, I was settled down enough to get clear on what I wanted to know.

As I walked up the deserted parkway, I said out loud, “What do you want?” I repeated it as I walked, reflecting on my life’s path but asking the mountains, the Earth. Thinking about drawing early retirement funds does that I suppose. I’ve always put my soul path, my heart’s path, before financial security, so large questions loom as I contemplate the rest of my life. And the work I want to accomplish, the legacy I want to leave behind.

“What do you want?” What do you want of me?” “Why am I here?” (The little here as in geographical and the big here as in alive on the planet right now). “I’ve followed a soul path, a path of heart and given all I know to give of myself….what do you want?” Yesterday, I had reached a breaking point.

I poured a deep desire to know, so that I may serve, into the questions. I got to a beautiful overlook, the mountains standing strong and tall in the distance. I asked again, “WHAT DO YOU WANT OF ME? WHY AM I HERE?”

Then I shut up and stood there gazing into the mist, the leaf-bare mountains staring back at me. Finally, I heard as clear as someone standing next to me, “I’m calling my children home.

I burst into tears as recognition flooded my awareness. I said, “Yes, I know. I’m here. I’m listening.

Tears continued to slide down my face as I walked. I wiped a tear with my finger and gave it to the Earth. Every cell of my body, every breath, belongs to Earth. 

No other answers came but it’s enough to know I was called Home. I await further guidance.

This rock looked like a skull to me. What would it ‘say’ if it could speak?
Stay with Yourself

Stay with Yourself

The path of the Soul leads us ever onward to a clearer expression of our true Self. That sounds wonderful, but the journey involves stripping away everything that isn’t who we are…in our truest expression of that spark of Cosmic Light. 

In other words, it can be crazy-difficult to become real.

Thankfully, we don’t walk the path alone. When we pause, breathe, and gaze into the face of the Unknown, we begin to see allies, helpers. My greatest allies and teachers are found in Nature. Trees, wild creatures, rocks…entire ecosystems speak to me, calm me, and help me feel less alone. Yours might be human friends or music. We all have allies and sometimes it takes a little work to find them…or let them find us. Sometimes it’s as simple as saying, “I need help!”

Almost every day, I spend time listening and allowing guidance to arise. It helps me navigate this intense time of change. Most of us are challenged with the long-term stress event caused from a tiny virus, but that’s just one expression of the many changes happening with this beautiful planetary evolution taking place-an evolution I consider to be of deep spiritual healing for our planet and all Her beings. But let’s face it, growth is rarely easy because it involves releasing that which no longer serves us…even if it has been a big part of our lives.

It could be a person we release, an old version of our self we say goodbye to, an old habit that is holding us back. Evolving might involve a move to a new place geographically or simply a new place within our own skin.

I wrote a few weeks ago about a large rock in the middle of a creek teaching me to stay present with myself. That teaching has taken root and expanded. Last week, a week of truly hellish pressure from many parts of my life, I kept hearing, ‘stay with yourself.’ As external events unfolded, I found myself in the future or the past and that inner voice would come alive….‘stay with yourself.’

When we allow our minds to race into the future or stay stuck in the past, we totally abandon our self in the present moment. My experience was like being a child in a really scary place and having the adults rush ahead or backwards to tend to random events while leaving me alone and afraid. ‘Stay with yourself,’ I kept hearing. ‘Stay with yourself.’

When I can breathe in this moment and be aware that I am breathing, I become master of my life in that moment. Thich Nhat Hanh reminded us of that truth. So, my goal is simple: breathe in and know that I am breathing in. I practice this on my walks in Nature these days and it makes all the difference. I’m not running in fear to the future or the past. I’m just ‘breathing my body,’ recognizing the beauty of the trees or the river, the otter or elk or rock…or this life form known as Simone. 

True transformation is wildly supported as we learn to stay with our self. 

Rock in the River

Rock in the River

One of the reasons I enjoy fly fishing is experiencing the deep connection I have to water. In particular, wading the mountain streams creates an opportunity to be totally present and viscerally connected to the clear, cold water.

With moving water and slippery rocks, it’s imperative to pay attention. A wading staff helps as does regular yoga practice, but it’s still very easy to succumb to gravity and the constant force of moving water to become more viscerally connected than I want. Wading with intention.

It’s not just intending to stay upright. It’s also purposefully noticing each rock, gravel bed, root, overhanging branch, movement under the water, insects hatching, and rising fish kissing the surface. Every part of who I am becomes engaged in the process known as fly fishing.

But to be honest, the time spent in the creek never feels complete unless I sit on a rock in the creek just to observe and breathe. Those are the sweet moments when I can let go and be present—meld into the elements and recognize the Oneness of all life.

This past Christmas day I delighted in several hours of visiting my favorite little mountain creek. At one point, my back began to complain and I felt compelled to sit on a rock. After securing the fly line and hook, I found a nice rock and commenced to enjoy true stillness of body and mind. As if often the case, a teaching began to emerge.

I noticed the rushing water swirling around the boulder, around my booted feet. How long have you withstood the force of rushing water? Look how connected to Earth you are. You let everything just go around you without being moved. You are an amazing rock!

My mind needed that lesson. Too often I allow the calmness and stillness I practice cultivating within my mind to be interrupted by thoughts that come and go. Ever since then, when I find my mind distracted or going down some ridiculous rabbit hole, I ask myself, where is the rock? I laugh and report, way back up the river. It’s a way to monitor the mental chatter and multitude of times that old habitual thoughts and worries take me far away from being grounded and centered; take me far away from myself.

The rock in the river has become a touchstone, pun intended, to see if I am present with myself or if my mind has wandered downriver to some swirling eddy filled with debris.