Hi. My name is Ellen Smith. I like to take pictures and write about things that I hope elicits in people a sense of reverence for life and deep respect for nature. That’s me there in those two photos. Great, now you know me. That was so much easier than I thought it would be!
Who Am I?
That’s a really deep question, one most of us spend inordinate amounts of time attempting to answer. How do I quickly and succinctly describe myself on an ‘About Me’ page in a blog? Hmmm. Have you ever had an angel reading? Well I hadn’t, ever, not even close. Then one day I did. The first words out of the mouth of a person I had never met, being sent to me by my ‘guardian angel’ were these, “You are a light warrior, sent to this Earth plane by star beings to help humans remember that caring for the Earth is the collective number one priority”. Crickets. Ya, okay, guardian angel. Thoughts on all that aside, don’t shoot the messenger, right? I sat there in that moment feeling a bit stunned and numb, my ears ringing from the utter silence as every bit of that message resonated deep within my soul. Instances of this truth throughout my life started playing before me like a series of polaroid pictures, tattered edges but vividly clear contents. The truth is that nature is, and always has been, my deepest connection to this life. And really, fundamentally, isn’t it all of ours?
A Little Bit About My Evolution In This Life
I grew up mostly in Boulder, Colorado (I know, I actually GREW UP there, we do exist, us Boulder kids) as a very outdoorsy, free spirited kid who was basically born on skis and loved everything active and outdoors. Nature was my number one, I spent a lot of time roaming around the woods and mountains, animals would always come to me.
I left Boulder for college at UC Santa Barbara. Yes, it was super fun, and yes I did still get a great education, and no I didn’t learn to surf there (bummer, what was I thinking!?). I started out as a typical pre-med student. Then one night during my sophomore year, I went to a party with a friend and we found ourselves in a room where one entire wall was a massive world map, wallpaper style. We decided then and there to take a semester off and travel somewhere, anywhere. We closed our eyes, spun around three times like the old pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game, simultaneously walked up to the wall and each pointed to a spot, then picked the best of the two. Fiji, here we come.
That’s when I saw a coral reef for the first time. My life was forever changed after that. I returned to school a semester later, promptly changed my major to marine biology and the rest is history. I went on to get a graduate degree in Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and then to working with a branch of NOAA focused on coral reef ecosystem science, diving all over the coral reefs of the Pacific. That’s where I started my first blog featuring my underwater photos, ramblings about them and my experiences out at sea. It got rave reviews…from all 12 of my family and friends that I shared it with. That was circa 2008.
Where am I Now & What’s Next?
Well, life has landed me back in Colorado, literally a fish out of water as an oceanographer, raising children with my husband, teaching them to respect, adore, and protect nature. I’m not going to sea anymore or diving hundreds of dives on coral reefs (moment of silence as I shed a tear). And I have admittedly floundered trying to figure out what to do next with my life, my passions, my “career”. But it’s no accident, I have made many choices in life to land here, now. Enter the guardian angels’ message. It’s time to take all that I have learned and experienced, along with my innate passion for nature, this incredible planet, and make a very strong call to people, all people, to stand up and remember who we are and what allows us to thrive here, then take some personal action.
So welcome to my second blog, Infinite Volition, dedicated to the endless power of free will.
Read my post ‘The Catalyst’ to learn more about what prompted me to start this blog.
Check out some of my Photographs as well!