In the 1990s, I was trained in B.R.E.T.H. work (Breathe Releasing Energy for Transformation and Healing as described in The Curious Voyage). My teacher, Kamala Hope Campbell, integrated what she learned from the dolphins and invited us to swim with them. I was willing then but feared 900 pounds of blubber swimming straight at me. To top it off, my internal dialogue was holding me back–telling me I am not a good swimmer, I am not comfortable, and other self-doubt talk. So it was hard to focus on the beauty and to surrender to the dolphins.
Negative self-talk can be so destructive. Have you found that the little critic inside your head has been holding you back lately? I know there have been times when mine has held me back.
Our inner critic can leave us lacking confidence, feeling anxious and insecure in our own abilities. When we are in a beautiful moment, that inner critic can distract us, leaving us reeling in doubt and fear rather than reveling in the beauty of the present moment.
That possibility of a beautiful moment with these majestic creatures was full of distraction as that critic in my head continued to distract me from the magic. As I have come to this realization, I have become more aware of the power I have allowed that voice to have in the past. That voice does not hold the power, though. I do. And it took a moment like that to realize that I didn’t have to let that voice be heard.
Life has a way of presenting similar situations between the past and present to discover what we learned and what has shifted within us. Curiosity is a leading guide for my life voyage with such discovery. What is yours?
This past month I had the privilege of joining friends and colleagues on another great adventure to swim with the dolphins. However, this time was quite different. I discovered fear was thrown out to sea as I surrendered to the joy and beauty of being in the world of dolphins. It was beyond words. It was an embodied experience.
Under the big blue sky of Bimini, we met the gifts of the sea. We blessed the fish we caught to eat and returned their bones to the sea. We met and interacted with sting rays, sharks, and amazing dolphins.
We saw the cycles of life and truly experienced the vastness of life on this planet that goes far beyond us as human beings. I wondered what life would be like if each person could see the magnificent interconnection of life and just how important one life is to the other. Each life holds such importance. Each impact on the most minuscule scale significantly affects the larger world, keeping the delicate flow of life intact.
How would that realization impact the way we treat each other? As one observes the power each and every little action, each and every being, hold on the circle of life, will they live their lives with a deeper meaning and connection? In all of its beauty, nature truly has so much to teach us.
In the B.R.E.T.H. Work we learned from the dolphins, we learned a few key concepts which are also used in Brainspotting, such as W.A.I.T., the relationship is key, healing in community, and much more.
On this trip, I learned about the mischievous interactions of the dolphin world and engaged in their form of play. They responded with curiosity and invitation. Some came eye to eye. Others circled around me. With each magical moment, I could feel joy and surrender. Fear was not in the equation like years ago. I could feel the shifts in my body and consciousness. I felt grateful. What growth shifts have you been feeling?
As I gave gratitude and loving-kindness, the dolphins responded in turn. It was a truly transformative experience. I could feel the oneness with the world around me–especially with the majestic creatures with which I so lovingly enjoyed this experience. Relationships need not be about forcing our will onto another or rushing into love. Be your amazing self, and you will be met with love.
While I was away, the world changed. I pray we can remember the prayer of compassion and begin living interconnectedly once again. However, this change in our world will take growth within each individual.
Learning about your own self-growth does not need a moment as huge as swimming with the dolphins. You can observe it in the tiny moments of your daily life. What fears have you faced? How much power have you been giving that little critic inside your head?
The simple act of observing yourself can show you all you need to know about your own growth. Maybe there are areas you wish you could see a little more improvement. Perhaps you have come a long way in certain areas. Maybe you are ready to grow in an area you had never before considered.
Mindful observation of oneself can be as simple as taking a moment to check in with your own head. And yet, it can be life-changing. The more aware we are of the changes we wish to make, the changes we have successfully made, and the changes we are struggling with, the better chance we have of living a life that our dreams are made of.
I was truly blessed to experience these moments with the dolphins. They helped me remember why I always strive to live a life full of curiosity. And that is just another reason why self-observation is so essential. That understanding of my “why” gave me a boost of motivation, leaving me ready to truly live. So as you explore your dreams and goals for self-growth, don’t forget to consider your own “why.” The more we understand our goals, the more authentic they feel. This is vitally important to our motivation to get where we long to be.