I’ve recently returned from an extraordinary week shared with beautiful women (men are always welcome!) The cetacean communication retreat took place in Hawaii and each day was full of magical, breath-taking encounters. The group often commented that describing the encounters in words really doesn’t do them justice. It’s the emotional response to these encounters that’s so big and transformational. It’s how the creatures reach right into our heart opening it even wider that we thought possible. It’s how the species we revere reflect back to us just how special and powerful we are too – and we are enough.
I’ve found on my retreats that the animals will meet us wherever we’re at without judgment, just unconditional love. They are happy to help us make tiny or large shifts, they are happy participants in our gradual or sudden transformations. The energetic position participants start in at the beginning of the week is completely unrecognisable by the end – such is the conduit of change of the ocean, cetaceans, fish, birds, other creatures and how the participants support each other and bear witness to one another’s growth, however that looks. I am not immune to these transformations either, each time I facilitate a retreat I experience growth spurts and embody more fully into my sentient self, as I also understand the many layers of who I am and what got me to this point.
People attend from all walks of life, all ages (this time ages ranged from 30’s – 70’s), gender and all shapes and sizes. Size is of the least concern! There was a wide range of ocean experience too. Some people had never snorkelled or just once or twice years ago. One lady had been learning how to swim prior to the retreat, some identified as non-swimmers or weak swimmers, some people were nervous to be in the ocean snorkelling by themselves, so a swim guide would hold their hand the entire time. We also had ‘noodle’ floatation aids and more swim guides and boat crew who could support 1-2-1. There were also quite a few confident swimmers and water-babies! Those with a lot of ocean experience and everything in-between. My retreats are fully inclusive and support is provided where requested to enable everyone to relax and have an enjoyable experience. Men are welcome too, and in fact this is the first year it’s been an all female Pod.
I’m not able to share everything with you here, but I’ve done my best to help you have an experience as if you were there too.
In the Beginning
The retreat began with a Dolphin Blessing, which was communicated to me at 6.30am, with the intention I shared it with the group. They are also happy to share it with you now. You may find it relevant to what you’re currently experiencing.
There is no need to rush.
Be clam in your heart.
Just focus on BE-ing.
You know this, but we are happy to remind you too.
We will come to you.
There is a lot happening.
Do not ‘try’ to move.
To create the shift.
Allow ‘it’ to come from within.
We are always present.
Even when you don’t see us.
Reach out telepathically/energetically.
Tune in to us.
Like we tune in to you.
We are glad you are here.
‘We’ (collective consciousness) need Light Workers.
Raise your Light, power up, then beam brightly ‘back home’.
– Dolphin Ambassadors of Joy & Light
We began by having a little practice snorkel in a quiet calm part of the ocean and a sea turtle showed us how to relax, make minimal effort and glide. She communicated, ‘Slow down, let the ocean hold you, just relax, move slow, enjoy.’ The rest of the morning was spent with the Spinner Dolphins who swam in and out, rather than in one circular direction, mingling up two groups on retreat, my group and Joan Ocean’s (who is a resident dolphin researcher extraordinaire!) The dolphins were teaching us we are not isolated. Not separated. Early on I popped my head up and didn’t recognise the person next to me. Before I could stop myself I thought, You’re not my Pod, but I immediately corrected myself recognising my error – Your Pod, my Pod, Dolphin Pod, it’s all the same. We are One. You are Me. I am You.
I pulled an oracle card for the group and it was Darkest Fears. I knew that was a strong card for the second day and I wondered how the day would unfold.
The day began with a quick glimpse of a Tiger Shark as we left the harbour. A sign of things to come? Then we were met by a large female Manta Ray who glided at the surface, showing her beauty, power and grace. We were able to identify her as Koie Ray because her left cephalic fin was missing and due to her size. All the manta rays are identified by their spotted marking pattern on their white underside, which is completely unique just like our fingerprints. We were considering snorkelling with Koie Ray but she moved away and I felt she was saying it wasn’t an invitation. We respected her decision and remained on the boat, she immediately returned to us, and shortly after another Manta joined us too. They filled us with stillness and grace as we joined with them in quiet observation and communication.
Then we came to a truly magical experience, which many might link to the Darkest Fears card. We came across Bottlenose Dolphins and were told there may be sharks too. I imagined four or five sharks. Swim guides got in first, “Its very sharkie,” we heard, which translates to…there are a lot of sharks. Everyone got in. Only one person hesitated and remained on the boat. It was a scene straight from David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series; there were 5-8 bottlenose and around 30 visible sharks with the feeling there were more deeper. Everyone, including the weaker swimmers, was able to snorkel on the surface and watch the dolphins, Sandbar Sharks, Black Tip Sharks and Galapagos sharks, swimming in sync and community with one another. It was mesmerising and powerful and we were totally in awe. One of our group played out her ‘darkest fear’ in a more physical way and in turn dislocated her shoulder sliding into the water. I won’t go into more detail but just to say she’s doing ok and everything that happens at sea is for a reason, an incident like this can show us something to be released or to reflect where we’re stuck, and in our realisations of our experience we are offered the opportunity to grow. In six years of facilitating retreats this has been the first ‘accident’ and is a unique opportunity for the person involved. And for the lady who stayed on the boat, with time she stepped out of her comfort zone and got in too, and was so pleased that she did – another step forward into expansion.
On our way back to the harbour we did some ocean cleaning, and with a lot of effort, pulled out a drifting, illegal fishing net to allow the ocean and creatures to breathe a little more easily. It was checked for inhabitants too, before being cut up into smaller pieces for removal.
This day involved a gentle snorkel with fish in a protected bay in the morning. The fish love the attention and are thrilled when people notice them and communicate with them. I heard two rainbow fish communicate, ‘Coming through, coming through!’ as they swam fast through fish and coral.
In the evening we enjoyed a sunset cruise, meeting a humpback whale on the way, and a night snorkel with manta rays. It’s incredible being up close with manta rays while they are plankton feeding and summersaulting over and over again. We were blessed with them coming to greet us within a few inches, acknowledging our presence and curiosity.
As we prepared to leave the harbour we noticed a dead turtle floating. We gave a blessing and sent the turtle love. Death is part of the cycle of life.
The card today was Well-Deserved Reward and the Humpback Whales expressed their huge unconditional love and abundance. Five humpbacks blew their breath up into the sky, dived down, tail fluke up. We hung out with them for a while, taking in their majesty and grace, communicating and feeling their presence within our energy field.
There was another wonderful experience in the ocean with 200+ Spinner Dolphins and just one other boat, you guessed it, Joan’s boat. The only two boats containing people on a spiritual-focused retreat. These moments are unique and precious. The dolphins purposefully came close to the snorkelers, sometimes tight to the side of their face, enabling memorable eye-to-eye contact and heart-to-heart merging.
On our return to shore we witnessed an adult humpback whale breach six times. Sometimes these breaches feel very meaningful, as this did. We looked up the number six and found it described Motherhood – Community Glue – Family. Such important anchors to us during the Coronavirus epidemic.
This was our final day in the ocean and our card today was Blossom. It began with a greeting by two turtles swimming together, like the infinity sign, as a reminder where there is death, there is also new life. We stood on the boat in a circle singing a Hawaiian song taught by a participant the previous year. We travelled south and at a deserted bay held a gratitude ceremony sharing our thoughts, feelings and gifts, ranging from crystals, singing, drumming, finger-harp playing, and silent reverence. Our crewman joined us and shed a few tears as he shared how much he loved our group’s gratitude for all ocean life, not only the dolphins, in respectful stewardship and love.
Travelling further south we were met by a Humpback mother and her very young Calf, just a couple of months old, who was sweetness personified when she was practising tail fluke slapping, mini breaches and fin slapping. Every time we cheered the calf’s effort she was delighted and made an even bigger effort to show us her moves. Heading back north we were met by the Spinner Dolphins for our final farewell. They came close, eye-to-eye contact, and sharing such deep love and connection. New friendships formed. Until we all meet again physically. We can all communicate with the Dolphins remotely, any time, they are waiting for us to reach out.
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With kindness and grace,