My Emotional Health
This week we tap into our emotional selves, the parts of us that are responsible for our creativity, passion, desires, and attractions. Experiencing simply glimpses of what we seek is not enough for our emotional health to thrive. We have to ponder, discover, create, and integrate with these passions. This will allow us to look in the mirror and know without a doubt that we are who we are today and that is exactly where we are meant to be.
We want to access emotions in a healthful, balanced way. Experiencing emotions as if we are living on a rollercoaster or closing ourselves off from experiencing emotions are both indicative that we do not have the necessary relationship with ourselves and our desires and passions cannot fully be expressed.
We seek social interaction, some more than others, but we, like most mammals are not solitary. We have needs to communicate, cultivate community, cooperate, and to feel valued and accepted among others. We want to be in relationships. We want to bond in romance, friendship, business, and with our families.
The emotional parts of ourselves are where we develop our relationships, with ourselves and with others. The emotional parts of us are creative, passionate, attractive and sensual. When we access the emotional parts of ourselves, we can experience the world in a much more complete way. Experiencing emotion in a healthy way will lead us to the freedom that we’ve always longed for.
In 2009, I began my relationship with dolphins. They’d made their appearance in my life a few times before, but I don’t believe I was ready to be receptive to their energy and teachings. I was captivated by their apparent curiosity toward humans and their presence with humans in the wild and under human care. The relationships that were forming were fascinating to me. Up to this point and for a few years afterwards, I led an extremely private life, letting few people in and guarding myself from becoming too close. This was a protective mechanism to cope with expectations that I perceived.
I first met a dolphin called Venus, cared for by humans in an open ocean lagoon. She is a dolphin that has this sweet, beautiful energy, but until you spend time with her, you might find it difficult to relate to her as she could be considered defiant. Now, dolphins don’t really have rules to follow, but she tends to break the assumed stereotypes of most female dolphins. Of course, she does behaviors that she receives food for, but sometimes she does the behaviors and refuses the fish hand outs, generally because there’s a tasty school of fish passing through the lagoon and she’s in the mood to hunt.
Venus and I developed an instant connection, trainers and therapists alike called Venus my dolphin and me her human. I would often sit on the docks with Venus just below me spy hopping (spy hopping is when a dolphin keeps an eye above water looking at something, in this case, making eye contact with me) for hours.
I developed a relationship with a non-human that was so profound and seemingly meaningful for both of us.
I could still feel her energy, 1695 miles away. My heart grew.
I developed this passion to learn everything I possibly could about dolphins. I studied papers on their cognition, behavior, physiology, consciousness, sonar, and social structures. I developed a company that connected dolphins to humans therapeutically with bodywork sessions and in the wild in their company. I became more and more amazed by what was happening to the humans and the dolphins in these experiences where the intention for love and connection was established among all parties.
I once had the honor of holding my hand on the heart of an older male dolphin for 45 minutes in an exchange of pure love.
I've never felt unconditional love the way I was able to offer and receive as I have in that time.
About 5 years after my first experience with dolphins, I experienced another life changing experience with dolphins. While in Bimini, upon a live aboard dolphin expedition boat, we encountered a pod of about 12 male atlantic spotted dolphins wrestling at the surface. These males were highly focused on whatever it may have been that they were battling about and had little regard for our presence. Of course, they knew were were there and non-threatening, but we weren’t their primary focus. I was surprised when my dear friend and captain, Geoffrey, yelled to us to get ready on the swim deck. I eagerly donned my mask and fins and was ready to plunge in within seconds.
As soon as he gave us the go ahead, I swam as hard as I could to reach the pod, slowing as I approached them. The pod by this time had grown to about 45, mostly males and adolescents. They continued their scuffles and allowed our small group of 6 humans to be with them as they spiraled around each other, touched each other, squealed and jostled.
The energy shifted and the dolphins appeared to slow, take interest in us and play with each other.
Then, something amazing happened, the dolphins took me in as part of their pod, I was literally swimming with dolphins in front of me, above me, below me and to my right and left. I was fascinated. I had no concept of the direction and I didn’t even consider where, we were going because we were on this little journey together.
One dolphin came up from behind me, so close that I put my hand up for safety. He gently ran his body along my hand and we swam joined in touch for a brief moment. He circled myself and the other pod members and came up on the other side of me with the same behavior. This time, I was more relaxed and was able to enjoy this moment of touch that this particular dolphin initiated and desired. When we swam together in contact, I felt bliss.
The dolphin pod on this day taught me that there is something greater than me, my little world. I can be a part of something magnificent, I am not alone. I, too, am part of a pod. It turns out, human pods, just like dolphin pods, have members that are always there and others that come in and out. Being open to experiencing the pod in its many shapes has helped me to see a far more vast view of the creation we are part of, contributing to and existing within.
Emotional Health Meditation
Stretches To Open the Emotional Body
How do you define healthy relationships?
What unhealthy relationships exist that you need to alter or remove yourself from?
What relationships of the past continue to present themselves to you?
What lesson are they exposing you to?
What patterns, trends, situations of the past continue to be presented?
What messages are present for you from the past?
What are you pushing away?
Could it be integral in your development?
What is your relationship like with yourself?
What do you like about your relationship with yourself? Dislike?
What do you need in order for this relationship to be exactly what you seek?
What does it mean to be part of something greater than yourself?
What does your human pod look like?
What kind of support do you provide to pod members?
What kind of support do you desire?
What are you attracting to yourself, your pod?
What is your desired role in your pod?
What would it be like to grow and evolve within this pod?