Tag: gratitude

Enter the Light

Enter the Light

_tsl8194Can’t recall ever having as much fun diving as I did the past four days. I was thinking….so many dives….over 600 in the past 15 years….but these last ones have been off-the-scale fun. Why is that?

_tsl8205I’ve done cave and cavern dives many times, have been to beautiful ocean destinations…what’s different this time?

_tsl8199Perhaps it was having the opportunity to be with one other person, a fantastic guide, and experience the freedom to play in the water–taking time with light beams or formations of beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Nobody rushed me or pushed me to move if I was engrossed with something that captured my attention.

Before we began our diving, I told *Daniel that my goal was to have fun and take photographs. I wasn’t interested in anything else. Play was my objective.

More than once while diving I noted how fun it was to be underwater, underground and have my camera kit with me. Not a passing thought but a real fire of playfulness within that ignited passion for the work I do.

_tsl8196The mornings were filled with clear water, diving into cenotes filled with magical formations and ‘working’ to capture their beauty through the art of photography. The afternoons were filled with processing images and realizing that I was indeed capturing the beauty I so deeply love and appreciate. It was a celebratory atmosphere!

_tsl8311There were no distractions. It was me and the sea whispering sweet sounds as I worked and celebrated the success of my endeavors. I’m an ardent perfectionist but even that part of my personality was deeply pleased with my efforts. Did hell just freeze over?

Connecting with the beauty of nature is why I get up in the morning. Through the arts of writing and photography I find the expressive pathway to share the magnificence of nature….of our water planet. The way I decide where to go is to simply listen with my heart. It always guides me true.

_tsl8212My heart always guides me to enter the light.

*Daniel Ortega Moran is based in Tulum, Mexico and is a wonderful person and dive guide. He’s a cave instructor as well…if you’re interested in learning more about diving underground.

Dream Gate

Dream Gate

_tsl7771The gently rolling waves put me into a trance and I find it difficult to come back to waking consciousness. But rather than roam the reefs of the sea, I float–in my half-sleeping state–among formations of Mother Earth that defy description. In reality, I was there only hours ago hovering weightless in water so clear it was as if I was flying through a dry cave filled with magical earthen structures.

_tsl7776It was a new cave for me, one never-before-visited during five or six weeks of cave diving I’ve done here in Akumal, Mexico. It was pristine with no noticeable damage from ill-timed fin movement. The only ‘damage’ I saw was where someone stood up and left an imprint of fins beside a lacy rock.

_tsl7799During both dives I found myself laughing joyfully at the outrageous beauty, shaking my head in wonder and immersing myself completely in the experience. Nothing else existed in those moments of geological excursion.

_tsl7747When I’m diving in caves such as these it changes me. I find myself moving deeper and deeper through time and space until I meet some other me that might have walked in wonder in the caves when they were dry, among these embodiments of ever-so-slow drippings of mineral-laden water, the artistry of time and gravity.

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Sweet is the Light

Sweet is the Light

_TSL3846On this Mother’s Day I am especially grateful to loggerhead sea turtle mothers who give me incentive to awaken before dawn, drive to the beach and walk along the Gulf just before, during and after sunrise. It gives me opportunities to photograph pure, rich color.

_TSL3886There are a very few moments in which to capture the richest, most precious light. Between the pre-dawn gray and post-dawn white there is a sweetness where color bursts forth from the water, earth and sky and everything the sacred sunrise kisses. The muted, soft pastels are transformed momentarily into rich colors of incredible depth. Then the harshness of daylight washes them into a faded expression of what they once were reminding me of the impermanence of life.

_TSL3929Ambitious architects from the day before provided a perfect surface for the perfect light to illuminate and I arrived at their castle at the perfect moment, when the light was at its richest. Some times things work out exactly as you would hope.

_TSL3925There were no sea turtle tracks on the section of beach I patrol but that’s only part of the reason I volunteer. I go for the sunrise because sweet is the light.

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Whale Time

Whale Time

_TSL1859As I floated weightless with humpback whales below, I had never felt more present. Extended quiet moments floating in the peaceful sea offered an expansion of time as my mind opened to their minds.

I am forever changed, my DNA rewired into something different than before I entered whale time.

_TSL2010Gratitude expanded within my heart and I knew in those moments the true meaning of receiving…the gift…of the present.

Tender & Gentle–Humpback Whales Part III

Tender & Gentle–Humpback Whales Part III

_TSL2013Tuesday--The day begin with more moon, stars and sea yoga. Practicing with the elements is transformational. I wonder if that’s how it was done long ago…in the beginning. As I practiced I heard to allow the Divine Feminine to shine through me and to come from love. Always come from love in all that I do.

Sunrise found me dancing on the flying bridge in celebration of the day. There is something to be said for dancing with wild abandon with the sunrise after ‘working’ with moon, star and sea energies during yoga practice.

Breakfast, preparing for a day on the Ocean….check dry camera and telephoto lens, check underwater housing…a quick dunk in the camera tank to insure it’s watertight. Fins, mask, snorkel, wetsuit, dry bag with dry camera and other dry stuff….ready to go!

_TSL1694Our day with whales began with a sweet couple. A female and male escort allowed us to view their dreaming. Once again I had the opportunity to meditate with whales for an extended period of time. At-one-ment. This was happening while a complete rainbow arched overhead. I reached a point where I was beyond, beyond blissed-out and so just floated in meditation…rainbow overhead, whales below.

Again I was convinced that whales are not sleeping. Not really. I think it is whale dreaming. When they ‘slept’ I joined them in their whale dreams, in the whale dreamtime. I went into that perfect energy of stillness and silence and connected to that vast mind known as whale.

During my time with this couple, I spent time conveying the messages people sent to them through me. I threw them kisses from Jean. I gave them air hugs from Glenda. I shared Michelle’s message…”Free, I am!” I told them Roxanne sends her love and concern. Jaime’s message asking for forgiveness from them for our abuse of Mother Earth and for communal insight and empathy was shared. Helena’s message of love, love, love, love, love, love and gratitude was shared. I gave them Kolek’s message…and Fran’s. I shared Michael’s message and Debbie’s and asked them to stay away from nets and to accept apologies for human behaviors. And Debbie A’s message of thanks for unknown blessings and Pat’s message of love for the ocean, planet and all life. And Debbie H’s message of love. And Barb’s message of apology for human behavior and our love for them. And Barbara’s message of “Love, love, LOVE!”

_TSL1760-2Tears flowed into my mask as I remembered and shared these messages. I felt receptive hearts and minds listening carefully.

Going into the Vastness of the Whale Mind…I felt gifted with an energetic pattern that will assist me in many ways. Communing with sentient, aware beings through the heart and mind is powerful Medicine.

After a couple rounds of dreaming and coming up for air, the couple swam off touching pectoral fins…tip to tip…side by side. So gentle and sweet were they. And just as they glided away, another couple of humpbacks glided past us. (Where did they come from!?!?).

Holy cow Batman!

_TSL1918Then after a long period with not many whales in sight, we were invited over by the other small boat in our group to a mother, baby and escort who allowed us to get close several, several times. Very close. At one point I was hovering over her fluke so close I could see barnacle scars lining her tail.

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The baby was the most amazing whale I’ve ever met. He laid sideways on mama’s head, upside down on her head, rolled off her head and found every other position imaginable to balance on her head. Such magnificent joy! He also surfaced and practiced his tail lobbing and fin slapping. Then, after tiring, he would rest under her chin.

_TSL1879If we drifted too close, the escort would slowly and gently guide the mom and baby away from us. He didn’t appear upset but was very keen on keeping a certain distance between us and his gal and her babe. The magnetic personality of the baby seemed to draw all of us forward without kicking or swimming. As our hearts opened more we seemed to levitate through the water toward this delightful being.

_TSL1797The trio of whales allowed us and two other groups to take turns observing them for over five hours. Our group went in for lunch at 4.15pm and hurriedly ate and had another beautiful in-water encounter with the same whales. The only time I saw the whales intentionally leave the group of humans was when a person on another trip/small boat did a very loud and splashy entry. The whales moved away  from that boat and settled again near our group.

_TSL2010Tender and gentle describes the day. Mind blown apart is also a good description of the day. My note at the end of the day said this: “I want to write more but I’m so tired and want to do morning moonlight yoga because it’s been freaking amazing! I love you whales! I love you Universe! I am grateful!”

_TSL1861Thus ended the day. I drifted off to sleep with blue water and a baby humpback filling my mind and heart.

Part I–Begin at the Beginning

Part II–Meditating with Whales