My husband, Doug, and I have been bringing retreat groups to Tonga since 2004 to swim with the amazing humpback whales, the largest beings on the planet with the highest vibrations, we believe, of any living beings. One can imagine the depths of transformation that occurs by being in this divine presence.
As you might know if you have been following my posts here, for the last few years, I have been guided to go really deep inside, stop working so much and to take a mini-sabbatical. During this time I have been having profound experiences from Spirit that are teaching me about letting go of ego and attachment and surrendering to my soul and to God.
During our retreat, which ended on August 19th, we experienced the most extraordinary encounter with a mother and baby whale! I have had some really remarkable experiences with them over the years, but this one was completely out of the ordinary for sure. Though I have been practicing letting go, the message from this mother whale took me even deeper. Her message was so clear to me … “Surrender and know that all is well.”
On our second official retreat day on the water, we had been looking for whales who would swim with us that day to no avail until a few hours out on the boat. To our surprise, we suddenly saw in the distance a distinct bottom of a whale tail (fluke) that was all white so we could see it clearly on the surface. Strangely, it stayed in that position, fluke hanging above the surface of the water, until we could get the boat closer to it. This was very unusual as we see many whale tails but they are evident as the whale is diving deep down. To our delight, It looked like the whale was signalling us that it was ready to swim with us.
That was wonderful in itself and as the first group slowly entered the water to glide closer, we thought the whale would then move itself into a horizontal position and float with us as usual. We soon knew that this was a large mother whale because along side was her baby. Since Doug’s group went in first, my group was watching from the boat and to our astonishment, the mother held her position, hanging upside down with her fluke above water, while the group swam close.
We could see the baby coming so close to the group it looked as though it could touch them! The baby kept coming around and around in a thrilling display of friendship!
When it was our turn and the first group come onto the boat in a display of total awe and excitement, we learned that the baby indeed did touch Doug and several people gently touched it (they felt invited to). Oh how exciting!
When it was our turn to go in, I was so amazed to see the size of the mother, as she continued to hang in that vertical position, exposing her belly, with her pec fins outstretched as if to embrace us. She was huge and it felt to me as though she was hanging there in a completely vulnerable state allowing us to see what it is to utterly surrender! She allowed her baby to come so close to us too and to gaze directly into our eyes. We felt the baby’s playfulness and joy!
We were so shocked that this mother whale kept her position hanging upside down for what seemed like 45 minutes (but in reality was perhaps 15 to 20 minutes?… we just don’t know as time went out the window), and the captain was too. We, he and the first mate, had never seen this type of behavior before in all the years we have been with the humpbacks.
I received this message from this mother whale, “Surrender and know that all is well.” It was so clear to me that she was supporting me in completely letting go, on the deepest levels, of my ego and attachment to anything in third dimension. Others in our group also received different messages and one felt Mother Mary’s presence along with the mother. I do feel this message is for all of us as well.
The story does not end here. The whale stayed in that position until we all had a chance to be in her presence in this way. On my group’s last time in, the mother finally came to the surface and we could feel the ocean seeming to pull us closer as if to hug her! Our guide told us to move back a bit as we were only a few feel away. I was afraid I would kick the whale while we moved back, but she knew exactly where we were and looked into our eyes with deep love.
On Doug’s group’s final swim with the mother and baby, the whale did several tail flaps to tell us farewell and that it was time to end this divine encounter. They gently swam away and we all were in total awe and amazement at what we had experienced.
Our travels back home to Portland took many flights and many layovers. Our leg from Honolulu to Los Angeles was a red eye. By that time my ankles were swelling badly and I had a fitful sleep as the pain in my ankles kept waking me up.
Just an hour or so before landing in LA, I was in a state of just awakening, not fully awake and not fully asleep. Suddenly a whale came into my awareness … I could see it and feel it too. For a few extraordinary moments it came into my being and I became one with the whale in complete bliss and oneness in the Light!
In that divine moment, I felt as though I was in the heart of God … and there was no pain, there was no thought, there was no body. Was this what enlightenment was? Was this what being in the void is like? I don’t know what it was but it lasted only a few moments that seemed like eternity.
Soon I was back in my body and again felt the pain in my ankles. Oneness meant no pain and third dimension allowed pain. Hmmmmm, I thought, this is a lesson for me.
For some days after arriving home I felt in a state of slight depression. I couldn’t put a finger on it and did not know why I was feeling like that. I just allowed myself to feel it, not trying to define it, knowing that so much transformation takes place after these kinds of spiritual experiences.
Finally, I got it. In our Portland home we have an inversion machine that allows us to hang by our feet in a position that is like hanging upside down so as to stretch out our spines. It really helps my body especially from my years as a Dental Hygienist. When I hang on it, I have to protect my ankles or they hurt while I am hanging.
While enjoying my usual time in nature by the river near our home and practicing just BEing, the awareness came to me.
My ankle swelling on the plane, that was much more and more painful than I had ever experienced, was symbolic of my deepest resistance to total surrender to my soul!
I saw the mother whale hanging upside down in that completely vulnerable state and tied that image to my own hanging upside down and felt the message from my Higher Self that the pain in my ankles showed me that I was still resistant to the ultimate surrender of ego that would ultimately lead to no pain. The “pain” part symbolizes to me the pain of ego desire, the pain of expectation, the pain of separation from God, the pain of wanting things my way, the pain of wanting control.
How perfect! Being in a state of complete surrender allows bliss! Yes, we have heard this over and over for years in our spiritual quest and as spiritual teachers, Doug and I have talked a lot about this. But to really experience it has been a welcome epiphany for me!
Now I am compelled to often bring myself back into that blissful oneness with the whale, seeing myself hanging upside down heart to heart, arms open wide, with this beautiful mother whale, in complete surrender to my soul and to God within and without. Perhaps you can too … find that bliss within and move beyond pain!