I expected to be in Silver Bank this March, facilitating my fifteenth Sacred Swims trip with humpback whales . The universe had other plans. I fell and broke three metatarsal bones in my foot and could not fly because of the risk of an embolism. Though I knew that the excellent crew and the magnificent whales themselves would create fantastic experiences for the group (and they did!), and friends and colleagues were amazingly generous in their willingness to fill in for me, it broke my heart to not be able to be there with my group and with the whales.
I decided that every day during the week that I was to be on my trip, I would go out in my garden to play Amazing Grace at the same time that the group would be listening to it in Silver Bank at sunset. It is a tradition on my trips to play this particular version of Amazing Grace by Cecilia–which has humpback songs interwoven with the vocalist’s singing–every night at sunset. We play it as a prayer of thanks and love to the whales for the privilege of being with them. There is something magical about this piece of music, made more so when standing on the deck of the dive boat with a heart filled with memories of time with the whales, balmy breezes of the Caribbean washing over your face and through your hair, looking into the beautiful setting sun and often seeing whales spouting below. I wanted to somehow still be part of this sacred ritual, to be connected with my group and the whales. And so, each day I hobbled out into my Carmel garden right before sunset Silver Bank time, and sat near my whale prayer flags and whale sculpture to play this song.
Little did I know that even as I mourned not being with my beloved whales in Silver Bank and the group of people I had prepared for this trip for a year, I was about to experience the blessing of some incredible, unexpected silver linings.
The following is an account of what happened, modified from a copy I sent to the participants on the trip:
While you were in Silver Bank, much to my surprise, I was able to teleport there a few times and actually take form as a whale to be with you. I have never done this before (at least not in this lifetime) and was amazed by the ease of the experience. The first time it happened I was listening to Amazing Grace out in my garden. As the music began I closed my eyes, ready to picture all of you on the dive deck looking out at the sea and watching the sunset. Without knowing how it happened, suddenly, yet gently and very comfortably, I was out of my body and literally at the boat, above you on the deck.
I felt such an overwhelming love for all of you and gently touched and kissed the tops of your heads. I cried happy tears when I saw old friends. It felt so normal to be there in this way, not in a body. You all seemed sun kissed, happy and ready for more whale love. I could feel the wonder, the love, some doubts, some questions, the joy and awe swimming around in your hearts and minds. It was like telepathy but in 3D. I was there! After these moments of being above you on the deck I was guided to “glide” into the water. When I did, instead of surfacing with a snorkel on my face, I was a whale. Just like that. I was a whale! When I felt it, and realized that I had pecs again I was deliriously happy! I slapped each pec over and over and over. Languorously, I rolled and rolled. I would stop rolling at times so that my eye could look up at all of you. I spouted and trumpeted just to remember what it was like. I loved it. Trumpeting felt like snorting in baritone but much more elegant! I also dove deeply and lifted my fluke. I was smiling inside thinking, wow, this is what drives humans so crazy–just to see our tails. Underwater, moving gracefully again as a humpback was so familiar. I was home. There was no sadness, missing, or yearning to be a whale again permanently which I often feel when with the whales in a human body. I was just happy! After a time, I laid on my back with my pecs stretched out and with my heart wide open to all of you. It was heavenly.
I saw you (humans) as the whales do, these little tiny beings, brimming with love for the whales. It just beams into the water, all this love, so very strongly. After awhile I sort of stepped back and held the space for everyone, for the exchange of love between the humans and the whales. I’ve never held an energy space quite like that before. In the past, I was always from my grounded human self holding the space for the humans and for the whales. But this time, doing it as a whale was different. As with other times when I’ve held an energy space for animals, people or groups, it was gentle, powerful and strong all at once, but this time I could feel more of the actual whale energy because I was grounded in whale energy. The sensation was similar to what we feel as humans when the vibration of their song runs through our bodies when we hear them singing live.
Then, just as easily as I had left, I was back on my chair in my garden, my crutch by my side. Much to my surprise, I wasn’t disappointed to come back. (One of the things I’ve been told by my whale guides is that this shape shifting has never occurred when my human body is already in the water in the presence of whales, because in such a scenario I would absolutely not want to return to my human body which would create a great deal of havoc regarding what is unfinished in my current human incarnation. I can visit, but I can’t stay!)
On the third evening, Silver Bank sunset time, the same teleporting and shape shifting happened. While I was happy pec slapping, a beloved family member from a former whale life (who is now in spirit) appeared next to me and said, “What’s with all the slow rolling and pec slapping, show em what you’ve got kid! Jump!” And so together we breached. What a sensation! There is nothing, nothing I can compare this to in human life. The fast movement underwater to prepare to breach and the jumping itself–it is pure power and joy. Even the slapping back down onto the water feels delicious. It doesn’t hurt at all. It feels great. It’s juicy, it’s fun, it’s life affirming.
There were other times during your week when I came as a whale to the dive boat and also during your encounters, though I was not allowed to be in whale form when you were in the water–only to be present in spirit, next to the whales, to watch. My guides were concerned that if in whale form I would get carried away and start taking you all for rides. I probably would have, and scared half of you and worried the crew. But I did ask the whales present to come close to you and to trust you. You all looked so small! I also learned from this how very, very, very careful the whales are around humans. A hundred times more careful than I could tell from my human perspective when with them in the past. They see us as delicate, tiny, and–smile–not terribly coordinated and are very intentional in not wanting to harm us. And yet, some of them yearn to nuzzle close to us just as some of us yearn to do so with them. May I live to experience this!
When you were on the dive boat deck and Amazing Grace was being played, while I was in the water as a whale, I could see you and hear the music. Many, many whales were nearby listening, many, many more than you could see. The whales nearby know that this song is being played for them, that it is a prayer for them (and they think the humans are singing live–I did not explain about recordings). One whale told me that she experiences this sound as “a song of love and devotion” from the humans. She also said that when this singing begins (which some of them wait for with anticipation) many whales congregate to hear it, and that they can hear it underwater. Some of the whales told me that they speak about this music and the humans giving them so much love with other whales–those who have had experiences with humans and some who have not. But the most amazing part was feeling and hearing from the whales HOW MUCH they receive the love of the people standing there showering them with love. There were dozens upon dozens of whales underwater listening to the music, taking in the love. As whales, this love reached every cell in our bodies. I also felt the energy of hope filling the whales and the very water around us all. Receiving all your love felt like an anointment. The presence of God was clear. The connection between whales and humans blended into one sacred heart. Bodies and species didn’t matter, only the love.
Now I know what it feels like to be a whale and be in the presence of humans who have come to be with whales just to love them. For many years, in conversation, whales have explained to me how deeply they feel our love when it is given. But to feel this directly, first hand as a whale, to see the people and feel their energy of such great love being directed to us as whales was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
In another life when I was a whale, there were no humans in whale watch boats sending love to whales, but there were humans in whaling boats who exuded energies of supremacy, aggression, disregard and hostility. I was killed by one of them. Being a whale again, even for a short time, in a situation of receiving so much love from humans was deeply healing. In this situation in Silver Bank, receiving the love from these humans was like getting love from 100,000 people, not just the 18 or so standing on the deck or the 10 or so in the water. Receiving the power of all this love was not overwhelming–it was like being gently and deeply blessed by angels. Just like, interestingly, how I’ve often felt in my human form when I’m in the presence of whales.
As humans, many of us are so astounded by the juxtaposition of the hugeness of the whales’ size with the gentleness of their energy when they are near us. What I felt as a whale, and heard other whales describing, is how astounded they are by the juxtaposition of the huge love coming from the “tiny, delicate” humans. I could see this when in the whale body: here was this group of really little beings exuding so much awe and love. Imagine as a human looking down at perhaps a group of little chipmunks, looking up at you beaming all the love of the universe to you, with great respect, awe and gratitude just to be near you. That’s what it felt like. The whales with whom you had encounters (in the water and from the boats) are as changed as you are from having been together. Every drop of love and healing and goodwill you felt for them and every thought sent has been received and is now a part of them. Just as they are a part of you.
This is not new information to me. But experiencing it as a whale gives me a whole new perspective of how powerful, far reaching and everlasting our love for them really is. I will never, ever doubt the power of love and how easily and powerfully it reaches others, beyond time, distance, form and species. I expected to be at home the week of the trip feeling sad (and I certainly did at times) and telepathically connecting with the whales. I did not expect teleporting and shape shifting. . .and am very grateful to have been able to briefly join you in this way. Next year, I’ll be there with snorkel gear in my human body! When I die from this human life, I want it to be with a smile on my face, saying “Beam me up whales! Beam me up. Here I come!” Until then, I will sometimes be saying, “Beam me back into the water whales!
I surely never expected my role in this year’s trip to be so long distance, and am so profoundly sorry not to have been with you in all the ways I planned and wanted to be. But I am so gratified that you came to be with the whales and that they came to you.
One of you recently emailed me and thanked me for being an “ambassador for the the cetaceans.” I am very honored by such a label. The truth is that all of us who have met the whales, who have exchanged love with them, who now know who they really are–are all poised to be ambassadors for them. Being an ambassador or advocate for the whales or any animal is not about having a particular role, or a public role. It’s about making everyday lifestyle choices that do not harm them or any beings on the earth, about our willingness to stand up for them, to pray for them and to send healing to them. It’s about going beyond the sentimental, beyond the natural and heady romanticism we experience from their charisma, and beyond the spiritual high and inspiration we receive from being with them and from their wisdom. Those things, as much as the whales want us to have them and give them so freely, are all about receiving. Being an ambassador is about giving. I hope you will all be ambassadors for the whales. They, and all the animals of the earth, need us.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything. May your personal unique relationship with the whales be one of mutual inspiration, love, giving and receiving. And may each of you be blessed with all you need for your soul’s journeys, far and beyond this trip.
With much love and respect,