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Reflections of Inanna: The Benevolent Ocean

I was pondering the ocean, its power and beauty, its potential risk to life and property. I remembered an incident many years ago when I almost drowned. I recalled feeling like I was held below the surface. The current created churning conditions, an undertow that I fought with growing panic. I recalled swimming in deep water beyond the furthest set of breaking waves. I felt the change in the ocean. I felt the brief pause between high and low tide, I felt the current shift, the energy of larger waves amplified. In truth I felt my knowing. I noticed the subtle warnings alerting me to conditions potentially detrimental to my wellbeing. I relinquished my opportunity to move closer to shore, disregarded repeated warnings. I kept swimming while my companions returned to sandy towels. I soon felt trepidation that my strong swimming ability was ill-matched with the shifting ocean. With no concept of direction, up or down, I felt disoriented and increasingly fatigued. My lungs began to ache, a sudden realisation that I would die that day. An image of my young child flashed across my inner vision. I felt intense love followed by sadness that I wouldn’t get to see her grow up. At that moment I was lifted to the surface. I took a surprised, desperate breath and struggled to shore, almost crawling onto the sand thoroughly shaken and exhausted. This formative experience was a landmark on my life path.

As you may anticipate, I developed a deep feeling of respect for the power of the ocean. I also developed feelings such as unease, mistrust and fear. It was as if the ocean was planning to lure me into deeper water and take me away from safety. I continued to enjoy the beach and recreational activities for another three decades although I wasn’t able to completely relax while in the water. I was always on high alert and often considered how impacted I still felt by my near drowning. It was self enquiry which I feel brought me self-healing. One particular day I experienced a persistent and strong compulsion to be near the ocean. I stood on a beach at Byron Bay, thinking I was there to enjoy swimming and walking. I did not realise until I reached water’s edge that I was being invited to open to developing a new relationship, a new way of understanding our great ocean.

I felt more than a little trepidation. I was invited to energetically and mentally connect with the ocean before going into the water. From the sand I sent my energy and attention to the ocean. A warm, caring response surprised me. Its care, benevolence and desire to be known humbled and inspired me to open, to trust the process as it unfolded. I entered the water and felt a sense of potential beginning to grow. I felt that I was held in the gentle waves, coaxed to relax and notice how they nudged my return to shore. I was encouraged to float on my back with closed eyes to sense the approaching waves. I received information about waves as they approached me, whether they were gentle, higher energy or likely to splash over my face. I was invited to float parallel to waves to feel the energy of the ocean. I understood that the side of my body is a perceptive organ just like the lateral line system of fish that allows them to sense vibrations and changes in water pressure. I perceived energy pulses as stronger waves firmly guided me towards shore, an alert of sorts of potentially unsafe conditions. I clearly understood that even though the ocean is benevolent, the salty realm is home to fish much bigger than me. It was clear, my own responsibility to feel, to understand and to exit the water when it is prudent.

I am unable to accurately express how beautiful and humbling the whole experience was, how my perception of the ocean changed. In my inner vision I saw the origin of life on earth, the primal ocean during earth’s transition from sea life to increasing lifeforms on land. I viewed plankton proliferating and seeding the ocean ecosystem with nutrients. I viewed primal marine life propelling to shore and then emerging onto land, their divinely inspired evolution and adaptation to thrive in air rather than H2O. I felt a deep sense of connection, of being cared about and nurtured. This is my perception of the ocean now. Gone is the fear, suspicion and uncertainty. I now feel deep respect, gratitude, a sense of belonging and revere as I honour the ocean’s boundaries. All life is sacred, of equal importance. All life on earth is divinity in action and empowered with free will.

I recently had opportunity to integrate my learning experience on a snorkel outing at Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve off Byron Bay. It was truly a magical time. I felt safe and welcome. I was thrilled by close encounters initiated by turtles, rays, leopard sharks and many fish. Towards the end of my time in the water I felt a cooler current and increased choppiness. I acknowledged the now familiar, subtle signals that sharpened my senses to notice conditions changing and shifting around me. I removed myself from the cool current and enjoyed the remaining time in a more sheltered area where my body felt comfortable.

I am more confident now that I am heeding my natural instincts and my own deep knowing. I enjoy a revived and holistic relationship with the ocean. My personal awareness of my primal, natural instincts enables me to feel self-empowered and capable of responding to circumstances in a life-honouring way. Beyond my wildest dreams I discovered the true nature of both myself and the ocean. I know that we are as vital to earth’s biome as other forms of life. I now realise that the true nature of being human divinity is liberating beyond words.

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