Whale Shark

February 13, 2018
June 16, 2021

Recently I was invited by a group of Executives to lead creative coaching sessions for them in Mexico. My invitation was this: “Will you please come on our women’s retreat and do your ‘magic’.”

I had no idea what this ultimately would look like, but I said yes, gathered my ‘magic’ and booked my plane ticket.

We landed in Mexico, and our first adventure, unbeknownst to me, was on a boat. My whole life, I have always disliked boats, cold water, and getting wet. I had kept it to myself how much I disliked boats and water. Truthfully, I had never been interested in boat excursions. I had fear. I feared I would get wet and super cold, fall in, or worst of all: spend the whole time throwing up. At the beginning of this year I created an intention: “I am open to adventures of all kinds.” Here it was, my intention, coming to life.

[Coincidentally, another intention I created was to lead a retreat for women in Mexico. So, here is proof you have to get specific in stating your intentions. I was thrilled to be leading the group this way, but, if I had gotten more specific, I might not have ended up on a boat - lol :)].

So here I was, in Mexico, coaching fabulous women to face fear, examine their thinking, step out of their unconscious pattern pulls, and OPEN to new ways of thinking, acting and behaving. Simultaneously, I was doing the exact same thing. One of our excursions took us far out into the ocean to meet a powerfully stunning whale shark. (My new friend, Erica, snapped the photo). While on that excursion, I received amazing coaching from this whale shark, pictured above.

My big ‘ah-ha’ was this:

When you face your fear with patience, it takes you into a profound practice with faith. Not religious faith, per se, but a firm belief that it is ALL unfolding exactly as it should. I patiently waited on the boat for the other guests to jump in the water to swim with the whale shark. I was both patient and a little scared. I was not going to miss out on getting in the water so I jumped in with a couple of the women as we were all switching off jumping in and then getting back in the boat. My final turn came after everyone else had theirs. Here is where I discovered the magic. I heard Maryanna, the bright Marine Biologist yell, “Swim, Lisa swim!” I embodied my bravest mermaid-self and kicked harder than I knew I could. The whale shark and I swam together for, what seemed like an eternity. His cute polka-dotted self and I were side by side swimming and playing together. I released all my FEAR in that perfect moment. I was so far away from my old story about the water, I left my inner critic in the dust, my longing for anything to be different disappeared. I was present. I was my beautiful, somewhat frightened mermaid-self swimming with a whale shark under the water with a group of fabulous new friends rooting me on, and it was perfect - just as it was. I got back in the boat and she said to me, “That’s real magic when you have him to yourself.”

Now, after the retreat, I keep returning to this question: “What would my beautiful, imperfect mermaid self do right now to be in the magic?” I will follow her, like the whale shark because she seems like the wisest part of me and she showed up when I wasn’t looking for her to be other than she is.

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