My Dolphin Phobia

This year’s Bimini trip is fast approaching and I’m overwhelmingly excited to return to this magical island to play again with those magical dolphins!

Last year, my experience was incredible because through the dolphins, I was able to overcome a fear I’ve suffered from for the past fifteen years: Open Water.  (Are you laughing like my husband did that I had scheduled a wild dolphin swim which can only possibly take place in open water – the thing that I am the most afraid of?) I developed the phobia on a snorkeling trip in Kauai more than fifteen years ago when the boat captain threw a huge bowl of bread into the water near me while I was innocently swimming with the fish. The ensuing frenzy of nips and touches and grabs as the fish (understandably) went after the food freaked me out to no end, and until this trip I hadn’t actually returned to any body of water other than a pool since that time more than fifteen years ago!

dolphin3My first day in the water with the group was fraught with snorkel mishaps which prevented me from having to confront my fear.

Our second day out in the water was completely different as I had worked out all of my snorkel problems. Our group was blessed with two wild dolphin encounters! During the first swim, I stayed with the group and kept popping my head up to find the other swimmers, the boat, and the dolphins. It was a lot of work for me continually keep track of everything and while I did get more up close and personal with several dolphins who came to play with me, I never really relaxed into it because of my worry about getting lost at sea. Basically, out of fear, I was being a control freak. Can you say soul contract?

It was the second encounter with the dolphins that completely changed everything.

The group of dolphins that found us were in a very playful mood. They would gather in a group, dive down to the sandy bottom together and then re-emerge, often jumping out of the water only to do it all over again. One dolphin swam directly toward me – so quickly and so close that I tucked my legs and arms in so as not to touch him (I didn’t want to scare him). He stopped and looked at me and I felt an immediate tugging at my heart. I suddenly knew that I was totally safe and protected in that water.

The dolphins knew that we needed that safety and in that moment, I realized that we were being provided with it.

I stopped worrying about where the boat was, where the other snorkelers were and I entered into a beautiful feeling of communion. More dolphins came by, looked me in the eye, swam under my feet, swam three inches from my head… and I just went with it. I never wanted those moments to end and even just writing about this, I feel happy and clear.

Alas, the dolphins know when to say goodbye though and suddenly they were all 30 yards away from us, playing, jumping and having a great time with each other. We said our goodbyes, got back on the boat – and I sat there reveling how completely calm, safe, and secure I had felt in the open water.

I cannot wait to go back to swim with the dolphins again! In fact, this experience moved me so much that I have started next book by writing about it. It was no small feat to get me to feel comfortable in the open ocean – and to want to go back? My husband is amazed and so am I!

Learn how you can join me right here!

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