Ocean Salutations: honoring the collective psyche

Rock Salutations To The Ocean

Ever since I was a young girl I have used the ocean as my barometer – its vastness, yet accessible presence, ground my paradoxal existence on earth, offering a literal version of psyche; one I can comprehend and immerse myself into.

At times my imagination and fear’s vastness surpass comprehension, rendering me a stranger to my own psyche. There are things about others and myself that come at me, to me, that I appear to have no receptors for, and can’t comprehend.

As a child, simply trying to grasp the nature of the mind could send me on a contemplative tangent. I would put one hand on the back of my head, the other on my forehead, and struggle to conceptualize thoughts and emotions being limited to the confines of a six-pound cranium.

When imagination and emotions seemed to extend beyond these confines, I would go outside or walk around other rooms in the house, wondering if there would be tangible evidence that extensions of my psyche did, in fact, exist outside me.

As you may have guessed, I wasn’t your average child – and I’m not your average adult. Back then, and even now, many people warn me about having too much time on my hands for these kinds of mind games; to which I often reply, “you mean you don’t think about these kind of things!”

When I’m in nature and interacting with its existence, I can’t help thinking we were at least meant to have some kind of expression or exploration beyond our physical existence; that we are, in fact, connected to everything else – that is why psyche seems to trudge ahead of us, and linger in the past, because it is not confined to our physicality.

Today, as I stood in front of the ocean and saw that the rocks, too, were in awe and salutation of the ocean, I knew my childhood fascinations were not in vain.

Arguably, there are other aspects of the universe serving to parallel psyche in the same way as the ocean, but none offer such fluidity, or the opportunity to not only wade, but also be knocked down by crashing waves, with repeated opportunities to get back on our feet before the next wave comes.

I believe our minds, or psyche, seem so vast and inaccessible at times because we are not the sole owners, they belong to the collective. I’m also thinking (haha … potential contemplative tangent) part of ego’s struggle is coming to grips with this reality.

I am more of the collective, than part of, which explains why a disconnect with myself, others, and nature, can be devastating – like a soul amputation without anesthesia; I get the visual of dismembered parts trying to find each other, attempting to reconnect.

Today I stood at the foot of Ocean. As her essence crashed over and around me, I was soulfully reminded of our interconnected relationship, and how capable I am, of being in, and of the world.


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