Reflections on Sea Changes

Thoughts on transformation
by Lauralee Alben

What’s at risk? | Part 4: The Salt Doll


What is it about water that transforms risk into rewarding experiences?

At the Blue Mind Summit, I heard the mesmerizing call of water in the inspiring talk by retired neurologist Dr. Andrew Stern, Founder of the Lost Bird Project and Smart Fin. He shared a story that embodies Flow, which we define in Sea Change Design as a dynamic convergence of desired outcomes that presence our evolutionary potential. Andrew began by pulling out a folded piece of paper from his pocket and reading the Buddhist parable of the curious Salt Doll, who asks of the sea, “Who are you?”

“I am me,” responds the sea to the Salt Doll, who having journeyed near and far, now stands puzzled on the shore. As she ventures into the mysterious and lovely blue water, she loses more and more of herself, until she understands just before the last wave breaks over her.

“Now I know what the sea is, she cries out, “It is me!”

What, I imagined, compelled the Salt Doll to slip into that watery embrace, knowing her body was merging with the rising tide? She took the risk of losing herself and, in return, gained oneness. In answering the irresistible call of the wild blue, she underwent an evolutionary sea change. And what of the sea? It transformed too.

This is a tale of transcendence and and literal truth. As Robinson Jeffers wrote, “The tides are in our veins.”

This is Blue Mind
There are so many more Sea Change Design stories to tell about the Blue Mind Summit. These four that I’ve shared represent the pulse of life that runs through them all.

Life is what’s really at risk even as we gain humility, wholeness, resilience, and oneness. And not just our human lives, but that of all beings, including our Great Mother Wave.

This is Blue Mind: the feel of her eternal surging and emerging within us all.

To those of you who participated in the Blue Mind Summit, and to all who love the transformative nature of water, I give you my poem in gratitude.

Skipping stones
Our conversation
was so quick, so pleasurable
like skipping stones
on the surface of a glassy river
knowing eventually
will drop down
into the quiet, slow moving stillness
where river grasses root
and silt settles.
There is where our hearts moor
to stories of simple yearnings
for beauty and family,
companionship and wonder.
Throw one more stone
before we go.


The Blue Mind Movement continues to swell due to this annual summit, a NYT bestselling book, compelling media coverage, and a myriad of opportunities designed by the Blue Mind team to reconnect us with water, like Blue Marbles and Billion Baby Turtles. Currently #100DaysOfBlue is underway in social media; this is our contribution.

Continue reading this 4-part blog post.

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