Reflections on Sea Changes

Thoughts on transformation
by Lauralee Alben

Why intend?


In this Great Transition, intention can be transformative. Especially because humans aren’t the only ones intending. In this time of immense and miraculous change, we need all the intention we can get.

Intention is universal. It’s not unique to humans. Although for many, an anthropomorphic mindset prevents us from seeing that a great striving to create, to connect, and to evolve is resident within all beings. As I observe more keenly, I perceive intention at work everywhere.

On a very blustery day last spring, I sat on the rocks at Pescadero Beach watching the tumultuous Pacific hurtle itself on to the beach. What was its intention, I wondered? I understood the scientific explanation of how waves are formed, and what forces cause the ocean’s circulatory patterns; all this forms the fluid framework of the Sea Change Design Process. But at this moment, what was more interesting were deeper questions pointing insistently at the nature and consciousness of water.

Over thousands of years, a single drop of water travels from the sea ice at the polar ocean surface to the solar-heated tropics; and from the submarine canyons of Monterey Bay to the coral cathedrals of the Great Barrier Reef. That drop makes a complete journey through our one magnificent ocean, connecting all of us.

On a more intimate scale, each drop of our Earth’s water came into existence from an amazing attraction between hydrogen and oxygen. Could that elemental desire for cooperation and congregation be called intentional? Could the great love that conceived Water be coursing through all Life?

Could love be what calls forth intention? When we hold still long enough to learn what we deeply love, we can design an intention to care for it. When we accept who we feel deeply passionate about, we can design an intention to commit to them. We are alive at the most precious and precarious time on our planet. It will take more than our intelligence to save us. It will take a great, intentional restoration into wholeness; each of us becoming whole within ourselves by bringing our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls into alignment; and every being contributing to a greater harmonic whole.

In Sea Change Design, an intention is always formed into a question. A question compelling enough to summon the waking world; an invitation sincere enough to be respectfully reciprocated; an invocation insightful enough to manifest a future that we know in our hearts is possible. An intention always has three parts: an offering, who or what we’re relating to, and the flow state we desire. The power of a well-designed question is that it allows for multiple, open-ended answers and diverse, responsive outcomes that emerge over time, often over the life of a person, an organization, or a community.

Intentions are designed honoring both survival and thrival states, acknowledging that both have embedded wisdom within them that is essential for our individual and collective well-being. On our planet today, both states co-exist in the extreme. What wisdom is Mother Earth offering us? What miracles might the Spirit World presence? What intention honed out of love and longing will we design for this Great Transition?

Intentions provide us with possibility, without requiring proof. They give us incentive to manifest in meaningful ways the full potential that we are, here, now. The wondrous thing about intentions is that once we human beings learn how to design them, we can better relate to all the beings that intend naturally, like Water and whales. That’s what I realized as I listened to Water’s flowing intention last spring. I wrote this poem in response.


Pescadero Beach

I have spent the golden hour watching the sun
light up the salty spray rolling off the backs of waves
as if they are horses’ manes unfurling in fury.
Here, there are endless herds galloping towards shore.
Row after row, their wet heads curl and bow to the beach,
their blue bodies arch and swell as their hoofs meet sand,
Frothing white frenzy they thunder forward
in their quest to lick the land.

Offshore, I spy the spouts of a pod of whales
on their marathon migration from Baja to the Bering Sea.
Their syncopated signals make a vertical counterpoint
to the horizontal advance at water’s edge.
The denizens of the deep move so majestically,
their glides generous and deliberate, their course constant
as they keep time with the seasons.

That’s what’s so miraculous, really.
The ocean never stops moving.
Not the water nor the life within it.
Imagine if our prayers were as pelagic,
as unceasing, as fervent.

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