Saturday, July 16, 2011


When Gershon Cohen and Michael Fishbach set out for a Baja fishing expedition on Valentine's Day, they did not expect to encounter a creature that would change their lives.
The Humpback whale was so entangled in fishing nets that he could hardly move and faced imminent death. Armed only with a fishing knife, Fishbach, Cohen and friends worked diligently for three hours to free the imprisoned Caetecean. The process and result was extraordinary, hardly able to be captured in words. The video linked below says it all.
I learned about Valentine’s liberation minutes before going on the air for my weekly radio show Get Real on Hay House Radio. The show’s theme for the day was “Living Your Expanded Self.” I was inspired by the parallel between Valentine’s liberation and our own: Each of us has a contracted self that feels limited and imprisoned. We also have a greater self that is expansive and free. Like Valentine, we were born magnificent creatures with a vast ocean as our playground; in many ways we are rulers of that domain. Yet we have all been captured in other people’s nets, to the point that our fins are penned in and we cannot negotiate the movement we desire and deserve. Some of us may even feel suffocated to the point of near-death.
Yet this may require but a penknife of sharp intention and a period of focused attention to free us and return us to our natural expanded state. This summer might be a great opportunity for each of us to step back and consider whose nets we have gotten trapped in and the pen(etrating) knife of truth that can liberate us. Perhaps we inherited fears about money or safety from our parents. Or teachers taught us that we are incompetent. Or religious figures told us we are sinful and must spend our lives in guilt and struggle to redeem ourselves from our iniquities. Or we had a relationship or series of relationships that left us feeling wounded, guilty, or deficient. Or we absorbed our minds in media blaring statistics of lack, loss, crime, and disaster. All of these voices formed the twine of fear, guilt, and separateness that crimp our fins. Yet who we are is far greater and stronger than any external bindings, all of which are founded in illusion.
When your desire for freedom exceeds your willingness to accept the nets of the world, nothing outside you can encase you, and the vast ocean of possibility will once again be your domain of choice.
Alan Cohen

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