Remembering How to Be: Lessons Learned from a Baby Sea Turtle

I had an aha moment the other day; it was one met with a little bit of surprise, a little bit of sadness, and a little bit of disappointment. I was reviewing my Leonie Dawson life workbook for 2017. In it, she has a page where you write three permission slips to yourself. I had written the following permission slips for myself in early January 2017: 

  1. take time off to refuel and recharge
  2. practice what I preach
  3. take exquisite care of me – keep my cup overflowing so I can be of more service to the world

As I read those, my inner goddess pinged, “Yes! That!” And yet … The surprise came from the fact that I had predicted so well exactly what I needed in 2017. The sadness came from the fact that I didn’t take my own advice. The disappointment was a fleeting thought that maybe I could’ve prevented a lot of the pain and health issues I went through, especially my latest go round with adrenal fatigue, if I had only taken my own advice – you know, practiced what I preached. 

Yet, beating myself up about it doesn’t do any good (and that’s not practicing what I preach anyway). But, on my recent trip to Costa Rica, I got an inkling of what I need to do next to get back on track.

It came from a surprising place: baby sea turtles. The third day of our trip, I came down with a head cold. As a result, we decided to cancel our plans on the fourth day so that I could rest and heal. I was sitting on the deck watching the ocean when one of the hotel staff yelled, “Baby sea turtles!”  No matter how sick you feel, of course, you have to get up for that!

As it turned out, our hotel was located next to a sea turtle wildlife conservation program and that day about a dozen baby sea turtles had hatched. It was getting near the end of the day and it was time to release them. We trekked down with the conservation staff and watched a miracle unfold. One by one, these little sea turtles took off toward the ocean. For some it was full-out sprint and straight shot to the water. For others, it was a lot of turning the wrong direction, going sideways, or backtracking. Yet, we couldn’t interfere – they had to find their own way (one of the conservation experts called it activating their GPS) because in 15-20 years, the females need to know where to return to lay their eggs.

As I watched one little turtle walk sideways down the beach, I realized that we had something in common. We were both a little lost. Yet, I was also reminded of these words of wisdom:


“No matter where you are on the path, you are never lost. Every step forward is a step in the right direction. There is no finish line.” – Casey Daly

While I might not be lost, I am feeling a deep calling to take some time for me to refuel, recharge, and figure out what my next steps are going to be. It’s time for me to take a pause, a sabbatical if you will, from my business. I need to stop long enough to listen to the wisdom of my own voice.

“In silence, I hear.

In stillness, I feel.

In nothingness, I create.

In emptying, I receive.” ~ Syma Kharal

So I’m going to do just that. Pause. Listen. Reconnect in with my own inner GPS. Receive.

What are you feeling called to do as we begin this New Year?


  • Josanne Franklen says:

    This New Years I’m being called to write and do it lovingly, creatively, let it flow. Receive, and

    Know that I do already know it’s time to be quiet, and still so I can receive, and trust what’s strong inside my heart and soul and feel fully. Express without guilt or blame but wisdom and gentleness more often where ever possible, not losing the message, the intention to teach and understand,

    I’d like to learn what it’s like for people, what they really need and want instead of assuming I know it all or what I know is enough, I’m going to make more requests, inquire and join in the party without feeling like I might get swallowed up, just learn to trust And celebrate boundaries finally

  • Josanne Franklen says:

    One time I went to Australia in my younger days, it was fabulous watching the turtles running into the water under the moon I think it may have been full, it was such a unique, pricelse’s experience. So glad I followed my 💜


    Dear, dear Dr. Mary,

    You are a jewel. I will pray for you as you stop, rest, and tune into your inner wisdom. Our loving God called you and you listened.
    Please know you have many sisters out here, young and old, who are holding you in the light.

    Peace and All Good from one of those sisters,


  • Kay says:

    When we were young, my parents took us to a turtle release. There is a conservancy on South Padre Island in Texas. I went a few years ago, and it was just as amazing as when I was a kid. Thanks for helping me recall some fond memories. I loved your session during the Woman Unleashed retreat. Thank you.
    Take Care, Kay

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