The documentary movie, "My Octopus Teacher," really touched my heart. This film takes us into the life of a diver while he spends one whole year discovering what makes him feel truly alive. His journey underwater transformed his state of mind completely while gently being guided back to the love in his heart. This, I feel, is the greatest gift one can ever receive.
Craig Foster was a very passionate filmmaker, nonetheless, the pressure and control in his mind from trying to live and work in this world left him feeling worn out and alone. After finishing up his last movie, he felt absolutely done with this way of living revolving around competition, approval-seeking, obligation, and responsibility. Instead, he started asking himself what truly inspired him. In dropping all the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s and all the actions that were making him feel depressed and disconnected from himself and his family, he recalled a very freeing memory of being in and around the ocean. This liberating feeling brought him to an underwater kelp forest near his home at a remote location in False Bay near Cape Town, South Africa, where he started to free-dive. In no time, he was completely immersed in a whole new world where his heart burst wide open.
Everything about it felt inspiring to him; from adapting to the cold water, to letting go of the fear of any possible danger, to discovering and studying every detail of the underwater life,
and specifically, an octopus, hence the title, "My Octopus Teacher"...
The first time Craig met her, he was left very intrigued and wanted to know more about her. This was the start of a beautiful relationship assignment. In A Course in Miracles, it is called a "holy relationship"; one to help expose and heal the darkness in the unconscious mind so we can connect to the radiating joy of our Heart. The Holy Spirit can reach us through attraction and when we feel inspired, our heart is open to receive and extend love. Craig's fascination for the octopus was used to draw him back into the ocean every single day. His mind got so focused and honed in on this new inspiration that all his worries and doubts dropped away for a while and he got to rediscover his love for filming.
Every day was a development of trust in which the octopus learned to open up to Craig's presence more and more and Craig had to stay very patient. Soon, his heart started bubbling with a rejuvenating feeling of joy and he became very attached to her, but since the octopus is regularly hunted on by sharks, Craig got faced with a deep-seated fear of losing over and over. He knew he could not actually interfere with what happens in the underwater life, so it took all his willpower to stand by and let things be exactly as they are. Eventually, when she slowly dies in the act of taking care of her babies, Craig has to face this fear once more. Although, this time around it didn't take long before the love rushed back in as he was reminded of the enormous gift she had given him. She became the spark in his heart that could never disappear, not even after her body was gone.
In opening up and sharing their love and joy with one another, Craig felt he had received everything and the more he felt the love in his heart, the more he wanted to extend it out. Subsequently, he started sharing every detail of this adventure with his son. Which was once a closed-off relationship now had become deeper than ever before. Craig also co-founded the organization called, Sea Change Project, which became another way for him to keep doing what he loves.
The relationship between Craig and the octopus was absolutely transformational and shows that in giving yourself over to your passion and purpose and the calling to be truly helpful, the little self a.k.a the ego cannot survive. All the darkness will come up for healing and only the light can remain.
"When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching-learning situation begins. For the teacher is not really the one who does the teaching. God's Teacher speaks to any two who join together for learning purposes. The relationship is holy because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit into any holy relationship. In the teaching-learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations they have drawn between their roles, their minds, their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another, fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own." ACIM M-2.5