The Dolphin Effect

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

When we lived in Texas, we would visit the Gulf coast and enjoy Padre Island. On our annual sojourn to watch the whooping cranes, leaping dolphins that would mesmerize me by their ease and grace always accompanied our tour boat. I found myself an appreciative witness to their beauty.

Last week I took an Interplay class with one of my teachers, Cynthia Winton Henry. She talked about appreciative witnessing as a way of separating ourselves from the criticality we go through every day. Instead of judging why the check out person at the grocery is so slow or why our boss didn’t smile when she said good morning, Cynthia suggests that in the same way we enjoy the easiness of watching the dolphins, we can simply observe what is happening without having to decide whether it is good or bad. In this rather elegant way of enjoying the world we are able to see all its beauty and not have to beat ourselves down by finding the negative in everything that exists.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2015


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2 thoughts on “The Dolphin Effect”

  1. I had a similar “awakening” while living in Souther California. Most mornings I walked the beach at Hungtington Beach. Usually it was me, the surfers and the wild life. After my walk, I would sit at the top of the steps and just watch the Zen of the surfers patiently waiting for that wave.
    One beautiful moring while having my monent of Zen, a school of dolphin joined the surfers. They statred catching waves along side of the surfers, and from time to time, jumpiing over the surfers while they sat on their boards waiting for a wave. The surfers were having the most amazing expierience, as was I just watching. They would raise their arms as the dolphin jumped over them, and the dolphin would skim their hands. The dolphin were having just as much fun.
    This wonderful little moment taught me so very much about being in the moment, not judging, not looking for anything, just experiencing and observing. And, without my own agenda or expectations, I can come away from a meeting or a situation with a much more clear sense of what really happened. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, it is easy to loose this site, this practice. And sometimes we have to do more than just observe. But I a,ways try to kerp my eyes and my ears open to the moment.

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