Are You Called to be a Pillar or a Vessel?


When I began planning my latest whale-watching retreat to St. Ignacio, Mexico, my vision was to bring 14 people with me. I was excited to lead a large group into the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific Coast and see them bask in the enormous love and compassion that is the essence of whale energy.

Ever since I was a child I’ve been drawn to the whale as a powerful spiritual guide. That passion has evolved into a dream to share whale experiences and whale energy with people from the Midwest. I imagined myself on this retreat acting as a pillar holding up a ceiling, or a high vibration, in order to allow others to transform.  

That large group ended up being five people. At first I was disappointed. I questioned my vision. Where were all the people I was meant to guide and heal? I had to fight my whale-sized ego, which was telling me that I’d somehow “failed.” I had to immerse myself in the present moment and open myself to a new lesson that said:

Be a vessel, not a pillar.

Whale energy was urging me to experience it on a more personal level, something that would have been impossible if my job was to hold space for 14 others. Instead of being the strong leader, I was being asked to surrender.

This was a difficult transition for me. I learned that listening to that inner voice requires a good deal of humility. I had to let go of how I believe life is supposed to go.

The trip taught me to relax into a state of being rather than doing. My only job was to re-boot my body by aligning with the expansiveness, deep calm, and clarity of the whale. When I gave myself this space, I saw that the trip was changing the lives of everyone in my small group. I watched one member—a 24 year old man—light up as he touched a whale and looked it in the eye. The hoodie he’d been wearing over his head all week came off and he was transformed.

They all needed healing. And so did I.

Whales are here to help raise the vibration of humans. They remind us to authentically embody who we are in the moment, even when it’s not what we expect.

Are you being called to surrender into a state of being? Or do you need to be a source of strength for others? Whether you are a pillar or a vessel, working with whale energy can give you the clarity to know your role and how to lovingly embrace it.

Kimberly LeClair