For the two or three weeks leading up to the Consciousness Cruise with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), I was getting progressively nervous about my presentation. Most of these folks are extremely well educated and they take their sciences very seriously. Often in conversation, it's not just which college degree they have, but how many PhDs they hold. So, speaking with my usual informality, throwing terms around like right brain and left brain, wouldn't wash well with this crowd. After all, the two hemispheres of the brain, though distinctly different are integrally interconnected and it's really not as simple as having an analytical side vs. an intuitive side.
I was near panic a few days before our departure, flooding myself with various articles and documents about psychic ability when my sweet husband calmed all my fears with a simple statement. He said to me, "They may be smart, really smart, but when it comes to an actual working experience of psychic ability, you are the authority here." With those words, I realized he was right. I calmed right down, got my ideas in order and relaxed about the whole thing.
The Institute of Noetic Sciences is a non-profit organization founded by Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell. As he and his fellow astronauts returned from their trip to the moon, he saw our earth, floating in the sea of space, and realized that all of his technological education and experience had not even begun to touch upon the depth of awareness that he felt in that moment. He had a knowing, a noetic experience, that we are all connected and that our world and the universe is conscious. When he returned to earth, he devoted himself to the Study of Consciousness and the collective transformation of our human potential.
Since the Institute's inception in 1973, IONS has blossomed into an international organization with community groups throughout the world. For several years now, a number of the community groups have been enjoying Consciousness Cruises, as a forum in which to share ideas that can make a positive difference in the world. It was almost like attending a series of TED talks, while floating through the Inside Passage, those multitudinous islands off the west coast of Canada and Alaska.
As with all IONS events, there is a focus on the science behind recognizing that we are all a part of an interconnected whole. The motivating force is to create a shift in consciousness worldwide, so that we are inspired to take action to help humanity and the planet thrive. The researchers and support teams at IONS conduct, advance, and broaden the science of what connects us so that we can all reach new understandings about the nature of reality and our extended human capacities. This then empowers people to apply conscious awareness in their personal lives, in healthcare, in business and in education using the real-world tools that are created from what is learned.
There were a number of presenters on the ship and all were great. We heard from luminaries in the world of consciousness research and change like Rupert Sheldrake, Jill Purce, Peter Russell and Cassandra Vieten. Rupert spoke of the dogmas in science that are limiting our worldview. Jill demonstrated how our voice and working with our family patterns can free us. Peter explored our transformation of consciousness through meditation and Cassandra gave us details of Edgar Mitchell's and IONS vision.
We also enjoyed talks about healing violence through wholeness with Douglas Bonar, embracing our wake up calls with Peter Hesse, mimicking nature's patterns for spiritual growth and evolution with Curtis Adney and implementing paradigm shifts through understanding indigenous consciousness with Milt Markewitz. These along with a host of other brilliant presentations and healing demonstrations made for a remarkable journey.
We humans are always looking for ways to expand and improve our knowledge. And this can come to us through the advancement of our powers of perception. So often we are taught what to learn, not how to learn. And just as the electron microscope helped us to understand our world better, so can our other enhanced tools of perception. It has been my experience that the extended capacities of our human minds are vastly under explored and under appreciated. So this is why I like to teach how to develop our psychic abilities. As we learn more about our extra sensory perceptions, we can create more knowledge. And knowledge helps us to evolve and grow.
We all did a survey before our departure to see which talks would likely be the most popular and thus well attended. Fortunately mine scored very highly. So I was given one of the prime times in the really big room on the first day, just before lunch. It was while we were passing through a particularly beautiful part of the inland passage with snow covered peaks and glaciers reaching down to the ocean. We did the final exercises for my talk up on deck with the cool Alaskan Air and bright blue skies punctuated with the mountain tops on either side of us.
Of course everyone had extraordinary psychic connections because we all are already psychic. We are born that way. We just need a little nudge to help us realize it. And that is what I did in my talk. I gave us lots of little nudges with colorful stories from my life, designed to open our minds. I then punctuated these with simple little exercises that (loosely speaking) opened our right brains. My presentation was called, "Wake Up Your Psychic Ability," and that was exactly what happened. And everyone loved it.
With my talk all done and over with, right at the start, I was free to enjoy myself fully for the duration of the cruise. I swam in the pool which was filled with icy cold Alaskan ocean water and got chilled to the bone every day for an hour at a time. It was fabulous and so healing. Nothing can jump start your health quite like really, really cold water. Frank and I had fun on the water slides and warmed up afterward in the saunas and steam rooms. And the food was incredible. They had an excellent Indian chef on board and you could order whatever you wanted. I loved the appetizers, the soups and salads, and would sometimes have two or three of them instead of choosing a main dish.
Then there were the shore excursions. We saw Victoria by night in a horse drawn trolley. We walked through a forest to come to a large hand hewn cedar plank tribal clan house and visited the many Tlingit totem poles there. But the highlight of the trips for me was the dog sled ride.
The Alaskan Iditarod and other racing dogs need weight training exercise during the summer months. Pulling a wheeled cart with four tourists and a musher on board is an excellent way for them to get in shape. And these dogs LOVE to pull. They can hardly wait to go. When the hand brake is released, the cart lurches forward amidst a cacophony of yips and eager barks. We went racing through the deep forest with the dogs bounding ahead, pulling left and then right around the turns as we whisked along the wooded trail. Before and after our ride, we got to meet and pet the dogs who were all so sweet and welcoming. And after our wild ride was complete we were invited to meet the puppies. In order to help them become socialized, all of the puppies needed holding and petting. So we were blessed with face licking and hair biting as they expressed their affections and we all delighted in their playfulness and personalities.
We all had a truly wonderful time. And in the days that followed my talk, so many of the IONS group members came up to me and expressed their true appreciation for my presentation. They told me that mine was their favorite and showered me with compliments. It filled my heart with joy. I couldn't have been happier with the outcome and I am still beaming over it all to this day.