By Shari Rhodes

I have always wanted to swim with the dolphins. Their sense of community, spontaneity and playfulness enthralled me.  I collected glass figurines, artwork and books about dolphins.  Sometimes I swam with them in my dreams and felt them as totems guiding me on my healing journey. I saw them as a source of inspiration and strength.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia.  Along the way up the coast, my friend Megan and I walked along several beaches amazed at the transparency of the water, skirting the blue bottles and luxuriating in the tropical sun.  Toward to end of my three-month visit, we decided to drive up the coast from Sydney to Byron Bay near the Queensland border, six hours south of the Great Barrier Reef.  We discovered that we could go sea kayaking to watch the dolphins. We booked the next morning.  However we awoke to gloomy gray skies, damp cold and impending rain.  We couldn’t find our kayak guide or even the boats.  We heard questionable things about the company and that the guide himself had to be rescued once.  Everything seemed amiss. Reluctantly our money was returned and we rescheduled with another company the next day.

That night, Megan said she had a dream of us in our kayak.  It was a gorgeous sunny day. She saw me sitting in the front.  Just as I put my hand in the water, a mama and newborn calf swam right by our boat. The calf swam right under my hand.  She felt the mama was sharing her beautiful gift with me and that it is rare for a dolphin to let her calf swim so close. Megan felt the dream was a premonition.

The following morning, we arrived at the kayaking site, greeted by sunshine and crystalline turquoise water.  Everything seemed perfect. We set out on our kayaks in life jackets and yellow helmets and excited anticipation.  Out at sea, we were hit by huge waves that felt like colliding roller coasters dropping from the crest into free fall. We collided with other kayaks, getting bumped and bruised.  I soon realized if we didn’t turn perpendicular to the oncoming waves and ride with them, we would crash, get thrown off and get sucked under the powerful current of the next huge wave.  We stayed close behind the other kayakers who seemed to know what they were doing.  However after another huge wave, our kayaks crashed into each other, my glasses fell into the water and I hit another guy in the head with my oar.  We had to be on the constant look out for the waves threatening to turn us over with their force.  It was an exhilarating fast ride pushing us forward as each wave mounted and rolled over. 

However being on the ocean felt like home. I felt recharged and in the moment. Nothing else mattered. Our kayak guide said he was right behind us when we came crashing off a huge wave hurling from our backside. He said it was the largest wave he had seen.  He was sure we were going to crash, entangled in a web of kayaks, limbs and oars.

Though we didn’t see dolphins on the first half of the trip, during our breakfast break of cereal and watermelon, I sensed a miracle was about to happen.  We paddled off again only to be turned over by the shallow currents.  Drenched and sunburned, we rounded the rocky bend near the lighthouse.

Then it happened.  Three gray bottlenose dolphins were heading toward us.  Megan frantically shot pictures.  Out of nowhere, hundreds of dolphins were surfing the waves around us. As one family of dolphins swam by, another followed suit. More would glide past in every direction.  I was breathless. When the excitement finally seemed over, a mama and her newborn calf swam right next to our kayak.  The baby was only about two feet long and swam within a foot of my hand floating in the water.  I couldn’t believe a mama would allow her new born to swim so close. I felt honored. It was the most joyous moment in my life Even our kayaking guides mentioned it had been an unusual day. They said it is rare for so many dolphins to come out all at once.

Megan decided to go kayaking again the next day. I stayed behind and hiked down from the lighthouse toward the shore.  After a rough, bumpy ride, Megan returned to our hotel room with bruises and muscle aches, exhausted and ready for a five-hour massage.  She said the waves were much harder which made rowing back to shore difficult.  She saw only two fins in the distance.  My hiking excursion fared better.  At the bottom of the trail, a family of dolphins swam near the rocks to greet me. I was amazed I would be blessed with this wonderful gift twice. I felt the dolphins communicate with me. I sensed their playfulness and exuberance. They seemed to be joyfully in the moment and fully present. I sensed their intuition as if they could energetically pick up electrical vibrations in the sea.  They appeared to hang out in clusters and be fiercely protective of their clam.  My heart opened, feeling my own inner child celebrating with the divine.  I felt connected to my breath. My own intuition seemed to unite with the dolphins filling me with a greater connection to all living things and myself.  A surge of power enveloped me as I had finally lived out my dream.

As it turned out, Megan’s premonition dream proved right. I had my miracle.   I realized that no matter how challenging life gets, magic happens. We just have to look for it in our everyday experiences and discover the hidden beauty around us.

This unforgettable gift etched a newfound strength and faith. The dolphins that day reminded me that it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the small moments in life. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle.  Even in the challenge of every day life, it is our birthright to take a moment to connect with our breath, our inner self and be fully present. Dreams do happen. We need to go deeper inside ourselves, to take the time to discover our own playfulness, joy, creativity and passion. Life offers us these precious moments.  All we have to do is be present.   It’s by noticing the small things that make life bearable.  It’s in the old saying, “Taking time to smell the flowers along the way”. Life really is like that. 

What do you notice, see, hear, smell, touch and feel?

Where do you find your joy?



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Shari Rhodes has been an international Intuitive Reader for the past 30 years. She is currently a citizen
of both the United States and New Zealand.  Shari’s purpose is to support people to grow and move
forward in a positive direction with greater clarity, self-empowerment and self-confidence.  She offers
readings, workshops and public talks.  She is available for sessions in person
or over the phone
You can email Shari at, or visit her website at