What could you learn from an octopus?

What can an octopus teach us about overcoming challenges or living a meaningful life?

Until I recently watched the film, My Octopus Teacher, I must admit I’d never really given octopuses much thought. Other than I’d prefer not to encounter one in the sea. I’m really not a fan of anything touching my legs while wild swimming! 

I’m sure octopuses do play a critical role in the oceanic ecosystem. I know they are both a predator and food for larger ocean dwellers. But I’ve never thought they had any purpose in life other than to procreate and ensure the longevity of their species. Until I watched that film. 

But maybe there something bigger at play we’re only now beginning to tap into as human beings. 

The Octopus Teacher: expanding perceptions 

The film, The Octopus Teacher, certainly expanded my perceptions of the special bond that can be created between humans and wild species. It is a beautiful story about an octopus becoming a healer and teacher to a guy who was suffering burnout, depression, and feeling disconnected from life.

It’s a cocktail of dances: between a human being and ocean-dwelling creature; between humans and the natural environment beneath the waves; and the relationships you have in life. It’s an extraordinarily thought-provoking film that is very much still on my mind–two weeks after having watched it. 

Our surprising similarities

One thing that was striking was the octopus’s need to constantly be alert for danger and reinvest herself in a bid to survive, overcome challenges and physical struggles.

Initially, she appeared scared of the strange being who had invaded her territory. But, eventually, she had the courage to come out slowly from behind the rocks on the seabed, and explore the unknown. As her confidence grew she began to fully embrace this unusual opportunity to connect, play, and swim together.

This feels similar to the way we’ve had to step back, observe, recalibrate, and reimagine a new version of reality in response to Covid-19. 

Throughout the film, this octopus was resourceful, caring, bold, creative, remarkable, stood up for herself, and fought off attackers. She was resilient in the face of adversity on a daily basis.

Yet she also knew exactly who she was–an octopus. She was exceptionally skilled at changing her appearance to blend into her surroundings, yet she was always true to the essence of who she was.

This feels similar to the way we’ve had to step back, observe, recalibrate, and reimagine a new version of reality in response to Covid-19. 

Yet she also knew exactly who she was–an octopus. She was exceptionally skilled at changing her appearance to blend into her surroundings, while always remaining true to the essence of who she was. A dance so many of us explore. 

When you think of successful women, do they share any of these qualities?

Did the octopus in the film live a meaningful life?

Yes, in addition to spawning young, she made a huge difference to the life of a man, his relationship with his son, and the impact this film is having on thousands of people around the world. What an incredible legacy for an octopus. 

Exploring the limitless possibilities of your purpose

I’m sure this octopus never imagined she’d develop a close bond with a human being. But through following her curiosity and trusting her intuition that’s what flourished. An octopus’s purpose may not be to become friendly with humans but it doesn’t mean it’s not the destiny for some. 

Likewise, at a human species level, our purpose may be the survival of the species. But as a species, we have also evolved to live in a self-actualized world. The reality is that once our basic needs are met we have choices. Far more choices than our ancestors had.

We are also living longer and so have more time to question the purpose of life and explore how we can contribute during our wisdom years. The years our ancestors didn’t have. 

Your invitation

I invite you to approach life with the curiosity and courage of an octopus, even during challenging times.

Be open to what your future could hold. Just because you haven’t experienced or dreamt of it yet, doesn’t mean a higher purpose isn’t there for you. It could be just around the corner from where you are now.

Go on, I dare you: take the time to connect into unlimited possibilities and explore what’s on the other side of your comfort zone. You just never know what could happen when you do. It could lead to the most amazing transformational experiences and relationships. 

Imagine how good that would feel. 

As always, just get in touch if you’d like any help in creating the change you’d like to see and feel in your life. 

With love,

 
 
P.S.  Contact me if you’d like to explore how I can help you live a more joyful and meaningful life. 
 
 
 

Often described as one of the most authentic and inspiring souls you can meet, Alisoun is on a mission to improve the lives of 100,000 people–by making it easier for women over forty to thrive, enjoy a meaningful life, and have more impact in the world.

Alisoun’s personal support, online group programs, mentoring, talks, and best-selling books Heartatude: The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes have favorably changed the good fortune of thousands of people worldwide. She loves travelling, exploring, and living by the beach in Scotland.

Alisoun is has written the following free resources:

  • Ebook: 101+ Ways to Create a Joyful Life of Meaning, Vitality, and Impact – click here
  • Ebook: 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business – click here
  • Ebook: 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact – click here

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childfree, childlessness, female leaders, heart-centered, impact, intention, involuntarily childless, Meaning, meaningful life, octopus teacher, PURPOSE, purpose of life, resilience, successful woman, Wanderlust, wellbeing, wellness, without children, woman, women over 40, women over 50, women over forty, womenpreneurs

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