“Using no way, as way. Having no limitation, as limitation.” —Bruce Lee
As long as I can remember, I’ve been on a journey towards the Supreme Dream. I realized as early as nine years of age that the vivid pictures in my mind were glimpses of a reality I could manifest. Lucky for me, my parents had mastered the art of balance, allowing me to walk the path of discovery without letting me get lost.
Growing up in Jamaica, weekend excursions to newly discovered rivers and beaches were frequent. Here began my relationship with the sea. As a little girl, it felt and looked like a place as magnificent as the visions in my mind, which at the time seemed too big, or too ambitious, for the world I inhabited.
My introduction to what lies below the surface of the water came in the form of a monthly subscription to National Geographic, a gift from an aunt living in Houston at the time. Absorbing images of underwater life for the first time was a seminal moment in my life.
The movement of the ocean showed me the greatness of the Supreme Being. God. Jah. Universe.
As children, we’re taught to picture God as this old wise guy sitting atop white, fluffy clouds. I see God when I go to the water. This is my church. The rhythm of the ocean is like the rhythm of our breath. You can almost see Mother Earth breathe, inhaling as the lapping water recedes from , exhaling to push back the waves. The waves are the rhythm and hold the energy of the universe. I always say: You will find answers in the waves. The circular motion whispers solutions to your problems, a veritable life-source, an actual food for the soul.
Like the ocean, each of us has our own unique rhythm. When in tune with ourselves, the rhythm opens our ability to identify our life patterns. Finding our rhythm is crucial in helping along the process of manifestation. Once we’re able to see the process, we can determine whether or not the patterns have been beneficial to our progress. On the flip side, it also helps to identify the counterproductive patterns we may need to change.
My work requires me to manage many different personalities— an emotionally taxing enterprise—and so I seek equanimity, a peaceful patience. I seek out and create my own space that allows me to be still. If only I could breathe underwater, feeling at one with the vastness of the landscape, listening to the loud silence just below the surface. In this stillness, I give me whole self, so I can discover or remember, the Supreme Dream. Listening to my rhythm, I confidently commit to instinct over conscious reasoning. Harkening the fluid and shapeless water, and its tremendous force, my literal mind begs the question: Should I be free and unbothered? Or am I to be forceful and deliberate?
Which brings me to my role as advocate. Advocacy for me fundamentally isn’t about “the issue.” I didn’t set out to find a social cause to commit to. Plastic pollution is personal to me, because my church is the shoreline. Countless times, I’ve found myself on beaches that held the right energy but were piled over with trash and debris. These shores felt like desecrations, less like places of reverence. And so began my education on the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans. I became focused, motivated, and dedicated to creating outreach programs and awareness campaigns. My actions are about reciprocating on what she gives to us and allows us to experience. I seek to do the same for her.
Kertia Marley—Manager, mom, consummate connector, master of development projects, daughter of the waves.