It's been quite some time since I've published something on this blog. I can finally say proudly that I have finished what I've been working on for the past year! My first album, Journey to the Soul is completed. Not only is it completed at all but I'm able to release it on my birthday of all days! This album means so much to me as it stands as a testament that I can do anything I put my heart towards. I worked incredibly hard this past year learning how to produce music and this is the result of that effort. For my first album, I have created a subaquatic paradise with Journey to the Soul, an ambient-atmospheric electronic synthesis, in which you're able to explore as deep as the ocean goes, meeting dozens of creatures on your descent to the bottom. Journey to the Soul transports you to another world with each of its 12 tracks, a world where at the center of everything is love. Gain a deeper understanding and sense of compassion for yourself and the world as you make your way through this ethereal world alien to you.
    Music means so much to me, alongside writing, which is why I have written stories to go along with each track, narrating your journey into the ocean. Each of these tracks is meant to help guide you visually throughout your entire experience, which is best experienced through headphones or decent speakers. I've also included 2 bonus tracks of demos I've been working on recently in the Bandcamp release that won't be on the CD. With all that being said, I really hope you enjoy this album!

Journey to the Soul is available for streaming/downloading on Bandcamp. Album is pay what you want!
If you would like a CD, please contact me on Instagram (morialive)!

0. Taking a Dive - The Fool

    As you stand on the beach you have familiarized yourself with over the years, your gaze fixates on the crashing waves in front of you. This beach holds meaning for you, it's where you go when you need to think, when you need to let your brain air out for a while. Whenever the world becomes too much for you, you come to this beach that has become your haven over the years. Each time you arrive, the waves become stronger, as if welcoming your return.
    In an attempt to bring yourself into the present moment, you sit down on the blanket you had brought with you and begin to take in all of your surroundings. You can feel the crisp cool ocean breeze against your skin as you breathe rhythmically, matching the tempo of the waves. The smell of the ocean is pleasant as it enters your system and flushes out the negative energy you had built up within. Eventually, your eyes land on the ocean that seems as though it is alive as its waves crash with purpose on the shore. Looking at the horizon, you're unable to see where the ocean ends and the rest of the world begins and you feel smaller, part of a bigger picture. Just as you are a small cog in a machine much larger than yourself, so is every other person, animal, and plant. Looking down at the millions of grains of sand that surround the island your blanket has created, you feel yourself getting lost in the vastness of the world around you. How long would it take for you to count every grain on this beach? From space, we become as indistinguishable as grains of sand, each of us blends into the other. Every day, we get so caught up in our own lives that we believe ourselves to be the only person that matters. As we stress over whatever may be going on in our daily lives, there are trillions of other humans and creatures going through the same thing.
    Your mind wanders towards the lives of living things deep within the ocean, thinking about each creature that plays a specific and important part in the never-ending cycle of their existence. Curiosity begins to well up inside of you as you wonder about the worlds unbeknownst to you below the surface of the water. The ocean that's waves continue to crash against the shore in front of you is not new territory but what comes after is. You begin to wonder how deep you might be able to swim before you would have to return to land and how many different types of life you would see before then. Armed with a strong sense of determination and a pair of goggles, you make your way towards the water and stand on the shore, close enough that your feet begin to sink in the heavy sand. You slowly take steps forward, feeling the sand continue to give way beneath your feet. As you walk further towards the ocean, the waves begin to crash against your calves, slowly making their way up your body as you begin your descent, sending chills through it. The water was not too cold, not so that it was uncomfortable. You use the time before you are fully engulfed by the ocean to put on your goggles, making sure they're tight on your head. Waves continue to crash against your torso, threatening to tear you down, but you're able to withstand their efforts. You take a deep breath, holding your mouth shut, and dive into the water.
    Once the ocean has fully consumed your body, you open your eyes and are met with a drop off in the ocean to your left, after it is only dark blue for what seems like forever. Keeping a distance from the dark blue abyss as you swim, you hear the echoes of a whale from the depths reach your ears and while you don't understand the language spoken to you, you feel as though there is a sense of needing in the cries of the whale. The song of the abyssal creature vibrates against your skin, sending a strange sensation throughout your body. The whale continues to cry out every few minutes and as you listen to the chorus created by the ocean, you wonder if the whale is singing for you to continue deeper. On your right, a more elevated part of the ocean stood, on it a beautifully thick kelp forest. The bright and beautiful greens of the seaweed swayed back and forth, with the breathing of the ocean. Your heart has reached a related tempo as the whale serenades you while you admire the kelp. You slowly relax your face, and without thinking, begin to take a breath of the water in front of you. You can't explain it but somehow you're able to breathe! You stay in position, breathing in the water and trying to understand this sensation that feels like you're breathing, but not taking any water in. You put your hand in front of your mouth and breathe, noticing that you feel pressure on your hand as you exhale but by breathing you don't create any bubbles. The only explanation you're able to think of is that the ocean has given you a gift. It's as if the ocean is beckoning you on a journey; your journey into the abyss.

I. Passing By - The Magician

    Unable to explain the phenomena you're experiencing, you wade in place, being mindful when you feel your thoughts wandering to your existence above the surface. Each time you catch your mind moving towards what exists beyond the ocean, you gently guide your thoughts back to the inhale and exhale of the ocean's movements. What began as an impulse decision to dive into the ocean is slowly becoming a journey that holds more meaning than you believe you're ready to embrace. You have no idea where it will lead you and you're aware that continuing may change you as a person for good. Looking up, you notice how the sun refracts on the surface of the water, making otherworldly patterns that are mirrored on your skin. Looking down at the patterns created, you watch as the light dances across your arms and legs, and shades of blue slowly make their way across and around your body. It would probably only take you a few moments before you would breach the ocean, being in your world once again, but you find yourself unable to move. Whether it's because you don't want to take advantage of the gift of breathing underwater, as you're not sure how much longer it will last, or because you genuinely want to continue your journey, you're not sure.
    If you were to confront the real reason why you're unable to move, you would have to come face to face with your self-doubt. You're not hesitating to go deeper on this journey because you have any doubt that what you are going to see is going to change you, because you're positive it will, you hesitate because you don't think you should be the one who goes on this journey. There must be someone more qualified, someone more important, someone more intelligent who should be going on this adventure into the ocean. As you meditate on these feelings, you recognize that they aren't rational at all. You have been given this gift by the abyss because you are the one meant for this journey and to attempt to pass it off is more insulting to the ocean. Facing these feelings that you have towards yourself, you understand that they are a part of you. When you doubt yourself, that isn't someone else, that's you. You must intentionally feel love for yourself and release the doubt you allow to suffocate your mind. You can't seem to want to move though, towards above the ocean or towards the ocean floor. Instead, you remain in position, allow your mind to wander, and stay mindful of where it tries to escape to. Whenever you need to, you return your thoughts to the present moment and connect with yourself as the ocean gently moves you.

II. Enveloped - The High Priestess

    You continue to meditate on these thoughts that have come to plague your mind, allowing your body to be softly swayed left and right as the ocean breathes. You slowly close your eyes and feel the water around you consume your body as it melts away. You feel a deep interconnectedness with the ocean as the cares and thoughts you have about your body also leave your mind, allowing you to become one with the water surrounding you. The ocean continues to slowly rock you and you allow it to take you where it wishes. You feel yourself moving through the water slowly until you eventually lay to rest on the floor of the kelp forest that was on your right. Opening your eyes, you see the surface of the water move in a way that seems mystical. The kelp at either side of your body lightly brushes your skin and you close your eyes again, feeling the ocean move around your body. The water lulls you into a meditative state, softly humming around you, and you begin to find a deeper appreciation for this experience you're being magically taken on.
    Without the weight of equipment or any worry of the world above, your mind feels at peace among the seaweed. Using the rhythm of the ocean to keep you grounded, you inhale with gratefulness for this journey you've begun and exhale with love and appreciation for the world around you. You feel as though you are as large as the ocean, as your body once again melts away into the vastness that surrounds it. Keeping your eyes closed, you feel the soft kisses from a curious fish against your legs. You feel a closeness with the fish that has begun to nibble at your ankles, making its way up your body. You wonder what the fish might be thinking as it assesses the being in front of it. Without any judgment in mind, the fish acknowledges you as you are and creates a connection between the two of you. You continue to meditate and think about what would you like to learn from whatever this experience shows you, pushing all judgment and doubt out of your mind. You decide to face everything you meet with love and understanding, not allowing your thoughts or feelings to have an impact on the sights before you.
    As you continue to match your breathing with the ocean, you feel strong vibrations against your right arm. They've been there for quite some time now, but you're only just noticing them. You slowly open your eyes and direct your attention towards your fish companion, and he returns the look. The two of you hold your gazes for another moment before the fish swims off through the forest, never to be seen by you again. Looking in the direction of the vibrations, you see a colorful city of coral in the distance. You can see fish of all sizes and colors swimming around their vibrant subaquatic home through the kelp. Your body moves slowly, still waking up from your meditative rest, and you begin to observe the coral reef through the kelp. It seems almost unreal that something so otherworldly can exist beneath the ocean's surface and curiosity fills your heart as you begin to push your way through the forest towards the reef.

III. Coral Reef - The Empress

    Pushing past the last of the kelp, you emerge into an open area next to the reef. You wade in position once more, admiring the bustling ecosystem in front of you from a distance. Stuffed to the brim with life of all kinds, big and small, bright and dull, your mouth is left open as you take in the sight before you. You've seen the beauty of coral reefs through pictures and videos but you decide in that moment that none of those do the true beauty of the reef any justice. The reef in front of you is almost too overwhelming, as your eyes dart from creature to creature, attempting to soak up all of the beauty that you see. It looks as though each living thing you notice is unique in its own way. Each pattern, incredibly distinct from the last. Fish that seem as though they came from fairy tales make their way around the reef, the sun reflecting off their gorgeous scales.
    You open your eyes as wide as they can go, hoping to take in all of the beauty in front of you. The coral silently provides protection and love to the many fish that rest there every night. Each creature in this underwater ecosystem plays an important part in keeping the reef alive and you feel a tangible connection between the reef and its inhabitants. You see young fish slowly learning how to move around in this strange world they live in. You see smaller fish that are lunch for the larger fish that swim in circles around the reef hiding in various holes and caves that have built themselves into the reef.
    You begin to look at all the inhabitants of the reef as peers as you notice the similarity in your own life to them. All of the occupants of the reef have a very monotonous life, repeating each day until this life comes to an end, which is a cycle you have found yourself in. Even though it benefits you in no way, you resist this cycle. You must not only find the beauty in the mundanity of life but the will to go on in it as well. Even though you feel sometimes as though you are wasting your life away, abandoning any purpose you might have thought you had, by simply being alive and allowing yourself to be connected to the world around you, you fulfill your purpose. As you gaze upon the reef, you find yourself overcome with wonder at all the fish and how their many lives are interconnected, but you fail to notice that they have also been repeating the same actions for days if not years, just as you are. The inhabitants of the reef are locked in a beautiful cycle of life, regeneration, and death and you see yourself in them. Just as these fish are, you too are locked in a cycle of life, regeneration, and death. Unable to sit still, unable to feel content where you are, you continue to search for something to fill the hole or break the cycle, not realizing that the cycle is what's beautiful. These fish have a deep connection with their living home, finding it a haven from the larger fish that consider them a meal, and they thank the reef by providing them with nutrients. You begin to imagine what the reef might have been like hundreds, or thousands, of years ago. The reef begins to shift in your mind as you imagine it growing throughout the years, kept alive by the beautiful cycle of life, regeneration, and death that all living beings are in. You see the generations of fish and other creatures that existed throughout time to provide nutrients to the reef so that it may grow into the beautiful sight it is today. As your gaze stays fixated on the reef, the water around you slowly begins to darken and the ocean begins to tense up around you…

IV. Above Your Head - The Emperor

    The previously beautiful deep blue of the ocean began to change into a muddy grey as you feel a shift in the water around you. Looking up, you notice that there's a disturbance on the surface of the water that's causing it to distort and begin to shake the ocean in a viscous way. A storm has begun above the water, forcing the waves to dig deeper into the ocean, shaking the world underneath them. The hug that you felt from the ocean before became suffocating now as the grey unknown causes your heart to race. As you look around yourself, you notice that the fish that were previously swiftly swimming around the reef are now taking shelter inside the many caves built within the reef. You are in their world, so you decide that you need to find a shelter for yourself as well and dive deeper to find an opening big enough for you. The storm wages on above the surface, the ocean slowly more abyssal in color, each direction containing black nothingness. You swim forward until you hit a cliffside and you swim down the side of it, running your hand down the rough rocks. The storm has stolen most of the light from the sun, causing the water to be easier to explore with your eyes closed. Eventually, you find it, a large enough cave for you to fit in and waste no time stuffing yourself inside of it, going as deep as you can to avoid the vicious shakes and roars of the storm.
    You feel grateful towards the ocean for providing you with someplace to stay as you attempt to calm your heart while the violent storm wages on above the surface, uncaring to the millions of lives underneath. You lay against the cave wall and keep your eyes closed as you listen to the frantic breathing of the ocean and the cries of the clouds from above. The ocean, which was previously moving rhythmically to and fro, now shakes with uncertainty.
    As you keep your eyes closed, you begin to recognize a pattern in the movements of the ocean in response to the storm above. Each time the storm roars above the ocean, it moves in retaliation to the screams and cries of the clouds. It's at this moment that you realize the storm is just another part of the cycle of life. Just as it has millions of times before, the storm will calm. The fish will eventually leave their homes in the reef to swim around it once more, you will eventually leave this cave; nothing stays the same. With this thought, you're able to begin calming your own heart, breathing deeply. You put your hand on your heart and feel it echo against your hand until it matches the movement of the water, calming alongside the storm above. After a few moments, you feel another shift in the water, signaling an end to the storm.

V. Guided Through - The Hierophant

    Having gotten yourself in the cave in the panic, you find yourself somewhat lost. You try to backtrack your way out of the cave but with the lack of light, you're unable to find the exit. Though you're trying not to let it get the best of you, fear and self-doubt creep back into your mind and you wonder if you'll ever be able to find the way out on your own. Your heart that you spent so hard calming before was once again racing, the cave beginning to seem much smaller than before. You worry that the gift given to you by the ocean will run out while you're stuck in here.
    Before you're able to be fully consumed by these worries, you feel the gentle nibbles of a fish against your arm. You jump in retaliation to the sudden sensation but relax once you realize what it is. The small cavefish nibbles up your arm and you let out a breath you were holding in relief that another soul has found you. The fish lays soft kisses against your skin and brushes its fins against you as it gains an understanding of who you are. Sensing that you are not a threat, the fish swims forward, beckoning you with the vibrations of its tail. You follow closely behind the fish and swim through the tunnels of the cave, sometimes lightly brushing up against the walls that feel like sandpaper against your skin. As you make your way through the cave, you completely let go of all your worries and allow the cavefish to take the lead, putting your full trust in it. You feel the pressure building in your head slightly as you feel your body descending deeper into the ocean, curious as to how far you'll be able to travel.
    Continuing further through the cave, you notice more vibrations have joined you and your companion. All around your body, you can feel cavefish swimming, keeping a close eye on you as they guide you through the cave. It feels like they are also making sure that you follow them, keeping you safe as you exit their home. For the first time in a while, you begin to see blue in front of you as the cave opens. You are filled with joy as you've reached your destination and quickly swim towards the exit. As you near the exit of the cave, the cavefish stay in place at the cave opening, beckoning you. You kick your way through opening, quickly turning around to look back at all the cavefish that tagged along for a journey with a large strange creature, meeting their many eyes. You can hardly see them, as the light at this depth makes everything barely visible, but you are able to count five of them. They're extremely small with small fins the same color as the rest of their body. The cavefish return the look and with a sense of relief and completion, disappear into the darkness of their home and leave you to be alone once more.

VI. With You / Pilot - The Lovers

    You turn away from the cave and notice that it opened up into an area with nothing but blackness. You're unsure of if this was the same way you entered the cave, as you're unable to see much of your surroundings. Little light reaches this depth, causing fear to once again grip your heart. Looking down, you're unable to see anything but your own body and call out in hopes that something, or someone, might hear you. No response. You start to wonder if it might be best to just head back, that you're not strong enough to continue this journey. As though you have been frozen in place, you remain where you are, unable to decide in which direction to go. You can hardly tell which direction is up as you become one with the nothingness surrounding you. You haven't swam too far from the exit of the cave, you think you should be able to see it, but you can't. Nothingness for as far as you can see, the only visible life being your own; you come to believe that this must be the closest thing to experiencing what happens immediately after death. You call out again, with no response. You curl your knees into your chest and try to be anywhere but where you are. You feel as though you have become nothing as your body becomes a grain of sand in the abyss. You bring your head down and quietly call out once more. No response…At first.
    After some time, you feel something soft push against your knee. You slowly raise your head and notice that in front of you is a small bioluminescent jellyfish, about the size of your index finger. The water around the jellyfish is slightly illuminated and looking at the jellyfish, the color of the world around you seems to deepen and you welcome its company with a soft smile. You silently thank the jellyfish for accompanying you and it stops moving once it's far enough away from you, but close enough to stay near your vibrations. Looking closer at the jellyfish, you notice the beautiful colors that it has. In straight lines inside of it, run rainbow colors, lighting up and moving. It is shaped like a popsicle without the stick, lacking any tendrils below its bulb. The creature in front of you seems otherworldly as it moves around in its abyssal home in a way that seems magical. You are incredibly thankful for your new companion for your journey, who provides you with love and compassion without a second thought and you feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and appreciation towards it. Shifting in form as it moves around your body, illuminating your journey deeper, down into the abyss.

VII. Push & Shove - The Chariot

    With little light left available at this depth, you find it troublesome to make your way around. If you didn't have your jellyfish friend, you're not sure how you'd manage it. As you make your way deeper alongside your friend, you're able to make out another cliffside. Having seen nothing for quite some time, you curiously make your way over with your bioluminescent companion and notice that this part of the ocean is also incredibly alive, just like the coral reef, but in its own way. Attempting to push fear and judgment of the unknown out of your mind, you looked at the inhabitants of this cliffside kingdom. Whereas the inhabitants of the coral reef were extremely bright and beautiful, most of them having mystical colors, a lot of the creatures before you now could be categorized as creepy and dull. Their appearance did not push you away though, in fact, they intrigued you. As your eyes dart back and forth, observing all of the many occupants of the cliffside, the king of this abyssal kingdom, a large eel, rushes past you. Your eyes are captured by the eel as you watch it quickly swim around its kingdom. Any fish that was in the eel's path quickly swam away, making way for the king as he made his rounds. The eel is a strange red color, changing each time the light reflecting off of it changes. You kept your distance from the eel, not wanting to alarm him, so that you could continue observing him in his castle undisturbed. With no eyes to see it, this creature has built itself a kingdom. In a vast world where in other parts he might become a meal for another creature, he lives as the leader here.
    The other subjects in the kingdom of the eel were not as energetic as the fish seen at the coral reef but instead lived a much more mellow life. Just as their counterparts near the surface of the water do, the fish who live in this eel's kingdom play a part and fulfill a generational purpose simply by existing within it. All the occupants of this cliffside have made this wonderous deep sea kingdom their home, raising generations regardless of the fear of death constantly peering down on them. Despite what they face, each fish here faces each day with the same determination to live as the last. You feel admiration towards the fish here as their courageousness is something you wish you emulate one day, and you will. Life is meant to be lived without fear. The fish teach you that regardless of what stands in the way of living, you must live. Don't allow your anxieties to suffocate you or you are robbing yourself of what you eternally deserve.
Showcasing a beautiful end to a cycle, your attention is brought back to the king of this cliffside as it eats the fish you were looking at in the blink of an eye. The eel continues to dart around, sometimes capturing minuscule fish in its mouth for a quick snack, showing the temporality of existence, especially at this depth. As you've been on this journey, you've come to realize that everything moves in cycles, so the fish that fell victim to the eel will simply have to try again next time he's born, hoping this time he will get it right just a little longer before eventually falling victim to the cycle of life once again. It is inevitable that everything will come to an end and will be separated. Just as that is true, it is also inevitable that everything will come together again, in this life or the next. Feelings, people, and places; everything will fade with time and be replaced with new feelings, people, and places. Learning to embrace the temporality of it all will lead to a greater understanding and love for the world around us and ourselves. You will grow old and you will change, that is inevitable, and you must embrace it. You try to center your thoughts on the present moment once again as you follow the eel on its final journey around its kingdom before it retires to its home. It enters a small hole in the side of the cliff and sticks its head out, its mouth slowly opening and closing. For now, it will rest. Rest as it has fulfilled its purpose to be the protector and keeper of life for all that live in his abyssal kingdom. When he awakens, it will continue this cycle until it begins the next.

VIII. Abyssal Collapse - Strength

    After watching the eel sleep for some time, you swim deeper with the jellyfish beside you, past the eel, and find yourself at a depth that almost absolutely no light reaches. The pressure that began building on your head before seems almost all-encompassing now as you reach a depth not humanly possible. All around you, black nothingness causes anxiety to creep up your throat. The jellyfish provides some comfort as it slightly illuminates around it. You try to calm yourself back down, focusing on the vibrations against your skin that come from the jellyfish and the breathing of the ocean. At this depth, the rocking of the water is very subtle, barely moving you. Instead of allowing fear to overpower you, you relax your tense limbs and open your body and soul completely to the nothingness that surrounds you and your companion. As you feel your body melting, you hear a song echoing throughout the water and you turn your head in the direction you believe it to be coming from. The song continues to get louder as you make your way towards it, echoing throughout the water, along with a vibration that begins to hit your skin.
    You're swimming for quite some time, feeling the movements of whatever is in front of you getting stronger, and then stop when the vibrations begin to nearly shake you, swimming backward slightly. You look at what could be in front of you, allowing your eyes to focus with the little amount of light at this depth. At first, you could hardly make it out, but as their attacks shook the ocean around them, it slowly came into view. A giant squid, its orange color stained red with the blood floating in the water around it, has itself wrapped around a gigantic sperm whale. You feel yourself once again frozen with fear at the alien sight in front of you. Having to fight to stay in position, you use your hands to keep your jellyfish friend within reach. The size of the giants in front of you shrinks you, making you feel as though you are nothing more than an ant to them. Their otherworldly movements in a world completely unknown to you make you feel as though you have teleported to another dimension.
The two beasts fight with all of their power but as you watch the epic battle unfolding in front of you, you notice that the whale is not returning any attacks, but simply defending itself against the squid. Each attack that the squid lands on the sperm whale is met with compassion as it attempts to protect itself against its opponent. The whale could easily overpower its foe but instead chooses to protect itself in hopes that the squid gives up. Even when faced with such malice, the whale remains defensive. The squid strikes the whale near its eye with its beak and the whale counters it by moving to the side quickly, butting the squid away. Their attacks begin to slowly push the beasts' fight closer to you. You quickly back up, pulling your jellyfish friend with you, and continue to watch from a distance. The two beasts continue their battle, the whale never acting with hatred towards the squid. In what seems to be a moment of realization, the squid pulls away from the whale, signaling an end to the battle. The two abyssal creatures could continue this pointless battle until they inevitably destroy one another, or they could decide to stop now. As though the two of them have met a common understanding, the two giants part ways, the squid swimming off into the abyss and the whale staying in position for a moment. You make eye contact with the whale, its large eye staring into yours. The whale sings out once more for you before swimming into the darkness, leaving you alone with only the jellyfish to illuminate your way once again, and you recognize a familiarity in its song.

IX. At The End - The Hermit

    As you continue to swim lower, your hand eventually touches something extremely solid and covered in sand. You continue to feel around and then realize you have reached the bottom of the ocean. Looking up for the last time, you see the same thing you saw before you began this journey into the ocean and yourself.
    You sit on the ocean floor and allow your heartbeat to melt away into the hum of the ocean, going over everything you have had the honor of experiencing, extremely thankful for the opportunity to go on this magical adventure. You saw compassion, love, understanding, and acceptance in its purest forms in every part of this underwater world. You learned that all creatures, big or small, have a purpose that is fulfilled simply by existing and connecting with the world around you. As you are is enough. Becoming a better person is not about cutting out the parts of yourself you dislike, but learning to meet those dislikes with unconditional love. Letting your guard down and opening your heart allows you to form connections that can elevate your life and allow for more love to flow through you and to others. As you look back on all the things you have learned about yourself and the world, you feel a deep sense of gratitude towards the ocean that surrounds you for allowing you to experience this journey. You're thankful for being able to see life in its purest form, stripped away are all of the trivial worries of life, and we are left with the idea that at the center of it all is love. You remain in place for some time, feeling the soft hum of the ocean against your ears. You wish you could stay here, but nothing stays the same forever. Aware that the only way to go now is up, you kick up with hesitation and the jellyfish that has accompanied you to the ocean floor continues up with you for quite some time.
    You make your way past the eel's kingdom, seeing the king still resting in his hole in the cliffside and continue to swim up. Once you reach the cave you had escaped thanks to the cavefish earlier, the jellyfish breaks off its path with yours and continues on its path once again. You are on your own but you are ready for it. You are incredibly thankful to the jellyfish for its companionship when you needed it the most and for its ability to realize when you are ready to be on your own. You silently bid farewell to the jellyfish that had accompanied you to unimaginable depths and enter the cave. As if they were awaiting your return, you notice the same five cavefish from before waiting to guide you through their tunneling home once more. You give one last look to all of the cavefish that selflessly helped you, incredibly thankful for all their help, before exiting the entrance you had originally taken on your journey and swimming upwards, facing forward.
    The ocean hums against your ears and moves your path to the surface back and forth slightly, with more strength as you continue up. As you make your way past the coral reef, now alive with the fast movements and lives of its many occupants, you are reminded of how every animal, fish, and human are uniquely intertwined with one another, all existing on the same planet together. At the end of the day, the answer is always love. We each live in our respective circles, experiencing things that we believe to be unique to us and isolating ourselves when we feel we are too much. Facing those feelings of fear and self-hatred head-on is the only way to work through them. Accepting that these feelings are a part of you, then learning to love yourself regardless of that, will help you to live a more fulfilling life. As you are is enough and will always be enough. Everyone has a purpose, as shown by each of the creatures you met on your journey. Just as these underwater inhabitants taught you everyone has a purpose, they have also taught you that your purpose does not have to be incredibly grand. Whatever makes your heart swell and brings you meaning gives you purpose. While we are not all connected in some food chain as every fish in the ocean is, we are connected socially. Each of us may have individual purposes that give us meaning, but our overall purpose for living is to connect with those around us, spread love and compassion, and extend that love and compassion to ourselves. As we are is enough and will always be enough.

    You gasp as you break the surface of the water, breathing in the fresh ocean air.

X. A Look Inwards / Return - Wheel of Fortune

    Your body feels rejuvenated as you stretch after you wake up the next morning, unable to get the experience from yesterday out of your mind. Each moment of the journey plays over in your mind. Part of yourself wants to go back to the water, to dive deep and stay for as long as you can. To become part of that underwater abyss once more. If the experience yesterday taught you anything though, it's that running away is never an option. You can't keep running from yourself and your life, instead, you must face it head-on with compassion and unconditional love. As you are in this moment right now, you are enough. The place that you are at in your life is enough. What you have accomplished this far is enough. Everything that you have done up until this point in your life has been enough. Chasing "enough" and trying to find something to fill the pit inside of your chest will only cause the pit to widen. You must realize that the pit was dug by you each time you knock yourself down. The guilt you feel in your heart when you want to love yourself and be proud of yourself but feel unable to, attempts to mend your heart each time you try to weaken it. Thankfully though, our souls are resilient. Instead of looking in the mirror with contempt for the person you see yourself as, look with love and understanding. The person before you has tried their hardest to survive and exist in a world that seems cruel most days. You, more than anyone, are deserving of your own love and acceptance. With acceptance, the expectations that you have for yourself will also fall, allowing you to feel content in yourself as you are. View yourself with the love you put out into the world and you'll notice that while the shovel may still be there, the pit is not. The world is a beautiful place and by existing within and spreading love to yourself and others, you make it even more beautiful.

    You return to the beach later that night, not to dive into the water, but to lay on the sand and look out onto the waves. The waves rhythmically crash against the shore and you align your breath with it as your heart begins to swell.