The Larbalestiers Receive Blue Mind Award at Esalen


Lizzi & Julian Larbalestier Received the 6th Annual Blue Mind Works Award & Were Honored by Past Awardees at Esalen.

Big Sur, California – July 8, 2019. 

Dr. Wallace J Nichols presented the 6th Annual Blue Mind Works Award to Lizzi & Julian Larbalestier of Perranporth, Cornwall, England, at the 9th Annual Blue Mind Summit held last week at The Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where the theme was “Blue Mindfulness”. 

The annual award recognizes individuals and/or organizations for efforts that mechanize positive change in their community by putting Blue Mind science and philosophy into action.

The Larbalestiers literally “live blue” through their service to their community, the ocean movement, and a wide range of conservation and wellness organizations. They have been exemplary Blue Mind Ambassadors, sharing their knowledge and passion with everyone they meet, translating Blue Mind science, practice, and philosophy into a lifestyle. As a professional coach, Lizzi can most often be found near, in, on, or under water with her clients. Their service work includes marine mammal rescue, beach clean-ups, and speaking at a wide range of public events. They have shared Blue Mind books and blue marbles with countless water-lovers throughout Europe. The Larbalestiers are always creatively growing their knowledge, talent, and toolbox to be even better ambassadors—including free-diving courses, honing communications skills, and facilitating workshops and retreats. 

“It’s not just what Lizzi and Julian do, it’s how they do it. With such joy, enthusiasm, and kindness they truly embody the adventurous and generous spirit of this award,” noted Dr. Nichols.

The award was presented at Esalen in Big Sur by Dr. Nichols and Julie Starke who were joined by Jim Ritterhoff of Force Blue, the 2018 award recipient, and Lauren Stack of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, the 2017 award recipient. A statement was read on behalf of the community of Carbondale, Illinois, the 2016 Blue Mind Award recipient remembering the late Mr. Harvey Welch whose work within his community engaged leaders and residents alike in their quest to give everyone the opportunity to learn to swim.

“The book, Blue Mind, gave us the language and perhaps even permission to speak about the emotional and social benefits of water. Harvey Welch delivered these messages with passion and integrity in a style that only truly great leaders possess,” read the statement shared by Julie Starke on behalf of Sally Wright and Kathy Renfro of Carbondale, IL.

Each year the previous award recipient attends the summit to pass along the large "blue marble".

“I really don’t want to give this award up. It’s been wonderful to have it this year, it’s brought us some very good luck. But I can’t think of anyone better to pass it along to than Lizzi and Julian,” commented Force Blue’s executive director and co-founder Jim Ritterhoff.

Previous recipients of the award also include University of Virginia’s Professor of Sustainable Communities, Tim Beatley, for his work with the Biophilic Cities Project around the world and his groundbreaking book, Blue Urbanism; and Van and Amanda Curaza of Operation Surf, a pioneering organization providing surf therapy for veterans and first responders throughout the United States and United Kingdom.

The award is a large hand blown glass “blue marble” sphere created by Lundberg Studio in Davenport, CA and is passed to each subsequent recipient. This year every attendee of the 9th Annual Blue Mind Summit held the award and shared their insights from the gathering with the group, before the award made the long trip back to Perranporth, England, with Lizzi and Julian.

“I can’t imagine a better location in the world to share this award and combine the benefits of water and mindfulness than Esalen, which is the focal point of three sources: fresh, salt water, and mineral,” said Nichols. “We explored the intersection of how nature can serve as medicine for our emotional health, a theme the Larbalestiers embody, share, and teach every day.”

About Going Coastal & The Larbalestiers

The over-arching purpose at Going Coastal is to enable clients to make great choices, helping individuals to develop real wisdom, true passion, and a deeply integrated sense of who they are, specializing in Personal Coaching, Business Coaching and in Blue Spaces Locations, based in Cornwall UK. 

About Force Blue

Force Blue’s mission is to unite the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine conservation for the betterment of both. The idea grew out of a dive trip co-founders Jim Ritterhoff and Rudy Reyes took to the Cayman Islands in Summer 2015 to meet up with their friend, Keith Sahm, General Manager of Sunset House, the oldest continuously operated dive resort in the Caribbean. For Ritterhoff and Sahm, experienced recreational divers who’d been reef diving for decades, this was just another week in paradise. But for Reyes, a former Recon Marine who had struggled with PTS and depression since returning home from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the experience was nothing short of life changing.

About Esalen

Founded in 1962, Esalen is a nonprofit center for exploring and realizing human potential through experience, education, and research. Esalen sponsors pioneering initiatives and offers personal, spiritual, and social transformation practices for workshop participants and residential staff. Located on California’s scenic Big Sur coast, Esalen welcomes more than 12,000 students, seminarians, and visitors each year. It works toward the realization of a more just, creative, and sustainable world. 

About Blue Mind

Blue Mind works to create a new water story based in the best science and practice, supports and advises those on the frontline of reconnecting people to water, sponsors the Annual Blue Mind Summit, the Annual Blue Mind Award, and shares their message around the world via a wide range of media, events, and workshops. Nearly a decade ago, marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols published the groundbreaking book Blue Mind and helped increase awareness of water’s positive impact on our emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. This June, Nichols was joined for the first time by mindfulness expert Dr. Shauna Shapiro and neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Siegel for the 9th Annual Blue Mind Summit held at Esalen Institute. The summit leaders combined contemplative practice with science and Blue Mind to create the experience of Blue Mindfulness for workshop participants. This is the 9th Annual Blue Mind Summit, a unique, interdisciplinary, and intimate gathering of big thinkers, artists, change-makers, scientists, educators, leaders, athletes, and practitioners pioneering a new conversation about the true, full value of healthy waters and oceans. Past summits have been held at the California Academy of Sciences (SF, CA); Jennette’s Pier (Outer Banks, NC); Block Island (RI); Bedruthan Steps (Cornwall, UK); Carnegie Institution for Science (Washington, DC); Asilomar State Park (Monterey, CA); University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (WI), Frost Science Museum (Miami, FL). 

About Wallace J Nichols PhD

Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols, called “Keeper of the Sea” by GQ Magazine and “a visionary” by Outside Magazine is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, renown marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, sought after lecturer, and fun-loving Dad. His experiences as a field research scientist, government consultant, founder and director of numerous businesses and nonprofit organizations, teacher, mentor, parent, and advisor all support his quest to build a stronger and more diverse blue movement. 

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Contact Blue Mind Works:  [email protected]

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