Hold Me Sweetly

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Again, I am drinking my Yogi brand tea for Throat comfort, and again I am reminded that the best things come in small packages.

“Trust creates peace”

I have so many people mistrusting me lately for reasons based in their own fears. I realize now it was their own fears, but in the heat of the fire, I was panicked, unsure, anxious, doubting myself, which only played into their view (projection) of me. I alleviated the worst of it yesterday, and today was full of so many wonderful affirmations from professionals, friends, and strangers alike that I am the good person I thought, and not the monster these people made me out to be.

If trust creates peace, then mistrust creates hell, for everyone involved. Trust has to also include trust in yourself. Trust in yourself really requires trust in something larger than you. Call it what you want, but being able to trust that things are truly happening as they need to is not easy. It takes surrender.

I received a healing from my friend today, who used to train in Sufi healings, and it was interesting what came up. Not surprising, but interesting.  He told me to drop into my heart, and I honestly didn’t know what that meant. I still don’t, but I thought about opening, breathing into my heart, etc. At first, lights behind my eyes were billowing in and out, in the shape of a heart, and purple even. Then, I tried to envision my physical self, with the area of my heart expanding with each breath, and in my mind’s eye, that area was caved in. It just wouldn’t budge and expand.

From there, my body felt very large and heavy, like I was inside a giant rock, but it didn’t bother me, and I didn’t feel stifled. I transitioned out of that into something else…so much I forget it all. At one point, my friend told me to ‘feel completely supported’, and I was instantly brought back to one of the darkest, most challenging times in my life. It was one of the nights shortly before I gave up my dream of dance.

I had a full scholarship to San Francisco Ballet School, but I didn’t have any way to support myself. My body was shutting down. My hips were so tight and painful that I sat out of many classes. I never went to anyone for help. I called up my pilates instructor one night in desperation to alleviate some of the tightness and pain so I could take class.

She had me lie down on the floor of my little basement room and put my legs up the wall. ‘Now, let the floor completely support you. You don’t have to hold yourself. Feel completely supported.’  And as the floor came to meet my body and hold me, I broke down. Like a little girl running to her mom’s embrace, I sobbed. I had been holding my pride, holding my life together, holding in my hurt and pain, and my body reflected it. I wasn’t even able to trust that the ground beneath me would support me.

Today was a reminder to trust that the world around me will hold me. I need not resist or hold or brace against anything. That is lack of trust in everything in the world, which is really all one breathing soul with limitless manifestations. How can I not trust that which is of me? When I start hurting and feeling like things aren’t going well, that somehow I am not a part of this amazing world of peace and light, I will PAUSE, FEEL the earth and the space around me, SURRENDER to the moment, and be THANKFUL for this universe that holds me so sweetly.

Whales and Dolphins Playing at Sea, And Inviting Us To Join

I truly lead a charmed life. I was helping a friend out with a retreat he coordinated, and we had about 15 or so people out on kayaks and SUP boards the other day. Most of these people were not experienced in the water, so it was good that the water was mellow. The wind was blowing us south though, so our fearless leader set us off in a northerly direction so that we would not have to fight the wind coming back in. Not only was that smart, but it happened to put us RIGHT near a mama humpback whale and her baby. I couldn’t believe how close we were, at times they surprised us about 10 yards away.

I was mesmerized, as you can imagine, paddling along on my beat up rental SUP board. At one point, they hadn’t come up for a bit, and I noticed for the first time that scattered throughout the choppy water were large circles of smooth, calm water. Wherever they surfaced, they left behind a beautiful circle of calmness. Then, I sensed to turn left when others turned right, and they surfaced very close to me. I began to paddle alongside them, traveling about the same pace. It was playful, and I felt just like a kid….romping around with the whales. Eventually, they went down, so we all paused, and I looked back toward Molokini Crater, where I thought I saw snorkelers. It seemed awfully far out for snorkelers, and then I noticed more and more black spots coming out of the water. It turned out to be dolphins! Lots of dolphins. They were to our left, behind, and in front of us. they were so playful, and it was evident they were playing with the whales that day. The whole sea was at play! As soon as I realized we were encircled by the dolphins, I turned left, and there was a breach maybe 50 yards away. Amazing! It was as if the dolphins and whales were working together. “Okay, we’re going to gather the people in while you get ready. When we signal, jump!”

The magic of Maui never ceases to amaze me. We are truly students here, with nature our teacher.

Underwater Reverie

I want to share a recent and magical snorkeling experience. Even though I have been on the islands for 15 months now, I have only snorkeled a dozen times, if that. My friend recently took me to a new beach where the reef is amazing, and there are turtles everywhere. I didn’t get very far that day, but I went again alone and swam a long distance. My new fins made it so easy!

Some of the highlights of my swim:

*right away, I was above a large turtle, who seemed to notice and disregard me. I tried diving down toward it, but I am still working on diving down and decompressing. I followed it for awhile, then headed on my merry way

*I tried diving down several times, some times inadvertently as I directed myself down toward fish. One time, I was able to decompress a bit, and I was amazed at how easy it was that time to hold my breath. I was so enthralled by all of the life around me, the sound of the whales singing, and the serenity of it all, that I just didn’t think about breathing.

* I swam quite a way out, noticing the vast field of coral, sand, some debris from boats I assume. Suddenly, I noticed small, luminescent “spots” all

around me. Talk about being brought out of your reverie and into the immediate. They looked like little jellyfish or something. My first thought was panic, but then realized I was surrounded and felt just fine. They reminded me of what I found one night on the beach, except that they looked like little pairs of eyes, surrounded by a small network of fibers, gently coalesced into an orb. I stopped and so did time. The sun’s rays were shining down and through the water, highlighting my white hands and lighting up the purple glitter on my nails. And the world around me was surrounded by these minute creatures (I can’t seem to find a picture online that matches, although you can buy a plush doll), seemingly looking at me and glowing pulsingly, as if smiling. Maybe it was “sea sparkle“?

* I continued swimming, but then worked my way back toward the rock, where I figured there would be more coral, and possibly a cave my friend mentioned. The cliff dropped off right into the ocean at this point, so I was quite close at times to the coral, which came up to the surface in areas. A few turtles drifted by below me, and then I found myself surrounded by multiple schools of fish. Below me was a school of narrow, yellow fish, several inches long. They were lined up side by side, facing each other, almost as if they were in a class. Maybe fish do yoga too! Maybe it was fish tantra. Then, above and to my left, a disjointed conglomeration of quite large, dark fish swam by, seemingly unaware of my existence. They were huge! I mean, for the novice, who doesn’t go into the deep sea to dive, they were impressive. One would have fed 3-4 people heartily, I would guess. I wish I knew the fish here. Actually, here is a beautiful site for Hawaiian nature. Earlier in my swim I saw some large puffer fish as well, although they were not disturbed. I was fine with that.

I headed back, brought my head up above this magical world, and kept that serenity and awe with me the rest of the day.

What is the Spirit of Maui?

Deutsch: Sonnenuntergang bei Kihei (Maui/Hawaii)

Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

How would you describe or define the Maui Spirit?

We all know Maui is special and attracts many amazing people.

So, tell me please, how do you describe (in one sentence or one word) the island of Maui, no ka oi?

Growing fins

Sunday, I fell in love with snorkeling. I had been at home working on material for a grant for a couple days and hadn’t been outside and hadn’t been moving. My friend Kevin came down south to my side of the island, and even though it was after noon, the water was calm and so was the wind. I had a new snorkel set and wasn’t sure how it would do, but it worked fine. It was nice to wear a new set of goggles, and Kevin put in anti-fog before we started. The fins had the adjustable back straps, which I don’t like because they slip, but WOW, was it good to have some Zoom! Those things gave me some real push, which helped me get away from the reef a couple of times. Kevin found an arch, and dove down and through it. I hadn’t dove before, so it was good to watch him. Then, he saw a big honu, and he sidled up right to it and swam with it. He found another later, and dove down to that one, but it zoomed off. I was a bit concerned about diving, since I have had problems with my ears in the past, but I tried a couple of times without too much difficulty. Everything was so clear, and I not only saw TONS of fish and beautiful reef, but I saw three large honu, saw my first whale of the season, and I could hear the whales singing. Winter is magical on Maui!

Now that I have a good snorkel set and I feel comfortable out there, I am going to get out much, much more.

Moon Smiling Down and the Ground Shining Up

I just had an amazing few hours with inspirational people. My friend Celeste had a house-warming party, which I knew would be full of awesome people and fun activities. Last time I was there, it was a woman-only gathering, but this time three-legged people were allowed. We brought out the hula hoops, and that was a blast! You could definitely tell right away who had danced before and who hadn’t. The conversation was great, as always, but especially since most people there were spiritually minded folk. At some point, we took part of the gathering to the beach, which was only across the street and through a little path. As Celeste and I walked along the dark path in our light-colored little dresses, I told her I felt like she, Kisha and I are like nymphs, and she immediately grabbed my hand and started skipping forward. She is like the playmate I have been missing since childhood.

What a sight to behold!  A tree arched across our view of the moonlit ocean ahead of us, and as we drew nearer, the crescent moon peered out. It was illuminated at the bottom, and looked just like a cheshire cat’s smile. The path led right up to the water’s edge, and the moon’s path of light. The ocean was calm, the waves gently lapping, and I stood with my arms cradled behind my head, taking in the stars and the feel of warm ocean at my feet, and the coarse slipperiness of the seaweed as it flowed over and around my foot, then back again into the water with the retreating of each wave.

Then, I looked down and somehow saw what looked like a little light in the sand. I thought it might just be a reflection off some glass or something, but I bent down to look closer. I swept my finger gently across this little glow that was no bigger than a few grains of sand. It seemed brighter each time I stroked it. I felt like a kid, holding this unknown beauty of nature, careful with it but curious enough to scoop it into my palm. As it sat there, the light subsided, so I stroked it and it lit again. In fact, at one point, it was pulsing, and I actually saw the light course in a circle along the outside of this little creature. I showed it to friends to make sure I wasn’t seeing things or tripping on the kombucha I drank earlier. They were amazed as well, and one of the guys said that when he lived on Molokai, they called those New Moon and they were everywhere in the water at night. You need absolute darkness to see it glow, so New Moon makes sense to me. I looked up ocean phosphorescence on Google and found this website. I couldn’t find the pdf it referenced, but I then looked at dinoflagellates, and it seems that I was holding a tiny sea creature that was most definitely responding to my touch. My guess is that I was holding a Noctiluca scintillans unica (see picture). Magical!

Noctiluca scintillans unica


Waterfall Tree

Went on a hike up in Makawao during the rains, and on the way back, we saw this tree waterfall. I don’t know how the water was collecting, but it was amazing how it streamed down just one side of this certain type of tree.

Today, my pond caught my eye, so here are a few beauties…

One of my beautiful koi

Stillness and movement hand in hand

When Worlds Collide

Sometimes, serendipity works in the most amazing ways. Tonight, all my worlds collided. I have been wanting to connect with more people who practice yoga, are spiritually focused, and eat healthy…really healthy, not just making sure you get enough fruits and vegetables. I have been eating more raw foods and noticing a difference, my yoga helps ….everything, and incorporating it into my life has actually made me look visibly younger to people around me. But I digress…

So, it all started with a guy that I had randomly met at Coffee Roasters back in September I think. He seemed struck by me and asked if he could call me some time. I said yes, but to wait until my residency was over in October. Just too much going on. Well, that time came and went, and I wasn’t surprised not to hear from him. That’s a long time to wait. BUT, I saw him at the world premier of Thrive, so I made sure to say HI. Within a few days, we were in contact, and he invited me to go with him to a party in Makena. He wasn’t sure everyone that would be there, and I just decided to dress like all islanders do…casual. I made sure to not wear anything too…appealing. I wasn’t sure who I would meet, and I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea. So, he picked me up right on time, and we went out into the sunset.  It took about ten minutes to get pitch black, and we found ourselves lost in Makena. We drove all the way to La Perouse and back while he tried to remember where this place was. He had been there just once before. No worries, it was all an adventure in my mind. We finally found it, along with several others, but the gate was closed. A couple of fashionably dressed, and quite appealing, women came up and introduced themselves to me. Evidently, I could have worn whatever my heart desired that night, but it was all good. The owner came down to open the gate, and all I could see was his white shirt in the dark. Once the gate was opened, we all entered, and I tried to tell the owner that Jeff (my “date”) was getting something out of his truck, but he had quietly retreated already, as did all the others. We walked carefully up a dark driveway using my cell phone for light. I don’t have that fancy flashlight app figured out, so I had to hit the button every 10 seconds or so to turn the light back on. It was eerie and beautiful, with trees arching over us and the stars sparkling above.

I could tell already that this was a very special crowd. Jeff had told me there would be movers and shakers there, but he didn’t tell me of what kind.

The house was bright and open. I left my shoes in the entry, and as soon as I entered the kitchen, there he was. Jorge, the owner of the house, very polished with his tan skin, bald head, and nicely ironed white button-down shirt. Yogi style, not the stuffy office type of shirt. I knew exactly who he was, and I was surprised at how different he looked than I remembered. I last saw him in a yoga class, but I really remembered seeing him on a beach I was frequenting. He goes there quite often, and actually lives very close to it, and he would hang out with many of the same people, playing  frisbee, or hitting a ping pong ball back and forth, or volleying a soccer ball with someone. He was playful, yet so balanced and mellow. You could tell just by looking at him that he was an influential man, and he intrigued me. I wanted to get to know more about him, and suddenly I was in his home among several of his friends. No need to describe the house, other than it was wood and tile, the walls moved to the side to open up everything to the outside, the furniture had been moved outside, and Buddha was prominently situated in the room, bigger than life. Amazingly classy, clean, romantic, elegant.

While taking my wine bottles to the table outside, I was approached by none other than Bear, whom I had met two days prior on my bike ride. Go figure! He cleaned up quite well! I knew he was special, and seeing him in this group, it was confirmed. After a bit, and more people arriving, a man with a very large salad walked in. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him. He had a playful look about him, with sparkling eyes that made you wonder what wonderful adventures he could take you on, and his hair curled out a bit on the side in a boyish way. He didn’t lack in masculinity though, quite the contrary. I approached him, and he reminded me that we met at my house a while back. He was the agent that helped my landlord buy the house I live in. I remember thinking when I met him that he, too, had something very special about him, and that I wanted to see him again.  He had picked all the salad from his garden, including the giant avocado in his hand. He was worried the salad might be too spicy, which seemed odd, as it had no dressing on it. He looked around in the salad, then picked out what looked like arugula for me to taste. It was as spicy as wasabi! I mean, this little leaf literally popped with flavor. Good think I got to try that, because the salad didn’t last long enough for me to go back and get some.

I hit it off with a girl named Petra there, who lives out past Hana and grows her own food. She literally glowed with health and vigor! What a beautiful person to be around. Eventually, I met Kevin, a naturopathic doctor. I loved hearing about what he does, and it was refreshing to talk with someone who understands the scientific lingo, as well as the problems when East meets West in medicine. He has found a way to combine the two, but most people don’t breech that. I want to, but I feel so far behind everyone else I meet. One must start somewhere. Kevin just happens to be a cyclist too, so we agreed to find a time to ride together.

I was surrounded by amazing people I resonated with, and when that happens, lights shimmer, time drifts away, eyes sparkle, and you can see and feel the energy all around you and those you come in contact with. I left that evening feeling so alive, invigorated, and ready to move on in the next phase of my life.

 

The Ground Smiled at Me Today