I have recently returned from my first Hawaiian walkabout, and while it may sound hokey, without a doubt, I know going there has always been my destiny. On the outside, my trip might appear to be quite ordinary, but on the inside, it was anything but! So, please accept this greeting of Aloha as I place an imaginary lei of intoxicating flowers around your neck and invite you to sit with me as I tell the story of Finding My Aloha because I know you’ll find it’s yours as well.
Over my years as a spiritual mentor/channel, I have come to intimately understand the universal search we are all on as human beings…the search for the answers to “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Where do I belong?” For each of us this takes on many different guises and down many different roads, which in truth ultimately lead us all to the same place…our SELF.
Each circumstance and experience, whether happy or sad, is a whetstone for carving away what isn’t true so that our souls can sculpt/reveal what is. I have long known that “wherever we go, there we are”, but it took years for my ego mind to integrate and surrender to this simple but consummate wisdom. As humans, we are so convinced we are lost (a.k.a. broken/victims), that even though we find the glasses on top of our heads over and over, we are sure that the answers must be more complicated than that!
And so we search…search for meaning…search for peace…search for health…search for well-being…search for happiness…search for forgiveness…search for love…search for cures… search for wisdom…search for success…search for satisfaction…search for fulfillment…search for connection… search for perfection…search for home…only to find what we’ve been looking for has been right there inside us all along. But even so, it’s a journey we must all make, a journey designed to lead us to this exquisite Self-Awareness, which makes finding it all the more poignant, powerful and accessible.
Here’s a slice of my own journey…
Through fate, folly or fancy I have moved a lot in my life, with each playing a role in what I have always referred to as my spirit’s search for its true home. As a child I lived in no less than eight houses by the time I was eight (ouch!) and I guess all that original upheaval awakened my gypsy, setting my quest in motion. Picking up and moving from one place to another was easy for me; what wasn’t easy was feeling like I belonged…like I had found the place (land, house, peeps etc.) that was my home. Nothing ever seemed to fit!
So, no matter where I went, whether it was relocation (too numerous to count), road trip, or vacation, I was always on a quest, searching for that elusive feeling I was finally HOME. Never-the-less, I always took pride in blooming where I was planted while inwardly maintaining that since you can get a flower to bloom through a crack in cement, can you imagine what would happen if you gave it its own garden?
Fortunately, along the way, I began to cultivate my inner garden and that’s when I was blessed to find my inner HOME, which is really what this story is all about. But, even though I discovered what some consider the Holy Grail, I always knew there was more to it than I was actually ‘living’, so the search continued. On August 12, 2014, it took me to Maui, which I intuitively knew would be life changing, but wasn’t sure how.
You see, for as long as I can remember I have wanted to visit Hawaii, let alone felt a strong pull to the South Pacific in general. To be honest, I never really analyzed this magnetism because it lived in and through me, part of my music if you will. It felt like a promise of sorts waiting to be fulfilled, and while drawn to the islands’ magic, my soul was patient to let it manifest in its own time, so Hawaii lived more as a distant dream.
None-the-less, sand and sea has always been a powerful ingredient in my DNA and while my soul was happy to wait for whatever Hawaii held, my human self couldn’t suppress the desire to live by the ocean. Visions of toes in the sand, seashells and sea glass piled by the door, gnarled driftwood in my garden, wind in my hair, as well as dolphins and whales frolicking in my front yard were ever present in my imagination. Eventually, I was able to raise my children two blocks from Long Island Sound on New York’s northeast coast, but that was just a snack compared to what I really needed.
So I traveled far and wide exploring watery destinations trying to feed this undeniable hunger…Bermuda, the Caribbean, Maine’s rocky coast, Haiti, Jamaica, Florida, Mexico’s Cabo, Playa del C and Puerto V, Point Reyes to San Diego, Massachusett’s wonders: Martha’s V, Nantucket and the Cape, and yes, even the Hamptons dahling! Need I say more? Clearly, I’ve been on a mission! And while all of these places are great, for me, they just don’t have the special sauce my soul has craved leaving me dissatisfied and vaguely empty…Hmmm…Now, what’s a girl to do with that?
Move to Colorado, that’s what! Sixteen years ago, the Universe (in its infinite but often inscrutable wisdom) decided to put me out of my beach misery by serendipitously bringing me to Boulder, where to my complete surprise, I fell instantly in love with the Rockies! Go figure! From seaweed to purple mountains majesty in less than four months! My East coast friends and family thought I had lost it! But while I couldn’t explain my seeming insanity, I was happy here like nowhere else and knew I was in the right place…at least for the time being.
In Colorado, I all but forgot the call of the ocean, as I was mesmerized by what I was learning through my profound connection to the land, and how the earth expresses herself here. Being landlocked was an unforeseen spiritual lottery ticket as the Universe had my full attention, and kicked into uber gear to help me remember who I truly am, my gifts and my purpose. I had always been a child of nature, but the magnitude of what I call, the West’s “earth/sky creation energy,” catalyzed my spirit like never before. Every step took me deeper, and at the same time higher.
In Colorado, the mountains, which metaphorically I had always thought of as obstacles to overcome, became mentors. Giant guardians, they anchored and protected my spirit while it expanded. The proximity and exposure to a myriad of wildlife, particularly eagles, hawks, owls and kingfishers revealed my own wings and wisdom. And walking/hiking the land every day grounded me so I could actually use them.
But, like a kid, I thought I was ready for the car keys long before I had it all dialed in, so I sputtered and lurched as you might expect anyone learning to fly. I actually even moved to SoCal for a bit, thinking I was ready to “be in the world but not of it” only to return with sand between my toes but my tail between my legs.
Growing up isn’t always pretty, especially in our adult years when we think we’re done with school. NOT! I still had so much to learn before my life’s purpose could bloom, but champing at the bit only made the process that much more challenging. I questioned, resisted, whined and railed against everything I construed as a delay to my heart/soul’s desires. These showed up in various guises: self-doubt, crippling fear, health issues, recycled wounds, creative blocks, financial distress, acute frustration and total confusion to name just a few.
Of course I eventually got the perfection of it all and while it didn’t feel so good, my head was surrendering more and more to my heart, which helped me to see every day as giant step forward in spite of what it looked like. And so I walked the land here in Colorado until I was ready for whatever was to come next, and that’s when Hawaii appeared five months ago.
There is nothing about this trip to Maui, from its conception to birth, that wasn’t magical. To be honest, so much occurred in its overall manifestation, I am still putting words to the music. The original idea was infused with the possibility of living there. The questions to be answered: Was this the place I had been seeking my whole life? Was this the outer reflection of my inner home? Could I really leave my children, grandchildren and friends and move to an island (albeit one described by many as paradise) in the middle of nowhere?
The answers to those questions and more came quickly but not as clearly or as obviously as you might expect. It was a ten day odyssey of clues…Maui revealed the truth(s) I was looking for slowly, sensuously, willing me to stay present to every moment. I was imprinting, awakening and activating simultaneously. It was purely alchemical from beginning to end…and beyond.
And the message was always the same, but always creatively delivered, in different forms…a bamboo house where I slept, a myriad of exotic flowers, the trade winds’ constant caress, a dormant volcano who is inexorably alive, the ever-present womb of blue above and below, sea turtles who let me sit and swim with them, the ocean’s exuberance and power as it plays on the lava coast, heart-starting sunsets and sunrises, the sands of ubiquitous beautiful beaches, the sensory abundance of lush greens, hidden waterfalls, tiny impassable roads that cultivate patience and generosity, and people…oh so many people whose smile and Aloha invited me IN over and over again.
I quickly understood/experienced Aloha as the message. It is so much more than a word, and although it is Hawaiian, it also is much more than Hawaiian. In truth, it is a universal vibration that we all resonate with because it is part of our spiritual DNA. In Hawaii, everything and everyone is in resonance with Aloha because it is who we are at our essence. It is pure consciousness. That’s why Hawaii is such a compelling destination, one that people return to over and over. They go because they are instinctively looking to connect/align with Themselves.
Aloha can be described many ways but at its core, it is a way of being, a reverence for all things, an interconnection with the earth, an infinite expression of LOVE, which is the love that transcends our human experience. It is the expression of perpetual awakening to the magnitude of all that we see, which includes one another. Aloha means seeing with our inner eyes, which always see the love. On Maui, I have never felt more seen in my life.
Living Aloha means living from your center, the truth of your being, your authentic self, the love that you are. There’s no place for pretense, façade or fear to find purchase. Even though I have worked tirelessly to let go of my fears, some have been constant companions most of my life. But on Maui, I incredulously watched them spontaneously dissolve. I was stripped of all illusion, of anything that wasn’t me, of anything that kept my heart from leading. And in the process, I finally got to ME without anything in the way.
It’s not that I didn’t know “I” was here but the ego mind (“i”) is tenacious and run by fear, which means it believes it knows best, thinks it’s alone, is perpetually in survival mode and doesn’t ever stop long enough to “BE” because it’s forever lost in “do.” I had been trying to marry my heart and my head for years and in Maui that union was finally consummated.
I share this story because this is an unprecedented time of change and possibility on the planet and we are all (yes, each of us) being called to find and live our Aloha. You don’t have to go to Hawaii to get it, or live there to sustain it. It is a truth as ancient as time itself, and the Hawaiians have been nurturing it for all of us. It is a truth whose time is now. I was entranced to find it already lived within me, to find I had just been calling it by another name, and to find its individual and collective promise.
As Marianne Williamson so eloquently wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” It has taken me sixty-seven years to embrace my light and all the gifts that come through me, and finding my Aloha was the doorway out of the dark.
Nobody can afford to deny the LOVE that they are any longer, let alone let it shine. That is everyone’s Aloha. In part 2 of this story I will share with you how you can find and live it wherever you are.
It would be a treat to hear your own stories of finding your Aloha and I look forward to your sharing them here and ask that you share the LOVE on Facebook and Twitter too. Thanks!!
XXOO – Don’t forget to LOVE yourself today.