My teach/travel ever-changing pace has taken me again to the Hawaiian Islands. Yes, I consider myself very fortunate to be 2300 miles of deep blue water away from the closest continental shore! Tomorrow morning I will be in a radio interview, scroll to the bottom of this blog to find the link.
During this second long stay I am learning a bit more of what is real in this unique world – imbuing lessons from nature and observing the mingling of so many ethnicities. I greatly appreciate that everyone here is a minority. Hawai’i seems to be the most racially diverse place in the world. In the last Census 23.6% of the residents claimed a multi-ethnic background (two or more ethnic roots). Alaska is second among the States with only 7.3%!!
Hawai’i is home to an Asian mix that together holds a slight “majority”. Whites both from the mainland and from Europe, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, African Americans or otherwise Black, Hispanics of various origin, and Alaskan Natives have made their home here… it is a marvelous mix that influences the music and festivals, and of course the food! The Chinese cook Manapua and the Portuguese (mostly from the Azores) offer Malasadas. If you are a foodie you might check Wikipedia on this amazing array of choices.
I am continuously surprised by the diversity of landscapes and fauna found in the islands. The differences between North/South and West/East are quite evident even in these microcosms floating in the middle of the Pacific. I am also very pleased by the absence of anything poisonous because I love to go barefooted everywhere. I take this absence as another sign of the well-advertised Aloha spirit, which becomes more and more real when one leaves the touristic beaten paths and is required to deal with day-to-day tasks.
My dark skin is once again a great ally for blending in, I am driving a local semi-wrecked car which makes me pleasantly invisible, I visit old friends who have settled here many years ago and are a reliable source of reflection on assimilation and integration in this world that lives by its own rules, and I vicariously homestead on and off in a speckle of paradise north of Hilo without running water or electricity.
My brain loves the challenge at all levels. Last night I was reading Plato (don’t we need Socrates’ wisdom in these challenging political times!!!) at the light of a tea-candle-powered led lamp, listening to the coqui frogs incessant cries and a few grunts from the wild pigs groveling below the lanai.
The trials posed by the unfamiliar – having to negotiate unknown dirt roads, surfer’s pickups darting for the coast with their dogs barking in the back, food without refrigeration, tiny restaurants patronized mostly by locals, fancy hotels catering to the super rich by recreating a Polynesian village on the lava beds – all this keeps me young. The incessant rain on the East coast of the Big Island tested my resilience, and the warm sun on the West side finally dried off my bones and allowed me to swim early in the morning with the usual array of colorful tropical fish. In between these blessed moments I work as usual. I navigate the meanders of marketing (where I continue to be quite lost), I conduct mentoring sessions, I write, I read, and practice Aloha.
In spite of its small size (the Big Island is 4,028 square miles and has a permanent population of more or less 200k) – I feel life’s potential vibrating very strongly, I feel free, expansive and curious, with so much to discover in its amazing geographical and human diversity. Sometimes this surprises me. There must be a law of resonance at work, something I cannot deny nor explain.
The culture is becoming more familiar, and more foreign at the same time, as it often happens when we start exploring something that carries this degree of history and complexity.
I always find help in books, so if you love readings I suggest these three very different books as a start:
Shark Dialogs by Kiana Davenport. I got pleasantly lost in her world and I am continuing to read the sequels. Kiana is of mixed blood, Hawaiian and Caucasian, she is a great writer and an intelligent outspoken woman. In fact you might like reading her blog as well.
“Hawaii” by Michener: This book is truly a classic, if you have never read it I recommend it even if you are not planning to travel this way.
The Bowl of Light by Hank Wesselman has its moments of egocentrism, but it is also a beautiful, inspiring and magical account of Hawaiian mysticism. Ignore the blips and take the wisdom, it is worth the effort.
Post your thoughts in my blog’s comments if you read them! And share any Hawai’i story or reflection.
You may also join me for a workshop – Jan 21-22 on Maui, The Phoenix: Ancient Myth, Personal Journey, or from March 10-12 on the Big Island, The Wheel of Life: a Cosmology of the Four Elements. Click here to see all my current workshops, including SoulCollage facilitator trainings in USA, Canada also with a Tour in Italy.
Please also consider to join me in the radio interview with Judy I mentioned above, if you haven’t already.
Please join me on January 12th for Jazz Up Your Life with Judy: Breakthrough to Your Greatest Health, Wealth & Happiness.
You can have free exclusive access to this event which showcases many different speakers, and there will also be some personal work with some of the participants. All participants will also receive a GIFT worth over $525 of activations and processes to jump start your new adventure called "Life Beyond Your Dreams".
If you would like to join the event, click here: http://www.mcssl.com/app/?af=1665038
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