We have to ask ourselves from time to time, “Is this a challenge? Or am I creating the challenge by not letting go?” If you haven’t noticed by now, life will bring waves of problems that will test our capacity at the time. We were born to face each challenge, then learn, grow and walk forward with a new lightness. May we remember that when we turn our back to the nature of the ocean and the waves, we are risking our growth and our freedom.
There isn’t anything in this world that brings me back to every part of my true nature, than spending time on the Big Island of Hawaii. Let me first discuss the obvious. It’s beautiful. I mean if you don’t love palm trees and salty water that dances below the sun, we might need to have a real chat. For me, this place goes a bit deeper. I’ve spend most all my summers since I was a year old at the very same location in Puako. It’s a small community. One simple road, houses to the right on the ocean side and houses to the left on the mountain side. There’s even a general store where I purchased rice candy and fun dip only to wash it down with the purple can of guava. On any given day you can take a morning walk down the drive and run into your neighbors, who will happily fill you in on the latest turtle sighting. It’s quaint. Even as the larger homes started to rise through the area, this community never let go of the values they stand by.
The rules are simple here. Look out for each other. Don’t miss a sunset. Respect the water, the waves and every creature that calls the sweet ocean home. Welcome visitors as family. Take only what you need. Give your heart to the world and others. And don’t waste any precious day or any precious breath on what you cannot change. Above all, LIVE.
By these rules and the energy of this very special place, things that were out of focus come into view. Even on this trip I started to notice the bubbles around blind spots. With that knowledge, change began to happen. I started to look around at all the physical items I was carrying and now saw heaviness and extra. Four chapsticks in my backpack even? Really Natalie? It may seem small and simple, but it speaks to the whole. As the saying goes, “The way we do one thing, is the way we do everything.” I began to go further than that. Diving into relationships and conversations and partnerships of any kind. And what I noticed is this. People come into your life for a reason. Every reason, every exchange we learn. But often the challenge has come and gone, and I am left propelling it to continue. What I mean is that the lesson has been given and experienced, but I don’t let the waves take it to the shore and wash, and cleanse and release me. This not letting go, this holding on happens without thinking. It’s subconscious. With anything that I discover from those blind spots, I have two stages of moving forward. I forgive myself first. I take action second.
The words kept coming over this trip, and in the quiet moments they were “Leave what is heavy behind.”
So I left many items here. I didn’t need to notify those who will no longer have a place in my life, in the same way I don’t need to explain to my Christmas ornaments from 2005 that their time is done. It was, to be honest, as simple as an exhale and as freeing as skinny dipping. Challenge and change is like that. The growth is to begin to learn when each lesson has concluded and then close the book.
My heart needs me to live by those values of the community that stays with me regardless of distance. And what we all know deeply, is that the part of us that needs to heal doesn’t need palm trees to evolve. That small community with values of love, simplicity and lightness is a physical representation of what exists in all of us. Our capacity to be true and kind.
My view as I write this has fewer palm trees, but isn’t less in potency to move forward. With every step I am gently adding to those sweet values to make them my own for this moment. May their echo be loud.
Look out for each other and be kind.
Don’t miss a sunset, sunrise or a glimpse of nature each day.
Respect the water and waves and the emotions that ride them.
Welcome visitors as family and take a hike if you wanna gossip.
Take only what you need. There’s room for all of us.
Give your heart to the world before your judgment.
Don’t waste any day or moment on what you cannot change. Weather, people, social media posts and all.
Above all – LIVE YOUR LIFE LIGHT.
And if you can, a dash of ALOHA doesn’t hurt.