January 4, 2015

Kumu Hula Mana


I travelled to the Big Island of Hawaii to celebrate a personal anniversary. I met some amazing people, learned the Hula and conquered a massive fear. I swam in the Ocean. As a kid, I failed the intro "yellow" swimming lessons twice because I was skinny, the water was too cold, and splashing sent me into a panic attack. My lips turned blue and I'd cry, which gave me a free pass to sit next to the kid who also didn't have to swim because he had leukemia. So... this is something I have struggled with my entire life.

But for some reason, after a few days on the beach and with gentle encouragement from a friend who is a reincarnated baby seal, I pushed aside my drowning experiences in this life and the past, and figured out how to tread water. In the Ocean.

I even had an awkward moment or two that passed by without much notice. A fish decided to swim between my legs. Trust, it was gross, but I didn't scream. I also got slapped by a powerful wave that took my bikini top right off, which I always thought was a fictitious scenario in a Spring Break comedy, but nope. The Ocean is a saucy bitch.

I'm still reeling at how simple and natural this action felt, this thing that always crippled me with fear. Which has me wondering, when I feel connected to myself and I'm living in the present, what else could I be capable of? It's a delicious thought.

Kuhi no ka lima, hele no ka maka - Where the hands move, there let the eyes follow.
A beautiful woman talked to me about the spirit behind Hula - the connection to nature, the practice of praying over your flowers, keeping positive thoughts, and taking your troubles to the water for cleansing. Kuhi no ka lima, hele no ka maka required me to be present, to accept what was given and let go of what had past. That can be so hard for a creative living in her head, anticipating the next 100 moves, but my default methods have never brought me a peaceful feeling.

This trip was very challenging, as any good Quest will be, and I am certain that I matched the Ocean tear for salty tear, or at least I tried. This island is magical. It has changed me.

The creative process can pull us into the fantasy world we create and it's so important to be grounded, to experience life fully and be awake. Otherwise, what can we share with others? What stories can we possibly weave when we are so removed from life that it barely scratches our surface?

I don't think you need to travel far, but you do need to step into the unknown, get your feet into the earth, hold some rocks, talk to strangers, and be willing to be broken open and have your familiar fall to pieces. 

Let your hands lead you. Keep your eyes connected to what you're holding and where the hands naturally reach out to. That's the next step. Happy writing! xoxo

1 comment

  1. Great post... sounds like an amazing trip... loved the pics you posted on Facebook!


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