Kalani Honua Blog
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
When I was twenty-seven years old, a woman friend became frustrated with how much love and attention I was giving Barry, my husband of five years. She was a teacher of women’s studies at a local college. This subject was brand new in 1973 and emphasized women’s liberation. She saw my devotion to Barry as old fashioned and “unliberated.” In a burst of anger she said, “You’re putting all your eggs in one basket. Barry is going to die someday and then you’ll be sorry you concentrated so much love on him.”
I was so stunned and hurt by her words that I had to let go of that friendship. However, over the years, I couldn’t help reflecting on her words. She was right that I was making my relationship with Barry my top priority, even over my career and friends. But was this wrong? Would I one day regret that I had focused so much of my love on him? If he died suddenly, would I find that I had done the wrong thing by concentrating so much of my time on him?
In the past twelve months I have reflected on this woman’s words more deeply. It has been a difficult period of time. Seven close friends that we have known over twenty five years have died. A few of these have died very suddenly in the peak of their careers and activities. Several close women friends have become widows after many years of marriage. Each of these women has loved their husband fully. One of my friends, who was married for 47 years, says it is all the love she gave that is now the greatest comfort for her. If she had to do it all over again, she would have still loved completely and made her husband the focus of her love.
When we work with people in their grieving process, we find that it is the love that is not given that causes the most pain and sadness. I must admit that with our seven friends that have passed this year, I definitely have some regrets. I wish I would have spent more time with some or called more often. But I am also comforted because, with each one, they knew I loved them and believed in their greatness. They knew I appreciated them and carried them tenderly in my heart.
Now that several of my friends have become widows I cannot help but reflect on my own situation. With the time I have left with Barry, how do I want to spend it? I certainly do not want to hold onto anger and resentment. My one friend became a widow in the course of minutes. One minute her husband was active and getting ready for their child’s birthday party, and the next minute he was gone. I want to keep my relationship with Barry very current and in harmony. I want to work through difficulties as quickly as we can. Each day I want to love him in a new way. I want him to feel cherished. I may never be perfect in the ways I want to love him, but it is in the trying that brings me so much comfort.
Two weeks ago we had another death in our family. This time it was our daughter Rami’s beloved horse, Magic, who had been her very dear friend for twenty two years. A death of such a treasured animal has its own deep grief. Rami had a memorial service for her horse at his burial site. She dressed up in her cowgirl clothes that she had gotten as a young teenager when she first bought Magic and read a tribute to him. Our family plus her closest friends came to the service. Each of us spoke about our love for this very special horse. At the end one friend said, “Rami, you loved and cared for your horse 100%. All the love you gave to him will come back and bless you.”
The love we give to others comes back and blesses us. I am so grateful that I did not listen to that “liberated” woman friend. I am so grateful that I gave my all to Barry during a period of time in our country when it was considered “backward and politically incorrect” for a woman to love her husband so completely. I am grateful that the love has come back and blesses me over and over again.
Let’s not hold back our love from anyone that is dear to us. Let’s take every opportunity to express our appreciation and caring. No one can hear heart-felt words of love too often. I have understood more deeply this year that we really don’t know how much time we have left with our loved ones. Fortunately for the friends of mine that became widows this year, they had taken the time to love on a daily basis. Even though one husband was gone in the wink of an eye, it is all the words and acts of love and tenderness that will bring enduring comfort to his wife.
Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA, who are widely regarded as among the world's top experts on conscious relationship and personal growth. They are the authors of The Shared Heart, Models of Love, Risk to Be Healed, The Heart’s Wisdom, Meant to Be, and A Mother’s Final Gift.
Call Toll-Free 1-800-766-0629 (locally 831-684-2299) or write to the Shared Heart Foundation, P.O. Box 2140, Aptos, CA 95001, for free newsletter from Barry and Joyce, further information on counseling sessions by phone or in person, their books, recordings or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web site at SharedHeart.org for their free monthly e-heartletter, their updated schedule, and inspiring past articles on many topics about relationship and living from the heart.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Kalani was an utterly healing experience for me. I was a part of the sabbatical program - it was a big risk for me to invest in a month halfway around the world, in the jungle. But I had amazing inspiring conversations with the staff beforehand - and it was worth every second and every penny.
I was immediately welcomed into the community by the staff and volunteers. There is a lot of care and love in the ohana, and it was easy to access.
The week I landed, there was a transformative writing workshop being offered, and a hypnotherapist available. Both had wonderful impact on me. There was an abundance of opportunities for engaging in personal growth and healing, with visiting teachers and with the skills of the community.
I was part of the agriculture team, which I hadn't properly packed for, so right away I was directed to the free box for work clothes. The agriculture team began each day with Hawaiian chanting and gratitude, then got sweaty together weeding and working the land. I looked forward to each day of work, and spread my 8-day sabbatical work commitment over half days to make it last longer.
I took tons of yoga classes with a variety of teachers and learned things that have stuck with me for my personal practice. A stand-out teacher was a woman named Kathy, in her 70s, who gave me permission to be gentle with my body and really listen to the wisdom in it - that yoga is about increasing my capacity to be conscious of spirit.
I went on weekend adventures across the island to Kona for beaches, and in the midst of it fell in love with several of the wonderful people working behind the scenes. One of them, a healer named Jai, will stay with me forever.
I boldly spent as much time as I could exercising my clothing optional rights in the pool, sauna and hot tubs, as well as using all of the bodywork sessions that came with the sabbatical - I got reiki, watsu, lomi lomi, shiatsu.
I left Kalani glowing, with several friendships that continue to deepen and grow me.
Gratitude abounds. Now I am recommending it to other friends who need to regenerate.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
In Hawaiian shamanistic teachings, there is a story passed down called the Bowl of Light. It offers that we are all born with a bowl filled with light, which if tended to can develop into a strong source of life energy. However, over time our bowls can get polluted with “rocks,” taking the form of burdens, expectations, and negative emotions, dimming our light and weighing down our bowl.
Everyone wants to be free of suffering. For women who have gone through emotional or physical trauma, finding a safe space to express oneself freely with a supportive sisterhood can awaken life-transforming understandings. This is why Katalin Koda, author of Fire of the Goddess, and her co-facilitator, Kelley Linn, strive to provide a safe container for women to uncover and nourish the sacred femininity within them. Doing so allows women to integrate the strengths and understandings of this energy into everyday life.
“By creating ceremony we relinquish our smaller self and merge with the dynamic, larger spirit, we are dissolving our ego and habitual tendencies into the connectedness of the universe. Each time we create ceremony, we become more fluid and less attached to stagnant emotions and mental constructs.” - Fire of the Goddess
Katalin and Kelley’s work explores the use of ceremony to reclaim and reframe what one already knows, incorporating the practices of Anusara Yoga, shamanism, and the study of goddess archetypes. This combination allows one to connect more deeply with a strong sense of self-love, power, and wisdom: qualities shared with Pele, the goddess of fire and lava who has been honored for hundreds of years on the Big Island of Hawai’i. “Illuminating the creation of new land and the destruction of old, Pele IS the Fire of the Goddess and the brilliant emanation of the Sacred Feminine on Hawai'i Island.”
Kelley works with Katalin to integrate the practice of yoga into the work of the sacred feminine, to aid the exploration of inward expression, finding physical poses that awaken natural emotions, rather than the form-focused fitness yoga which has spread through many western practices. Just as smiling during meditation can call forth a sense of peaceful joy, a deep bow toward the ground during yoga can evoke a sense of gratitude. For those seeking to heal old traumas or change habitual tendencies, focused practice of yoga can awaken a deeper connection to the feminine qualities which live within all people.
There are many lessons and messages that come through this work. Katalin shared that “people are often fragmented, with energy spread in many directions. They often forget the healing that takes place when you are giving freely from the heart. It is time now to align yourself with your soul purpose, and to activate in order to spread love and share joy. Become a creator or creatrix of the reality you wish.”
Kelley offered, “Remember your intrinsic goodness. You are perhaps not ‘perfect’ in all actions, but at your core you are naturally and genuinely good.”
It is common for those who embody the sacred feminine energy to have so many rocks in their bowl of light that they cannot sip its nurturing nectar. With the help of intentional ceremonies and practices, as well as the support of the sacred sisterhood, we can empty all of the rocks to allow a new source of life to flow. Only then can we share our abundance with those around us, rather than our source. And it is in that state of abundance that we are able to heal- ourselves, our loved ones, and the world at large.
For more information about Katalin and Kelley’s offerings
visit Katalins website at: http://katalinkoda.com/
Fire of the Goddess will be returning to Kalani in March and June of 2013. Learn more
Katalin’s book is available on Amazon
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Many guests fall in love with our organic granola during their stay, and can often be caught filling thermoses to smuggle some home. So, we have decided to pass along the recipe, to you so you can have Kalani's famous granola anytime you wish. Enjoy with breakfast, use to make a parfait or trail mix, or in any other creative recipe you can dream up.
8 cups old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1 cup each of at the least four of the following:
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons seasalt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss everything together, but don't break up the oats.
1 1/4 cups coconut oil, unsalted butter or peanut oil
1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2. Mix the above ingredients well and pour over granola. Mix with hands then place on a cookie sheet in an even layer and press down to flatten granola.
3. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Do not toss while baking.
4. Cool completely on cookie sheet then put in airtight storage container.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Tranformation Ignites Heart Fire
Angels ground me I seek deeper love
letting go like the rain drops land all around
each light-beam lands on my skin in gratitude
I trust each day a gift I see to this day my life brings
wholeness I lust
cherish where I come from
beleiving in where I go
that star in my sky reaching for this breath
I am joy
and in my hands i sense freedom in the passing wind
starlight dreams in my whisper
enlarging my true essence
my tropical spirit flower intrigue with the red winged bird in flight
lush soothing jungle
smiles from heart surround me
bliss full dance
expression power of ocean waves
just below the surface alive moving lava of intent always
changing, manifesting, transorming, alarming, igniting
the grace of Pele appears
All is a part of me...thank you
I want to hug the ground, kiss the plants
say mahalo to Buddha for reminding me
I am peace
My Grandma's butterfly wings send me to new heights
I feel her smile, her proud tickled heart embrace
I have no doubt opportunity awaits
magic abundance is here
Deep mahalo's to my Kalani `ohana for all you individually are and i wish you all greatness in where you fly~
Sommer Joy Albertsen
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
E Komo Mai - Welcome
My time at Kalani has been about interactions. About myself, other individuals, and about how we come together as a whole to form a community. I came here with my partner Ellie and we were embraced as individuals and as a couple.
As a volunteer here at Kalani you receive a note card when you arrive and when you depart. They are like a greeting card with a message inside when you unfold it, with room for people to write short messages.
My arrival card welcomed me to Kalani with aloha. There was an inspiring quote from a previous volunteer giving me a flavor of the experiences that awaited me. There were also the critical details of the pool location and when dinner was being served. Then below the printed text was a handwritten note from Zori. Welcoming me to paradise and inviting me to an orientation tour of the property the following day.
Then 2 months passed.
On our last day, Ellie and I received our departure note card. This card simply said that we will be missed, sending us onward with the aloha spirit. Then all the blank space was filled in with handwritten notes from our friends.
“You guys are so perfect here!!! I will miss your beautiful energy and smiles. – Shelley” … I met Shelley the night the kitchen staff took the evening off. A group of us non-kitchen volunteers had a blast serving dinner that night!
“You are both so wonderful. You are both doing exactly the right thing. Mahalo, with love. – Taylor” … This brings back memories of talking with Taylor on the dinning lanai, the laundry room, the maintenance shed. Topics ranging from GMOs, road bike touring, to activism.
“I am lost for words. You are two beautiful people full of smiles and light. Sure hope you boomerang back to Kalani. Aloha a hui hou. – Marilyn” … Ah yes, the late night hot tub soaking sessions with Marilyn sharing an engaging conversation or sharing a comfortable silence.
“Loved our conversations. Stay real and joyful! Love – Jen” … I often grabbed a seat next to Jen during meals. The introverted sides of our personalities really thrived on being extroverted with each other!
“Have a fabulous time biking the island and continuing your series of life adventures. Great getting to know you and Maria too! – Deb” … We arrived at Kalani the same day as Deb (same airplane!). When Ellie’s mother Maria visited us for a week, Deb and Maria went adventuring along the Puna coast while Ellie and I worked our shifts.
“You are both such an inspiration! Hope to cross paths with you again one day. Travel well, mi amigos! Love – Clarity” … Who would have thought that a lady from New York City and a fella like me from a mountain villa would have so many deep connections? It’s all the product of an hour long hike through a muddy jungle to a secluded white sands beach frequented by sea turtles.
This is a sampling of the hundreds of connections that were made with the beautiful people here at Kalani. Yes, I do look forward to crossing paths once again and I will take these fond memories wherever I go!
Monday, April 2, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Aloha my beautiful Ohana,
It's very different being in the UK, it's flipping freezing here.
I want to express to you all what my Kalani time meant to me and what you all mean to me.
I am very grateful for every person I met in Kalani, you all helped and supported me on my path, taught me new things and helped me to realise things I already knew.
I have made strong, deep, lasting friendships with beautiful people. I have gained a home in Hawai'i, a place where I know I can go and be welcomed, be happy, be peaceful. All of the Ohana work together to make Kalani a wonderful place to live and the result is inspiring.
I have gained a higher state of happiness than ever before in my life. I have decided that wherever I am in the world, every day I am going to live Aloha.
Mahalo nui loa for Kalani, the realm where dreams become reality, and mahalo for every person who helped to create it and who helps to continue it.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Saying "Yes" to Kalani
I was captured within an hour. My friend picked me up at the airport and described all the wonders of Kalani on the 40-minute drive.
Even as I checked in I sensed a difference within minutes. I recognized the change that came from being in a heavenly space, for that is what Kalani means, “heaven on earth.”
My idea of heaven is being with a loving, accepting family, being nurtured and cared for, and being perfectly safe and at ease. Maybe “Peace,” with a capital P could be a shorter description.
As day became evening we walked the grounds. The sense of life was overwhelming. So many plants cohabited with each other, vines of philodendron enfolded trees up to 50 ft tall. Individual Ti and bromeliads were everywhere, as uniquely different from each other as humans.
I cannot come close to describing the flowers. I have never seen such shapes and colors before. Each stem seemed arranged in a massive bouquet. Each bloom presented itself for sex, seducing insects to pollinate them, starting the next generation.
The volcanic rock beneath my feet was alive, too. In its own fashion, created by lava flows over the centuries, the living earth revealed itself. There were smooth black rocks, some with glistening satin surfaces, others worn to a matte finish by longer exposure to wind and water. In other areas there were fields of sharp black rock, pock-marked by the bubbles of trapped volcanic gas. Brittle edges had broken and created knife-sharp fields impossible to walk upon. Whatever shape, there was always the memory of the living volcano that formed them.
And binding plant and rock together was a community of individuals who lived, played, and prayed together at Kalani. It was the 'people energy' I felt initially. This energy permeated me on deeper and deeper levels as I began to understand the intricacies of the human organism that had been created here.
There were rules but no boundaries. There was the freedom to say ”yes” to experience and welcome new friends and sensations openheartedly. There was the freedom to say “no” to the hold of lives lived before encountering this heaven, Kalani.
I heard countless stories of people who came for a week or month and stayed for years. One woman spoke of a dream to be more creative that was realized as she understood she could leave her old job. Another told of his search after retiring for the “next thing” so he could bring his skills and experience to serve another purpose. One man who found that his hands could heal was drawn to leave the mainland and work here, supporting his family and infant daughter.
In such a short time I made my decision, too. I wanted to give back to this place, this jungle, this family. I imagined and felt the smile God must have shown at His Creation when he said, “This is good.”
I am drawn here because of the peace, the beauty, and the life that is present. I doubt I will abandon my mainland home and life to move here as so many others have done. I know the peace I felt is within, available to me by saying “yes” to it. And I also know I can come back to Kalani to remind me and hear the chorus of yes, once again.