Kalani Honua Blog - love

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Joyce and Barry Vissell

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.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Chris Roufs

Fireworks at Kalani

Every Monday a Kalani 'Ohana member is invited to inspire those present at our weekly community meeting with a speech, poem, song, quote, meditation or anything else of their choice.

Resident volunteer and filmmaker Chris Roufs shared an inspiration and ensuing video project so spectacular that we couldn't wait to put it on the Kalani blog.

Read the speech Chris gave to us about finding his inner firework at Kalani, and scroll down to view his video at the end of this post.

***
FIREWORKS AT KALANI

You don’t have to feel like a waste of space,
You’re original, cannot be replaced.
If you only knew what the future holds,
After a hurricane, comes a rainbow.

Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed,
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road.
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it’s time you’ll know.

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine.
Just own the night like the Fourth of July.

Cause baby you’re a firework!
Come on show em what you’re worth!
Make em go, oh, oh, oh.
As you shoot across the sky-y-y!


If you haven’t already figured it out, these are lyrics from a Katy Perry song called 'Firework'.

I had heard this song many times before I came to Kalani this time (my third visit as a volunteer), but I had never really listened to the lyrics very closely.

When I arrived at Kalani again and life slowed down (as it always does when I’m here)  the song’s lyrics were pointed out to me by one of my 'Ohana. I took the time to realize that they had some deeper meaning.

That’s one thing I think is so wonderful about this place.  Being here slows things down.  Knowing that you are a part of this 'Ohana and feeling love and the beauty of nature all around you, allows you the opportunity to go a bit deeper within yourself. To discover your Firework, so to speak.

Shortly after I arrived back home this time I went to Open Mic and I saw the plethora of talents here at Kalani. I remember thinking to myself, “I wish I had something to offer.”  I wanted to get up and sing a song, or play an instrument, or recite some poetry, but that didn’t really feel right.  Just thinking about it seemed forced.  It felt wrong for some reason.

It was shortly after this that I heard Katy’s song again… and I really took the time to listen to the lyrics and then (like Katy sings)… something started to ignite inside.   But I also realized that I didn’t need to DO anything to be special or be appreciated, all I needed to do was to search for that Firework in me, that Firework in all of us.

The ONLY thing any of us ever have to BE is ourselves.  To try and find that DEEPEST PUREST sense of SELF, the part of us that is PERFECT, with no EGO, no JUDGEMENT, no preconceived BELIEFS.  That part of us that is pure JOY!

So one morning while walking toward Kehena beach, with Katy’s song stuck in my head, I turned to two of my 'Ohana and said, "I think I’m gonna make a video to a Katy Perry song."  I was going to do it so that everyone could show off their firework, their joy.  And I wanted people outside of this place to see how Kalani helps to bring that joy out in each member of its 'Ohana!

I’ve always heard that when you find a project or an idea that you truly believe in, the work you do in order to complete that task feels effortless, that time means nothing while working on something that you love, and that you fall into a kind of zone.  That is what this video project was like for me.  I think I briefly tapped into my Firework, my pure joy.  And I’m ever so grateful to all of my 'Ohana (especially Janice, Stephen and Alissa) for helping me to experience that.

For those of you reading and watching this that have never been to Kalani, I hope you catch a glimpse of the JOY that you too can hopefully find here.  I hope you make the journey very soon, and I hope I get to meet you here in paradise.

Mahalo Nui Loa 'Ohana!  May this little video always make you smile and warm your heart as it does mine.

Chris Roufs

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jaime Palmera

Aloha `Ohana, Jaime Palmera

I am on the airplane on my way to Mainland. As I wonder thought me memories and look into the numerous photos I have taken during my stay in Hawaii and I couldn’t but get caught into a lot of emotions: Happiness and sadness, excitement and anxiety, a sense of accomplishment but at the same time desertion. But above all I realize I have learned to be grateful and a bit more aware. Learned to Breathe, learned to Feel, learned Acceptance and E ho mai – To let it come and let it flow- I learned the meaning of Aloha, and with it I learned about a better way to live.

How can one live without Aloha once we’ve felt it? …How can one get through the days without all the smiles and the hugs? …How can one may manage to step on a continent full of walking snakes who have given tears the connotation of sorrow and loss? … How can one may manage to get through the nights without seeing the moon and the stars and where people avoid and shelter from the wind and the rain? …How did I do it before and how would I be able to do it now?

This reminds me of the greatest love of my life: how we all learn to live on our own until one day we cannot live without that we once didn’t have before. It becomes indispensable, it changes us forever, it advances us, it becomes part of our energy, it pumps our lungs. LOVE is spelled ALOHA. And I am happy to have shed some tears, wipe my eyes, smile and look up again.

Happiness and Joy do float in tears. I fear no sadness for it will bring me a bigger joy at its end, just as the rainbow often appears after the rain. No Rain, no Rainbow. I will sorrow and day dream of my new corner of Heaven in Earth and remember that it remains there, hidden in the clouds, a gentle slope washed by the ocean full of plumerias and ginger flowers, warmed by Pele and the Sun, and enjoyed by many who like me are surrendering to Earth and its wisdom so to become a better part of Heaven.

A Hui Ho,

Jaime

Jaime Love

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Kalani `Ohana

Tiff Manchester, one of our Kalani Volunteer Coordinators, shared with the community this inspirational moment.

Enjoy! and Thank you Tiff!!

LOVE and TIME

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived:
Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment.

When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?"
Richness answered, "No, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat," Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, let me go with you."
"Oh ... Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"

Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was happy that she did not even hear when Love called her.

Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. So blessed and overjoyed, Love even forgot to ask the elder where they were going. When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Realizing how much was owed the elder,

Love asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who Helped me?"
"It was Time," Knowledge answered.
"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?"
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

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