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Entries about hawaii

Series of letting go

It has been a series of mishaps this month...culminating in the final one last night, in which my husband not so gracefully launched a stemmed wine glass full of wine into our living room wall. He tripped over his computer cord, which was stretched across our living room, at which we were attempting to watch free TV... and had to let go of his glass in an effort to save him from falling on his head.

It was a big ca-chang, bing, crash, and then I turned from my computer to see him diving onto our couch and shards of glass all around me on the floor. It took about three seconds before we burst into laughter. Not that this singular event was funny, but just the fact that it has been one ridiculous catastrophe after another recently... at some point, you really have to laugh at yourself and the absurdity of it all.

So we did have a good hard laugh, then we got down on our hands and began to gather up the pieces, and sweep the remainder of ourselves together. It was like collecting the pieces of the life that we are hanging onto, and putting them into safekeeping, while those that lie broken and scattered are carried to the trash. Moving is like this...it requires that you pick apart pieces of your life and examine them one at a time...perhaps that is why it remains so deliciously addictive for this philosophy major to continually be uprooting herself, place to place to place. It requires a tremendous amount of self-reflection, examination, and a pulling away of grain from chaff. What is necessary, what is not? What helps me along, what hinders me? What could we use, what is a waste? It can be healing to the soul to ask these questions, and to literally shed weight of excess items and parts of the self that you no longer need for the next step.

Like preparing for a long journey it takes discipline, patience and an honesty with yourself to glean your being for those nuggets of self that run through everything, that keep you who you are no matter what the circumstance, that hold you to your place in life, your purpose and your goals. The rest can be painful to let go of, and it can hurt a great deal to say goodbye to promises unkept, dreams unrealized, belongings that you treasured, ideas you long held, and the things that maintain our comfortable life. The known is very powerful. But the unknown is what lies ahead. And to get there, we must travel lighter than we have, and we must shed the weights and hurts that hold us down and keep us tied to place and time. To look ahead is to let go.

Posted by globalmomma 13:42 Archived in USA Tagged hawaii accident pain moving move Comments (0)

A moving quote...

sunny 82 °F

"We each struggle to understand love and to love well - to allow those whom we love to grow to their fullest potential, even to follow paths we didn't have in mind. To love is to stand before another, just as they are, and to meet them with great care, not letting our own wants and needs dominate. The ego wants to fix other people and control the flow of things. It wants to be gratified. But everyone we love is on their own journey, and we are only responsible for our own becoming. Love comes to move us past our small distracting wants and wishes toward life itself. Even when specific circumstances dictate that we must leave or move away from a given situation, even then, we learn to move in love. We cannot embrace the full meaning of love and live the same way we were living before. The hallmark of love is the change that arises"...
Paula D'Arcy

Posted by globalmomma 09:40 Archived in USA Tagged storm door weather change path hawaii open shift momentum Comments (0)

Path of Intuition

Is gratefulness something we can teach to toddlers? Can young kids feel empathy? How do we help our children to follow their intuition and be in control of their choices?

I am pondering these topics now as my son grows and begins to show signs of understanding complex relationships and ideas. I have read at least a dozen times this conventional belief that children under age nine are not capable of complex thoughts, and that - as toddlers - they are expected to only think about their own needs and desires. While it is often true that young children often focus on what they want above all else... I actually think contrary to the belief that children are ego-centric at a young age, I think that is simplistic thinking. I find that we can nurture a child's perception of others by validating their feelings, and also by encouraging them to think about how other people feel. I watch my child look at another child who is crying, with a real look of concern. I often tell him 'it's OK honey, that baby is just hungry.' Or that child may be a little tired. 'Don't worry, they are OK.' I have perceived this empathy coming from him many times, and I also see it in other children. When a child falls down at the park, the others stop and look, or try to help. They are aware of other beings and their happiness or unhappiness. I believe this tenderness and empathy can be cultivated.

Sometimes this awareness comes out in other ways too. I watch my child interact easily with some people he meets, he will say hello, point to things, engage with them. Other times, he backs away. I try not to push him in this way. I try not to force politeness just because it seems appropriate. I try to trust him when he chooses to either connect with someone or not. How do I know why sometimes he guards himself from people? Maybe that person is really stressed out, or unhappy, or whatever - maybe he senses something that I don't - I want him to follow those instincts, not to be bullied into being sociable if he's uncomfortable.

Today in gymnastics (which he usually loves, and goes into full force) my son was reserved. He wanted to hold my hand and pull me around to the various stations and trampolines set up for the kids. I went with him, but part of me wished he was enjoying himself more, exploring and engaging with the other kids like he typically does. I spent the money for the class...we are here for an hour doing what we would have done at home... Who knows why he wasn't into it today, was he just tired? was there a kid or parent that made him uneasy? was it too crowded? I asked him to join the group circle at the end of class, and he said, "No? No?" (as in, I don't want to, do I have to?) I said, "OK, honey, it's OK, you don't have to if you don't want to." He repeated, 'no, no have to.' He repeated it a few more times with conviction when I asked him again if he wanted to go over with the other kids.

He made his own choice, and I tried to accept it, even if it wasn't what I preferred. Even if we looked odd watching the other kids play while he observed from across the room. We were there for him to explore, for his playtime, so I try to let him guide it when I can. It's difficult though to keep a balance between conventions of friendliness and manners and order, but also allow for freedom, intuition, and feelings. I try to remind myself to let him guide the experience, and not to push or force him into 'enjoying' it.

I find this toddler period of parenting to be extremely rewarding, because of all the feedback they can give you, all the new experiences and new learning, and most of all, their new abilities to really express their feelings, and my new responsibilities of modeling behaviors that keep me always pondering the right path. I am thinking all the time now about the choices I make, and how my child perceives the world because of me. How can I teach him to be grateful for the things that he has? By being grateful myself. And by talking to him about it everyday. I try to consciously think of those characteristics that I would like to teach him, and how to preserve the capable, aware, amazing child that he is. I feel children are born to us as gifts, and as teachers, and they choose us, their parents and families. It's a giant responsibility, one that I find both incredibly humbling and highly enlightening.

Posted by globalmomma 05:43 Archived in USA Tagged guide hawaii class control trust connection intuition feedback gymnastics reward Comments (0)

Mother's Day

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...the one day in the world when we are formally acknowledged for the toughest, most demanding job there is. I don't think there is any other job that requires this much of your soul, mind, and your heart...at least, I hope not.

This is my own third Mother's Day, and I remember each one, like a badge of congratulations for all I have done for that year. This year takes us from the middle of Italy last May (where I spent last year's Festa Della Momma), through our summer traveling throughout Europe. Mostly full of adventures and new experiences, but also filled with some difficult times trying to figure out where we would end up next, where our next footsteps would take us, and how I would continue to convey consistency and security to my son who was sleeping in a new place every week.

This experience of traveling on the road with a one year old taught me, or I should say reinforced in me, that home is where you are. That life is wherever you are. That the journey is taken day by day. And that doesn't make it insecure or scary. It makes it present. Many people think it's necessary to build a stable foundation of a home, a place, a routine that helps a child feel safe. I thought this too, perhaps from something I had read. I thought it was best to be in the same place day after day. But what I realized from last year of travel is that what is most important to feeling safe and secure the people around you. We found friendships all around us. We found community from town to town, place to place. But wherever we went, we went as a family. The safety and the trust that I was worried about interrupting in my son last year, I actually reinforced and strengthened with our roaming. You know why? I helped him see that where he laid his head did not make his home; wherever we were as a family, that was home. Home is where the people around you, they support you, they surround you with love.

So this year on Mother's Day, I am thankful that I can spend it in such a beautiful place, on Hawaii Island; but more importantly, I am thankful that I can spend it in the comfort of my home, which is my family.

Posted by globalmomma 01:43 Archived in USA Tagged home travel italy family day security hawaii heart safety festa mother's della momma Comments (0)

A frog in your soup

So here's the news for today. After more than 2 weeks of travel, we landed back in Kailua kona at 10am this morning, and are all very happy to be here. Bodhi has been tearing his shoes and socks off all week, to which I promptly reply, "you have to keep those on until we get back to Hawaii. It's cold here honey.". Of course, he didn't listen to the 'don't take those off' part, but apparently he understood the 'until back in Hawaii' part because as thelane was about to set down, he was again yanking both socks off and throwing them with such gusto, I know he was hoping he would never see them again.

My husband also responded by systematically stripping off layers of clothing until he looked native again in his slips, shorts, and a hat. I however, was stuck in jeans, sneakers and a long sleeve shirt, and I couldn't wait to get the heck home.

Once home we visited our favorite spot for some fresh island poke (raw marinated ahi), and settled in. Bodhi went down for a nap, so I decided to read and rest as well. I heard something, and figuring my husband had come home, I got up and instead found, at the foot of my bed, a little someone. Looking dazed and sleepy. A little someone who is supposed to still be staying put in his crib. I have caught him the past few weeks testing me by sliding his foot up the side of the crib as if to say, 'you know I could do this if I tried, right?'. And I knew he could, but I was hoping he wouldn't have the desire to figure it out. I had a feeling the end of this trip would be our deadline for the dreaded transition to the toddler or the twin bed, and it alas, is here.

So, we are getting settled back into life in our condo here, which means opening windows, turning on the air, and getting the place aired out. And a little spring cleaning is in order too, since the bugs take over as soon as you leave your tropical paradise. But... I had no idea just how much they took over. I grab a glass and pour some sparkling water into it, but instantly taste thT it isn't right, and spit it into the sink. I look into the bottle expecting to find mold and instead to my horror, I find... A dead gecko. I am so completely disgusted I am feeling my skin crawl. I spit, gargle salt water. Then my husband suggests vodka, and I drink that as well. I am still shivering with the thought of that floating reptile in the water bottle. Then, my husband tells me, at least you didn't drink a whole glass...

There are more blogs written about the past few weeks, I just haven't had a chance to post them, so get ready to hear tales of the Caribbean, cruise lines, meetings with old friends, citizenship appointments, and travel to Sonoma and San Francisco.

Posted by globalmomma 19:42 Archived in USA Tagged water travel dead baby bugs hawaii airplanes gecko crib Comments (1)


overcast 84 °F

These days I feel chronically overwhelmed. Today on my way out the door, I spent fifteen minutes looking for my cell phone. Yesterday it was five minutes doing the same. I am always asking my husband, "Do you know where I put that?" "Did you happen to move it?" "Any idea where X could be?" Usually I find it in one of several obvious locations. But some rare times it is in an odd place, like say, the Windex is on top of the refrigerator, or the glass of ice water is next to the shower.

I find myself wondering if my husband is messing with me, if my son is really to blame for hiding these objects, or if I am honestly losing my mind. Hopefully none of the above, but my brain does not seem to be as sharp as it once was. I wonder why this has affected me, and not my husband. He gets the same lack of sleep. Maybe it is some odd shift in hormonal function after you have a child that suddenly makes a woman forgetful. He thinks I ignore him when he asks me to bring him some water, but the truth is, I forget what he said somewhere in those fifteen steps between the time he asks me and the time I get to the kitchen.

I am also losing my sense of motivation. I blame this on motherhood too. We went to our little beginner surfer's beach yesterday. I had many excuses in mind for why I couldn't go out: I had a headache, I was tired, Bodhi wanted me to stay, I had more pressing things to do... I DID build up the nerve to paddle out. So I swim out and find myself bobbing in the waves thinking, this is not safe. What am I doing out here alone? I don't know what I am doing. Maybe I should play it safe. Maybe I should paddle into shore. I paddled into a few waves like a boogie boarder, riding them shortly but without fully committing to a stand. This is our first big winter swell, and the waves were larger than we have seen, and I heard the first break in the distance thundering loudly. By the time they get in to where I am stationed, they are just bumps, but the oncoming white water and pounding sound make me hesitate and think I should go into shore. I sit there for a few minutes, wishing I felt the urge to attack the waves with gusto, like a lioness over her prey. Truth is I feel more like a puppy, wanting to watch from the shore. I don't want to be one of those people that always opts out and sits on the sidelines, I want to be a mother who adventures, takes chances, and learns new things. I want to teach my son he can do anything he sets his mind to do.

When I paddle back into shore, I am both feeling relieved and slightly bothered by this apprehension that I feel in the water. I remember a time when I felt fearless, when I would try anything, when I had more guts. I want to still have that audacity, that reckless abandon for adventure...I want my child to see it, and to also have a carefree courage. But something comes along with motherhood that causes me to take pause, survey the situation for safety, be cautious. It is what also makes me now woozy at high elevations. Heights never bothered me before, I would walk a razor-thin edge out to a clifftop. Now I see them as a danger. I watch these kids in the X-games go flying over a ramp doing backflips on their snowboards, and instead of thinking, 'wow, I wish I could do that'; I think 'Never'. I am gratified by the fact that I at least took the step to swim out there and be amidst the waves feeling these uneasy emotions. I hope it turns into a more fierce determination to overcome this fear and prevail. I want to succeed in surfing and I want to experience new things, but I find those things completely overshadowed by my greater desire to be a mother, to spend time with my son, and to cheer on his successes. Perhaps there is room for a little success and discovery for each of us, if I can only remember how to find it.

Posted by globalmomma 06:27 Archived in USA Tagged surf waves hawaii fear memory courage motivation Comments (0)

The most unadulterated place in the US

sunny 84 °F

We are back on the amazingly beautiful and peaceful island of Lana'i for our fifth wedding anniversary. In my opinion, after traveling far and wide across the US, it is the most unadulterated and genuine little piece of heaven in this country.

I AM biased, because we were married here, and every year we come back; but every year, it does not disappoint. I talk to many people who are lured by the activities of Maui, the scene of Oahu, or the nature of Kauai. They ask me, "Isn't Lanai boring? I hear there isn't much to do there". Um, exactly. Precisely the point. You don't need to spend your time doing anything, except just living and soaking up the amazing beauty and friendliness of the people and the slow easy island life that can sink deep into your soul.

Kona is a small town, but Lanai City is smaller. Kona's beaches are wonderful, but Lanai's are breathtaking.

The ferry from Lanai to Maui is a really nice way to see the ocean, the whales, and to get back to the airport, so we opted for that way of travel, instead of the small commuter plane from Maui to Lanai that is also available. Going from Kona, you have to pass through either Maui or Honolulu to get to Lanai, so we took a direct flight to Maui, then a cab from the airport to the ferry. On the way back, we opted to stay overnight in Maui. Don't even get me started on Maui. We stayed there for one night just passing through, and it is enough. We arrived to a busy lobby and a line for check-in. There were people everywhere, the pools were full of beach chairs and the complex requires a map. Oh boy. This is not the relaxing Hawaii that I know. And it is ironic, because it is the Hawaii that most people see. They see the same fast paced Hawaii, same full restaurants, and waiting in line for morning coffee and crowded beaches. Most do not get to see the beaches that are mostly empty and remarkably peaceful, the small hotels and towns that do not require maps or agenda or planning ahead. The ones that offer less in terms of attractions, but so much more in terms of a sense of deep calm and restoration and authentic island life. This is Lanai. And why we love it so much. Every time we go, we wonder, where did all the time go? Already it has been a week, and we didn't do anything at all - no snorkel adventures, no hiking, no golfing (although you can do all those things!) Just time spent walking leisurely down to the ocean, listening to the waves, watching the dolphins jump and the whales breach, having a mai tai, lounging in the pool, reading a book, sitting on the lanai...it is the slow times like this where you can be so still you can actually listen to your own thoughts, reconnect with your partner, revisit your life. DSC00084.jpg

Posted by globalmomma 13:49 Archived in USA Tagged islands relaxing hawaii peaceful lanai hawaiian serene Comments (3)

Waves of Life

one nap days

sunny 80 °F

Here I am in the middle of the one nap day, the 2 hours of personal time that I get while my son sleeps. It used to be two little breaks, and now as of Christmastime, we are officially down to one. I was hoping to drag this process out. Mostly for my own sanity and time management purposes, but also so he could get two opportunities for extra sleep. But my son appears to be a cold turkey kind of guy. He stopped one day with his second nap, and never looked back. So here we are, savoring this midday pause.

I realized last night, once again, how lucky I am, and what a gift it is to have a partner to parent with. Last night our sniffly, sweaty tot couldn't sleep. His fever was making him uncomfortable so for 4 hours, from 6:30pm until 10:30 pm, we took half hour shifts, holding him to sleep. Picking him up when he woke and rocking him back down. It could be enough to drive you mad if you didn't have someone to share it with. But now it is precisely these times that cause me to be the most thankful for what I have.

The harder a moment is, the more I realize how much ease is in the majority of my life. So I am grateful for the one nap, and the little boy who lets me spend the rest of my day with him.

We are right now considering the options moving forward: toddler bed? twin? full? How do we transition from this crib that he is starting to outgrow? Most likely he will give us the answers to this question, as he has with so many other questions. We will try and try again. It will have its hard points, and then it will go smooth and easy again, as the waves of the ocean flow out and in. I have a steady reminder of the rhythm of life, and the flow of time. When one day is stormy, the next is calm. The waves rise up, crash, and retreat. Life ebbs and flows, the good days follow the bad, and time keeps moving forward.

Posted by globalmomma 03:47 Archived in USA Tagged beach waves work life sleep hawaii toddler Comments (0)


The wonder life

I am sitting here brewing my own home espresso, reminiscing about our summer journeys in Italy. What a perfect morning ritual - the intense little shot that is espresso. Waking in Hawaii to warm salt air is wonderful, and similar to our days in Italy - beginning with a cool morning breeze, and developing into a day of heat, sun and outdoors. Early in the morning our son goes straight to the front door, pulling on one of our hands, asking us to open it so he can go outside. He's definitely an outdoors kid. And that is no doubt in part due to our adventures in his lifetime being in warm climates, where he is free to roam with minimal clothing or effort. It's been a real gift, starting his life this way; spending nearly all of our time together as a family, enjoying and living life.

And living here does something to my psyche that I cannot explain. I love waking in a tank top. I love the feeling when the sun begins to warm the Earth as it rises high in the sky. And how the color of the water changes from a light greyish blue to a deep ocean blue as the day develops.

Barefeet. Skin that smells like salt. Hearing the gathering waves crash the shore. Watching the sky turn orange then pink then the deepest azure blue. Waking to the sounds of birds out the open windows, and little feet running, and giggles.

We live simply here - in four sparse rooms. But it leaves more space and time to being outside, in nature, on the Earth.

So many places to see...so much life and Earth and world to experience. So many adventures and discoveries, so much wonder and motion and sunshine. Why live any other way? Why not appreciate every day?

Posted by globalmomma 22:01 Archived in USA Tagged vacation sun life weather earth wonder hawaii warm sunshine wandering Comments (0)

Ahh, Hawai'i

Wherever you go, there you are...

sunny 82 °F

Some days, I get a real reminder how lucky we are to be living here in Hawai'i. This doesn't erase the fact that each day I wake up, look outside, and see sunshine. Throw on flip-flops (or slippahs, as they call them here) and take a stroll to the beach or the pool or the shops in Kailua-Kona, and every day is a day to go outside. I do not take that for granted, but sometimes you get a big slapping reminder too. Last night, there was a swell, and we could hear the surf pounding the shore from our little lanai. It was still exciting to be able to hear the waves, still brought a sense of wonder and enjoyment to be living that close to the ocean.

Yesterday, as I mentioned, the surf swell had arrived in Kahalu'u beach, our local beginner surfing spot. We have been wanting to take another surf lesson for the past 2 weeks, while our families were in town and we had some time for a surf date. But the waves didn't cooperate and despite several attempts to go out, we never got our lesson. Of courrse, the day after everyone left, the waves came back to town. So we decided to go out and tag team surf. I would stay in the beach with Bodhi and Chris would go out, then we would switch. We learned this from some friends in Oahu who were actively surfing while she was pregnant, and back out again when their little guy was just several weeks old.

Being out on the water, floating and riding, is really a feeling that is difficult to describe. It is freedom and meditation and a rush of adenaline all at once. It reminds me of a cup of tea... It can be anything you want it to be. A little comfort, a shot of energy, a warming feeling, an old friend. Surfing is this way too, because there is no pressure to perform. I was hesitant to go out because the waves were larger, and I have not been out on our new board at all. Then, I decided in the end to just go through the exercise and see what arose. Surfing is my new kind of yoga.

When I came back to the beach, surfboard in hand, threw it on top of our little Cooper, and began running around with my little guy - I ran into some tourists. They were here from Switzerland, here for a week, standing on the same beach where we can come everyday. It filled me with a gratitude for being here. Possibly the nicest thing for me about living in Hawai'i is the natural gratitude that is in my morning every day just by virtue of waking in a place that I love.

My husband and I have both been strong believers that WHERE you are is important to your psyche, your attitude, your life. Sometimes a certain place will speak to you and some times a certain place will be all wrong. We have noticed, being avid travelers, that the experience of a place can drastically affect your emotions, your outlook, your motivations. When in the right place, you can feel more creative, spontaneously happy, more alive. Places that don't fit who you are can cause tension, conflict, unhappiness. As a couple or a family, this can be interesting, because diifferent places can fit one person more than another. But if you are sensitive to the effects of the land on your spirit, you will notice that certain places will call to you, make you feel more at ease, more connected, more at home. Others are just a no. Just like people. Ever notice how you can meet someone and right away know you can be good friends?

This is how I feel on the island of Hawai'i. Like I have met a good friend.

Posted by globalmomma 10:59 Archived in USA Tagged beach waves locals surfing tourists friendship hawaii Comments (1)

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