Too many people are more inclined to be urgent about gaining money, gaining acceptance from others and gaining accolades of excellence than they are in giving love, getting to know themselves and being someone they are accepting of and fulfilling their dreams no matter how small or big. You’ve heard this before right? Money isn’t everything. Love is the answer. Degrees aren’t a worthy measure of success.
Why is it such a rarity that I find people who aren’t blindly on a quest to save, invest, or plan for the future if we are often reminded of what’s important? As humans we find it easier to be comfortable and this is a comfortable path. The sooner you face up to being uncomfortable, the sooner you will find the courage to chase passions, open your heart to friendships and lovers, and find a wealth of joy in life lived today.
Comfort may satisfy some. It’s not for me. It’s not asking too much to want more out of life than simply following an agenda society set out for me because it’s easy. I’m not opposed to university, a career, marriage, creating a home and/or family, a 9-5 job and retiring. I am opposed to the notion that these concepts are your only options and that you must live your life according to a pre-determined timeline of goals. You can actually do whatever you want with your life. You are only constrained by you.
Last week I danced amongst light beams of the setting sun surrounded by people unafraid to release passion at Little Beach here on Maui, Hawaii. A month ago a part of me nagged to stay in my comfort zone. Thoughts and feelings previously unfamiliar to me where threatening me to choose the safe options. Anxiety sat with me before I slept and shined it’s light when I woke. If I had listened I’d probably still be harnessed with pressure instead of the lightness and clarity I am experiencing now. I have more direction now by giving space to discovery than when I felt as though I needed to force feed my being in to ambition to safe guard my future. Allow yourself to dance, to play, to create, to connect, to breathe!
I gravitate towards contrasts. The light and the dark both entertain my interest. Sometimes I wrestle with the changes and hypocrisy. I criticise too often. I don’t have to be one or the other. I can accept what is, that is fluidity. Hawaii is nature’s metropolis of contrasts home to 11 of the 13 climate zones in the world. You can’t ignore the distinct differences in such close proximity to one another. A dry and barren volcano crater appears in the midst of humid rainforest, you can stand with one foot in a sauna and the other in a air pressured hand dryer at the one time experiencing opposing extremes.
Mother nature can do it. So can I. I am a reflection of the divine creator so just as she spins on her axis between ying and yang without judgement or confinement, so can I. I can and I will ghetto booty drop to RnB as well as rise early to practice salutations to the sun listening to the birds as they wake with me. I can and will write eloquently but say fuck if I please. I can and will immerse in passionate discussion of politics and social issues as well as get silly with girlfriends giggling in fits over meaningless things. I can and will retreat to the corners of my mind writing and creating on my own and the next moment leave all my thoughts behind to socialise over dinner and cider. It’s not just the activities I involve myself with, it’s my emotions, my attitudes and my presence that will deviate. I am both sassy and serious. I am both shy and the life of the party. I am both easy going and luxurious. I am not restricted to one definition.
A portion of me felt as though I needed to become one on this journey; to find my place/persona but instead I’m accepting that I’m a human and not a genre. I am a constantly evolving creation. Contrasts are creation; like a storm and the sun parent a rainbow I am a colouful spectrum between the paradox of life.
In my rainbow form I float between the islands of Hawaii. I stayed on Big Island doing a work exchange on an organic farm in return for accommodation on a plot of paradise hidden amongst lava rock wastelands. Catherine and I shared a light filled bungalow behind a wall of ferns and tropical flowers fitted with all our needs (“all” means a kitchen that includes a food processor to blend our farm fresh banana smoothies and granola bowls).
We tended to a nutrient rich vegetable and fruit garden 5 days a week. I loved connecting with the soil, bugs and bees which I learned are vital to growing the food we eat. The same food which as a society we are often so disconnected with, purchasing our food from an artificially lit warehouse referred to as a supermarket, rather than the earth that so generously provides for us outdoors. We increasingly remove ourselves from our natural world so I believe it’s vital to take up opportunities that humbly reconnect us to the earth. The more I connect, the more I am inclined to give mother earth the care she deserves. Care that is sadly very needed.
After work Lisa (who was staying long term at the farm working for our host Greg) would drive Catherine and I dancing in the backseat to the sea or a nearby hike. My body exhausted after the days work and activities would fall in to a deep slumber every night. I’d wake and discuss all my wacky dreams with Catherine sharing breakfast and herbal tea from the garden before work.
At the property I was staying on was also another couple with an interesting background, Gabriel and Katia. Gabriel shared his knowledge about plants and soil, Katia shared her knowledge about nutrition and eating vegan. I am so grateful for what I’ve learnt organically just from those I’ve encountered on my journey. When hitchhiking with a commercial fisherman who often dives I learnt what to do if you see a shark (face it and try not to react so it doesn’t sense a change in your electromagnetic field then wait for it to swim away – easier said than done hey?!). I am enlightened everyday.
My being bursts for moments of which travel leaves open to experiencing; driving to the most southern point in the US just down the road from where we were staying to marvel at the full moon in conjunction with Jupiter and Saturn’s alignment in the sky, hiking through volcano craters discovering steam escape from the lava bubbling below the surface, taking a bus where the ride was nearly more interesting than the destination with all the wacky characters onboard, sharing dinner while watching the sun set over the sea, rubbing my feet through black volcanic sand, discussing the benefits of hemp and the future business that would begin on Big Island, the list feels endless.
I love being inspired everyday and hope that everyone get’s to feel the same zest that I do in their own lives. Below are images from my stay on Big Island.
I’m floating at the moment. I may not know exactly where I’m headed, but I’m learning that most people don’t. Life is a series of trial and error. I’m becoming content in limbo land as that’s where we are always going to be – the future is always going to propose questions but life can’t be lived now focusing on the answers only the future can tell. We must strive to live presently. I’m speaking as someone who considers myself ambitious. I’m not forgetting my dreams but I’m becoming comfortable with those moments where I’m not sure or feel like changing my mind rather than retreating to a state of anxiety about the ever looming tomorrow. Why ruin today with the thought of an uncertain future? We never really know what’s going to happen in the end anyway. We just have to give it a go and embrace the now.
Right now I’m on the path of travel. New places and people inspire me. I feel uplifted making discoveries and conversing about people’s ideas and lifestyles. I feel at peace making these memories.
Last week I crawled in to a tiny 10 seater plane and marvelled at the islands from above. This was the moment where the adrenalin kicked in and I got excited for my stay on the Hawaiian islands. My first stop was Maui staying in a town fit for a surf movie set: roofless jeeps echo reggae, golden skin men with guitars on their back ride towards the beach, palm trees line the sky and the Aloha spirit welcomes my new found friends and I as we order ice cream before falling in to dreams between sheets of salt and sand. I fell in love with every moment on Maui. I’d wake to excited chatter in the light filled, blue walled hostel kitchen about what everyone was setting off to do with their day before jumping in a mini van to explore the island. We hiked through the mystical Iao Valley through sometimes ankle deep mud and shoulder width paths until reaching a point high in the centre of the valley to eat lunch amongst the clouds. I met a wise creature of the sea, a giant sea turtle floated alongside me probably gawking at my snorkel face in the endless abyss of blue. We danced to reggae house beats in a nearby town getting hips swinging on the dance floor before getting lost on the search of a ranch house rave. We gave up on the rave but I looked up to the universe where painted above me was a brightly burning galaxy. The night sky always enchants me. I felt saturated in beauty on this island. Mahalo Maui.
This week I am settling in to a new home on Big Island where I am learning about organic produce and how to grow it working in exchange for accommodation and food (Wwoofing – look it up, it’s a great way to travel on the cheap). Today I spent the morning tending to rows of vegetables and fruits before sinking in to the afternoon. My housemate and friend Carolina and I burnt sage around our new home setting intentions about how we want to live our life – embracing happiness and chasing passions. Then we danced around the kitchen before I sat to reflect writing while admiring a sunset in the distance past the garden out the window. Our neighbours staying on the same property Gabriel and Katia joined us soon after sharing their deep knowledge about growing food with us over Katia’s vegan dinner. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. I will share more about my experience here on Big Island as my time increases but for now I’ll conclude my thoughts with images from my stay on Maui.
I may not know where I want to be in 6 months but I know I’m in the right place for now. I’m satisfying my endless curiosity about different ways to live, love and learn. Hang loose – that’s how Hawaiians do it *Shaka*