Tag Archives: hawaii

my hawaiian twitter diary

a lanai in lahaina, maui (hawaii)for friends and family who want to get a bit of a sense of what hawaii was like, i’m reprinting here all my hawaii-related tweets. and – uh, you’ll have to read them bottom to top 🙂

back in vancouver. lots of jet lag. another bout of high level flight anxiety. lots of learning, e.g. compassion for others 5:29 pm jan 27

the longer we stay here, the better the mosquitoes like us. especially when we’re on the laptop. it attracts bugs? 7:25 pm jan 26

hubby is outside stalking geckos. 11:20 am jan 26

going to do a painting outside in the lanai. haven’t done art in ages. 11:13 am jan 26

off to bed. it sounds like the geckos applaud the idea. 2:45 am jan 26

then walking home to danielle’s place through a spectacular sunset 10:40 pm jan 25

lovely to hear how excited she is about her job, how much she loves sharing her love for art 10:29 pm jan 25

while she finished a sale, enjoyed leisurely leafing through volkov’s book » link to alexander volkov brown barn publishing 10:29 pm jan 25

she helped me soften my purist snob’s stance towards commercial art. 10:25 pm jan 25

had coffee with a lovely young woman who works at sargent’s gallery in lahaina 10:24 pm jan 25

okay, back out to the lanai [note the image here is one of danielle’s three lanais, or outdoor living spaces] where they are giggling and consuming adult beverages 12:09 am jan 25

in other news, i made it to second place in the poker tournament. never went all in so much as this time. 12:02 am jan 25

i guess i can’t hide anymore. need to join poker playing guests. introvert-me says “nooo!!!” poker playing-me says “let’s clean up!” 5:25 pm jan 24

also different from british columbia, where we still have a marginal but extant first nations culture, struggling but vibrant 5:15 pm jan 24

… almost touch the terror of the slaves he lived on the plantations and tried to run away. 5:14 pm jan 24

ther sense is strong and its essence is dullness. different from the intense outrage and grief i felt in louisiana where it seemed you could 5:13 pm jan 24

… almost completely erased. squatted upon. snatched away. i understand why some native hawaiians feel bitter. 5:12 pm jan 24

i have a strong sense of how colonialism/industrialism/tourism has totally taken over maui. strange feeling. like original culture/people 5:11 pm jan 24

okay, i’m off the tweet and on to the ocean breeze! catchyall latah 1:11 pm jan 24

also ended up in haiku and wrote some haiku! may post a blog entry on that … but first i must have some gin and tonic 8:24 pm jan 23rd from web

went to the lavender farm, with what must be one of the best views on earth » link to akl maui welcomes you! 8:22 pm jan 23rd from web

back from a fabulous day hanging out with the girls. went to iao valley » link to iao valley state park 8:19 pm jan 23rd from web

getting ready for a day out with the girls. it’s gonna be loud. still hoping i can get to haiku. yup, there’s a place here called haiku. 10:30 am jan 23rd from web

wow. my first experience of cold stone ice cream. and i’m not even an ice cream fan » link to cold stone creamery – the ultimate ice cream experience 10:33 pm jan 22nd from web

so i have a dilemma. turns out pink looks good on me. but – pink???? 7:49 pm jan 22nd from web

i love all the dresses and sarongs they have here. at the same time, this is probably the world’s most fashion-unconscious place 7:48 pm jan 22nd from web

now off to celebrate my daugher’s 12th birthday. 7:24 pm jan 22nd from web

i love lying on the nets betwen the rails of the katamaran!!! 7:23 pm jan 22nd from web

aquiamarine? apparently maui does not immunize against typos. 7:22 pm jan 22nd from web

snorkeling again today. water was aquiamarine. wow. just like on the bubble bath bottles. 7:21 pm jan 22nd from web

a little further up the road, very mediterranean-like, a winery. full of history. the wine was awful, unfortunately. 7:17 pm jan 22nd from web

very sweet guy from right around here » link to kula lodge & restaurant (kula maui) – upcountry maui lodging, dining & shopping helped. apparently oprah lives close. she smart. 7:16 pm jan 22nd from web

vulcano tour was great. » link to nps.gov almost ran out of gas on the switchback road back! 7:15 pm jan 22nd from web

tomorrow we’ll go up the vulcano. 10:07 pm jan 20

feel lazy. sitting in an incredibly comfortable chair. a bit of lahaina history today, and a beautiful view of the ocean from the hills. 10:07 pm jan 20

okay, this extra extra tequila’ed pinarita is making me sleepy. off to bed. look at the huge buddha tomorrow » link to the great buddha at the lahaina jodo mission in historic lahaina, maui 12:37 am jan 20

hard to have a sales presentation given to you when you know every single step of the sales process. “ok, now we’ll ‘engage the client’ ..” 10:45 pm jan 19

btw went to a wyndham timeshare presentation today. i think the guy had a hangover. it was a bit hard to watch sometimes. 10:44 pm jan 19

michelle obama looks so – matronly tonight. not really dowdy but close. does she have to? 10:37 pm jan 19

watching the kids’ inauguration show with 2 dogs, 3 friends, and 1 each of loving hubby and pretty daughter 10:22 pm jan 19

now for some puzzle playing, sunset watching, and grilled pork eating. 7:17 pm jan 19

you look at the water horizon for a minute or so, you gonna see whales breaching or blowing 7:01 pm jan 19

in other news – woke myself up with yet another outdoor shower at dawn. sun is up now. morning walk with hubby is coming up. 10:03 am jan 19

excited about the MLK celebrations today. never been in the US for MLK day before. and tomorrow obama inauguration right in hawaii! 10:02 am jan 19

earlier, a walk with the dog to look at the stars over the ocean. venus so strong she cast a light like the moon would do. 11:07 pm jan 18

sitting outside on the lanai with the computer, lit by hundreds of lights strung into the palm trees. 11:06 pm jan 18

renting a car so that we can go up the vulcano. tomorrow: MLK celebration and snorkeling 11:04 pm jan 18

am i ever glad danielle lives in comfy old lahaina. just went to one of the tourist warehouses. not my thing. 6:43 pm jan 18

tan is coming along nicely. loooooong philosophical girlfriend talk with danielle, lounging on her bed, dog in lap. 3:15 pm jan 18

my friend has as much outdoor living space as indoor. woke up, had an outdoor shower. luau today or snorkel? 3:11 pm jan 18

update from paradise. it’s “cold” again (have to wear something long-sleeved morning and night) 3:10 pm jan 18

k. off to dinner now. mango chicken, coconut rice and key lime pie. 9:51 pm jan 17

but food friggin expensive! us$4.99//pd for red peppers??? 9:50 pm jan 17

this is really paradise here. incredible. sweetly swelling mountains, air full of chirpings and perfume 9:49 pm jan 17

update from lahaina: sand castles, a new dress, gin and tonic, palm trees everywhere … hula and lavender farm tomorrow? 9:47 pm jan 17

greetins from lahaina! after 1 1/2 fear-of-flying attacks, arrived here to wind and “cold” and rain. splashed around, wonderful! 1:12 pm jan 17

k, my next tweet will be from hawaii 9:59 pm jan 15

last last last last minute preparations for hawaii. i think the last time i was this excited was for my wedding 9:03 pm jan 15

haiku in haiku

yesterday, we had a ladies day out. in celebration of visiting the little town of haiku on maui, we all wrote some haiku:

the clouds are partinghaiku, a little town on maui
what a glorious sun-sight
welcome home ladies

january women
lapping up the maui wind
clouds rush to the sea

their shouts of defiance
echo through ‘iao valley
damning the waters

royal winter sang
welcoming the warrior
offering her hand

haiku: little town hugs
the foot of the vulcano
where the poems grow

the interesting image from a trip through maui comes from jknee


well, people, you won’t see much of me for the next little while.  i’m off to hawaii, to see things like in this picture here.  if i feel like it, i’ll post something during my vacation – we’ll see.  i will give updates on twitter, though.  also, some people have offered guest posts, so maybe we’ll keep the same posting schedule anyway.  definitely will be back by january 31.  take good care, all of you!

waterfall in hawaii

image by eye of einstein

mental health week: empowerment in the workplace

hawaii: lava tubeyesterday i had a wonderful conversation with dr. matthew b. james about the hawaiian spiritual system of huna. since this is national mental health week and the focus of this year’s mental health week is workplace mental health, i asked him about huna in the workplace.

what is huna?
first of all, what is huna? it appears that huna derives from an ancient art and science of healing and spiritual development. dr. james believes this ancient system to be as old as 35,000 years. it is said to be a part of the original teachings of the peoples of a place which no longer exists. what remains physically of that land are the mountain peaks of the island chain called hawaii. huna is a modern label for certain spiritual and/or energy practices in the islands prior to western influences.

the term huna, i am learning, seems to be connected to something called ho’omana. ho’o means to make. mana means life force, equivalent, for example, to ki. “taken together,” says dr. james, “the word ho’omana means empowerment”.

pono – standing in the light
another important concept appears to be pono. literally, pono means “just beneath the surface”. it also means something like a wonderful form of righteousness: “standing in your own light, you are congruent with who you are”.

the way i am starting to understand this is that ho’omana can be seen as the practice of empowerment – an action towards empowerment – whereas pono is the result of that action.

pono and negative emotions
“when a negative thing occurs, we put it put it in a black bag'”. this black bag absorbs energy – the light of pono – and then prevents a person’s energy from creating what they want.

i was happy to hear that dr. james was quick to point out that there is no need to vilify, deny or suppress so-called negative energies. negative emotions are sometimes really good barometers. the trick is to acknowledge them, do whatever is necessary, and then let them go. problems only arise when we hold on to these “negative” emotions.

when a person holds on to negative emotions, they are pushed out of balance. in ancient hawaiian terms, nothing can be done well unless all three parts of a person, the unihipili, uhane, and aumakua (roughly translated, the subconscious, the conscious, and the superconscious) are in alignment.

and if you hold on to anger for an extended period, it’s bad for your body.

someone who is pono (stands in the light, is empowered) does not hold on to anger. how does that play out in the workplace?

huna and pono in the workplace
first, if you truly dislike your job, quit it. you can’t survive on sitting around thinking happy thoughts all the time. being spiritual doesn’t throw out intelligent thinking. if something is harmful and you keep allowing it to happen, you don’t stand in the light.

and if the workplace is not horrible but has some problems?

here are some ideas.

we don’t make positive decisions when we stand in the negative. try to forgive the person and forgive yourself. this is part of the practice of ho’oponopono, which means literally (or as literally as any translation of hawaiian concepts can get) “to make things right”. it is also often translated as forgiveness.

change your language
in ancient hawaii there was no word for sorry. “‘i’m sorry’ is blunt, and it ends the conversation. it encourages no interaction.” in hawaiian, one would say, “i humbly ask for your forgiveness. i forgive you, too.” this encourages interaction, and turns the exchange into a give and take: you receive, you give. energy or mana flows like an alternating current. we have to make a complete circuit. language follows energy; it acts like energy.

rethink how you communicate
once you change your language, your thinking changes. george naope, a hawaiian elder and master of chanting and hula, says, “think not that all wisdom is in your school”. often we think we know everything but all we know is how it works for us at this moment, not for someone else. george naope says, “i know you are masters, as well, and i respect that. this just happens to be the way i do it.” if you can’t recognize that, you set yourself up for confrontation. realize the other person may be there to teach you just as much as you want to teach them (or simply tell them what to do or think!).

dr. james has a masters in organizational management and does a lot of teaching in that area. the best way to manage is through team building. this closely mirrors ancient approaches to teaching. teachers/managers are not there to tell you what to do, they are there to increase the chance for success of the people they are managing through support, effective delegation and inspiration. most successful companies give their employees a lot of responsibilities.

good managers cultivate their employees’ pono – standing in their on light, accountable, empowered, productive. by empowering others they empower themselves and the organization. huna teaches that if you give someone responsibility, you have to give it to them 100%. you have to let them go through their learning curve.

if something comes up, you just express it. and then together you come to a solution. however, first you must let the other person fully express what went wrong and not say anything until they have completely expressed themselves.

(go here for a glossary or some hawaiian terms and concepts)

(the interesting image of the lava tube is by timothy)