Author

Meriah

Browsing

Here’s one for us all: how to tell a new story about the REALLY HARD things?

That is, how on earth do we find a new framework, a new jumping-off point, a new reframing of a narrative in our life that is just… unjustifiable, inexcusable?

In my case, husband lied to me and cheated on me for years.YEARS. He was gaslighting me  for years. YEARS. Do you know how crazy-making, soul-shredding that is?! It’s huge. I can’t look back at anything cordial, funny or nice that happened with him and wonder if that was just his way of making nice after he had been having sex with someone else. All that time that I spent caring for the kids, solo, so isolated, and struggling while he was ostensibly “working” – ?

Ugh.

Added to that, his family.

I have had a difficult time absorbing the fact that my husband’s entire Vietnamese family turned their backs on me and my children. I mean, it’s just mind-blowing to me. I remember what I felt at the time to be love and kindness and wonder what – if any? – of it was real.

Added to that, they welcomed his new girlfriend with open arms only weeks after I asked him to leave our home that he had been living in with her. I repeat: MY HUSBAND had his girlfriend (the one that I found out about and left him over) living in MY HOUSE up there on the Lost Coast. When I found out about it and asked them to leave, they went to HIS FAMILY, who welcomed her. This was less than two months after I left him.

That to me is just…  I can’t even. I can’t wrap any part of my head or heart around their actions.

There is another thing that is impossible for me: the death of my brother.

4 guys walked up to Dana and his son while they were on Dana’s farm. They had guns. They were there to take whatever material means Dana had on him at the time. They told Dana and his son to get down – Dana tried reaching for the gun and they shot him.

How on earth can I tell a new story about this?!

I mean, HOW do I tell a new story about things that break my heart?

It’s one thing to be reframing my apps and look at my car accident differently, but, my brother’s DEATH? My husband’s lying and cheating? His family’s betrayal? Jesus!

I can’t. But I did try.

I kind of, sort of, tentatively tried, and within a half-step of a mental surge, I fell flat.

I can’t. I absolutely can NOT reframe this story, I can’t understand why my husband  did what he did or make excuses for his actions. I can’t understand how his Grandma and his Auntie – both of whom I truly love – could possible turn their backs on me and the kids and welcome his girlfriend in my stead.

And Dana.

I mean, I can’t even write about that, let alone talk about reasons to understand any of it.

It has slowly dawned on me that telling a new story does not always mean that it needs to reframed or understood.

It also does not mean that it needs to be told.

Sometimes, I think, telling a new story means silence.

There can be no justification for the unjustifiable

I can’t justify these things. And it’s not my job to.

These are threads of older stories that I place where they are. I will not attempt to re-weave them into something more pleasing to me. They end in actions that are inexcusable, unjustifiable, unfathomable to me and so I won’t try to make sense of them.

I just let them be.

I pivot from them, setting my feet squarely upon my own path, and look where I am going right here, right now, in this moment, which is where time has any real meaning.

There may be a point in the future in which the why’s and how’s might become clear, and I might understand  the actions of my husband, his family and the killers of my brother. But unless and until that is revealed to me, I think that I will tell these stories best by not trying to understand them.

Silence is sometimes the best answer – Dalai Lama

Silence isn’t inherentaly comfortable for me. Sitting still and letting silence be what is heard isn’t easy for me. I like understanding, I like reasons. I like to talk and dissect things out.

But silence can speak when words can’t. God doesn’t speak through noise – the voice of the Spirit and of the Universe is small, still, quiet. Connection in any of that cannot happen unless I am silent and the noise subsides and I let that little incessant talker in my head shut up.

In that stillness and quiet, the silence leads to peace, and in that peace, there is connection. I don’t know yet, but perhaps that will be my new story. I’m still listening.

I wrote a really long post about telling our own stories, and I want to stick with that theme for a few days, because I think it’s an important one.

So. I was messing around with the fitness apps on my phone. I was thinking of what a failure I am, STILL with the same apps! I have accounts on some of them that go back *gasp!* to 2011! And it’s not so much that I have the same apps that made me feel like a failure; it was that I haven’t mastered the stuff yet. I’m not running marathons in this sleek, fit, 10%-body-fat muscular vehicle of mine (yet).

I sighed and moved on to my spiritual apps.

I moved them around on my phone screen, different locations and was re-visiting some of the ones I hadn’t touched in a while when it suddenly occurred to me that my sets of spiritual apps and fitness apps are exactly the same in my use of them. The only thing different was how I viewed myself.

I felt like a total failure with the fitness apps.

But I felt pretty damn good about the spiritual apps.

Interesting, huh?

I mean, I don’t meditate every day, I don’t have the spiritual stuff down any more than I have the fitness stuff down. I’ve got 30% body fat and I’ve easily got more than 30% emotional/ego/messed-up spiritual baggage. I mean, the two are no different.

Yet I was feeling like a failure with one because I’m not out there running marathons, and I feel like a winner with the other because, holy shit! I have come SO FAR! And I KEEP ON TRYING.

So, I thought, that’s it. I want to look at the fitness apps and the fitness stuff the same way that I look at the spiritual stuff. I mean, I do really KEEP ON TRYING. I try and try and try! I care about my body and I care about my soul. I keep picking myself up and trying, and isn’t that pretty freaking awesome?!

I’m Re-Writing that Story

My previous story was that I quit a lot. I failed because I didn’t get to the end of a trajectory that I plotted out. My new story is that I am tenacious. I persevere. I keep trying.

I’m not a failure because I haven’t gotten there (yet); I’m a success because I remain interested in things that matter to me.

://

The Stories We Tell

We all have a story that we tell about ourselves and our lives. That story usually starts with what what was told to us.

That is, stories from who raised us, narratives about our formative years, the stories about us crawling, learning to read, playing. Stories of our intelligence, creativity, our strength – or stories about how we lacked any or all of those things.

My parents love stories – my Dad in particular – and would weave threads of narrative around me, my brother, the dynamics between us, and of our travels. Every story of my childhood is entwined with stories of my brother; there are none of just me.

Once we have all started forming our memories and are able to shape our own stories, we tend to add to the versions that were already established. If people told us stories about how smart or capable we were/are, then the stories we tend to continue to tell involve that. If we were told that we were special or unique or amazing or precious, then our stories continue with aspects of that.

When we have a disability, we are told stories that stem from the culture or convictions of those around us.

Those messages can include (but are not limited to) that our disability is something that is given to us to strengthen us, that we need to overcome it, that we can or should strive to be like everyone else without a disability or maybe that disability is a beautiful and intrinsic part of who we are.

Race follows similar narratives – we are told stories that celebrate our heritage, our places of origin (especially if we are American).

As we grow older, we shape more and more of our own story, our experiences are our own and the trajectory we want our story to follow is our choice.

If – say we have a disability – we want to continue the narrative that we were told that our disability is something to overcome, then we can. If we learn about a different way of thinking or believing – that disability is a natural part of the human experience, for example – then we can choose to lean in and enjoy some of the experiences that our disability brings to us, and we can shape our stories differently.

My point is that it’s a choice. The stories we tell ourselves are choices.

When Stories Become Our Life

Our life is our story and our story becomes our life. Some people think that they are just recounting what actually happened, that the life came first and they are simply telling the story.

But really, it’s the story that comes first, because the story is the part that shapes the perspective and belief of the life.

You can look at any situation from a multitude of perspectives and you can choose what perspective you want to approach the situation from.

With that in mind, all of the stories that we tell are from the perspective that we choose to approach it, it’s how we want to tell our story.

My Car Accident: An Example of a Story, Told and Changed

When I was 4 years old, I went through the windshield of a car. My face was shredded – have scars all over my face because of this – a long scar that comes from my head all the way down my forehead and slicing through my left eyebrow. Another scar slices my lip and flows down to my chin.

The car accident itself was an intense experience. And growing up with vivid scars on my face was also an intense experience.

It was all framed in a tragic, kind of poor-Meriah way.

But this is the thing: I never really felt that. In my heart, I never really felt that it was tragic or awful. The car accident was actually one of the most deeply spiritual events of my life, and the knowledge that God exists and was with me was so intense and clear to me in that, that I have always been grateful.

Furthermore, I have also been grateful for the understanding the temporal piece of a physical body at such a young age. I went from being a really cute kid – precious and celebrated for my beauty – to being a “scarface.” I knew I was no different inside, nothing in me had changed, only this facade, so I looked at everyone in the world with new eyes. I knew that if I felt the same inside as a precious, pretty little girl and as a scarfaced “freak” then it went to show that the same must be true of others.

But the draw to make myself a victim and be tragic was strong. I liked the attention that I received as a victim, I liked the drama and tragedy of the story of the accident. I liked that my brother was so worried about me! It was great!

As I grew older, the truth of how I really felt about it all became more important to me than the fun of the drama, and you know what? I was tired of playing a victim, tired of feeling like I had no control over my life.

With this in mind, I reframed my story.

The car accident was something that happened. The result of that happening gave me four things that have profoundly impacted my life:

  1. an unwavering belief in and love for God,
  2. proud flesh
  3. an understanding of the temporary nature of our bodies (and how it has absolutely no connection at all with our spirit) and
  4. a disability.

My story has evolved. Or rather, the telling of it has evolved. I have changed how I tell it because I like the new story better.

How to Tell Your Story Differently

There are two ways to tell your story differently:

  1. You can tell it from a different perspective (like how I did with my car accident), or
  2. You can tell it from how you want it to be: tell a new story

1. Telling it from a different perspective

Telling it from a different perspective can happen through reflection. Think, feel, journal, paint, express an event or a part of your life. Reach for the threads that emerge and spin them into a new story.

I know this sounds kind of hippie-skippie, but the path to looking at events in your life from a new perspective is only one that you can take, and it’s only one that you can understand and flesh out. Do something to bring out your creativity, take your mind off whatever it is that you are looking for a new perspective on, then after engaging in creative pursuit (or meditation, yoga, etc), revisit it and something new will emerge in your mind’s eye/heart.

When that new piece has emerged, really examine it. That is likely the basis for your new perspective.

2. Telling your story how you want it to be: tell a new story

This is a powerful exercise, and I think the key to being successful with it is to stick with what feels really good inside.

What you do in this is you take a notebook or journal and you write out how you want things to be.

I’m not talking like, “I want to hear and I want my cellulite gone and I want my kids to listen to me.” Not that, because each of those sentences focused on a lack or a negative:

  • “I want to hear” – focuses on not being able to hear
  • “I want my cellulite gone” – focuses on something I don’t want
  • “I want my kids to listen to me” – focuses on my kids not listening

Instead, I’m going to focus on how I really want things to be, and only from a positive place, and in the framework of a new story, focusing on real things that happened, and expanding on them:

  • I enjoy communicating with other people and feeling a part of a community. I love exchanging ideas and thoughts and experiences and the energy of new ideas! [note: this focuses on what hearing actually accomplishes for me, NOT on the absence of actual hearing in my life]
  • My body is amazing! It grew 3 children in 5 years! It has carried me up Machu Picchu and has healed after 20 years of smoking! WOW. [note: I am focusing on what my body has actually done for me that I appreciate, because I just want to move from that state of appreciation]
  • It felt so good when I told the kids it was bedtime last night and within 10 minutes, they had their pajamas on and teeth brushed! They are so responsible and responsive! [note: I’m focusing on an actual event that was awesome to increase my own positive feelings and enforce my positive expectations of my kids]

In writing out how you want things or expanding on a something positive that happened, you are shifting your vibe. You are moving into a different space, relishing all the wonderful things that have come your way, celebrating the experience that is your life.

Writing What Has Not Happened: Telling a New Story

I also engage in this kind of story-telling. I write out what I’d like to have happen in the future. I describe the flowers I’d like in my garden, the trees and the vegetables that I grow. I write out how it feels to me as I garden and I can see my kids playing in their tree house, and how wonderful the sunshine feels on my shoulders.

I create new stories of how I want my life to be. Detailed stories.

Is it real? No. But it will be if I keep feeling it out.

Knowing this, I also keep space in my heart for the will of God to be done – or, in other words, for the Universe to unfold as it should. I keep this space because what God or the Universe can create is so much more amazing than anything I could; I’d rather go that route. The best things in my life have happened to me when I had a plan and was working but allowed myself to be flexible, followed inspiration and opened my life to miracles.

Your New Story

In summary, think about the story that you tell about your own life, and if that story feels satisfying to you, if it is serving you by framing you in a way that is helpful. Think about how you want your life to unfold, and the experiences that you crave. Think about how to write out what you want, how to re-shape the story that you have been telling and the story that you want to tell.

Get a notebook. You can do this.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

The Mama Be Strong Wellness challenge is over and I absolutely loved it.

I loved it because (maybe for once?!) I set realistic goals for myself and went in with an intent to establish new habits for myself and to become stronger.

I did both. Here are the three things that I got out of doing a reset:

  1. New Way of Looking at Food:

I wanted to look closely at how and what I was consuming by way of food, and explore new ways of eating that might serve me and my kids better.

I tried the 21 Day Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson and besides it being expensive, I really liked it (my review post is linked here). I did not consistently hit a ketosis state, and I got confused with vog and the “keto flu”, so the there was that. But all in all, it was a fantastic reset and helped me look at food in a way that feels a hell of a lot better than how I was.

2. Some New Habits:

I like exercising usually, but DVD’s can get boring. I like being around other people who also grimace while they try to do ONE.MORE.SET and you know what else I like? I like seeing old grannie lifting weights!

It turns out that my insurance covers a gym membership, so I’ve been happy going. It’s not just “happy” – I think it’s more accurate to say that it’s been “a game changer”. I’ve realized that I can turn into a stressed out bitch from hell when I don’t exercise. Check out my Instagram from the challenge –

Mama Be Strong 21 Day Wellness Reset Challenge, Day 20. I am so happy about this post!! See, I REALLY wanted and NEEDED to exercise. I was so stressed out (about my mom visiting) and the kids are off for summer now (oh, hello, more stress). I took the kids to the gym with me. There is no childcare there, but the gym had assured me that the kids could hang out in the lobby with a device, because there was wifi. Well, when I went, there was no wifi. I was PISSED, to the point where, when I felt that the staff was being insincere in their apologies, “I’m sorry” (but not really looking sorry), I snapped, “you should be!” I ended up downloading a show for Moxie through my iPhone hotspot. Micah had a Switch that did not require wifi. And this mama got to work out, release the stress, get it all feeling good again. And the staff got an apology from this mama too, for snapping at them. ALL IS WELL and exercise is like the great healer/releaser #MamaBeStronger

A post shared by Mama B. Strong (@mama_be_strong) on

So, yeah. Exercise + Me = WIN

The challenge comes in getting it all together and not letting myself get overwhelmed with the exigencies of child-rearing and putting it to the back burner.

3. Spiritual Musculature

I tried to vary my posts in the Mama Be Strong Facebook Community and the Instagram between what was going on physically, spiritually and with food.

I probably put the most emphasis in this challenge to my spiritual musculature. I read from A Course in Miracles every day. I mean, I DID IT.

I listened to Marianne Williamson at the gym (on Audible) while at the gym or cooking, or both. I think I put in a solid two hours DAILY on a Course in Miracles, meditating, prayer and striving to get closer to God.

All of this practice just means that it’s turning into a solid habit now, which was my intention – big yay there!

I still have a long way to go

I feel like this was a great way to focus on habits I want, and I have so much further to go before these are deeply ingrained and an actual part of me.

A Course in Miracles? I’m only on page 79 (out of 669!). I’m only on Lesson 30 in the student workbook! I have a long way to go, just in terms of finishing the Course, let alone in applying these deep, profoundly life-changing concepts.

Food? I still look lovingly at the Doritos in 7-11. I mean, I don’t think I’m where I want to be until I can actually look at them and wonder why I want them.

Exercise: I get tired and my muscle tone is pretty limited. Body fat is at 30%. I have a long way to go before I’m where I want to be.

And that’s all great. I’ll continue chronicling my movement forward on this blog, and hopefully you’ll be joining me!

The community is linked here; Instagram is here.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

This post is a Keto Reset Diet Review, specifically following the plan given in Mark Sisson’s book, The Keto Reset Diet. This post is not an endorsement of the book; it’s just my honest opinion of my experience. There may be affiliate links in this post – please read my disclaimer.

What is the Keto Diet?

“The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates” (from Wikipedia).

As Wikipedia notes, the ketogenic diet (“keto diet” for short) started to help cure seizure disorders. It was noted over time that people on it were losing weight, and it started a trend.

The Keto diet is about lowering your carb intake and upping your fats so that your body will use fats (instead of carbs) as a form of energy. That usually means about 60-75% of your calories from fat, 15-30% of your calories from protein, and 5-10% of your calories from carbs.

Keto Reset Diet Review

Your body will go into a state called  ketosis after a few days of eating like this. That means that your body does not have enough carbs to use for energy and it starts making ketones, (which are organic compounds) that your body then uses instead of those missing carbs. Your body is also burning fat for more energy, hence the weight loss.

Is the Keto Diet a Good Thing?

I”m sure it’s annoying to read, but the truth of the matter is that Keto works for some people and doesn’t for others.

Some people respond fantastically to it and others just don’t.

For people that don’t, their blood pressure might go up, and they may get negative physical reactions to the fat in the keto diet.

For the people that respond well, it can be fantastic on many levels. Seizures may be controlled, people lose weight, have more energy, clearer thinking.

Many people say that it is not sustainable, but in his book,  The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever Mark Sisson begs to differ. He says that plenty of people make this type of eating a lifestyle and it’s fine. It’s really a matter of doing it right.

The Keto Reset Diet

The Keto Reset Diet is what Mark Sisson offers in his book as a way of warming a person up to Keto. Going in gradually, if you will.

He lays out the science, then delves into food lists, recipes, meal plans. If you follow this for 21 days, then you will be ready to actually “go keto” – to fully engage in a keto diet, if you so choose. The point of the Keto Diet Reset is to reset your eating habits, give your metabolism a boost and see if this is something you want to further engage in. No more or less.

My Results

I entered the Mama Be Strong 21 Day Wellness Reset Challenge intending to get stronger. That was my fundamental goal: to be stronger, physically, spiritually and to have a more conscious approach to my food/fuel and eating. I chose to follow the The Keto Reset Diet because it seemed well-thought out, I liked the smarts behind it, and oh, recipes!

What I noticed:

  1. I did get really tired in the beginning of this. The fatigue eased though and I found myself way more clear-headed than usual, with a renewed sense of energy.
  2. I did not crave carbs or sugar. I couldn’t believe it. I really thought I was all about both, but I didn’t understand that with the addition of fats, I would become full – like really satiated – and wouldn’t particuarly want anything.
  3. I enjoyed a fresh take on meals and learning how I could do things differently. I don’t need – or want – carbs with every meal. I had no idea!
  4. Fat is fine: I learned to not be so scared of fat in food. Fat has a purpose: it really fills me up and prevents big-time cravings later.
  5. Keep an eye on the calories. I think it’s easy for me to go overboard with the protein and fat in this because the keto reset diet is about whole food, not calories. But after I was gaining weight, I went over to Mark Sisson’s website and he said to remember that you are still consuming calories. Keep an eye on how much is consumed of what.
  6. It’s expensive. I live in Hawai’i, where food is more expensive than the mainland. The recipes in this book call for a lot of expensive stuff that I wouldn’t normally buy. I did like that it was completely cutting out crap and processed foods though, so I tried to work around the expense and find solutions and substitutions for the more expensive items.
  7. I liked it. This was easy to follow and didn’t feel like a “diet.” I was not measuring everything and obsessing over stuff. I just ate, but kept an eye on moderation in portion size. I really liked tuning out the carbs and sugar – that felt great!

Did I lose weight?

Yes, I lost 5 pounds over 21 days.

Where Will I Go From Here?

I am not feeling the need to change or do much differently.

I would like to keep the carbs and sugar out and down from my regular eating and continue to be inflexible about allowing processed food in my home. I like that.

I also like setting the great example to my kids of eating what I’ve been eating: lots of greens, lots of vegetables, protein and healthy fats. I’m not taking them to McDonald’s anymore. It’s pretty awesome.

Awesome, and also expensive. This is expensive.

One thing that was helpful to me in reframing thoughts on the expense was Marianne Williamson in her book, A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever. She states that people will talk about the expense of good food, and she counters by asking what is cheaper – a strong and healthy body in the long term or continuing with the processed crap in the short term?

So, yes. It’s worth it. I want to get my vegetable garden up soon; this $5.70 lettuce is killing me.

This is a post about grief.

I had been crying so hard and so long that I couldn’t open my eyes properly. They were puffy, swollen up so that seeing through them was a chore. I also didn’t understand why this in particular was hitting me so hard.

I was turning 45, you see.

All I could think of was that I was reaching an age that my brother Dana never would, that I was moving by him and going beyond where he left in this progression of life.

Something about that shift knocked me out and all I could do was walk numbly around and cry uncontrollably, and I mean ugly cry, the kind that twists my face and streams from my nose and wrenches tears from my heart.

I had hearing aid issues and couldn’t talk to my therapist (we talk by phone). I didn’t know who else to go to for help. This type of grief is huge, heavy, engulfing, and my 6-month period of mourning grace has long passed. So I simply did what I usually do: I walked, and cried while I walked.

I felt a nudge to walk a new route.

I walked by a building that said, “hospice” and, with my swollen eyes still leaking relentlessly sad tears, I steadied my way in and found out about a weekly grief group.

I made a note: I was going to go, it looked good, it felt like something Dana was leading me to.

Which made me cry again, more, harder, back to the ugly kind and I went home and let it loose.

This is the thing: there is a part of me that feels that I should not still be grieving Dana. Isn’t grief supposed to be reserved for those who are truly bereft, who never knew what having a fantastic brother was all about?

For 43 years, I was the younger sister of someone who was beloved to me. I was cherished.

What I said, what I thought, had value, intrinsic value in and of itself because it came from me.

In the experience of my relationship with him, I learned what it’s like to love someone without ‘if’s”, “and’s” or “but’s”, to love knowing another’s very worst, their very best and accepting both, without conditions.

It’s about loving the essence of a spirit. 

I was so blessed to experience that.

There is a part of me that says I should count those blessings and be still – because so many people never even experience what a close sibling relationship can be, and I was so lucky to have had that for 43 years. It feels greedy to mourn.

And yet, a part of my heart was cut out. How can I not mourn it’s absence?

The grief group was a gathering of beautiful people, all races and inter-mixed-races, all ages but more old people than not. Many wrinkles, all lovely. People spoke of the pain of their loss, of loneliness. Of where they were in their re-learning of their worlds without someone who had left, be it their child, their spouse, their sibling.

It spoke to me, and I could speak too, cocooned as I was in this cradle of aloha, a space of stillness and understanding among others who also walked this plain of pain and could hold me in their heart and let me stutter through tears, breath and words.

Then an old man broke his silence.

His face was brown like the rich, warm earth, his wrinkles etching his face into a physical frame of wisdom. He expressed at length of loss and love, and then said, “don’t be scared of the dark.”

…don’t be scared of the dark

A Course in Miracles says that our belief in darkness is what prevents the light from coming in. Growing up Baha’i, I was taught that darkness is not in and of itself anything; it’s merely the absence of light. If you walk into a dark room, all you need to do is switch on the light and the darkness no longer exists.

Darkness to me with regard to grief is feeling the separation that seems to live in the realm between where Dana is now – in the next world – and where I want him to be, with me in this physical one. That grief-space, the grief-darkness-world-place is one I lean in to through prayer and meditation and I can feel the strength, power and love from my brother still.

I can feel him. I really can.

I close my eyes and reach in and I can feel that stillness of who he is now – this great, magnificent soul that I love so well, and I recognize him. Overwhelmed with the feeling of  love and connection, the grief-darkness-I-miss-you-I-want-you-back-here-Dana-dammit slips in and the feeling of closeness and of Dana leaves and I am left with only the grief-darkness.

That’s where I see the wisdom in the words, “don’t be scared of the dark.”

The dark is only the dark, it’s the absence of light. My ego is telling me it’s something it’s not, and I slip into the grief-darkness of what I have experienced only by dint of not allowing the light in. My grief – the darkness – is blocking it off.

Dana was born a year ahead of me.

I’m now 45, an age he never got to be.

I’ve physically gone beyond the person that I looked up to for so long, my fearless leader.

Dana & Meriah, 1980, Humboldt County, California

It feels scary to me, a forage into unknown territory, without anyone to tell me how it is, what this should be like, how it can be the best it ever has.

I am tasked in this to not be scared of the dark: to remember that I only need to turn on the light.

The Strong Mama 21 Day Challenge

The Strong Mama 21 Day Challenge  started on May 11th. The post about it is linked here, but in sum, it’s a challenge to focus on strengthening ourselves in 3 ways: physically, spiritually and with attention to what we consume.

The “Mama Be Strong” Facebook group and the Instagram has been a lot of fun for me. It’s challenging to post every day and that keeps me on my toes, as does the accountability.

Here are some highlights:

Mama B. Strong on Instagram – some photos from the challenge

I apologize to the readers out there who are swiping the screen, all “dang, meriah! your sweaty face is just too close there, yo!” Selfies are just weird and I’m still getting the hang of them – hopefully I’ll have the distance better mapped out before the next big thing comes, right?!

Anyway, it’s been hard but good.

Exercise: The Gym & BeachBody Products

I was just doing BeachBody stuff – PiYo and the 21 Day Fix Extreme – when I found out that my health insurance actually covers gym membership! I’m a total gym rat, so I skipped on over.

It is SO REFRESHING to sweat next to other people and see all the various ages and body types in the gym, especially a gym here in small-town Hawai’i. It is a hell of a lot more motivating than popping in a DVD is, but I still do some DVD action because the gym doesn’t offer childcare (no gyms here do – great opportunity for someone to start one!).

Keto

I’m loosely following the The Keto Reset Diet – “loosely” because it seems like all of the recipes contain a lot of ingredients that I never seem to have on hand or are really expensive so I need to substitute.

I’m intrigued by this this different way of approaching food. I have not had a hard time cutting out carbs and sugar out, and I’ve been really surprised by this, to be honest. I thought “carbs and sugar” were my middle name, but it turns out that they really aren’t, so long as I have a lot of protein in me. Interesting! I’m continuing this out to see where it leads.

A Course in Miracles

I”m studying A Course in Miracles, and it is slooooooow going. I’m consistent – I read it every morning – but the text is so intense that I’m lucky if I get through a page a day. It’s often half a page, then re-reading that same half a page again the next day.

“Light reading,” it is not.

But “really amazing,” it is.

I listen to plenty of Marianne Williamson’s work to help me understand it better. I am not sure I’d be able to reframe a lot of the symbolic and Christian concepts in The Course if it were not for Marianne Williamson, so her books (which I listen to on Audible) are indispensable for me.

That’s where I am now – only a few days left of this particular challenge but female-idenfying readers who want to join are welcome over in the group on Facebook!

Many people have asked how to help the people impacted by the volcano here on the Big Island of Hawai’i.

As you know, the volcano fissures and the lava flows are getting bigger and even more people are permanently displaced by the loss of their homes. The evacuations are still in effect. With the ash plumes on Thursday, schools in that area were closed . The whole situation is highly stressful, and help is appreciated.

Because most of my readers are from the mainland United States or abroad (hi, you lovely Australians!), I am focusing on online aid. If locals are reading, I”m sure you know that there are direct donation and volunteer companies out with Salvation Army, all the local banks, Food Basket, Food Banks, and Emergency Disaster Services. If you know of another solid donation avenue, please leave the link in the comments on this post. Mahalo nui.

  1. Pu’uhonua o Puna:

The kid’s school is championing Pu’uhonua o Puna – which is a grassroots organization that sprang up immediately to help: neighbors helping neighbors, Puna Strong. Tthey don’t have anything fancy like a website – it’s just a Facebook page and their GoFundMe in addition to an account set up by Bank of Hawaii. The details (copy/pasted from their FB page) are below.

Bank of Hawaii Account:

Our friends at Bank of Hawaii set up an account in our name – Pu’uhonua o Puna. Drop by or call any branch to make a donation.
Our bank account # is 0094851327. Go to www.boh.com and click on Locations to find a branch. All money collected will go directly to residents impacted by lava activities

They have a local “Hub” going where they accept food, diapers and other physical donations – check out their Facebook page for the latest requests.

2. Catholic Charities

They have a $10,000 grant going, upon which all donations will be added. The money will be used to help out with rent for people who lost their homes. You can donate online here, or by phone at  808-527-4820

3. Red Cross

You can donate money directly to the American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter (linked here) or call them at (808) 739-8109. They are also looking for volunteers for their shelters on the Big Island.

4. AT&T

AT&T has a text-to-donate campaign for people impacted by Kilauea in Puna. You can donate $10 to the Hawaii Community Foundation by texting “VOLCANO” to 50555. 100 percent of the money donated will go to help the victims of the volcano.

5. Go Fund Me – Direct Aid to Help People Impacted by the volcano:

Go Fund Me has a specific page for people who have lost everything from the volcano: Cause: Hawai’i Volcano. The families have their individual pages, collectively linked to the page.

_____________________________

Mahalo nui loa for your care, concern and donations.

I know the people impacted truly appreciate the aloha.

How to Help the People Impacted by the Volcano
note: this is not a photo from the current flow – it’s an older flow, and a screenshot from Wikipedia, so I’m not sure who to credit!

Get Ready!

The Strong Mama 21 Day Holistic Wellness Challenge starts tomorrow, May 11th!

A quick recap on the long post about it:

This Challenge has 3 parts:

  • spiritual
  • food
  • physical/fitness

The point is to find something within each to challenge yourself with.

For myself, I commit to:

Spiritual: Reading and journaling from the Course in Miracles daily for 21 days (there will likely be a lot of Marianne Williamson thrown in via Audible)

Food: 21 days of the Keto Reset Diet (and cookbook) from Mark Sisson

Fitness/Physical: Half an hour everyday of something that gets my heart rate up – PiYo will be my main squeeze, but I will also do my morning yoga with Gaia (15 minutes from Yoga Everyday”). Walk/run also counts (I use the C25K app).

______________________________

Let’s Get Our Groove On!!

In thinking about the challenge starting tomorrow, and any last-minute things that you might want to think about or integrate:

Do you have your food?

Clean your fridge?

Have your plan?

Come up with your exercise strategy?

Feel out what you want your spiritual challenge to be?

Did you..

Write it out?

Make a vision board maybe? (here’s an old post from me on how to make one)

Have an idea of how you will be accountable (if that’s what you want) for the next 21 days?

Did you join the “Mama Be Strong” group on Facebook?

Check out Mama Be Strong on Instagram – great place for photos. Hashtag your photos #mamabestronger

Starting Friday, May 11th, 2018

The challenge will run for 21 days, wrapping up on May 31st.

I’ll be posting daily, and hopefully I’ll see you there!

#mamabestronger

#peaceout

The Big Island of Hawai’i is a volcanic island.

It has been for, well, since forever! It hasn’t stopped being volcanic since the time of it’s birth. Everyone who lives here knows that, and is used to the steady presence of Kilauea, the active volcano, home of the goddess Pele.

I’ve never been much of a volcanic expert – I mean, please don’t think you are going to get anything really educational out of this post! But growing up in Hilo, I was pretty used to talking about what the volcano was up to, or the level of “vog” on a given day.

Kilauea, you see, is a shield type of volcano, as opposed to composite or cinder cone It doesn’t blow up like Mt. St. Helens did and it’s not remotely like the super volcano in Java. It blows it’s lava and steam through vents, slowly and pretty much constantly, kind of like a super bitchy person, always annoyed and blowing off heat.

Back when I was a teenager, the lava was flowing to Kalapana.

(Kalapana was the beach that I wrote about here, that was a pivotal place in my life.)

Kalapana was slowly and steadily wiped out by the lava flows that inched over everything. There was time to move some beloved buildings (like the Painted Church) but usually the flows go slowly, inexorably towards the ocean where they create new land.

That’s Kilauea. I live in Hilo.

Hilo is a rainy big little town about 40 minutes north of Kilauea proper. Or something like that! It’s not in Volcanic Zones 1 or 2.

Take a look at this map, which shoes you where it’s going on right now, in relation to where I am:

The great thing is, we are some distance to Kilauea, yeah?! The not-so-great thing is that we are on an island, so that “great distance” stuff is all relative. We’re really pretty close.

The also not-so-great thing is that again, it’s an island. We are all affected by everything and we certainly always know someone who lives out in Leilani Estates, where the flows are currently happening. I know I do, and my heart really aches for them.

This is what is happening NOW:

(in case the slideshow doesn’t embed, it’s linked here).

It’s a great article and if you are interested or know more people out here, Hawaii News Now is the one to follow. It has the most up-to-date pieces.

As it says, there are now 6 vents – where steam (which is sulphur dioxide and deadly) and lava are coming out (check out that photo in the slideshow of the lava moving down the street…).

It’s scary and yes, it’s personal. We know people who live there and I’m praying for them. They had to evacuate last night and I can only imagine how terrifying that must be.

Prayers, and aloha.

Us, though, my little family of 4 – we are safe.

After the second big earthquake today – which was a 6.9 – the schools were shut and pretty much all of Hilo closed up. The kids were thrilled in that excited way that kids can be with some disaster (I remember Dana and I always being totally psyched with big hurricanes in Fiji).

We are fine. I have Micah on hand, who as a naturally cautious person who loves rules, has all set up. He took that chart that he got from the library on “What to Do in an Emergency” and went to town with his prepping and planning.

All good. I hope. And pray.

Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts.

Why 21 Days?

I was kind of wondering why it seems like everything is set for 21 days. Have you noticed that too? It’s like every challenge, ever is for 21 days.

It’s because that length of time is proven to be enough to really change your habits. They say quitting smoking really takes 21 days – you’ll physically be over it in 21 days (psychologically is a different story though). It’s the same with the power boosts, fitness and eating challenges.

If you do it for 21 days, you’ll be set in a new habit, only this time, it will be a habit you actually want.

The Strong Mama 21 Day Holistic Wellness Challenge

I want to do a challenge too, only I don’t want it focused only on exercise and food, and I don’t want it to be a rigid following of some set system.
Because this is the thing: I was an anorexic/bulimic girl for a long time. I hated my body.
With spiritual pain and ptsd coming out of my seams, I was a cutter and couldn’t stop the pain.
I am 44 now.
I don’t want anything remotely going back to that. Having lost my brother, I now how precious life is and what a gift our bodies are.
With a divorce on my heels, I also want to take deep space for healing.
So a challenge for me needs to be flexible, just like I think we all want ourselves to be in our lives, but committing ourselves to our own growth, strength and yes, healing.

The Challenge:

Let’s do 3 things each day: let’s care of our spirit, care for the fuel we give our bodies, and care for the strength of our bodies.
That is whatever it means to you.

The Physical Piece

For some of you, the physical strength piece may mean working with weights, others with yoga. For others, it might mean chair exercises or running on the beach.
It doesn’t matter WHAT it is; so long as you are engaging that focus.

The Spiritual Piece

For the spiritual aspect, it could mean praying with the Bible every day, or studying the Quran, Torah, a holy book. It could be meditating every day, or dancing under the stars or painting.
Whatever it is, as long as it engages your heart.

The Fuel Piece

For the fuel aspect, it’s figuring out and challenging yourself to a form of fuel for your body that you know works best for you.
That will look different for everyone because everyone’s body is different and everyone knows what’s best for THEM.
The most important thing is to challenge yourself to do things that might not necessarily be easy and  consistently nourish your body in the best way you can.

This is a holistic wellness challenge.

That’s the verb, “challenge,” meaning “invite (someone) to do something that one thinks will be difficult, to test the abilities of“.
It’s not meant to be easy per se; it’s meant to be an avenue in which you can test your abilities to be good to yourself; to care for your body and spirit; to learn how to do the right thing by and for yourself.
Like I said in my last vlog, I’m following some things which I find helpful, which I’ll detail below.

The Fuel Piece

I plan to follow The Keto Reset Diet because it seems most easily do-able with my kids. I’m not going Keto – I’m doing the 21 Day Metabolism Reset that he outlines in his book. Upon finishing that, I’ll be ready for Keto if that makes sense at that point – we’ll see.

But the Metabolism reset one is like “Keto-Lite”.

The Physical Piece

I wake up and turn on Yoga on Gaia This one of the best things I’ve learned about this year. $9.99/month and they have this thing called Yoga Everyday
icon which is 15-17 minutes of a wonderful, short CAPTIONED yoga practice.

It is so good!!!! And so EASY!!

So, I’m totally diggin’ it. I also walk/run as much as I can, swim with my kids. In addition to these, I play on tuning into PiYo (linked below) and some 21 Day Fix DVDs to alternate.

The Spiritual Piece

This is extremely important to me, because I know by now that I get nowhere real fast without it.

I’m going to challenge myself with these:

Journaling – focusing on the positive aspects of daily life, creating the new story of how I want my life

Join Me

I’m only sharing what I’m doing as suggestions in case you want some ideas. However you want to do this, it’s all cool and good. The main thing is to DO IT!

When?

Let’s give us all time to go grocery shopping and get whatever supplies we need, right? So let’s start on

Friday, May 11th, 2018

The challenge will run for 21 days, wrapping up on May 31st.

The Facebook group, “Mama Be Strong” can be a place to post photos of what we are doing (photos of exercise! food! dancing!) and reach out for support and cheerlead one another.

This is also running on Instagram – great place for photos. Hashtag your photos #mamabestronger 🙂

Okay, I’m going to start getting ready. See you on the 11th!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased, honest review. All opinions are my own.

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook and Aha Parenting are the subject of this post.

We will cover:

A-Ha Parenting

My friend Stefanie visited us on the Lost Coast and stunned me with her kid whispering skills. I was completely blown away by her ability to defuse fights between my kids, turn around tantrums and keep everything really fun.

(I wrote all about in this post from 2016). (Which is one of those posts that I enjoy re-reading, but I digress!)

So, Steffie. A-ha Parenting. I was IMPRESSED.

The website goes into just about everything – section on advice for different-aged kids, coaching, all kinds of posts and even a fabulous course (which Steffie said she took). It’s comprehensive – check it out here.

The idea behind it all is to use mindfulness and connection to raise happy kids. It’s about learning to understand where our kids actually ARE, the deeper reasons behind anger, and how to resolve it (check out her examples on limits and you’ll get what I’m talking about).

What I Like About A-Ha Parenting

Confession: nonviolent communication annoys me. It’s so focused on rules and saying things EXACTLY SO that it feels like it’s missing the point. It feels like the self-righteous assholes from Berkeley got together and wrote about how everyone else should talk.

I want peaceful and happy kids – most importantly, I really want kids that are able to feel their way around their own hearts and are able to rely on their own spiritual strength. I want them to enjoy their lives and have fun, and I think learning how to relate to others and deal with conflict is a critical piece in being able to enjoy their lives and have fun.

I like A-Ha Parenting because it teaches those skills.

It teaches those skills in concrete ways that make sense to me. It teaches ME how to be a more peaceful person, and by extension, a more peaceful parent. It teaches THEM how to express themselves, communicate, play.

 Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids WorkBook

This is the only parenting book I can imagine recommending.

Why it’s good:
  • It gets into the science of the brain (like, there are actual reasons why this stuff works)
  • It makes you analyze your own parenting, the way that YOU are so that you can better understand what’s going to work with your children
  • It’s chock full of games that help with diffusing tension, getting kids to listen
  • It’s a WORKBOOK. There are exercises and things that you need to complete that have a point (like a whole chapter on how to stop yelling at your child… the “Vow of Yellibacy”, working with your own triggers and self-regulation)
  • It’s not patronizing or hippie-esque or with that annoying NVC tone that drives me bonkers (– I guess it’s one of my own triggers?! ha!)

In Sum

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook blows me away, as does the whole A-Ha Parenting system.

It feels like it gets right to heart of relationships and the dynamics behind and between them. It offers tools that make a difference, that can really change how you parent and how you interact with your kids.

It’s not for the weak: it takes real courage to examine ourselves and make changes in how we do things. The “Vow of Yellibacy” isn’t easy. Being peaceful isn’t always easy either. But it deeply resonates with me, and having seen the results with my friend Steffie and what Peaceful Parenting looks like in action with someone who is good at it, I AM IN THIS.

I want to be a kid whisperer, too.

The Mama Be Strong vlog about slipping up, focus, and holistic wellness planning is the focus of this post. It’s 10 minutes long and captioned. For those of you that aren’t into videos, I have the summary of the content in written form, and for everyone that is interested, I have links to the books I’m talking about and the Facebook and Instagram communities.,

Vlog 2: Slipping Up, Focus and Holistic Health Planning

Thoughts on Slipping Up

Like I was saying in the vlog, I have a tendency to think in extremes with exercise and eating, which doesn’t make much sense. I mean, I realize in everyday life that slipping up is something that happens: chores sometimes don’t get done, plans don’t unfold the way that I crafted them in my beloved planner. But with those everyday things, I accept that and trust that it’s going to get done tomorrow (or the day after) and I keep moving forward.

What I am trying to do now is to adopt that accepting thinking with my exercise and eating – to give myself grace and trust that I’ll pick it up again tomorrow (or the day after) and that I’ll keep moving forward.

The Spiritual Component to Weight Loss and/or Wellness

I talked about A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever by Marianne Williamson, which is giving me a lot to think about. She dives into the real reasons behind why we might have negative relationships with food or our bodies, and the spiritual principles behind make it feel connected to me.

Getting skinny isn’t my goal here. Sure, I’d like to lose weight and become physically stronger (Michelle Obama arms! #goals). But I’m not in this to GET SKINNY. I’m in this to improve my overall life, to learn about eating choices that make me happier, to figure out how to love myself more, to fear less and to live more fully.

Towards that end:

Feng Shui for Wellness

Feng Shui is a concept I really believe in (and will talk more about later). It’s essentially the art (and science) of space arrangement to improve the flow of energy in your life. I talked about this book:

 Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Free Yourself from Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Clutter Forever I talked in the vlog about how my former boss (and forever-mentor), Sarah Dunham, gave me this book years ago and it really changed my life. I wore that copy out and went and bought this hard-covered version and am back to using it.

I have been busy feng shui’ing my house and while it never felt bad to begin with, it feels amazing now. So, feng shui definitely goes in my bag of “Awesome Things for Holistic Wellness.”

Food Planning

 Last of all, I talked about a new book I am working my way through, Mark Sisson’s The Keto Reset Diet (and I’m pretty excited about a new one coming out, The Keto Reset INSTANT POT Cookbook!!!!. I’ve known about him for a few years – someone reading this blog recommended him to me, actually (thank you!!) and he’s a veritable fount of information on health and wellness. Check out his website here.

In Summary

I’d love it if you joined the community over on Facebook, on Instagram, or just connected with me here. I love meeting others that are into this stuff and are trying to move forward in the same direction.

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach was a place that I stumbled upon when we first came back to Hawai’i after Dana died.

Kalapana – the magnificent black sand beach that I loved as a high schooler in Hilo – was gone, wiped out by Kilauea’s eruption in ’89. I wanted to go to a black sand beach and after doing some search, it seemed that Punalu’u was the most easily accessible, gorgeous and large. black sand beach left on the Big Island.

We went there.

I wrote this post about it. Punalu’u black sand beach blew me away, not least because of all of the green turtles just hanging out like big beasts of water and magic.

Now that we’ve actually made the leap and moved, I want to be sure we spend time in these special spaces, that we don’t take anything at all for granted.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

This island means so much to me.

Because this island is rich in history, culture. It’s steeped, drenched in beauty, every kind of beauty. The rain forests, the desert forests. The fresh lava, old lava, new soil.

New life.

Just like ours – we’ve got a new life going on.

So, back to Punalu’u

History of Punalu’u

Punalu’u is about an hour and twenty minutes south of Hilo. It’s thought to be the original landing site of the Polynesians who first came to Hawai’i 2,000 years ago.

Punalu’u (which means “landing spring”) has served as an oasis in the Ka’u desert for generations. It has provided its inhabitants and legions of Hawaiian warriors during the reigns of Keoua and Kamehameha with fresh water, fish and stones. *

It also has 4 pre-contact heiau (Hawaiian temples) in the immediate vicinity, steeped in history and culture (for more on this fascinating subject, please turn to Wahi Pana o Punalu’u: The Sacred Sites of Punalu’u).

Punalu’u black sand beach is now what the area is most known for. It is also a protected place for green sea turtles, and one of the few places on the planet in which you can find them outside of the ocean. As such, and due to it’s easy proximity to the main highway, there are masses of tourists visiting daily.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach: The Magical Space of Turtles, Black Sand and Good Vibes

We were going to swim.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

But first we went over to hang out with the turtles for a bit.

We saw 3 right there, just chillin’ on the warm black sand (this part was kind of rocky; other sand on the beach is silky-fine). I got kind of excited when I saw that there were 3, because hey! I HAVE THREE KIDS!

I wondered if there was another turtle around – one that would represent me, Mama Turtle.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach: The Magical Space of Turtles, Black Sand and Good Vibes

Sure enough, there was – and that turtle reminded me of myself, when I’m aching for some solitude and sit a ways apart.

Ha!!!

Four turtles, alright!

The surf is strong in Punalu’u, as are the tides and water. It’s not something I’d be comfortable with my kids swimming in, personally.

So we headed over to the large parking lots by the campsites and bathrooms.

There is an awesome large pool that is protected by a sea wall there, with lots of kids splashing around inside.

Mine joined them.

I got to be a Mama Turtle for a few minutes and just enjoy the warmth of the sand and watch everyone playing.

Then one of the little girls playing came out of the water, “Auntie, I’m cold!” I wrapped her up in a towel we had and she sat next to me and we talked story. There were no other adults around, and that always blows my mind. How in some ways, Hawai’i is the land that time forgot. I can’t even IMAGINE parents letting their kids play unattended in the water like that, in California (can you?!).

That makes me sad.

Childhood should be safe and free, like it seems to be for those kids who were playing with mine that day.

Well, my kids came out of the water eventually and an older siblings of the other kids came and called them back to their families (they were all cousins)

Micah took this photos of the littles and me.

And this one of Moxie – he was amazed by her doing the split on the sand

I took this one of Mack, who was not happy about leaving.

…and you probably won’t be happy about leaving, either. Punalu’u is a gem, a real place of beauty and history and I can’t wait to go back and explore more.

________________________________________________

Things to remember as you go:

  • This is a sacred spot for some: treat it with respect
  • Don’t disturb the turtles
  • If you have kids/want to swim in a safer pool, go by the campsites – and bring the floaties!
  • Plenty of room to picnic, frolic – so bring the munchies and frolic-ables (note: looks like there is some tourist stuff sold around there: but no stores, shops, cafes or anything; bring what you want to consume)
  • Lots of room to park – large lot and plenty of parking by the road too
  • They have regular bathrooms and outside showers in addition to port-potties
  • Camping is allowed

For More Information:

Directions and Map:

Punalu’u Cultural Preserve & Black Sand Beach

hawaii-county.gov

google maps

Book Resources:

Photos from This Post

(for sale)

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

This is a post about the voyage of the Hokule’a, a Hawaiian canoe that has traveled around the world.

This post has photos and videos. The photos were taken by me and are available for purchase at Meriah Snaps; my Patreon contributors will be getting one mailed to them at the end of this month).

There is something about the interconnectedness of us and the stars that makes my heart swell and threaten to burst. Echoes of some ancient past, one in which we were stars, filters down to the star-dust in my blood.

Imagery of stars, poems of stars being affected by the life of a flower, visions of nebulas and a night sky alive are among my favorite things.

I’m adding the voyage of the Hokule’a to that.

the voyage of the hokule'a

The Hokule’a (pronounced “hoh-koo-leh-ah”) is a canoe built in the traditional Hawaiian style. It has sailed all over the world, using only the stars and the ancient methods of navigation.

Something in all of that moves me, and I know I’m not not alone.

The Voyage of the Hokulea

The Hokule’a sailed out of Hilo in 2014, and has been consistently sailing all around the world since, on a mission of aloha, connection, empowerment, and education.

I was thrilled to be allowed to chaperone Micah’s class on a field trip to visit the Hokule’a, meet the crew, hear their stories, and learn about their world-wide voyage.

The children chanted greetings in ‘olelo (Hawaiian), a teacher also chanted a thanks in ‘olelo, and at the end, the students gathered again to chant mahalo.

It was incredibly moving; these young students honoring their kupuna, these courageous, kind and highly knowledgable crew; and the crew sharing with them.

Chills up my spine; it felt like what true education should be: hands-on, authentic, from the heart.

Tthe original voyage of the Hokule’a left Hawai’i in the 1970’s. It profoundly changed people on a soul-stirring level. For the first time in most people’s lives, they could look to the voyage and see their culture in action, the legacy and history of the ancient Hawaiian Way Finders.

The original crew was honored at the Merrie Monarch Festival:

The Original Hokule'a Crew Honored at Merrie Monarch (starts at 45:00)

Hula, created and danced in their honor.

Hokule'a Honored Through Hula

It feels like the Hokule’a is so much a metaphor for everything I love: remembrance of the power within us all, our strength and ability to unite ourselves in fundamental ways down to the roots of who we are as human beings.

It harks a call to Culture and her ancient ways, and powerfully draws us to our stars and the guidance and song they sing within us still.

Mahalo nui, Hokule’a

The Voyage of the Hokule'a - A Journey by the Stars Through the Seas

Photos of the Hokule'a

Photos of the Hokule'a

For sale! Click here