There have been two places in my life where I've felt "home". One is Boulder, Colorado and the other is Maui, Hawaii. I've only lived on Maui for two and a half years but I can honestly say that it calls on and nurtures my soul like no other place I've ever been to.
But the funny thing is that it's not because of it's beautiful beaches, perfect temperature and gentle breezes. It's not because of the great tasting healthy food, the welcoming vibe and diverse culture. It's also not because of the amazing snorkeling, ocean activities or hiking. It's not even because of it's awesome yoga classes and unsurpassed sunsets! Its because Maui is alive! That's right! Because the "life force" or "mana" (as they call it here on Maui) is rich, vibrant and alive, breathing inspiration, health and well-being into everyone and everything that lives here. The "mana" surrounds these islands and ocean like a blanket of loving creative life energy. I also like to refer to is as "The Aloha".
The word "Aloha" is NOT the Hawaiian way of saying "Hello" or "Good-bye" or "Fare-Well" which is how the average dictionary defines it. If you talk to some of the local Hawaiians or to my friend, Richard DeLeon, Hawaiian Kahuna, Herbalist (direct descendent of the last Hawaiian King Kamehameha), he'll tell you that Aloha means "unconditional love" or "the common breath of life that we all share". Aloha is an energy field that pervades these amazingly beautiful islands. When I first moved here I quickly started to draw the distinction of whether I was being "in" the Aloha or "outside of" the Aloha. Being "outside" of the Aloha felt like I was a separate individual going about my day fulfilling my personal needs, goals and desires. Probably how most of us relate to life on a daily basis. Being "in" the Aloha feels like moving with and through an energy field that connects all of us together in an environment of mutual awareness, interdependency and support. Life is a vital network of energies and beings, connected and pulsating within a common reality and experience. And as you can imagine, the difference of experience of being "in" and "outside" of the Aloha, is NOT subtle.
"Aloha" is NOT a concept created in the minds of the first Hawaiians a thousand years ago. "Aloha" is a very palpable, tangible experience that is available to everyone that spends time in Hawaii. In my experience it is an energy that not only exists, but thrives, transforms and heals on these islands. It is akin to "the force" or to "grace". And again, it is NOT subtle. It feels like being very present. It feels like being loved by nature and being connected to and part of the environment. The air takes on a quality of thickness and substance where you feel it connecting you by it's touch to the distant hills and the clouds. The water takes on the attributes of silk and softness and becomes even more "alive". It is the experience of being part of something greater than ourselves and transcendent of our separate egos. And if you're already good at doing that, then being on Maui just fuels the fire that much more and invites in an even greater opportunity to take you on a journey you've never had before. Beyond your imagination. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? Almost unbelievable, right? Well it IS unbelievable. Even inconceivable . . . by the mind!
I think that at one time the energy known here as "the Aloha" existed everywhere on the planet. People tell me "well of course you like hanging out in paradise". And yes, this IS paradise. But the whole world was once paradise. I feel that this is what life was meant to be like. Like "paradise". And the more we built square houses, and power lines and highways and polluted the skies and waters . . . the less paradise it became. And as we undermine, obstruct and pollute "the natural world" not only do we "harm the environment", but we also dampen the presence of the energy that I'm talking about and numb our abilities to experience the "force" or "mana" of nature. Of "our" nature. On Maui, the Natural world is still the predominant force and presence here. And there are less and less places on the planet that you can say that about. The skies are clear, the waters clean, the sealife is vibrant and healthy and the land is fertile and bountiful. The recent volcanoes here still vibrate with the primal raw life force of creation. And, for the most part, the people that live here know and respect the fact that there is no separation between the well-being, health and vitality of humanity and of Mother Earth. We are one.
I've created a yearly Maui Event. It's about my desire to share the experience that has truly changed my life in many ways. I've designed this Maui Event to support and nurture you from all sides while addressing all of your senses. Starting with your luxury accommodations at the elegant Four Seasons Resort. To beginning your day right with some quality time with your Self. You can choose from a little morning yoga on the beach or a leisurely stroll or Jacuzzi; followed by some time in the healing waters of Maui. Kayak or paddle board and let's take a closer look at these amazing humpback whales. Or let's just snorkel a bit along the beautiful reef along Wailea Beach or Turtle Town. Our excursions to interesting sacred, natural and historic sites and towns are entertaining, educational and stimulating. The food is nothing less than world-class and extraordinary BUT nothing compares to ending your day with a glass of wine on the beach watching the sun go down. Maui sunsets are world famous. People line up along the beaches an hour before as if they're going to the premier of the summer's long anticipated blockbuster drive-in movie. However, you'll soon realize that the true blessing and gift of Maui is to be felt from within. It is a very real opportunity to experience the unexplainable. The unthinkable gift. The unspeakable shift. We have the opportunity to breath in and be present within the Aloha of Hawaii, of life, mana in its purest form.
Maui reminds us that life IS a miracle. Not in some abstract philosophical or religious sense, but in a real life tangible experience that we can all partake in. The way life was originally designed and created to be. An effortless yet profound miracle. With every breeze, every scent, every warm touch of the sun, every breath you take, every move you make, every step you take, I'll be watching you . . . Oh, sorry, that's a Sting song. I love Maui. Can you tell?