Alo Ha-Ha


Dear Friends,

Why the “ha-ha” in the title? Because when I think of my recent time in Hawaii, I must chuckle as I am reminded that “Life is what happens as we are making other plans.” The narrative below will explain. As does the photo above, taken the afternoon prior to our morning seafaring excursion.

I have heard from a number of you about my blogging silence, and there were some
requests to share a bit about the Hawaii retreat. First, I’d like to repeat
something I noted a while back. I learned in a class for reluctant writers that
in order to blog successfully, become established, become a “name” – one should
blog a minimum of once a week, preferably twice. Now I’d like to share something
I learned from my own healing: disregard the “shoulds” – live in the moment.
Lately many of my moments have been involved with writing, but writing client
reports and summaries. So my passion for the written word is being satisfied,
although a good deal of my readers seem to want a bit more. So please bear with
me as I problem-solve the matter.

Meanwhile, let’s talk “aloha.” And I do mean aloha. The deeper connotations of
this term are about living in harmony and respect with all sentient forms. This,
I know, is one of life’s great lessons, one of the lessons of healing, and a
concept to be processed over and over as we progress with our experience on the
planet. My Big Island adventure taught me much about this, and how “going with
the flow,” not resisting, is a way to relax in the present moment and derive
full benefit from the now.

I had been to the Hawaiian Islands three times before, twice to Maui and once to
Kawaii. All three visits were special and wonderful, but I did not tune in or
connect the way I did on this, my first visit to the Big Island. My arrival on
Hawaii was my first time to the islands in about twenty years. As I debarked the
aircraft I was immediately greeted by a wonderful pervasive fragrance of plumeria. I
could also strongly feel the intense energy of this magical location.

I arrived at the retreat center early, two days ahead of event schedule. My
plan was to steal a few days R and R before the actual retreat began. It didn’t
quite work that way, as some participants arrived early and I was the sole
member of the welcoming committee on the premises at the time. All it meant was
our community began ahead of schedule. Everyone was positive, pleasant, and
motivated. We shared food, anecdotes, some of us even ventured to the famous “Huggos”
for Lava Floes – a yummy rummy milkshake.

Then, on Sunday, the retreat began in earnest, and along with it came an
uninvited and unwelcome visitor- a nasty respiratory bug. It seems this may have
been transported from the mainland. It felled one of our presenters for a time,
and had a few others operating in low gear with some discomfort and fatigue. I
found myself called upon day and night, teaching additional classes during the
day, and ministering to the afflicted during the night. I was also frequently
called upon to be the “legs” for those who were bedridden. The kitchen and
living/teaching areas were on the first floor, the bedrooms were located above,
accessed only by a double flight of stairs. There were myriad ways the situation
could have played out. Until just prior to the trip, my legs, especially the
right one, were quite tender. A quick review here: Once I healed from
Parkinson’s, other conditions emerged in the form of leg and foot orthopedic
issues. In the last four years I’ve been in an orthopedic boot twice, and dealt
with swollen knees/ankles and pain on and off as I attempted to balance activity and rest.
Just in time, my legs became trustworthy, and carried me up and down stairs what
seemed like hundreds of times a day, joyfully! Haola!

I was busy during the day, and sleeping intermittently at night, as evening was
the time I did energy work to help ease the discomfort and coughing of friends
and colleagues. Needless to say, I was up close and personal with “the bug” on
many occasions. The good news is: I was never overtaken. Myself and Candy,
another presenter, were roommates and worked on each other whenever we could. I
ran energy on her; she doused me with her essential oils, especially “Thieves.”
At one point we both felt some scratchiness in ears, nose and throat, however it
came and went in a matter of a few hours. We were working our energetic tushes
off, in close contact with a very difficult infection, and managed not to
succumb. Haola again!

Now here’s what I mean about going with the flow. Had someone put a crystal ball
before me and said: “Here’s what your trip will look like: You’ll arrive early
thinking you’ll be getting some down time, but that won’t happen. Then some of
the people in your group will become ill, and you will be caring for them and
teaching additional classes. And, oh, by the way, the temperature on the island
will be the coldest in twenty years. And the ocean swells will be the most violently
intense in twenty years. And yes, you’ll get your whale and dolphin excursion,
but you, who thought you were immune, will become seasick for the first time in
your life.” Hmmm- sounds like an offer I may have easily refused. And I’m so
glad I didn’t. The adventure was nothing like I imagined- cold temperature? rampant respiratory bug? seasickness? no down time? What could be a possible positive take away from all this? I’ll tell
you what- I handled it, with competence, joy, and most of all gratitude. So
grateful that I was well enough, mobile enough, strong enough, together enough –
to make it all work. Teaching extra qigong classes and doing more energy work
brought benefits to me as well as my intended beneficiaries. I was on fire with
purpose and direction, so much so that my return home seems a bit anticlimactic.

And I won’t keep you wondering about the rest of the group. Those who were ill
recovered nicely, and the event accomplished its purpose. Our fearless leader, Judith, regained enough of her health and voice to join the ocean excursion and powerfully summon the whales from the depths- Haola! And the community that formed, around adverse conditions in Paradise, was a strong and compassionate one. With no complaint, retreatants took on extra kitchen duties and more. I was reminded of what Dr. Pang’s medicine-free hospital in China must have been like, where everyone’s focus was
on healing the self and each other, and life was lived with that in mind. For
myself, the benefit of teaching extra qigong classes and performing fachi
frequently just made me healthier and further strengthened my immune system. The group saw by example the benefits of a healing (medical) qigong practice.

My two weeks in Hawaii taught me so much and showered me with blessings. The
reflection here is the most basic and superficial review of the trip. This
retreat, like all intentions for personal growth, is the gift that keeps on
giving. Haola!

Please join me this Sunday for an hour of discussion, Q&A, sharing insights and helpful hints around PD, and chronic conditions. All related topics are welcome subjects. I am particularly interested in how people are handling the world-wide challenges this winter is presenting- extreme cold, torrential rains, heavy snowfall, being housebound, etc. Another topic that could be of interest is oil pulling. After some research I have decided to try this ayurvedic technique. Have any of you out there done this? Results? Your input is welcome. The link, phone number and events ID are below:
Hope to “visit” with you on the air.
phone: 425 440 5100 event id: 200414

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