Being back in Maui has felt absolutely amazing. Restorative. Balancing. Centering. Like I can feel myself again. Like I can breathe. Yes, I have the maximum amount of bias one can have and we all know Hawai'i in quintessentially peaceful, but that's not all it is. It's the light in my home. It's the smell of the flowers in the air. It's the space from people (even those that I love). It's the slowness of the pace and lifestyle. Here, if I move too quick, it's noticed. Here, nature, the traffic, the people almost demand that I slow down.
And I am so grateful for that.
As well as...
1. Falling over in yoga.
Yoga teachers always say, "if you're not wobbling or toppling, you're playing too safe." I realized lately that as brave as I am, I play safe a sh*t ton of the time. We love comfort. We hate falling. But the fall is humbling. And the fall is where the growth happens. In a strange way, I'm not afraid to fall, I'm afraid to beat myself up and shame myself when I fall. I'm committed to letting myself laugh. Life is hilarious, after all... if we let it be.
2. Indian music.
I have been living, breathing, yoga-ing and writing to this peaceful, tranquil spiritual music lately. I have always loved these sounds, but recently in an inversions yoga class, this was the majority of the playlist and I just melted, centered, awakened. Here's what I've been playing.
3. Ho'oponopono for myself.
Ho'oponopono is a Hawaiian forgiveness practice and to me, it's the forgiveness practice of all forgiveness practice. Quite literally the big kahuna. With my New Year resolution to be to experience true, sincere, unwavering self-love, I felt moved to start with self-forgiveness. The other night, I stood chest deep in the ocean at dusk, gazing off at Lana'i in the distance and intuitively started the prayer as I held my heart and belly:
Please forgive me.
I love you."
I've always been a book worm. As a kid, I had a book in my hand quite often. But as responsibilities stacked and I started prioritizing more hectic activities, I really let this delight slip away from me. I can't believe I just said "delight." But really, that's what it is. Therapeutic. Calming. Peaceful. Delightful. This has felt like a warm compress to my soul and I'm doing it almost everyday again. As it's been whispered around and recommended to me a few times, I'm currently reading Midnight Library by Matt Haig.
5. Wall pieces vs. art.
In furnishing my new home, I've been trying to figure out what always feel the hardest to me: the walls. I was looking at prints, paintings and photos within the tones and theme of my place and just felt so averse. It finally occurred to me: it's all about pieces. Tapestries in shadow boxes, hanging beads, dried palm fronds and rustic wooden shelves lined with woven baskets and ceramic vases. I want it textured, imperfect, 3-dimensional, alive, to see the hands of the artist in the piece. That's my vibe.
6. Working early, ending early.
Having lived in a few different timezones over the past two years, I've gotten to taste what it's like working on EST, PST and HST (Hawai'i time). In other words with PST/California as my base timezone, I got used to starting my workday around 12 pm and working until late when I lived in Puerto Rico (3-4 hours later) and the complete opposite now in Hawai'i (2-3 hours earlier than PST depending on daylight savings). As a lover of my morning sleep, the earlier schedule felt like literally the only negative thing about living in Hawai'i.
To my surprise though, I've been waking early much more naturally. And I've been able to end the workday earlier as a result. Think: 7 am - 3 pm. I feel like I can get so much more done and you know, actually live to see the light of day. I still don't know my favorite - there are pros and cons to each, but it may be worth a try.
7. Rahua Shampoo
I've been using this for about three years and it's truly one-of-a-kind. It smells like smoky palo santo, which is strange for some, but I like it. It's grounding and leaves just the slightest scent that isn't that weird human-mixed-with-fruity-floral smell that most shampoos leave. It's a little pricey, but it's quality and of course so, so clean. There is nothing in it that susses me out - and I am easily sussed out when it comes to beauty ingredients. And yes, it leaves your hair fresh and clean, but not dried out or sticky.
8. Sahara Rose's Highest Self Podcast.
I've been listening to this podcast semi-regularly for the past year or so and I just love what Sahara brings to the table. It actually kinda freaks me out how much we have in common (breakups around the same time last year with the same downloads, love for sober dance parties, tropical places, grounded spirituality, etc.). She has inspired me a lot recently and it's been cool to see her on a strange parallel journey.
9. House plants.
Old news, I know, but I just recently bought five new house plants (2 big, 3 small) and I am swooning over how much life and luxury it brings to the space. Actually, now that I think about it, they make the space the definition of luscious (my favorite word): verdant and opulent.
10. Prism light.
The old tenants of my home left only one thing behind: a string of prisms dangling from the top of the window pane. In the afternoon, they catch the sunlight and speckle it in soft rainbow prisms across my kitchen and floor. That ethereal glow warms me in a way I can't quite explain, but I am grateful for.
11. Therapy breaks.
This felt edgy to write because I am VERY pro-therapy. I have benefitted immensely by having a safe and trusted support system in place to check myself, validate my feelings and find release and clarity. I believe everyone could spend about a year in therapy and really transform as a person, partner, and friend. However, there came a time for me recently where I found that I'd actually feel worse after therapy... and not in the good, sore-after-a-workout kind of way. It felt like I was getting back in mud I had moved through. It felt like I was swirling down a drain I didn't even need to go down. I found that what I needed was very embodied change. Not cerebral, cognitive stuff.
Again, there is a time, there a place and I LOVE my therapist as a guide on my journey, but as of now, my weekly meetings feel unhelpful. I've dwindled my sessions down to once per month and right now, that feels absolutely right. For those of you who are against therapy or haven't done it, this message is not for you. But for those who have been and are hitting some walls... sometimes the best therapy is to live, breathe, dance and apply. Don't be afraid to take breaks.