Last week I came back from 2 weeks in, what I can only describe as, ‘God’s earth’. Hawaii. My two kids, Holly and Jacko, and our favourite holiday pal, Mel. We mostly spent the time on a cruise sailing around the islands and finished in Honolulu for a few days. It was the BEST holiday I’ve ever had. I’d like to indulge you with some of the takeaways I had, as it was so significant.
We swam with turtles, paddle boarded, kayaked through waterfalls, zip-lined across Jurassic park landscapes, parasailed into the clouds (135 metres high), we swam, we saw rainbows, we watched the sunset on top of a volcano. Each experience elevated our sense of favour in our life.
There is this concept at the moment that people refer to as ‘forest bathing’. It’s the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. It’s not new. It originated in Japan. But many people on social media think it’s an amazing new concept and there are ‘forest bathing’ walking groups popping up everywhere. I think we’ve forgotten how medicinal nature is. It works. I feel calmer, happier and more centred and I know nature has played a big role.
‘I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order’. John Burroughs.
There is a cost to creating.
I read/inhaled Elon Musk’s biography. If you haven’t read it, then do yourself a favour. He has built shuttles that can go to space and return to earth, he is planning for humans to live on Mars, has helped create the only profitable solar energy company in the world, built electric cars and shared the designs so other companies can benefit. His mind, his success and his story is mind blowing. He is a genius. Yet it comes with a cost. Relationships, reputation, public scrutiny, money, to say a few. He has chosen the hard road. Embarking on new things (whether they are relationships, products, businesses, health – whatever it is) will require sacrifice. There is no easy path. Choose one way or the other but if you choose the easy path, don’t complain if you don’t get the change you seek.
‘Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals’. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Demand photos with your ‘teenagers with rights’.
Many of you will be able to relate to the ‘I have rights’ speech made by our growing children as they move towards adulthood. And yep, they do. They are real. So is the struggle.
I wanted to capture the time together. They did not. I wanted to look back and say to myself “I loved that moment”. They did not. Well bugger them. I paid for the trip. I am demanding photos. So I did. They are not adults yet. I am still the boss. Pick your battles and this was one I was not losing.
“All children have rights and those rights must be protected”. Novak Djokovic
Unless it is about capturing family moments on camera.
People don’t make you mad.
We sailed with Norwegian Cruise Lines around the islands of Hawaii. It was the most impressive customer service experience I’ve ever been a part of it. Their organisation was outstanding, every single staff member (900 of them) for a ship of 2000 passengers, were friendly and could not help enough. Nothing was a problem. Yet some of the passengers had not yet removed their grumpy pants.
Passengers spoke to the cruise staff dripping with entitlement, they ‘demanded’ a better room, they barked food orders to the waiting staff. Yet the staff just smiled on. They treated all of them with respect and kindness – even when they didn’t deserve it. I had a conversation with one of them after a guest had downloaded on them. Apparently, the orange juice was meant to be ‘on the side’ and not mixed with the champagne. Who knew?
The staff member reminded me. “People don’t make you mad. You have a choice. It’s their stuff. It’s not personal”.
‘Do not allow unhappy people to make you sad. Don’t let angry people make you mad. Don’t let people that are stressed, stress you out. Always protect your energy and what you allow in your circle’. June Archer.
You can slow down to speed up.
I go fast. I think fast. I make decisions fast. I work fast. But I make mistakes. I forget conversations. I am impatient. It’s not ideal.
The Hawaiians, especially the ones from the less commercialised islands, like Big Island (Hilo and Kona in particular) know how to do life. I am sure they are not without stress, heartache and life’s challenges. Yet my experience of them is that they are present. They see you, really look into your eyes, and take the time to ask and question and wait for the answer. They are not rushing to the next thing or giving you the ‘courtesy’ of asking “how are you?”. They seem to mean it. It slows you down. It feels right. I started doing the same. My thoughts have greater clarity and things are flowing at a much better speed.
Their presence is my present.
‘I’ve learnt that sometimes we need to slow down to speed up. Busy and faster doesn’t always lead to bigger and better’. Robin Sharma
I learned so much more. I checked emails only twice. I was hardly on social media. And mostly I stopped, I breathed, I laughed and I lived.
Mahalo and Alooooha!