There is something pretty special about being able to say, "yea, I lived in Hawaii for a year."
From the look on my face, I can see that there were times I wasn't quite sure what I had gotten myself into. And I'll be the first to admit, I don't always 'point positive', but here are some things I can say I'm proud of having done, accomplished, healed & faced. Because the intention for coming here, in a nutshell, was to save my life....for starters, I'm proud to still be here.
AND, I tried things, like surfing (discovering it's not really my bag, but cool to watch.) I felt the power of the pacific & Pele. I tasted amazing things like fresh bananas, leche and dragon fruit +++ & will be hard pressed to eat them from a grocery store in the future. I swam naked in the ocean after dancing my prayers on many occasions & will continue to do so. I ate a lot of poke bowls staring at the ocean.
I cultivated my honoring of solitude, slowness, enoughness, worth of taking up space. The beauty of ceremony, ritual and there being no right or wrong way of doing, or being for that matter, as long as your committed to no harm to self & other.
I've tended a my broken heart, bearing witness, as opposed to trying to distract it away. And I'm still here. And still tending as my roomie can attest as I cried like a baby yesterday.
I lived an intent statement created as I searched my edge.
In this taking pause & reviewing the past year I recognize I did a lot solo & have the selfies to show for it & I desire, in the future, to have less selfies and more group shots (or at least one other).
I met amazing people I call friends.
And had the privilege of guiding young people on their very own Hero's Journey.
I see their hard work for understanding & healing as a reflection of mine....and so much more could be said, but I'll leave it at that.
And because I can't take everything with me as I prepare to leave the island in a month, heeding the next call. As I bring this time to a close, in quiet reflection, medicine walks, severances, releases, letting go & shedding....as a reminder of the solid, heartfelt growth I accomplished here I'd like to share some notes, from my students, from the kudos jar of Kuleana- all anonymous. May it serve as a reflection of what I gave myself this year.
-#1 mad twerkin' skills
-your guidance, reassurance and empathy are always so comforting. Thank you for lighting the way for so many.
-For the epic fire fun
-thank you for taking care of everyone's wellness needs & being so fun & helpful in the process
-for taking care of us
kudos to jenn and her loving, kind, and gentle spirit
-for your gentle firmness
-for being awesome
* with a flower drawing: "Jen-you are very open have huge heart tords helping people"
-Kudos to Jen for being a caring mentor
-Kudos to Jen for keeping it real.
-for being incredibly supportive towards students and 4 being an overall amazing staff
-Kudos to Jen- Understanding-laid back
-kudos to jen for making sure everyone gets to enjoy the beauty of music. You're an amazing soul with so much compassion.
-Kudos to jenn for being a great wellness guide who respects students' needs.
-Jen, you always make me laugh & smile. You have such a caring attitude towards us students & have a heart of gold!Your dance moves & your taste in music is awesome.
-Kudos to....Jen! Your take on the world is unique and I think you have been able to take in a lot of wisdom because of it. I appreciate all of your concerns and actions that help keep kuleana safe. You make telling a hard thing about yourself much easier because of the culture you have helped build here. I appreciate you.
And one last thing, a note left to me by a student upon her departure. Received after a tremendously challenging shift. One that had me wondering if I'd come back to the island last December when I left for holiday.
Dear Jen <3,
I am sad I didn't get to see you/work with you this week. I am leaving this Sunday. But regardless, of this past week. I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you.
You are so strong, open, compassionate, empathetic, adventurous, accepting, radiant being. (I could keep going.) It's been a honor getting to know you. And I thank you for your positive impact that you made just by being you. (Also, Thank you for introducing me to hawaiian Wisdom Cards.)
I just want to wish you so much happiness, love, peace, fullillness (not sure I spelled that right), and self forgiveness with anything & everything that you do. I hope the job you want as a travelling nanny really works out for you. You deserve so much happiness, peace, fullillness, love and self forgiveness.
Best wishes & warm regards,
So that's it. I could go on but the sun is finally out & I'm gonna go swim before I start back to work tomorrow.
Then I'm on a boat y'all!!