Every Moment Matters

Sunset 1-10-15

Yesterday, when I snapped the photo above, a driver of a jeep (going about 35 mph) hit a cyclist. After hearing the loud noise, I turned around to see pieces of metal flying. Initially, I thought the jeep’s tire exploded but then I saw the driver and the passenger get out of the vehicle and rush to the front of the car, looking at the ground in shock. Immediately, I knew they had hit someone. My assumptions were confirmed as an ambulance arrived on the scene and the EMT workers put the cyclist on the gurney. The bike was upside down, seemingly stuck under the jeep. In just a flash (literally, a shutter flash), lives were instantly changed.

Witnessing the accident served as a reminder that every moment matters. Our lives can be taken at any time. We are not going to live in human form forever. There will be a day when our lives as we know it will cease to exist. Knowing that our time here is limited makes me incredibly appreciative of the experiences I’ve had and it also makes me more encouraged to take action on the things I want to do before passing. Our time here is precious and I choose to see that as a beautiful blessing and a loving reminder to live fully.

Please keep all those involved in the accident in your thoughts.

Reflections & Intentions

takeadeepbreathandreflect0athisisanewbeginning0aputyourworriestorest-default

As 2015 rapidly approaches, I’ve taken the past month to reflect on 2014 and set my intentions for the new year. Here are some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the past year:

1. Trust the process and most importantly trust myself. Most of the time, my intuition is spot on about what I need to do. Despite knowing this, there have been many times this year where I have talked my way out of listening to my intuition, particularly in regards to my business. I find that it is easy to succumb to doubtful thoughts when it comes to the Aloha Center. I convince myself that people do not really need healing and perhaps by having a business in the personal development industry, I am contributing to the problem. On one hand, that is absolutely true, at the core, we are all perfectly fine, and our greatest challenge is that we have simply forgotten who we truly are and confused our identities with this temporary existence. However, on the other hand, it is incredibly helpful to have supportive individuals along the way who can be hold up the mirror so that we can see ourselves clearly. Although I believe that our spirit does not need development, navigating the world with the temporary identities we choose to create can be challenging particularly if we have forgotten who we truly are.

Our suffering is unnecessary and many go through this life feeling stuck. As such, my original vision for the Aloha Center was to provide a supportive space and to serve as a reminder of who we are and what matters most in life (love). As we come to the end of 2014, I recognize the value in the services I provide and intend to go forward with my original vision, no longer allowing doubts to cloud my vision.

2. Enjoy the process. This year, I learned the importance of enjoying the process instead of focusing purely on the outcome. Racing to accomplish achievement after achievement is not for me. While it may work for some, I prefer taking time to enjoy the steps along the way during my attempts to achieve a particular goal. Life feels much more fulfilling when I  embrace the moments along the way on the path to an “achievement.”

3. Balance surrendering versus being proactive. There are definitely some things we simply must surrender to while there are other circumstances in which being proactive and selective makes more sense. Being selective about how and where I choose to direct my energy and attention has been incredibly helpful. Remembering that I do have the power to shift my attention and redirect my energy has greatly enhanced my experiences and made me feel less like a leaf in a stream and more like a paddler in a stream, who can elect to go with the flow of the stream but can also choose to paddle at will. Discernment of when to surrender is perhaps the most important component of this lesson.

Here are some of my intentions for 2015:

1. Recognize when I’m allowing doubts and fears to dictate my actions. The mind is such a crafty instrument that I usually don’t recognize when I’m allowing my fears to take over until I’m knee-deep in my thoughts. I intend to be more vigilant and do more check-ins throughout the day. I notice that this happens most when I’m not grounded, so more mindfulness throughout the day will likely help with this.

2. Be open to receiving. I realized this year that I struggle with receiving, particularly financially. I intend to stop sabotaging my financial success by being open to receiving and by unpacking my beliefs and programming about money, which really is just energy.

3. Align my actions with my intentions. I have such great intentions yet sometimes I notice my behavior is not in alignment with my intentions. This is particularly salient during interactions with my wonderful partner. One question that has helped me tremendously is “how do I want my partner to feel?” Remembering this question in the moment helps me to respond genuinely and lovingly as opposed to reactionary. Although this is directly related to my first intention, it deserves its own number because my relationships are such a high priority in my life.

4. Know that every moment is a new beginning. While these year reviews are helpful, the reality is we always have an opportunity to start again every moment. We can reset at any time.

Thank you for taking the time to read my reflections and intentions. I’m wishing you a joyous, prosperous, and love-filled 2015! May you and your loved ones experience peace and infinite blessings!

Top 10 Things to Do on O’ahu

My mother came to visit me here in Hawai’i this past week and we had a great time! As I was showing her around the island, I thought about my top 10 favorite things to do on O’ahu.

  1. Visit the Bishop Museum. Don’t walk, run to the Bishop Museum in order to learn about Hawaiian history and culture. It is so essential to have a context and understanding of how things came to be the way that they are today. The museum gives you a deep appreciation for Hawaiian culture and the land. Photoed below are Charles & Bernice Bishop

The Bishops

2. Embrace the beauty at Ka’ena Point, the farthest western point of the island. It is said that Ka’ena Point is where souls leave this earth. Ka’ena point is also stunningly beautiful. The views are breath-taking and surreal.

Ka'ena Point

3. Watch the sunrise from Sandy Beach. The sunrise from Sandy Beach is absolutely incredible. There really are no words to describe it. This is an amazing way to start your morning.

Sunrise

4. Watch the sunset from any unobstructed location. On a daily basis, O’ahu is a great place for witnessing epic sunsets from almost any west-facing location on the island as long as the view is unobstructed.

Sailboat Sunset

5. Grab some shave ice from Kokonuts. The best shave ice on the island is offered by Kokonuts Shave Ice & Snacks in Hawaii Kai. It’s definitely worth it!

Shave Ice

6. Visit the beaches in Kailua. The beaches and ocean views in Kailua are absolutely beautiful and perfect for swimming.

Kailua

7. Order malasadas from Leonard’s. Malasadas are incredibly tasty Portuguese doughnuts. The best place to get malasadas is from Leonard’s!

Leonard's

8. Visit Waimanalo Beach. Waimanalo Beach is my favorite beach in the world. It offers a sense of tranquility and peace that is unmatched. All of your senses will be delighted, from the feel of the uniquely soft sand between your toes to the surround sound of the ocean waves gently washing up to the shore.

Waimanalo

9. Keep your eyes open for rainbows. Rainbows are literally everywhere on O’ahu but you must be open to seeing them in order to spot them before they disappear.

Rainbow

10. Hike the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail. This hike is great for beginners and offers exquisite views. Be sure to do this hike in the morning in order to stay cool.

Makapuu View

Makapuu

 11. Drive or hike up Tantalus. I know I said top 10 things but one more won’t hurt! Mount Tantalus offers breath-taking views of Honolulu and beautiful scenery throughout the drive or hike to its peak. Just a note, Tantalus is an advanced hike so please make sure you’re adequately prepared, otherwise, the drive is a nice substitute.

Tantalus Pt II

Although these 11 things are each uniquely wonderful, the most important thing to do here is just relax and take in the beauty of the island. O’ahu is an amazing place and it will lead you right where you need to be. Aloha!

Liebster Award

liebster

I am incredibly honored to be nominated for the Liebster Award by Jen from Yoga Moods! The Liebster Award is a way for bloggers to express gratitude for fellow bloggers whose posts inspire them and also serves as an opportunity for us to discover new blogs.

Jen specifically wrote “Hi Candace, I love reading your blog and learning about your experiences. Your messages are always so uplifting – thank you! I’ve nominated you for The Liebster Award! Have a great day!” Well Jen, I am deeply humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude for this nomination! Sincere mahalos!

Below are the official rules for the Liebster Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Answer the questions you were given.

3. Nominate other blogs with fewer than 500 followers. (Admittedly, I don’t think I followed this rule)

4. Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.

5. Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated them and appreciate their hard work.

My answers to Jen’s questions:

1. What are 3 things you love about yourself?

This may sound out there but I love that I am alive. It sounds basic but when I think about the miracle that it took for me to even come into existence, I’m simply humbled. I also love that I have dimples, I feel like they boost the effectiveness of my smile by a huge amount. And lastly, I love that I love to love. My parents nicknamed me the “Love Child” growing up because I was always talking about love. Well, that certainly hasn’t changed one bit.

2. What is something you were afraid of doing, but did anyway, and would you do it again?

I was absolutely terrified to move to Hawaii but as the Zen proverb states, I took the leap and the net appeared. The funny thing about the move is that none of my fears came true. I would definitely do it again without a doubt.

3. Where is your favorite place to replenish yourself?

My favorite place to replenish myself is Waimanalo Beach on Oahu. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever been on Earth and the sound of the waves and the wind softly blowing the trees provides the perfect ambiance. A visit to Waimanalo gives me an abundance of replenishment.

4. What is one skill you’d love to learn?

I’d like to learn how to surf. I recently took my first paddle boarding lesson so surfing is next on the list!

5. What are 3 little-known facts about you?

Hmm, fun question! 1) I used to figure skate as a small child; 2) I absolutely do not like oatmeal; and 3) I am incredibly ticklish, I can hardly get massages without laughing the whole time.

My nominees (in no particular order):

Each of the following bloggers have inspired me in ways I cannot fully express. I am grateful for their openness and authenticity.

1. Bob O’Hearn for both his blogs “The Conscious Process” and “Travels in Dreamland” 

2. Bradford Speaks 

3. Nomzi Kumalo

4. Daniel Parmeggiani

My questions for my nominees:

1. What motivated you to start blogging?

2. What inspires you?

3. What would you write about in your final blog post?

4. What is something you would like to try?

5. What are three insights from your life journey that you would like to share with us?

Mahalo for reading! May you all experience infinite peace and blessings!

 

 

Just Rice

rice

Today for lunch I asked my significant other if he would be willing to make me a bowl of rice. His response was “Sure, but just rice?” In that moment, I was flooded with gratitude for the fact that I even had access to a bowl of rice, the human faculties to eat it independently, and the presence of a loving man who eagerly makes lunch for me. While I ate my lunch, I savored the grains of rice, appreciating the texture, the natural sweetness, and its pleasant aroma. I ate as though I had never had rice before and to my surprise, it was, the very best bowl of rice I have ever had. I replied to him “Thank you so much for making just rice for lunch.”

Mahalo for reading. May you all experience infinite peace and blessings!

With love & appreciation,

Candace

Enjoying the Process

instaquote-25-03-2014-14-18-03

 

The continuous striving to be something, have something, or to be somewhere other than who and where we are now contributes to our suffering. We become so fixated on the outcome and the results that we rarely enjoy the moment as it is right now nor do we enjoy simply being alive. Each moment we choose to run from where and who we are, we simultaneously miss out on an opportunity to fully embrace our lives. We have so much for which we can be grateful and so much to enjoy right now just as we are, wherever we are. The beauty of being alive is found in the here and now, just as it is.

Mahalo for reading! May you all experience infinite peace and blessings!

With love and appreciation,

Candace

Death is Nothing At All

I found out yesterday evening that a dear friend of mine passed away on Monday. There are some tears of sorrow but there are also tears of joy and all tears are welcome here. I am so grateful for the time we were able to spend together. As I cried, I could feel my friend telling me “I’m just fine, be happy.” The following poem came to mind so I thought I would share:

Death is Nothing at All

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

Written by Henry Scott Holland

Perhaps most importantly, I am reminded that life is a beautiful gift and opportunity to spread love. Let us live our lives fully and lovingly because truly that is all that matters.

Mahalo for reading dear friends! May you experience infinite peace and blessings!

With deep love & appreciation,

Candace

Appreciating All Experiences

STLCrossSt

St. Louis Drive at Waialae Drive in Honolulu, HI (two journeys intersect)

While it’s important to follow your inner guidance and feel/listen to what resonates with your spirit and what doesn’t, it is equally important to appreciate every single experience that presents itself, including the ones that do not resonate with you. All experiences are valuable, even those that you do not feel particularly drawn to. The experiences that you feel the greatest desire to discount, may actually be your most helpful teachers.

Many have heard me say that my hometown, St. Louis, Missouri, does not spiritually resonate with me. Despite this, I appreciate my hometown and the experiences that I had growing up there. In fact, there is nothing that I would want to change about growing up in St. Louis. Those experiences in St. Louis initiated my journey of self-discovery and my desire to know myself. My experiences in St. Louis led me to where I am today.

Appreciating all of your experiences can also be applied to your job. You may find that you are not drawn to your job but this does not imply that it is a worthless experiences. Where you are right now is valuable simply because you are there. When you find that you are no longer drawn to a situation or an experience, it is an opportunity for inquiry. All situations are gurus because they can serve as gentle reminders to look inward. As I have said previously, every moment is a call to awareness, the same is true for every experience.

Mahalo for reading! May you experience infinite peace and blessings~