Happy Global Love Day!

GlobalLoveDay2015

Happy Global Love Day! Let us celebrate twelve years of recognizing May 1 as a “symbolic day of unconditional love.” As you enjoy this day, please reflect on the six tenets of Global Love Day, created by Harold W. Becker & The Love Foundation:

We are one humanity on this planet.
All life is interconnected and interdependent.
All share in the Universal bond of love.
Love begins with self acceptance and forgiveness.
With respect and compassion we embrace diversity.
Together we make a difference through love.

This is an opportunity to embody love and share your light with the world. Feel free to make a love pledge and spread love by using the hashtag #globalloveday. For more information about Global Love Day, visit http://globalloveday.org

With deepest love & gratitude,

Candace

Intentions and Behaviors

Turtle Bay is one of the spots we love to visit.

Turtle Bay is one of the spots my love and I enjoy visiting.

How often do we look to see whether our behaviors are in alignment with our intentions? Although I used to say that my relationship with my partner was my number one priority, energetically and behaviorally, my priority was work and my business. More often than not, I allowed work to consume the majority of my time and energy throughout each day. I would even allow work to be the dominating topic during conversations with my partner, until one day I realized, it simply didn’t feel good nor did it make sense. If I’m claiming that my relationship with my partner is my number one priority, then why was so little of my energy going to our relationship?

I was out of alignment. My intention was to make my relationship number one but that intention did not find its way down to my behaviors, at least not until things began to feel bad. And that’s how it sometimes goes with us humans, it’s not until we suffer that we really start to become conscious of what’s going on, which is why I believe, pain is a gift. The pain led me to wake up and see the disconnect between my intention and behaviors. Once I became aware and was able to feel the consequences of my choices, I was then able to truly make my relationship a priority in my life.

The truth is intention is not enough, our actions must match. Many times, we do not realize that we’re saying one thing but doing another. Fortunately, I no longer take for granted my partner’s loving and patient attitude, and I recognize that it is my responsibility to walk my talk.

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

Spreading Aloha Through Photography

As a child, I was interested in photography because my father was a photographer and he had a makeshift darkroom in our basement. My interest drastically dwindled during my high school years as spending time with friends and going to the mall seemed more important. During college, a flame reignited, prompting me to buy a digital camera to document “major” moments in my life but once it broke, I stopped taking photos altogether. Then, I moved to Hawai’i and my partner graciously allowed me to use his camera, which changed everything. Currently, I take hundreds of photos each week, exploring the island and sharing these wonderful moments with the world.

Photography has become a meditation for me, a way to be in the moment while also attempting to convey the magnificence of a blip in time. Photography has made me pay attention to things I have often overlooked, like a bee landing on a flower and the droplets of rain that remain on a leaf long after the rain has stopped. I am fully present when I take photos and more engaged with nature. I am able to recognize the intricacies and complexity of nature while also appreciating its simplicity and peace.

Yesterday, when I was sharing photos of my trip to Kaua’i, I realized that photography is more than just a meditation, it’s also a way to spread Aloha. Through sharing my photographs, I am able to spread the love that courses through my veins with each of you. I am able to express my gratitude for nature. Additionally, I am able to expose people to sites they may have overlooked or have never experienced. The opportunity to share the beauty of Hawai’i is an honor and a privilege of a lifetime.

Mahalo for reading! Please enjoy the photos below:

Sunset 2-28-15

Tantalus Palms

Bee

Rays Through the Clouds

For more photos, please visit my online gallery.

Genuine Compassion

“Compassion sometimes requires us to be firm, to disappoint, and to say no. True compassion is giving from a place of authenticity and integrity as opposed to giving from a place of obligation and expectation.” -Candace Thoth

As a society we praise individuals who sacrifice their lives for the well-being of others. We idolize individuals who continuously give and those who always seem “nice.” For many years, I truly believed that my purpose was to make others feel good even at the expense of my own well-being. This mentality quickly led to compassion fatigue and burnout, but it ultimately allowed me to see where I had been untrue to myself and others. Here are some of the misconceptions I had about compassion:

  1. A compassionate person should rarely say no to others.
  2. A compassionate person should always put others first.
  3. A compassionate person should always makes people feel good.
  4. A compassionate person should always go out of their way to help.
  5. A compassionate person should “fix it” whenever someone is suffering.

The above statements are just a few of the many misconceptions I had about what it means to be compassionate. Contrary to my intentions, operating from these beliefs resulted in being inauthentic and becoming resentful. Giving because we think we should or because we feel obligated to give is not true giving. Taking on the weight of the world and trying to “fix” things to make people feel better is ultimately harmful to ourselves and others. When we are over-responsible for others, we rob them of their opportunity to walk their own path. Additionally, we add unnecessary stress to our lives and sabotage our well-being. Sometimes the most effective way to help someone is by telling them no or even letting them go.

Genuine compassion means being true to ourselves, saying no when we mean no, living with integrity, and respecting people’s path. There is no need to “sacrifice” our integrity or well-being in order to be genuinely compassionate. When we are true to ourselves, we are at peace, which is the most compassionate thing we can do for the world.

Releasing Expectations

“Peace doesn’t require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.”-Byron Katie

Throughout my life, I have had incredibly high expectations for myself and others. Thoughts like “he should be doing this,””she shouldn’t have done that,” or “I can’t believe I…” used to swarm around in mind like an F-5 tornado, stirring up immense anxiety and anger. It was as though I had a script of how life “should be” and anything or anyone who was not operating consistent with my ideas was harshly judged. Of course, none of the judgments were ever communicated, I was far too quiet to share, but underneath the surface my mind was swarming with judgmental thoughts. It wasn’t until I read Byron Katie’s Loving What Is that I consciously realized just how harsh the thoughts in my head could be. More importantly, I realized that they were simply not true, which was incredibly liberating. It took some time to wrap my mind around the fact that no one could truly betray me but being able to experience and understand that concept is rewarding.

People are free to be whoever they want to be. They are free to have totally opposing views from my own, live a drastically different lifestyle from my own, and even lie, cheat, and steal. They are free to do whatever they want to do and having a running script about what they should and should not be doing does little to prevent such activities from happening. Furthermore, strictly adhering to such a script only leads to frustration and disappointment. The reality is that we are all free. Part of that freedom is that people are going to behave inconsistently with our scripts, which ultimately, is perfectly fine. How boring life would be if our script completely dictated how life flowed? Allowing people to Be is peace.

Allowing Creativity

Lone Plumeria

Creativity is abundant, it’s simply waiting for us to allow, receive, and convey its messages. Look no farther than a kindergarten playground, where youth are running around with a plethora of fascinating ideas. On the playgrounds of our youngest youth, there’s rarely a concept of a poor idea, all is allowed to be expressed, explored, and attempted. But when we look across the average lifespan, something happens as we age; we inhibit ourselves from expressing the inspiration that flows through our veins and/or we become numb to the stream of creativity, unable to easily pick up its subtle cues. With creativity so rampant, why is it that so many people seem devoid of ideas? Why is it that so many people seem to express only what others expect of them? Why is it that people have a challenging time expressing themselves authentically?

There are many theories as to why and how many of us have reached this place of being effectively “blocked,” which we will not elaborate on because the most important point is that there is a solution. The main solution is to simply Be. Whenever an idea arises within us, we can allow it to linger instead of quickly quelling it and making a list of all the reasons it won’t work. We strip the life away from ideas before they even get an opportunity to bloom, failing to realize that perhaps the small blip we initially receive is just a tiny piece of the much larger puzzle that will unveil itself later through more brainstorming and expression. Let’s allow ourselves the freedom to tap into the creativity stream without criticism, judgment, or harshness. Let’s give ideas a chance to come into fruition even if they just end up being scribble on a piece of scrap paper. Ideas are begging to come to life but they need wiling participants to take on the task of expressing them in some way. The question is, are we up for it?

Welcome to this Space

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Welcome to this moment, this indescribable space, where everything dwells and no one nor no-thing is turned away. All is welcome here, all are allowed to play. This moment gently invites us to Be, encouraging us to drop our expectations and any thing else that gets in the way…of freedom, peace, and joy. In fact, all of these exist right now, so let’s dive deep into the unknown, only to find that we are supported every step we take.

*images taken during this evening’s silent sitting

Play

“Life is not a business, it is a play. And a play has no purpose really, it is non-purposeful. Or you can say play is its own purpose, to play is enough. Life is not reaching towards some goal, life itself is the goal. It is not evolving towards some ultimate; this very moment, here and now, life is ultimate.” -Osho

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My grandmother used to tell me “stop being so serious, just be a child,” whenever my mind would find some worrisome topic to bug her about. At the time, I didn’t take her advice because I considered myself to be “mature” and playing seemed less important than asking questions. Now, I find her advice to be one of the most profound ever given.

Lately, I have been feeling much more playful, upon “remembering” that all is well. Underneath the veil of what we “see” lies a perfect peace that is always here and now. Not only that, it becomes simultaneously humbling and comical when we realize that we really don’t know that much at all, let alone where we actually are in the grand scheme of the Universe.  This realization has helped me to lighten up a great deal and stop carrying the burden of “seeking” and trying to figure things out. How liberating it is to just enjoy “this” as it is. With a playful disposition, I find that I am more engaged, grateful, and loving, and that’s definitely something to smile about! Cheers!

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

 

Family

“If you think you’re “enlightened,” go spend a week with your family.” -Ram Dass

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*Photos of the fruit at a local farmer’s market we went to visit today

My partner and I have family visiting this weekend and thus far it has been quite comedic as well as a friendly reminder. My reflection is staring me right in the face and I get to boldly see some of the areas that were residing in my blind spot. The old thought patterns and dynamics come racing in as if they had never left, and maybe they hadn’t, which is why it’s great that they’re coming up again for me to see clearly.

These moments are such rich opportunities for fully engaging in the moment and seeing all of the memories, habits, patterns, thoughts, and emotions that have been stewing underneath the surface. They are excellent opportunities to let go and be free of reacting unconsciously. In fact, I can even have fun with it all, getting a hearty chuckle about the persistence of habitual patterns. What a reminder that family is truly here to welcome us home (to the truth).

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