The Universality of Love

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Earlier this week, I was experiencing some anxiety about participating in the Hawaii Wellness Expo because I felt that I had not prepared well enough for it. I remember feeling like I needed to have a big banner and lots of items to showcase (so funny where thoughts go especially when we have a moment of amnesia and take ourselves too seriously!). In the midst of it all, I just paused in order to truly reflect on why I was even going to the expo in the first place. The answer that arose was this is simply another opportunity to spread love and that I needed to drop all other agendas and return to the core. And that’s exactly what I did.

As soon as I remembered why I was going, an idea surfaced to ask my visitors “how do you spread Aloha?” That question led to the most amazing conversations, connections, and interactions. It was as if things became viral. People were smiling, laughing, and hugs were in abundance. It no longer became about asking people to join the mailing list or sign up for courses, it became about genuine connection and love. Over the course of the day, more than 80 people shared with us how they spread love each day. I’m tearing up as I write about it now.

I’d like to send a big thank you to everyone who passed by the booth and shared with us! This experience was an excellent reminder of what truly matters and just how universal love really is.

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

Just Say Hello

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Today, I had lunch with a lovely woman whom I recently met. We talked so freely and openly that I felt like I was talking to myself (on a deeper level, I was (smile)). Our interaction led me to reflect on how most of the amazing connections that have developed since my move to Hawaii, all started from a simple hello.

When we warmly greet each other, we create a space of openness, which allows for the development of invaluable relationships. Even if we’re not necessarily looking to establish a friendship, just saying hello and smiling at “strangers” makes a huge difference. At minimum, we each can acknowledge our neighbors and give them a friendly nod while we pass each other on this life journey.

The next time you’re out and about, consider “just saying hello.” It may make someone’s day, including yours.

Tribute to Maya

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As many of you know, Dr. Maya Angelou passed away yesterday, and due to the profound impact she has had on my life, I feel compelled to write about her. While I loved her writing and her brilliant way with words, I have been most touched by her presence and her resilience. Despite experiencing multiple traumas, Dr. Angelou showed us that we can choose not to be defined by our circumstances or experiences. She taught us that there is great power in authenticity and in telling one’s story.

Although we are not even defined by our stories and our true identities are far beyond description, sharing our life experiences is an incredibly useful tool. Dr. Angelou’s story is one of resilience and courage, it is one that reminds us that we are far more grand than anything that happens to us. Perhaps what I love most about Dr. Angelou is she reminded us of the importance of love and forgiveness, the importance of keeping our hearts open even when we would rather shut down and close ourselves off from the world. Can you imagine what would have happened if she chose to be mute for the rest of her life or had she decided to hold resentment towards others? I am grateful for this woman’s courage to let go and love.

Thank you, Dr. Angelou for all that you have shown us.

With love & appreciation,

Candace

*Photo courtesy of OWN

Happy Global Love Day!

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Today is Global Love Day, which was created to promote unconditional love and celebrate humanity! Please take a moment to review the six principles The Love Foundation shares with us:

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.
        

Each moment is an opportunity for us to open our hearts, express gratitude, and choose love. Let’s spread aloha through each of our actions! I hope that you have an amazing day and month full of love and joy!

Mahalo for reading! 

With love & gratitude,

Candace

Just Rice

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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

Aloha Challenge

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“Every moment is an opportunity to choose love.”

One of the most significant things that attracted me to Hawaii is the “Aloha Spirit” or the spirit of love and giving. I was touched by how relaxed and compassionate people seemed around the island. My boyfriend used to say it seemed like people were being paid to be nice.

Aloha has a lot of meanings and it is way more than just a greeting. Aloha also means love. To say ‘I love you’ in Hawaiian, you would say ‘Aloha Au Ia ‘Oe.’ Aloha is also similar to the word Namaste. It is a recognition of the Divinity in another person and honoring our interconnectedness. Another translation pertains to joyful celebration of the present moment, literally translated to sharing life energy joyfully in the present moment (source). In Hawaii, sharing the “ha” or the life energy/breath is a very sacred activity, it is an allowance of someone to be in your space and a transmission of knowledge, love, and energy. So you see, Aloha has a very deep meaning and it extends far beyond just a greeting, it is a way of life and an attitude. Aloha is related to how we see each other and how we honor one another in the present moment.

Aloha Center for Transformation & Wellness is having an Aloha Challenge this week. The challenge is to complete at least one act of kindness per day. This is an effort to spread the Aloha Spirit throughout the world. Let’s all celebrate the inherent joy in the present moment and spread ALOHA. Please join the celebration on our Facebook page.

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

With deep gratitude & aloha!

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

Unconditional Love Pt II

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Many of you have heard me talk about unconditional love and you will often find me telling strangers I love them, and it is true. I love everyone and everything unconditionally. When I say unconditionally, I truly mean unconditionally. I love regardless of circumstances, actions, etc. My love is not dependent on what has been done for me or what someone or something can provide, my love is a genuine expression of self-love. By self-love I mean that I love you unconditionally because you are me and I am you! And if I don’t love you, I don’t love myself. It’s that simple. I love my pain, my experiences of disappointment, my experiences of anger, I love it all, because each of those things are an opportunity and a chance to open up my heart even more. What a blessing! Everything in this universe, every single thing, is connected and if I don’t love it, I am in essence saying I don’t love me. Mahalo for reading! I LOVE YOU!

With deep love and gratitude,

Candace

Self-Love on Valentine’s Day & Every Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I had so much fun on the empowerment call on Wednesday with Rosetta Thurman and the Happy Black Woman community! The call gave me an opportunity to really reflect on the importance of self-love. I’m really happy that we are shifting our focus within this Valentine’s Day, because it’s time to focus inward. So many of us do not care for or love ourselves the way we deserve. When I pass out my “little love cards” and see people’s joyful reactions, I’m constantly reminded of how important it is to feel loved. We need love more than anything else in this Universe, and we need our own love first before we are able to give and receive it willingly.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned on my life journey is how important it is to love myself. When I began to genuinely love myself, everyone around me benefited. To this day, wherever I go, I see how people are simply drawn to the positive energy of someone in harmony with themselves. And that is why I support the statement that self-love and self-care are acts of compassion. When we are in love with who we are and really promote our well-being, we are literally gifts to the world. We are better in our relationships and in everything we do. We become a tangible source of joy for everyone and everything around us. And let me not forget to mention that ultimately, we are One; self-love is synonymous to universal love. May you have a wonderful day full of love and celebration of the beautiful creation that you are!

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

With deep love & appreciation,

Candace