follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
The first couple of days in Hawaii were actually pretty internally chaotic for me.
The joy I was feeling in my skin and feet from being on this lush tropical land was somewhat overwhelmed by feelings of being in a completely new place, being very tired from full days of travel, and just being a bit emotionally ungrounded. Sometimes arriving in a new place can be liberating, and sometimes it can be very confusing for my system.
After spending a few days in Honolulu, Terence and I arrived in Kona two days ago. It’s IronMan week in Kona—the race is on Saturday—so there is a lot of bustling excitement in the air. Terence’s sister and her husband are racing, so it’s a big week for them as well as they prepare. There are big signs and a lot of people and so many runners and bikers and swimmers and an expo with ALL the fancy stuff that pro-athletes love. There were interviews and mini-kids races and signings and time spent connecting with T’s family again—the last time I saw them was in February. And it was all amazing and fun and fascinating...and it totally wiped me out, too.
I’m reminded of the truth that I know of myself, and suspect of many: that I can’t fully connect with others unless I’m fully connected to myself first. So while a percentage of me can be present and listen and explore my relationships with these lovely humans, a percentage of me is simultaneously quivering with the yearning for some me-time. It's kind of like being on the edge of tears—you know, you can ignore it and push it down relatively easily, but ultimately there is an energetic distraction from every interaction saying pay attention to me dammit!—except in this case the "tears" are a big sigh once I'm alone on the floor of a room where nobody can hear me and I have no obligations to anyone else anytime soon. And once I get that, even if it's only for a few minutes, so many things become so much more easeful.
So today, I woke up, and I devoted some extended time to my self connection practice—I stretched and did a few warrior 2’s and massaged my body and did some squats, because my legs were calling for some attention. (I plan to share an updated writing soon about my practice and how it's become one of the most important additions to my life...stay tuned.) And oh my god did it feel so good. To just remind myself of the delight and joy I feel when I’m in active communication with my body and spirit. Sometimes, my practice is quite short, with just a little meditation or rub of my head and face and belly and breasts. But when it’s extended, when I give myself the time and space to get weird, expressive, creative, sensual, honest...that’s where the trust between me, myself and I is built and nurtured. That’s where I find the element of Earth within me.
After that, the day just opened up to a whole world of magic I hadn’t expected. Terence and I got our own rental car—we got a convertible (cuz Terence loves the wind in his cheeky smile) for an amazing price too! And we decided to just start driving around the island.
Our first thought was, let's go see a volcano! But what ended up happening instead of making a plan, we got into this groove of exploring, this flow of simply following Curiosity and Desire. It tends to lead to amazing places...
Our curiosity about following this random road led us to a seemingly never ending row of ripe guavas! We took a whole bag of them home with us. As we followed this road it led us to the lava fields, which we had been wanting to see, and spontaneously found without using a map! The extraordinary swirls and ripples of the dried lava going for miles and miles, creating waves of grey, with patches of bright green where plants were pushing through...had me in awe. Our desire for food led us to a nearby town where, again, without a map, we found an organic food store with a little buffet AND a delightful selection of chocolate...because chocolate is life. And then as we decided to head back towards our Airbnb, we found one last magical spot...a public garden with statues and bridges over glistening still waters and soft grasses to squish my feet into before our ride back.
It was an absolutely magical day. Magic, I say, because I have no explanation for how we found all these special places other than the trust in a subtle pull inside ourselves. And that's what magic is isn't it, the unexplainable. The stars that twinkle in our eyes when we are reminded of what it feels like to be stricken with wonder... I’ve trained myself to trust this pull over many years. This pull that comes from my belly, or more specifically, my womb. This pull that has always, yes, always, led me to exactly where I need to be. If I trust it.
It can be scary sometimes to just say yes to life without knowing what the outcome is going to be. But this essence of Curiosity, of Desire for life, hasn’t led me astray in my 26+ years of living. So I think not knowing is gonna be alright.