During the holidays, a couple of close friends invited me to join them in one of the most beautiful of the outer islands, Maui. I had the privilege of my own cottage at an affordable price in the lush, rainy side below Mount Haleakala. Not too hot, not to cold. A full range of trees and vegetation from palms to pine cones.
After being crowned with a garland lei, and hibiscus blossoms decorating the furniture, I was struck by just how breathtakingly gorgeous it all was. My friends were highly creative artists and musicians, deeply spiritual offering healthy, but tasty food.
We were over two thousand miles from a major land mass, yet still within the United States. People maintain a high quality of life without being extraordinarily affluent. The stars began to pop out and the quiet sounds of the rainforest emerged with chickens, geckos and animals of every kind.
It felt like I had died and gone to heaven. The well-being of Polynesian culture pulsed through me. I finally realized what we all want most is a profound sense of well-being from the inside out.
Well-being is far more than just being happy. Happiness is based entirely upon circumstances. If things go well, you are happy; the more complications, the less happy you become. It is more akin to bliss; it comes from within and overflows to the outer world.
Well-being is more than mind / body. It is the full integration of the body, mind and spirit. It begins with your own divinity. As you begin to experience God within, you start to see God in everyone and everything. Rather than a denial of life, it is the ultimate affirmation of life. It is to be fully alive in every sense of the word.
Think of the original idea of the Christian tradition: love toward your enemies, unspeakable joy and a peace that transcends comprehension. Think of the Hindu equivalent: Being, Consciousness and Bliss. “Aloha!,” Hawaii’s universal greeting, means the merging of breaths, with the spirit of God, and with your fellow humans.
We think that we are well when we leave the doctor’s office with nothing “serious.” Wellness typically means you don’t need to fix anything. You may not jump out of bed eager for the next day, but you can at least get by. It’s great to be well, but there is nothing life-changing about it.
Well-being takes wellness to a whole other level. You are the Creator within your own creation. Life is a precious gift. It is your privilege to love all the people you meet with the same love that the Creator had in creating you. To give is to receive, to share is to realize your full potential.
We are here to awaken, create, play and celebrate. Sure there is survival. That is in place to ensure the dance stays entertaining. However, you can focus on being fully alive through it all. You are clued into the ultimate secret: There is only THE ONE. THE ONE is absolute love. ITS ALL PERFECT… just as it is. As the Greeks put it, “The true, the good, the beautiful.”
When you think of Hawaii as America’s 50th state, what you immediately think of is a lovely hula dancer swaying with the Trade Winds, or the surfer taking on the Pipeline. Hawaii offers the world what it always wanted, but never thought to ask: Ultimate well-being in this very moment.
The welcoming spirit permeates the islands from the moment you walk off the plane. If you take Hawaiian Airlines, you don’t even have to wait. You enjoy it from the very moment of departure. You are always welcome, very special and unconditionally loved. You only need hang loose.
Beauty is everywhere, on the trees, on the sidewalks, even in the food. Beauty is wealth. You don’t need a ton of cash to make it. Just the time to celebrate. Whether the Polynesian Cultural Center, or the next luau where you eat with your fingers. Every day is a special occasion.
Well-being doesn’t seem strange or out of place in Hawaii. It is the norm. All of the islands place a premium on it. Quality of life is nothing without well-being. Everything begins and ends with well-being. This is what makes the islands, with their lilting names like Waikiki, the very definition of paradise.
We don’t usually give ourselves permission to focus on well-being when we return home. Pressing obligations quickly besiege us. We have the responsibilities of job, family and finances thrust upon us. Perhaps we can simply remember as we fall to sleep how out-of-this-world it all was.
We should pause for a second and question our monkey mind. Hawaii is a living possibility. As you focus upon it, you draw it to you. What do you value? What are your priorities? What are your choices? At every moment, you can take a step closer. Do you really need to prove yourself, or do you need to start living?
No one I have spoken to wants to leave Hawaii and go back home. It is usually a downer that people quickly choose to forget. How can you really expect that the people where you live could act and feel like Hawaiians? You can always book a flight back Oahu, Maui, Kauai or the Big Island next year.
Why not choose to embrace Hawaii? Hang out with people who place a high value on the state of well-being. More than just buying coconuts, macadamia nuts and pineapple juice, you can open up spiritually to that universal love that these islands embody.
The YOU that inspired you to fly out with your family, is the same YOU that can empower all your efforts to recreate it. You might start with something as simple as blessing and greeting everyone you meet. This well-being could very well save our Planet. Nothing better serves the interests of its Creator!