Maui….My Paradise 5-26-18

I just returned from spending eight days in Maui. I spent the week with my best friend who happens to be my cousin. We had a wonderful time. It’s always fun to hang out with my cousin. We laugh, we eat, we sing….we do everything we did when we were kids. It’s so much fun.

Going to Maui was a blessing. I am so grateful for the opportunity. After all, Maui is not only my favorite place, it’s also my healing place. Something about that “Maui Vibe” always seems to offer a sense of peace and grounding for me. This trip was no different.

Since 2012, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a total of 15 weeks in Maui. What can I say, I’m truly blessed. My cousin and I spent much time exploring the island as well as enjoying some much needed bonding time on the beach. We even did reiki. We went to Napili Beach. Big Beach, Lahaina, Paia, The beach at Five Palms (my favorite beach and Hana. It was awesome. My last day I took one last walk on the beach and was blessed to see six turtles. Three of them sunbathing. Turtles supposedly represent long life and good luck. I saw six that morning.

Maui is my go to place when I find myself depressed, stressed out or even overwhelmed with this thing called life. I like to meditate on the peace of being on the beach or the sunsets Maui has to offer. My dream would be to live in Maui part time. If I could do that, I would certainly be one happy camper.

This trip to Maui marked a new beginning for me. A new start. I’ve been in a slump for the past seven years. First my dad passed away causing my life to spiral out of control. Add cancer, an abusive boyfriend, financial challenges, family issues to the mix and you have one big pot of crappy goulash. I used the time to focus on letting go, finding forgiveness, healing myself so I could finally toss that goulash that’s existed in my life and move forward.

There’s a Hawaiian bird called the Iwa. This bird is a very meaningful bird in the Polynesian culture. The Iwa is at times referred to as the “Storm Bird”. The Iwa is 43. inches long. It soars and glides gracefully with a wing span of seven feet. They often travel great distances but rarely soar further than 50 miles from land. This bird has the resilience to withstand storms in its search for food and travel great distances. They swoop down in the ocean and snatch their prey using their hook like beaks.

Polynesian fisherman look to these birds while fishing. If the Iwa is flying above them, they know they are in a fishing area. They also look for the Iwa to find their way back home when they are out at sea.

While I was battling cancer, I used to say to myself, “when I overcome this battle, I’m getting a tattoo”. Well I did just that while I was in Maui. If you have ever been to any of the Hawaiian islands you know that many Polynesians have tribal tattoos. What you may not know is the tattoos they wear proudly have meaningful significance to each person wearing them. I went to a local tattoo artist named Sampson. He’s located on Kehei Road in a small shop called Pacific Rootz. We discussed a tattoo that would hold a special meaning in my life. I opted for a small yet significant tattoo of the Iwa. Like the Iwa I have faced many “storms” these past seven years. I’ve soared great miles to find my way “back home”. The Iwa is a reminder for me that whatever life throws at me, I am resilient and will eventually find my way back. I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to let go of my past and find my way “home” to where the good lord wants me to be. It’s my guess in a much happier space, soaring through life and living life to the fullest.

We all face hardships and trials. Some of us more than others. If you’re like me, at times I feel like God has abandoned me however I’m reminded in Mathew 6-26 that if God provides for the birds he will certainly provide for me. I hope so anyway.

Mathew 6-26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they.”

I was standing on the sand the last day of my trip enjoying the waves that would come in and cover my feet then would slowly roll back and go back to the ocean. It occurred to me as I stood on the beach that life is like the waves of the ocean. Just like the waves, trials and challenges come in and cover our feet causing us to feel like we are drowning. However, like the waves, our trials slowly but surely head back to where they came from and once again we find ourselves standing on solid ground. Maybe a little “sandy” from all the debris those “waves” left behind but we are standing nonetheless.

The trials I’ve faced these past seven years have been hard. They have caused me so much pain and suffering. I have the scars to prove it. Like the waves, I am beginning to see my feet again. I’m hopeful and I’m happy again. I’m looking forward to enjoying life until the next wave comes in. Until then, like the Iwa, I’ll soar gracefully through this thing called life and keep moving forward towards finding my place and the “home” and the solid ground or land where I need to be.

I’ll leave you today with one of my favorite Outfield tunes. “My Paradise”

Repost 5-22-18

I’ve spent the past week in Maui with my cousin. May 16th marked my third anniversary of the greatest escape ever. I left my abuser. The time here has brought me so much healing. There’s nothing more wonderful than that Maui Spirit. We have explored the island and I’ve created new memories that no longer include my ex.

This morning it occurred to me that I’ve been blogging since 2014. I’ve shared my journey with anyone willing to read my blog. I’ve wrote about good times and I’ve even wrote about bad times. I don’t have a huge following on my site however I’m thankful for those who have followed me and showed their support and encouragement.

I follow many bloggers myself. Often times I share their posts on my blog site. To date, I believe only one blogger has shared my journey.

Last week I blogged about my experience with gaslighting. Sharing was not at the top of my list but I realize sharing my journey might be helpful to many other woman experiencing the same. I’d like to ask anyone reading my blog today to please share my blog with others. My hope is that by sharing my story with others someone out there will be inspired to keep going. I’m attaching the link to my Gaslight post. Please post any others. In the meantime….mahalo and Aloha from Maui.

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2018/05/19/life-after-gaslight-5-19-18/

Living The Dream….God’s Dream 8-14-14

I woke up this morning to the sound of lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and happy voices from the lawn care people happily working here at Maui Hills. The sun was shining, the view of the ocean from my lanai was simply beautiful. Any one would feel happy, peaceful but yet facing my reality made it difficult to feel anything but sadness. I felt sad about my kids. They haven’t spoken to me since I left Washington. It hurts so much. The sadness of my disease, my appearance, no job, the guilt of being in paradise without my kids and family was just overwhelming. Like every morning I read my daily affirmations in the hopes of reading something that might lift my spirits and make me happy again. I prayed. I asked God to please save me. I also asked him to send people my way today that would offer me encouragement and hope. I got up to get changed so I could go on my morning walk. As I looked at myself in the mirror I noticed some of my hair was growing back. One would think I’d be elated but as I looked closer the hair growing back was grey!!! Well friends, that was fuel to the fire. I had been told that after chemo you may find some changes when your hair starts growing back. Some experience curly hair, darker hair, straight hair and/or grey hair. Grey hair?! Can things get any worse? I actually found myself looking forward to my next four chemo treatments in the hopes those pesky grey hairs would fall out and God would realize I look better as a brunette!! I started out on my walk. It was a beautiful, hot morning. I decided to listen to Rick Warren’s message on Daily Hope. Rick Warren is so inspirational and uplifting. I would recommend listening to him when you’re feeling down. Today’s message was. “keeping the crazy makers from making you crazy”. Great message considering I’m not only surrounded by crazy maker’s I’m guilty of being a crazy maker myself!!! Ouch!!! As I listened to Rick, confusion set in. Is he talking about me or all the nuts surrounding me?! If you’ve ever been to Kehei, Maui you know that there’s only one strip. I walk the only strip every morning. I’m like clock work. I walk the same time every morning and I walk to Foodland and turn around. Yesterday I walked an extra block. That was a surprise!!! On the way back there were two men walking in front of me crowding the sidewalk. I decided to walk around them. I’m not sure who engaged first, but we began walking side by side and having a friendly conversation. These men were named Kevin and Russell. They were airline pilots for American Airlines. Kevin was from Dallas and Russell was from Nashville. We talked as if we were long lost friends. At some point I shared a little bit of my story. Kevin was the first one to say “I’m going to be praying for you”. I was taken by surprise. Kevin began to tell me that god had a plan for all of us. He said we all are ” living the Dream….God’s dream”. Not always is God’s dream what we had in mind but we have to remember God’s dream is bigger than we could ever imagine. As Kevin spoke to me I remembered the prayer I had prayed earlier. I asked God to send people my way to offer me encouragement. I don’t know about you but I’d say my prayer was answered. I felt so comfortable talking to Russell and Kevin I shared my hopes, my dreams and I even shared some of the challenges I’ve faced in my life time. I told them my dream was to make a difference. I told them how I had a dream of writing a book one day and sharing my story in the hopes of making a difference in someone’s life. I told them how I wanted to be standing on a podium, sharing my story and giving others hope one day. Russell said “you’ve already made a difference by sharing your story with us. If you can make a difference in one persons life, then you’ve done your job. You’re already living God’s dream”.  Kevin reminded me that all we have to do is get through today. God didn’t bring me this far to not make it. He told me to keep fighting and just get through today every day. We exchanged business cards and hugged each other. Kevin has a website. If you’re interested look it up. http://www.Livehisdream.com. Kevin and Russell made a difference in my life today, I hope that not only will I make a difference in those reading my blog, but I hope going to Kevin’s website will make a difference in your life too. God speaks to us through people. Today he spoke to me through Kevin and Russell. Who knows maybe he’s speaking to you through me today. I sure hope so. Stay strong. Keep fighting. Never give up. If I can do it…..so can you. Cancer sucks! But guess what?! I’m still here and so are you. Just for today keep living the dream…..God’s dream that is!!