At the end of my blog about what I learned and experienced during a social media retreat, I wrote about how I started the manifesting of a trip to Hawaii. Here's how my trip went and the additional wonderful experiences, lessons learned, and support received.
Intention for the trip - Connect with real self compassionately
The first day I arrived to Hawaii I was excited to do all the things I wanted to do and see all the things I wanted to see. However, I quickly found out that I had a lot of things I wanted to do and that it wouldn't be possible. Even if it were possible, what I really wanted was to enjoy the experiences rather than just hit the things on my list.
My first full day there, I was up at about 3:30 am and even went swimming with some trainers by Kailua Pier during sunrise, where the annual Ironman race takes place (no I didn't swim as far as they did!). Jet lag or not, after swimming, grabbing a flat espresso with macadamia nut milk, and hitting the Kona farmers market for some papaya and dragon fruit, I felt like I hit a wall. However, I wanted to go and do more worried that I wouldn't be able to see everything in the next few days. Thankfully, I caught myself and remembered the lesson I wrote in the paragraph above. I was considering taking a nap. Similar to R. Kelly's lyrics in the song Bump and Grind, my mind was telling me no, but my body, my body was tellin' yes. So, I listened to the wisdom of my body, rested and read by the pool and then napped for a bit in the hotel bed. I was reading a chapter about intentions in Kyle Cease's book, The Illusion of Money and relaxed into an inner intention for the trip. Like he instructs in the book, I didn't try to find the intention, I let it find me. Letting it find you means that you sit quietly and create a space for an intention to show up. You know it's the one when it shows up because it will feel right. I realized that more than all the coffee farms and water adventures, I really wanted to connect with my self compassionately.
After about 30 min I got up because I was hungry and decided to walk to a close by diner. As I walked out of the hotel and to the street crosswalk, I saw a young woman (let's call her Bobbie because I don't know if she'd want her name here) about my age who looked about as tired as I was. I struck a conversation by jokingly saying "you look about as exhausted as me" (yes looking back that probably wasn't the nicest thing to say, but I guess she sensed my humor). We ended up talking for a bit and I asked where she was heading. To my pleasant surprise, Bobbie was heading to a natural food store called Island Naturals.
Wow I thought, I didn't expect my intention to take action that fast. I asked her if I could join and she happily agreed. I absolutely loved this healthy food store. It honestly carried more nutritional items than health stores I've been to on the mainland do. I picked up some Four Sigmatic coffee packets with chaga mushroom because of it's immune support, and ate a delicious salmon salad. Bobbie and I sat down and ate with a man sitting alone. He happened to be an Israeli man named Moti who had moved to the Big Island. This is getting really cool I thought. He ended up forwarding me the contact information for the rabbi on the Big Island, who I connected with the following day. After we ate, Bobbie and I checked out a local book store next door and I bought her my favorite book, The Alchemist. I was very grateful for meeting Bobbie at the perfect time and for her showing me Island Naturals. This experience was better than any that I could have imagined. Also, I ended up seeing Moti later that week at the Rabbi's home for an evening service for his father's yahrzeit - a service for the anniversary of someone's death.
Letting Go and Appreciating
After that day I felt a little worried that I might not get a chance to go to a Kona coffee farm tour, but I trusted that if I do or do not, I'm grateful to be there. I let go of being attached to that experience and allowed for what to come to be organic. The next day, Thursday, I went on an incredible snorkeling adventure (one I booked before I went to Hawaii). I had yet to experience first hand the vast blue pacific ocean off the coast of the island and to swim alongside an array of fish and, even, close by dolphins. Swimming on and down under Kealakekua Bay (where Captain Cook's monument is) and Honaunau Bay was such a peacefully immersive time. There was a couple (grandmother and granddaughter) on the adventure with me that I bonded with during the snorkeling tour as well. As we connected with each other, I shared with them that I was interested in the nearby Greenwell coffee farm. Surprised once again, they were going there and invited me to go with them!
A small cup on coffee
Once I let go of trying to control the outcome of going to a coffee farm, I actually received a greater experience. Not only was the trip accompanied by a warm and welcoming couple, or that the tour itself was full of rich coffee and explaining of the hand-picked seed to cup process, but the manager there actually offered me a taste of the farm's Geisha Coffee blend. Greenwell Farms was awarded the 2019 State of Hawaii Grand Champion in the whole state for this blend. It had a fruity and earthy fragrance, a bold and rich taste of cherry, jasmine, caramel, and citrus, and a smooth, wonderful, and lasting aftertaste. Of course, I bought some along with their peaberry blend.
The Peaberry Coffee
The word peaberry describes the coffee bean itself. As the guide explained to me, it is a naturally occurring mutation present in the coffee where only one bean is present inside of the coffee cherry instead of two. According to the tour guide, because there is only one seed inside the coffee cherry, it can affect how evenly the bean roasts, which can affect the flavor. Also, in the article, The Complete Guide to Peaberry Coffee, "professional coffee graders also believe that because the single peaberry bean receives all of the nutrients of the coffee cherry rather than sharing with another seed, peaberries can have more caffeine and taste sweeter than other beans as well." After tasting it and having a few cups back here on the mainland, I can attest to that.
Biking to hike at Kaloko-Honokohau National Park
Friday morning after spending some time getting to know the Rabbi (mentioned above), I decided to bike about 4 miles to Kaloko-Honokohau National park. The Kona Seaside Hotel gives its guests a free bike to take. I just had to give them a photo copy of my credit card. I didn't have enough time to go deeper in the island and it was the closest hike near me. The park was established on "November 10, 1978 for the preservation of native Hawaiin activities and culture." As I also read on the signs during the trail, a critical factor in the Hawaiins decision to settle in the area of seemingly inhabitable lava fields, was the presence of cool, brackish water springs. These were indication that there was enough of an underground water source to sustain the everyday needs of the people. Having experienced Hawaii, I can also sense that another factor they felt was the spirit there. The Hawaiins were touched by the power in "every rock and tree, in the calm waters of the shallow bays, and in the trade winds that gently swept across the land."
As I rode up to the trail I realized this isn't a trail to bike on, so I started walking along the path looking for the beautiful beach there. Upon arrival I came across another family of 3 coming from the opposite direction and together we found a middle path leading to the beach. Not only were the sights and feelings of the park beach beautiful, but also the presence and conversations with new friends were just as engaging. We spoke about holistic medicine because I told them of the certification I recently finished and the area of service I'd like to be in. And the man was telling me about his own experiences as a dentist and how in dental medical school they were taught that holistic medicine was bull-sh**. However, he continued to share a tragic bike accident he had and how it was in fact holistic practices that helped him recover and be at the great shape I met him at. It was quite the interaction for the both of us that brought a sense of knowingness that we're on the right path. I was very grateful for the words he shared with me that I am "on the right path." After our hike, they kindly drove me back to the hotel.
Why share all of these short experiences? On the surface they might not seem like anything special. These days were not helicopter rides nor volcano adventures, but during them I was present and fully me. These days were led by my intention to connect with my self compassionately. I wanted to share this as a different approach to planning a vacation. Rather than only setting goals of sites to see and things to do, set an intention for a trip. Deeper than those external things, what we all inherently want is a sense of peace and connection.
In The Illusion of Money, (I quote this book a lot because it's what I read on the trip haha) Cease explains that:
Having a specific goal is like walking around with an oversized beach ball and trying to walk through doorways but constantly getting stuck. You have to look for the one doorway that can fit you and your beach ball at the same time. Having an intention is like having a nicely packed, uninflated beach ball that allows you to walk through many different-size doors and then blow up your beach ball when the time is right.
During traveling, I was quick to look for external things my mind wanted to see. However, in those external things what I really wanted was the feeling I imagined it would bring me. By setting an intention I became aware that that feeling, freedom and connection, is not outside of me but inside me. Thus, I let go of controlling outcomes which led me to these wonderful experiences that matched my internal state. I could not have imagined these with my mind.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
My final 3 days were spent celebrating the wedding of one of my great friends and previous roommates. From connecting with my friends, eating delightful foods and drinking tropical spirits, relaxing on the beach, meditating at 6 am on the beach with the flowing waves, working out at the fitness center, detoxing in the dry and eucalyptus sauna, taking a dip in the hot and ice tubs, and all of the wedding festivities, I can say that the weekend was spectacular fun and very fulfilling.
Earlier I mentioned seeing Moti later that week at the Rabbi's home for an evening service for his father's yahrzeit. This was Sunday night before I flew back home. As another pleasant and very helpful surprise, the rabbi would drive daily to the Four Seasons to drop off kosher food for another Jewish guest at the resort. Since my hotel was nearby his home, he kindly offered to drive me from the resort to his place for the service and dinner, and to my hotel. Additionally, on Monday morning he drove me and another one of my friends to the airport. I am very grateful for his generosity and the beginning of a new friendship.
Looking back at the whole process of my trip to Hawaii, I am deeply grateful and fulfilled. My intentions before the trip and during the trip played well showing me many exciting adventures, mystical and healing experiences, fun and fulfilling days, paid for transportation and lodging, and more.
This is how I have learned to love and enjoy traveling and I hope it can offer a new approach for you as well.