The 30 Day Aloha Challenge

Keep-Calm-And-Live-Aloha-2About a month ago, a friend of mine had posted on Facebook that he was doing a “30 Day Aloha Challenge.”  Part of my friend’s long post explained the challenge, “I decided to create the ALOHA ACTION CHALLENGE. I am challenging myself to be more aware of how I put aloha into action each day for 30 days. If anyone else wishes to participate, please feel free to join me and share/post your experiences of Aloha or ways in which you or someone you know has put Aloha into Action! Feel free to tag me in your post, because I would love to read about the many ways that Aloha can be expressed and shared everyday! Aloha is a practice and a way of life, much like yoga, hula, meditation, tai chi, etc.”

So there it was, I didn’t think much of it at first.  I checked his posts the first few days, and soon I began to think about the Facebook challenges that I had participated in.  First, there was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and then, the 22 Push-ups for 22 days to bring awareness to those who committed suicide as a result of having PTSD.  While these challenges were great because they brought awareness to the need to find a cure, it didn’t involve any action on my part.  THEN, I thought, there really isn’t a good reason NOT to do it.  In the end, I decided to blog about this because it was easier than I thought it would be, AND the results were absolutely eye-opening.  Here are some highlights and insights that I gained from this challenge.

  • In just the first few days, I decided to focus on family.  I surprised my Grandma at the care home with a smoothie and surprised my son with an Icee.  Just to see the smiles on their faces from a small gesture felt great, it already made me want to do more.
  • Observing people who provide a service, cashiers, tellers, and waiters, made me realize that we take for granted that, most of these people, no matter what is going on in their lives, put on a smile and perform acts of Aloha everyday, all day long.
  • It makes a great difference when you smile and say, “hi” or “thank you” to someone who appears to be having a rough day.  They immediately seem lighter and a little happier.
  • When we have so many material things that clutter our home, a wonderful Action of Aloha is to share your superfluous abundance with others.   I cleaned out our bathroom with my kids and gave extra unused toiletries to the YMCA because they were collecting to make goody bags for the homeless.  Through this act, we uncluttered our space and helped another person out.
  • I started to realize that this challenge was helping me to look for the positive in the world around me and look for more ways to create positivity as well.
  • I often avoid homeless people, but one day, my husband and I ended up helping a very educated and polite homeless man while we were waiting to cross the street.  He was in a wheelchair and my husband gave him a push to the nearby library and I shared the breakfast we had just bought to take home.  He changed my views and showed me that there are as many nice and scary homeless people as there are nice and scary people who have homes to live in.
  • A very important Action of Aloha is to live joyfully.
  • In a situation where someone is annoying you or being rude, the best thing to do is to make the most generous assumption about the person and the situation.  For example, if you’re driving and someone cuts you off, you can assume they have to pee really badly.
  • Forgiveness is a valuable Action of Aloha.
  • Receiving the unconditional love of a dog is one of my favorite kinds of Aloha.
  • Taking care of a healing family member reminds us that we need Aloha from one another from time to time.
  • My kids have started to think of their own Actions of Aloha
  • When you are REALLY MAD &. FRUSTRATED, sing the intro to The Lion King at the top of your lungs!”NAANTS IGONYAMA BKTHIBABAAAAAA!!!”🦁
  • When Actions of Aloha becomes a habit, bad days don’t get you down because you know you have enjoyed so many days filled with ALOHA!

When I heard, “30 Day Aloha Action Challenge,” I thought it was going to make me tired sharing all this Aloha with everyone.  However, that’s not what it’s about.  It’s taking whatever you do everyday and making a conscious choice to just do it with a different intention in mind, an intention of Aloha.  I also learned that it’s not about trying to get attention for what you do, but thinking about what you are giving your attention to.  When you are trying to get attention for what you do, you are trying to figure out what others expect from you.  Conversely, I found it much more joyful to give my attention to Aloha from the inside out, simply sharing my own joy with others, independent of their reaction.  I found that most times, it makes them happy, at worst, you haven’t made anything worse than it already was.  I encourage you to try the challenge for any amount of days and see how it transforms your perception of yourself and the world around you.

The Healing Power of Writing

The Expressive Writing Workshop is a serendipitous manifestation of my authentic journey. In November of 2015 I was diagnosed with cutaneous lupus. It was prescribed by my doctor that I minimize my exposure to UV rays and manage my stress levels. As a result, I lessened my involvement at the family accounting firm to pursue my joy of writing. I had a rock solid plan! Well, I thought I had a rock solid plan. I was determined to send impressive pitches to local magazines and become a freelance writer. I had a few jobs, and then it was “crickets.”

I knew I had to keep creating, not just for the benefit of others, but also for myself. I googled “writing therapy” and spoke to a writer-friend on the subject. I found that Dr. James W. Pennebaker was the go-to expert on the subject. I immediately purchased his little book called Expressive Writing, Words that Heal (co-written by Dr. John F. Evans), and soon began to do the writing exercises in the book. The findings of Dr. Pennebaker’s 30 years of research validated why I enjoyed writing so much – writing emotionally AND physically improves overall wellness. Not only did I feel better after writing, but I also gained new awareness about some of the challenges in my life. My next thought was, “I have to share this with others!”

I began to read more books by authors that were in the medical, psychological, neuroscience, spiritual, and creative fields. I combined all of this new knowledge with my life’s experiences and accumulated wisdom from my childhood, living abroad, illness, and my most recent emergence as a writer, and produced a workshop that aims to assist others in mapping out their own struggles and finding new wisdom. As a result I created the following process:

Steps to Emotional Wellness

SHINE THE LIGHT ON YOUR INTERIOR LIFE – Go inward and identify what prevents you from thriving.

WHAT ARE THE EMOTIONS THAT NEED HEALING? Acknowledge and engage with these emotions. Tell your story of sadness, anger, frustration, resentment, guilt, hurt, jealousy, fear….Whatever! Write your story UNCENSORED.

RECOGNIZE THE BEAUTY IN THE STRUGGLE – What have you learned? How has it made you stronger? How can you do better? What do you want your life to look like going forward?

REPEAT AS NEEDED!

The above process could take 20 minutes for some challenges and 20 years for others. I’ve seen that, at first, there may be some very painful stories to face that we have not looked at for a very long time. However, over time, the more this process is maintained, the more of a habit it becomes to search for wisdom when we are faced with new obstacles. In other words, don’t expect life to get easier through this process, because, we can never predict the hardships that may come our way. Instead, you will habitually look for the lessons and wisdom when they do come or at least be able to stand in solidarity and compassion with others who share similar hardships.

Just like yoga, meditation, exercise, and a healthy diet, expressive writing is a another wellness tool to assist in taking care of our whole selves. This has become a spring board for many new projects I am creating to strengthen our emotional intelligence that involve taking this expressive writing into the creative genres of poetry and storytelling. It is the beginning of a brand new journey, and I am full of excitement to see what the universe has in “store-y” for all of us!

For more information and upcoming workshops go to the One Lucky Local Facebook page.

Orlando

Another shooting. Is this becoming some common occurrence in our country? It hurts me to think that much like our Honolulu, Orlando is a place people go to for vacation, have fun in the sun, and celebrate life. Also, about 20 years ago, I had a close friend who left Honolulu, and moved to the east coast, to avoid being shamed and judged by his family for his sexual orientation. Going to a nightclub, much like the one where the shooting occurred,was the only place where he felt free and accepted. It was a place where others could exist in solidarity and not fear judgement. The act of this shooting is a vile message of hate. One of my Facebook friends commented that, “..removing guns from the world isn’t going to keep violent F’d up people from killing. They will use knives, syringes, homemade bombs.” I agree that if people are “F’d up,” they will continue to kill and F’d up people need help, mental help.

Seriously, it angers me that we even need statistics to show whether or not gun violence is a mental health issue. Common sense would tell you that if you’re killing mass amounts of innocent people, something is wrong with your brain! Right?

Although we may be angry, we must also be wise. We can ask, “WHY?” all we want. Ultimately, we must figure out HOW to move forward. Since there is no satisfactory answer to – “WHY?” MC Yogi gives a perspective as to HOW we can change direction together,

“When terrible thinks happen, it creates a spiral. It takes a great deal of effort and energy to lift ourselves out of that darkness, that downward pull. But, if we’re wise we can swing the momentum of our mind and move in a different, more uplifting direction….If enough of us can hold the light and push forward in the direction of LOVE, DIGNITY, and STRENGTH, we can turn the cultural tide.”

Kokua for Tomomi Shimabukuro

    
I remember back in 1999, I went on my second trip ever to Okinawa. It was with the Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s Leadership Tour. The tour was organized and headed by N & K Travel. Owner Nadine Shimabukuro and Her daughter Tomomi treat their tour members like ohana, telling stories of love motels, nostalgia, and the best places to eat. I will never forget how much fun their tour was and how much I laughed! As one of the main travel agencies that connect people to Okinawa, as well as, other destinations around the world, they go above and beyond, even letting you know when your passport has expired. Returning to the motherland has, and always will be, an important part of being an Okinawan in Hawaii, people always come back with life altering stories and experiences. When you go with those like Nadine and Tomomi ,who understand that, it makes a huge difference. Right now, our friend Tomomi is experiencing some medical challenges, and needs the help of friends and family. Her sister, Ashley who lives in Chicago, Illinois, has started a Go Fund Me site to help raise funds to assist with medical bills. Ashley shared some words with me to express what Tomomi’s challenges are and what she means to her family, friends and the community.

“Tomomi has had surgery for two hepatic artery aneurysms that were terminal if not removed. It was a twelve hour procedure that was located in a sensitive area. She still has to have surgery for other complications. This is going to be a long term procedure.” As an outgoing person, Tomomi will have challenges not being able to do all the things she would like. She loves her job at the travel agency, but must limit the amount of time she works.

Ashley goes on to explain, “My sister volunteers for our club (Nakagusuku Club) at the (Hawaii United Okinawa Association) Okinawa Festival. She does tours with my mom for the business for the Uchinanchu Taikai (a major global event that takes place in Okinawa every 5 years), and she goes to the Okinawa Center to volunteer and participate by going to the events as well. For my family, she helps mom with her business, my dad with things he can’t understand, being that English is his second language, helps my brother by spending time with nephews and niece, she also helps my grandmother, which I used to do, when I used to live there (on Oahu) by taking her shopping, spending time, having lunch, and what not. She’s always there for her friends and when they’re down, she is sympathetic towards them.”

Tomomi is expected to need CT scan to check for clots in her veins. She continues to experience complications with her condition and could use our emotional and financial support. You can either help by clicking on the link to make donations or spread the word to others who can help. So many of us benefit from having Tomomi and her family in our lives, now is the perfect time to show our gratitude.

Click to Help Tomo Out

 

CRYO Therapy Hawaii by Egan Inoue Opening on January 18th

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Why would I want to go into a cryotherapy chamber? I don’t like the cold. I can’t even stand to go into the produce refrigerator at Costco, but, there was a part of me that was curious.  What are the health benefits? How does it work? Is it safe? — were just some of the questions I wanted answered. 

On Monday, January 18th, professional athlete and owner of Egan’s Training Center, Egan Inoue and Dr. Craig Haga, will hold the Grand Opening of CRYO Therapy Hawaii. Some of us who train at his gym, were able to get a pre-opening treatment. I decided to make an appointment and see what the big deal is all about. Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant are a few professional athletes that opt for the chilly sci-fi cylinder to boost their athletic performance.I chose a whole body and facial spot treatment. Here is what I learned during my time there:

History
Cryotherapy began in Japan, developed in Europe and migrated to the United States. Treatment is intended to address pain and inflammation for sports injuries, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and skin conditions. Providers of cryotherapy are usually physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers, and holistic healers.(wholebodycryotherpy.org)

How does it work?
“With Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) the body is exposed to ultra-low temperatures, triggering a systematic anti-inflammatory response. This modality was first utilized in Japan in 1978 to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Studies conducted over the last two decades have established WBC as a powerful treatment for inflammatory disorders and injuries. The accelerated production of collagen improves skin elasticity and texture, reversing skin aging and the appearance of cellulite.” (CRYO Therapy Hawaii brochure)

What are the health benefits?
Immune system – Cryotherapy improves the function of the immune system and decreases stress levels.

Skin – Exposure to temperature -160 degrees Celsius (-256 degrees Fahrenheit) triggers the systemic release of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and decreases circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. This internal response decreases inflammation in all areas of the body.

Musculoskeletal – The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of cryotherapy can drastically improve joint disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Athletes use whole body therapy to recover from injuries and improve their performance.

Endocrine – The exposure to extreme cold causes the body to turn up its metabolic rate in order to produce heat. This effect lasts for up to 42 hours after the procedure, causing the body to burn up to 800 calories following the procedure. After several procedures. The increase in metabolic rate tends to last longer. Another “survival reaction” to the extreme cold temperatures is the release of endorphins (hormones) that have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and improve mood disorders. (CRYO Therapy Hawaii brochure)

Is it safe?
Based on my experience, I felt the process to be comfortable and safe. I could see why you would never do it alone. Many express concern because of the recent death of Chelsea Ake-Savacion. Although there are not many details known about her death, we do know she was alone. There is a door that latches shut and a hydraulic that lifts you up so that you end up shoulder deep in the chamber when doing the whole body cryotherapy treatments. The controls are all on the outside. So if you are in a cryotherapy chamber, you cannot access the control panels located outside, which are operated by a staff member who is with you throughout the process.

When in doubt, it is wise to consult a physician before trying the therapy. I asked one client who came for a shoulder injury about her doctor’s opinion. Her doctor had no reservations about her doing the therapy and said she could do it an unlimited amount of times as long she found it helpful.

What to expect from whole body cryotherapy
Women have the option of going in nude. Most women go in their undies, bikini, or sports bra. It’s good to have a lot of skin exposure. Men can go in undies and/or shorts.

 

When you arrive at CRYO Therapy Hawaii, you will be given a cotton robe, gloves, socks and some slip on shoes to cover your feet. You want to protect your little digits. Thus, no “naked time” for the guys. Egan being Egan (meaning – he’s CRAZY, DO NOT TRY THIS), said he tried “naked time” and simply put, he said, “It hurts.”

When you get into the large cylinder chamber, the door will be closed, and at that time, you will take off your robe. A staff member on the outside will be operating the functions of the chamber. The floor beneath you in the chamber will lift until you are shoulder deep in the chamber and you can see above its rim. The nitrogen will have already started to fill the chamber. They kept me in for about 90 seconds. You can move around, dance, or talk to staff and other clients waiting to make the time go by faster. However, it really didn’t seem long at all. At -250 degrees Fahrenheit, it sounds very uncomfortable, but I didn’t think so. My legs felt it the most, cold and tingly. Other clients said their legs felt “crunchy.” You can go in for another treatment soon after, which Egan recommends, to receive maximum benefits. Before going in for another treatment (which I did) I had to wait for my body temperature to go back to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason for this is for skin safety. This time, my legs felt a bit colder.

It took a good 20-30 minutes for my core to cool down. They gave me a cup of tea and I was still shivering while I was drinking it outside in the sun at high noon. I felt really good throughout the rest of my day and slept soundly that night. The benefit of the therapy lasts up to 42 hours after the session, fighting inflammation and burning extra calories.

Spot treatment
Right after the whole body treatment I did the spot treatment for the face head and neck. In the spot treatment room, there is a large white comfy chair that the client lays in on their back. There is the machine, also known as “the elephant,” that blows nitrogen vapors through a hose. Marcia (Egan’s wife and former competitive gymnast) administered my treatment. She started in the scalp area, which felt really good. When she got to my face, it took a little getting used to. I could feel the skin tightening as the super cold vapors were blowing around my face. The benefits were much more apparent with this treatment. My skin felt much tighter and smoother instantly.


My take on cryotherapy
Although I cannot comment on the long term benefits, I did feel it alleviated tightness in my neck and shoulders. The staff at CRYO Therapy Hawaii has a lot of fun and they make the clients feel at home. It’s super quick, so it’s not like a massage experience that is longer and you can relax and maybe even take a nap. If you are looking for an anti-aging, weight loss, or anti-inflammation regiment, this is a great option. I will definitely go again.

Information
CRYO Therapy Hawaii, by Egan Inoue
2600 South King Street, Suite K106
Honolulu, HI 96826
808-397-6407

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

www.cryotherapyhawaii.com

Weight Loss and Life-Long Health Goes Beyond Nutrition and Exercise

 

The Cabbage Soup Diet, Jenny Craig, The Hot Dog, Egg, and Some Other Thing I Can’t Remember Diet – like many women, I’ve tried all kinds of diets to keep the weight off.  Never being successful, until now, I learned the most important thing about losing weight and keeping it off.  I learned that no matter what, the change had to be made with my self-worth first.  I have to believe everyday that the work is done in this order – Spirit, Mind, and Body.  The body will reflect what lives in the spirit and mind. How I lost my weight and increased my energy has everything to do with habits I found necessary for me to live a happy life.  Here are some of the adjustments I made in my perspective to accomplish more than just weight-loss.

Goal Setting
The managing trainer (more like a life coach), Kimi Morton, at Egan’s Fit Body Bootcamp, says, “What you can measure, you can manage.”  In other words, we can’t just say that we want to lose weight.  If we say exactly how many pounds we want to lose, set a deadline, and detail what actions we will take to get there, we can be laser focused on accomplishing our goals.  Making it an easy bite size goal is important too, we need to be able to meet our goals because that is what is going to make us feel awesome and ready to set the next step to the ultimate “Big Dream” goal.  For myself, it was, I will lose 1-2 pounds a week to lose 5 pounds in a month by exercising at least 5 times a week.  My husband and I now do this for our financial goals by saying how much we will save per month so we can take a Japan trip with the whole family next year.  I also apply this to how many hours and pages I will cover in my study material to pass the CPA exam.  “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy recommended by Kimi, helped tremendously.  I highly recommend this book if you want to learn to prioritize and have many things, like I do, that you would like to accomplish.

Have a Support Group and Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You
I most certainly could not have met my weight loss goal if I didn’t have people to hold me accountable.  By having a small group of people after the same goal, you have no choice but to be accountable for your actions.  If you have to report to people about how much progress you’re making, if you stick to your meal plan, and they notice if you aren’t going to your workout, you will be less likely to fall off the wagon.  Also, by having trainers teach me about metabolism and protein and carbohydrate ratios was eye-opening.  

I work in an accounting firm and during tax season, I got smart and allowed others to help me.  Half way through the season I went for lomilomi massage treatment and hired a personal chef.  Just doing these two things lifted such a weight off my shoulders.  I was able to eat healthy with the help of the personal chef.  It was one of the roughest tax seasons we had in a long time, but I felt clear-minded and had enough energy to pull me through the season.  I used to pride myself in doing everything myself. Now, I know it is best for people to help one another by doing what they love.  I am able to share my light by helping people through my career in accounting and love of writing.  By allowing friends to help me with my healing and nutritional needs, I am assisting them in sharing their light as well.  This exchange of helping one another, to me, is the meaning of true abundance!
Reward Your Future Self
The wonderful side effect of proper goal setting and having a support group is being more productive without feeling run down.  I have also picked up a new favorite phrase that keeps me from procrastinating, which is, “reward your future self.”  I got this from Pualena Pakele & Cabot on her “Hot Better Pop” podcast with Kimi Morton (Check out this podcast if you’re interested in life hacks, nutrition, beauty, productivity, unicorns, etc.).  So now, every time I think I am tired and I can just do something later, for example, prepping my breakfast and the kids’ after school snacks the night before, I think about whether I’m rewarding or punishing my future self. This is usually enough to keep me from leaving it to be done the next morning.  This means I always have my 5 a.m. workout clothes on the bathroom counter so I don’t have to decide what to wear at 4:30 a.m.

Cheat Meals (Joy) Are (Is) Essential
That’s right!  I must have a guilt-free cheat meal or two on the weekends.  I LOVE FOOD!  I have certainly learned to love eating cleaner simply because it makes me feel better. However, my husband and I love good sushi, Italian food, and gelato! Not only is it better in the long run to have a sustainable diet that the body is used to, but it’s also necessary to have it as part of a joyful life.  Food is an important part of our culture, brings family and friends together, and used in celebrations.  Therefore, we have to be able to live with food and enjoy it without any guilt, otherwise, chocolates, wine, and pasta will not get the full attention and appreciation it deserves.  Now that’s sad!  So eat healthy and work hard, but balance it with decadence and play!

Bless EVERYTHING!
This is the biggest lesson of all.  Going back to Spirit, Mind and Body.  We can bless our spirit and mind through meditation and learning about things that bring us joy.  We can also bless our bodies through exercise and putting fresh, non-processed foods into our bodies.  It doesn’t have to stop there.  When, I do work for a client, cook food for my family, speak to another, clean my house, I stop and ask myself what kind of energy am I putting into my action and words.   We have a big house and I sometimes catch myself thinking that the cleaning is never ending.  So, at that point I switch my thoughts to gratitude, because when I do, I realize that when I am gratefully cleaning my home, I am blessing it, and when you clean a home that is a blessing rather than a burden, it becomes more beautiful to look at.  Now, blessing is slowly becoming more of a habit and suddenly grumpy clients are kinder, clothes get folded more neatly, food gets better prepared and my physical self is also much improved.  I’m still working on “blessing” our 6 bedroom house, or perhaps I just need to embrace the mess.  Anyways, everything is always a work in progress.  

So, I guess the moral of this story is, if you want to improve something, be grateful for what you have and BLESS IT!!
 Down 20 lbs.and 8% body fat

Mauna Kea From My Non-Hawaiian (But Kind of Okinawan) Point of View

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Recently, with the world watching the fate of Mauna Kea unfold, I also began to question the importance of its protection. Several determining life experiences have affected my thoughts of whether or not the construction of 18 story high observatory should be supported. First of all, I have been married to my husband, Alex, for almost 14 years. He is very analytical, while I am very emotionally driven when it comes to making choices. This is why we make a great pair when making family decisions, but, I digress. Secondly, I lived in Okinawa for a year, this is the land of my ancestors, and while I was there I strengthened a bond with them that, as I sit here blogging, trascends over space and time, and there is a phrase for that connection taught to me, by my Sensei Frances Nakachi, to be “tukeya hizamitin” or “transcending hearts.” Finally, my children are always watching me. Through every. thing. we are connecting them to what has been passed on for hundreds and thousands of years. Through what we feed their bodies, minds and hearts as parents, we are showing them what we value as our parents and grandparents taught us through their words and actions consciously or unconsciously.

So now that I have established a little background about a few of my life experiences, I will share with you how I wavered greatly with my feelings about the observatory construction. Being the very balanced married couple that we are, some of Alex’s analytical sense had rubbed off on me and he has learned to consider one’s feelings before sharing his very truthful observations (there is a very funny story about us going on a sushi date and he mentioned that I should be able to at least eat the same amount as him since my stomach was obviously bigger than his). Back to Mauna Kea, many of the questions I initially asked myself involved why science and spirituality can’t get along. Must they be separate? I even went as far as thinking, can this observatory be an enhancement to Mauna Kea procuring a connection to the Universe? On and on my brain went on to justify that the observatory would be good for all people of the world. This may just as well be the same reasons for many who support the construction of the observatory. Later when I read Ed Morita’s article in Frolic Hawaii, I became more convinced that my position was a well supported one. However, for me, I guess, even though I thought of so many good reasons to move forward it did not sit right somehow in my heart. As I write this blog, my discussions with Alex still vary back and forth, and, there are many good arguments that can be made to support the construction. Even with all that, my relationship to my own Motherland, is the single reason I support the protection of Mauna Kea. When this connection was brought to light, I knew with all my heart that Mauna Kea should be protected.

I began to think of a place in Okinawa called Sefa Utaki. It is the most sacred place in Okinawa and people come from around the world to feel its divine, rejuvenating power. Created by the goddess Amamikiyo, Sefa Utaki overlooks the Kudaka Islands. The lush forest, unique rock formations, and caves are her precious treasures. Holy waters drip from stalagmite formations. How saddened I would be if ANY construction would take place at such a beloved sanctuary that has been sacred since the beginning of Okinawa’s history. At this thought, I knew in my heart that Mauna Kea should be protected. No analysis needed, only tukeya hizamitin – my connection to Okinawa and my ancestors. This is a knowing that indigenous people have even when they return to the Motherland that they weren’t even born in, but where their ancestors originated. This is the connection I feel the Hawaiians want to protect, and it’s hard to justify it to those who have not experienced this feeling of connection, but, have so many analytical reasons why we should construct. Is the love for your child less real than the smart phone in your hand because you cannot see it? My friends have shared a powerful video that explains the perspective of those who love Hawaii and are protecting Mauna Kea.

My children are growing up in Honolulu, and right now it’s more important than ever to take them out to play in sun and in the ocean. Technology is so accessible and constant that it takes more effort to unplug them, throw them in the car, and connect them with the land. They need to be in nature so that they know that everything we need to live comes from nature. Sure people can create phones, computers and cars no problem. Food, air and water come from nature. My grandparents were not necessarily strong spiritual people, but they lived off the Hawaiian land, said itadakimasu (expressed gratitude) before each meal, and worked in the yard. It was easy back then to be akin to the land and constantly reminded that it was the land that took care of you. I believe that protecting Mauna Kea is not a protest against technology but protecting the ties of Aloha that transcend through time and space.

If you feel moved to protect Mauna Kea, complete the petition here:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-mauna-kea-stop