Revolution

Most people like food. Pretty much everyone I know eats on a daily basis. So you would think that people would be more interested in their food, specifically what they’re eating, how it was produced and where it comes from. But clearly people are not that interested because the situation with food is clearly out of control. It’s pretty obvious by what’s on the grocery store shelves; most people happily spend their money on processed and genetically modified foods without giving it a second thought.  The problem is immense and dangerous and out of control. This quote from John Robbins, author, activist and humanitarian sums it up.

Our food chain is in crisis. Big agribusiness has made profits more important than your health- more important than the environment-more important than your right to know how your food is produced.

To me this is beyond disturbing. Because I cannot for the life of me understand how or why this happened. And I really can’t even begin to wrap my head around the idea of how to fix it. Except we must. We must fix it and soon because our very existence depends upon it being fixed. This is the stuff that only a revolution will fix so we must, all of us, become revolutionaries. We must revolt against the status quo of factory farmed, genetically modified, cruelly raised, earth destroying and chemically altered food that most of us consume on a daily basis. How do we do this? We make choices that support change by refusing to give our money to companies that put profits above what’s right. Read my husband Mike Spencer’s blog to learn the power of a boycott.

taroOn a recent visit to Kauai we had the great fortune to visit a lo’i kalo (taro farm) run by Kaina Makua and his nonprofit Kumano i ke Ala. It’s so remote that to get there you either have to walk across a swinging bridge or drive your truck across the river- there’s no road that crosses the river to the property. But it’s beautiful, peaceful and sustainable. It’s also free from genetic modification. We spoke with Kaina for some time about his vision to grow taro on a small scale and to provide unpasteurized poi and other taro products through their partner business Aloha Āina Poi Co. He spoke of his dreams and his hard work and the community he is building there. He told us that the water from the river near his farm is being diverted and that the river is flowing less and less over time.

This taro farm is a reminder of the roots of Hawaii; a place that was, not so long ago, free from contamination. The Hawaiian people had one of the most sustainable food systems ever developed, the ahupua’a. The water was channeled from the mountain to the taro fields. It would then drain to the fish pond and out to sea leaving in its path food for everyone. Then the colonizers came and diverted the water for sugarcane and greed and began the process of stripping the people not only of their water and land, but of their culture and dignity as well. It is the same story told too many times in too many different settings. I’m sure you’ve heard the story before. If not in the context of the Hawaiian people, then certainly in the context of Native Americans or Mauri or Aboriginal or indigenous people everywhere. The story always ends the same… greed wins and everyone else loses.

Now we have a chance to write a new story. We can do this by being mindful of who and what we support with our dollar. We can buy food from small farms with big missions like Kaina’s. We can grow our own food. We can tell our friends and families to do the same. We can make a difference in the small things we do each day because the small things done by the many will be greater than the big things done by the few. We can be like David, who with his tiny stone, defeated the giant. We can and we must. Our entire existence and the existence of our future generations depend upon it.

As we stood in the lo’i kalo speaking with Kaina that day about why he was growing his taro there in that remote and beautiful place I was reminded of this quote I had read some time ago…

In our society growing food yourself has become the most radical of acts. It is truly the only effective protest. One that can-and will-overturn the corporate powers that be. By the process of directly working in harmony with nature, we do the one thing most essential to change the world. We change ourselves.(author unknown)

I pulled up the quote on my phone and gave it to Kaina to read. He was thoughtful for a moment and said, “I don’t know about all that activism stuff… I just like to grow food.”

 

Support Kaina’s mission by shopping at Aloha Aina Poi Co (website for the nonprofit Kumano i ke Ala is being developed and will be available soon).

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My husband Mike (far left) standing next to Kaina with the crew of taro lovers.
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Redemption

My husband Mike likes to talk to cab drivers and Uber drivers and airport shuttle drivers… if your driving us, he wants to talk with you. His father was a driver here on Oahu, as well as a gifted story-teller, and I think Mike realizes the depth of both information and history that these amazing people hold. I actually like that he likes to talk to our drivers. It makes the trip much more interesting and you never know what you might learn.

Last week we were in Florida  attending a conference for our Young Living business. We decided to stay in the convention center where the conference was going on and we decided not to rent a car since we would be busy much of every day. When you stay at a conference center without a car you are pretty much held hostage. They charge you crazy prices for mediocre (at best) food and drink and you’re forced, out of boredom, to walk around the man-made environment that is designed to look like nature so you feel better about paying $7 for a bottle of water. It is, in a way, oppressive.

One day we decided to take an Uber to a Puerto Rican restaurant that was recommended to us by one of the valets (we prefer recommendations from local people as the concierges tend to be trained to give tourist-specific advice). We hopped in the back of the car and within minutes the conversation with the driver began. On this particular day the conversation began as it usually does: the drive was going to take a bit longer than we’d thought; the weather was unseasonably hot; no, he’d never eaten at this particular restaurant. I noticed the man’s Caribbean accent and I knew it was a matter of time before…

“Where are you from originally?” Asked Mike.

“Jamaica,” replied our driver (I’ll call him Willy). Then the conversation took a turn that I hadn’t anticipated. The two of them began discussing the similarities among island people; how they are very family oriented; the problems living in a place crowded with tourists, the loss of culture and dignity of the native people. During a pause in the conversation I told Willy that I had been to Jamaica before. I asked him what city in Jamaica he was from and he replied, “Oh it’s a very small place, you probably have never heard of it. St Anne.”

“I’ve been there!” I said. “That’s where Bob Marley was born. I went to visit his childhood home when I was in Jamaica.” I didn’t tell him how I had drank some “tea” from an old Rastafarian man who was selling it outside of Bob Marley’s birthplace (bad choice but it made the bus ride down the mountain more enjoyable). And so, the subject naturally turned to Bob Marley. Willy told us that he had met Bob Marley once right before he died. We talked about his music and Mike said that his favorite Bob Marley song was Redemption Song. Willy agreed that it is the best song that Bob Marley ever wrote. They talked a bit about the significance of the lyrics and how powerful they are…

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
‘Cause none of them can stop the time

To me, this is deep. This made me understand my husband and our driver in a new way. For these two men from different islands share a similar history. Both of their peoples have been  oppressed and marginalized for over a century and continue to be treated as less. In my opinion the worst thing about oppression is not that others are mistreated (although that’s terrible, don’t get me wrong). To me the worst thing about oppression is that, because of this mistreatment, the oppressed are convinced that they are less; the mental slavery that comes from oppression is crippling. It makes the oppressed believe that they are unworthy. And that is simply not true.

And whether or not you have experienced oppression, the truth is that you are affected by it. We all suffer from the effects of oppression whether we realize it or not. To allow some to suffer while others go about their day as if all is well in the world affects us at the soul level. To believe that this is how the world should be and that there’s nothing we can do about it is crippling to ourselves and those around us. To put your faith in a system that is unjust is the mental slavery that Bob Marley talks about in this song. And, to some degree we all suffer from it. But there is good news in Bob Marley’s song. The good news is that the redemption can be found within ourselves. We have the power to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery.

We are, none of us, better or worse than anyone else. To believe in our own superiority or worthlessness is an illusion and only facilitates suffering. But the good news is that Bob Marley was right; we can free our minds from these illusions. We can change our thoughts and help others to change their thoughts to reflect the light that is in each and every one of us. We all have within us that same spark of life that was given to us by the creator when we first came into this world.We can start today by treating ourselves and those around us with aloha; with love and kindness, remembering that, whether you are a doctor, teacher, waitress, cab driver, or anything else, you share that same light with those around you. We can free our minds from the status quo and in turn we can free the world.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

You Tube video of Redemption Song

 

 

One

 

As I set off on my journey towards self awareness and inner peace, I can’t help thinking that this world is seriously in trouble. All this conflict is getting in the way of my peace: the current political craziness, the environment, racism, homelessness, it goes on and on. How do you have inner peace when you witness so much chaos?

Our western culture is built upon what we can observe with our senses. Even science is built upon this, which is so ironic considering that there are things that we can’t directly observe that we know exist. For example, we know that dogs can hear sounds that we cannot hear. We don’t say the dog is crazy for hearing these sounds. We just accept the fact that they can hear things we can’t. Our culture is so focused on the self  and our sensory experiences and what we can consume that everything else has no value. That, to me, is completely horrifying. And it daily creeps in on my ability to maintain inner peace.

I was reading a bit about quantum physics the other day. Now I am probably the farthest thing from a scientist that ever lived but even I can see the implications that quantum physics has about how things work in the world. According to quantum physics, everything is made up of energy. This energy vibrates at different frequencies, thereby giving us the illusion of separation. We are basically all blobs of energy floating around in more energy, surrounded by blobs of energy. We are all connected by what is called the unified field (basically just more energy).

What this means to me is that what some people call New Age, is really Old School, Original Gangster (O.G.) thinking. Thoughts have energy. Words have power. We can connect to a higher source. We are one. The idea of interconnectedness is old. And sacred. And was somehow lost to the people who greedily began to conquer the world some hundreds of years ago (aka white people. Yes I said it). What happened?

My husband is Native Hawaiian. He has many friends who are from various indigenous heritages and I have been blessed to sit around the table with them and listen to them talk story. From my tiny (but growing) understanding, indigenous people all have a belief in the interconnectedness of the people with the land, with each other and with what some might call the spirit world. From what I gather, this interconnectedness is pretty much universal among indigenous people and has held on despite the fact that western people (aka white people… again) have been doing their best to wipe Native peoples and their beliefs off the face of the Earth for several hundred years now. Native people see themselves as caretakers of the land. It is a sacred law. Take a look at what’s going on at Standing Rock. I can barely stand to read the news; it has made me sob uncontrollably many times. The Water Protectors are living out their sacred responsibility. They are doing this for everyone. When all the water is poisoned, what are we going to drink?

This sacred responsibility of the Native Peoples extends to humans as well; in caring for each other. One friend told us that in her tribe The Great Law is that if there isn’t enough food for everyone to eat, then no one eats. I felt my eyes filling with tears when she told me that because, really, this is how the world should be. Why isn’t it? I’ll tell you… the world is like this because people don’t share. We consume and collect and hoard and then throw away things that we’re bored with or have rotted or turned to dust while others are forced to rummage through our trash, hoping for a few bottles to exchange for a packet of bologna or a McDonalds happy meal.

So how to have inner peace when there is so much outer chaos? To me I have to believe in the goodness and love that is within all these blobs of energy that surround me. I have to believe in the goodness and love that is in myself. Then I have to extend my goodness and my love and my positive energy outward; knowing, trusting and believing that this energy, this love has power and that it can change the world. I focus on this love knowing that what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said is truth: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Let us all unite our light and our love and drive out the darkness that has somehow overtaken us. Let us live surrounded by, and filled with, and extending love.

Aloha

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Inner Peace

I’ve recently added meditation to my daily routine. I’m not gonna lie. ..That shit is hard. I’m told it gets easier, but I have to say that every time I sit down and start to quiet my mind, all these thoughts about how much crap I need to get done start to bubble up and stress me out. Or else I fall asleep. So ya. I need to keep working on it.

I know these thoughts are coming up because of my false beliefs and fears. Most likely something I have stuck in my head is I need to do everything myself. In fact I know that thought is stuck in there. And I need to get it out. Because really, it’s impossible to do everything yourself. Having been a single mom for 16 years, I pretty much had to do everything. By myself. At least that’s what I thought at the time and so I continued to perpetuate that thinking (and still perpetuate it and let it stress me out). But I’m ready to give up that thinking. Right here. Right now. Because it’s untrue. And it is limiting.

My mantra for today is I am a magnet for miracles. Real miracles are shifts in our thinking that free us from our past fear-based thinking and turn us towards love and abundance. It’s not always easy, just like forgiving isn’t easy, but it’s possible if the desire and intent are there. The first step is being aware of your thoughts because thoughts are fucking sneaky. They creep in there and become so habitual that you feel as if you can’t control them. That’s called anxiety. And it sucks.

But the truth is that the only thing that you can control is your own thinking. And that is awesome news because when you control how you look at things, you control your perception and that means that you control your reality. So today begin your journey towards inner peace by realizing that whatever it is that is stressing you out, or making you feel less than awesome, is something that you can change just by changing your own mind. Set that intention and work until you achieve it. That’s the key though. You can’t just set your intention and then go watch TV. You have to work to achieve it. You have to sit through those meditations and consciously work on changing your negative thinking patterns. You need to rid yourself of toxic people and emotions. You need to do whatever it is that you need to do: ask for help, pray, read a book, say a mantra, use some essential oils or crystals, whatever resonates within you to do. I’m not saying it’s easy. But if you truly want it, you will be willing to put in the work and it will happen. Today we can all be magnets for miracles.

Now get to work.

Aloha pumehana

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Yes you are Unicat. Yes you are.

Forgiveness

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On the path to  self love and inner peace there are many road blocks. The biggest one for many people is forgiveness. There is a mistaken belief that forgiving someone means that what they did was ok. But forgiveness is more about yourself than it is about the other person. It means that, regardless of what someone did to you (or what you did that you need to forgive yourself for), YOU are ok. You are who you have always been; who you always will be. It is connecting with your soul and realizing that, despite whatever horrors you may have endured, you are whole and you are at peace.

I am finding myself fascinated with many things about the Hawaiian culture. While I am only beginning my studies, I am already enamored with the wisdom and simplicity of the spiritual teachings. It is like finding pieces to a puzzle that you’ve been trying to put together your entire life. Let’s take forgiveness as an example…

In Hawaiian, the term hala is used to describe an act of wrong doing committed by or against another. Moke Kupihea, in his book The Cry of the Huna says,

A hala was an act that bound the wrongdoer to the person against whom the wrong was committed. It was said that, on the one hand, wrongdoers are bound by the fault they have committed and, on the other hand, those who have been wronged hold the cord that binds the wrongdoer. One, it was said, is the debtor, the other, the person or persons indebted to. The hala, then, is the debt that lies between them. It was the belief of the people of old that if those who hold the invisible cord do not desire to relax it but continue to bear the wrong in mind, or in its active state of wrongfulness, then they are said to “hold fast the fault,” ho’o hala hala.

He then goes on to describe how a wrong can spread generationally and “can travel into future generations of a family, a people or even a nation if such is the vastness of the fault.” This can only make people dissatisfied and prone to violence. It is as if they are strangling on the cord of the hala.

It is impossible to be at peace and to hold a grudge at the same time. No matter how vast are the wrongs committed against you, to hold onto them means to continue to suffer. To feel that you need to wait until someone apologizes or offers reparations is to basically put your own wellbeing on hold. If you’re hoping for reparations, you can still have that after forgiveness has occurred. In fact, it is more likely that the person who wronged you will offer up reparations if you come to them from a place of forgiveness and peace than of accusation and blame. No need to wait. The time for forgiveness is today because, let’s face it… shit happens. Bad, unthinkable, horrific shit sometimes, sadly happens. To everyone. But it doesn’t need to cause endless suffering.

I know you’re probably saying to yourself right now, “She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know how crazy hateful my childhood was. She doesn’t know about how my step dad sexually abused me for years… ” Or maybe your saying, “Ya, but you don’t know the horrible things I’ve done in my life. I’ve done and said unspeakable things.” You’re right. I don’t know what happened in your past. But I know what happened in mine and believe me, it was pretty fucked up. So fucked up in fact that I had to go to hypnotherapy because I had repressed the worst of the fuckedupness (yes I just made that word up). So if I can learn how to forgive that crazy ass shit, then you can too. Because to not forgive it, is to have your life permanently tainted by it forever.

Now I’m in no way saying that forgiveness is easy. It is hard as hell. But it is possible. For me, it helps to be in a calm, meditative state. I am a big fan of using essential oils to help uplift my emotions so I apply that shit all over (I’m not even kidding right now). Be sure to use the highest quality oils (I use Young Living) or else you’re not doing yourself any favors. Next I envision the person who wronged me standing in front of me. I imagine telling that person what he or she did that hurt me and how it affected me. I then say to that person, “I forgive you. I release you. And I set you free. You are free and I am free.” I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I have to do this repeatedly. Whenever I feel anger or thoughts about whatever negative thing happened bubbling up, I just repeat this process.

You, today, right now, have the opportunity to free yourself from whatever perceived wrongs (no matter how horrific) happened in your past. I guarantee you that you can do it and that you are going to feel so much lighter for having let go of that horrendous burden. Forgiveness needs to take place in the present so that healing can occur in the future. What are you waiting for?

Aloha nui loa

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Dogs always forgive themselves.

Release

A few years ago I read a book called “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. This book actually changed my life. Louise was able to heal herself from cancer through forgiveness, positive affirmations and changing her own thought processes. It is her belief that every illness, every pain we endure is caused by our own negative thinking. I have come to believe and embrace this.

One thing I noticed after reading this book is that often my own thoughts had included the words, “I’m not good enough.” This thought had become so ingrained in my thinking that I wasn’t even aware that it was constantly in my head. It took concentrated focus and meditation for me to even realize that it was there. Our thought patterns can become so habitual that we feel powerless to change them. But we can change them. We just have to decide that we are going to change and to keep going no matter how difficult it may be.

Being aware of my own negative thinking was the first step in changing my own beliefs about myself and about the world. My life has subsequently changed dramatically since then. One of Louise Hay’s affirmations that I started using (and still continue to use) is, “I am willing to release the need to feel unworthy. I am worthy of all the best things in life and I now lovingly choose to accept them.” I then go on to add all the things that I want in my life… “I am worthy of love and I accept it now. I am worthy of freedom and I accept it now. I am worthy of prosperity and I accept it now…”

I encourage you to try this. Say it out loud. Write it down. Look at yourself in the mirror and say it. If you’re willing to give essential oils a try while writing affirmations, I recommend a blend called Release by Young Living. Much of our negative energy is stored on our liver. Try applying Release over your liver area (front and back just under your right breast area) in a circular motion. As the feelings bubble up, work on releasing them; just imagine them blowing away in the wind. If there are people (including yourself) that you need to forgive, be sure to practice that as well. I will be talking more about forgiveness this month as well.

The first step towards really loving yourself is to release your need to feel unworthy (if things in your life aren’t going the way you would like, you probably have feelings of being unworthy whether you realize it or not). Apply and diffuse Release and practice this affirmation and I can almost guarantee you that you will realize whatever it is that is causing you to feel unworthy. Hint: it’s always something you made up about yourself and it’s always a lie.

For more information about Young Living or to become a wholesale member click here.

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Radical Self Care

Recently I’ve been introduced to the concept of radical self care. In a nutshell, radical self care (let’s just call it RSC) is about putting your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs first.  We’ve been programmed in our culture to believe that this is selfish; that we should be putting others, our jobs, our relationships, etc. first. But, let’s face it, if we don’t take care of our own needs, we aren’t going to be much good to anyone else. People are stressed and disconnected; depression and anxiety have reached epidemic proportions. I seriously know more people who are anxious, stressed out, depressed or all three than I know people who are balanced and happy. This is not how we are meant to live our lives. And we don’t need to.

I’ve been going to a yoga class here in Honolulu and we have been discussing the idea of self love and how that includes forgiveness. The instructor, Jonathan Nery is Native Hawaiian and knowledgable in the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono (reconciliation and forgiveness). He’s been taking some aspects of Ho’oponopono and infusing them into our yoga practice.  I’ve been bringing some essential oils to help with releasing and forgiving toxic emotions. The combination of the two has been very healing! I feel like a new person when I leave that class! Forgiving yourself and others is definitely radical self care. It is freedom.

Take some time right now just for yourself. Think about activities that make your heart soar. Here are some ideas of activities that can be nurturing to your soul: yoga, walking or just spending time in nature, coloring, crafting, exercise (that you actually enjoy), cooking for pleasure, sports, getting a massage, meditating, sleeping in, enjoying the company of friends, unplugging (turning off all electronic devices), creating, living in the moment (mindfulness), reading, diffusing essential oils and just being… There are so many ways that we can honor ourselves. My challenge to you is to spend some time each day caring for the most important person in your life… yourself.

The Path

For this post I’m taking a photo challenge from fellow blogger Cheri Lucas Rowland. The challenge is to post a photo that represents your path. My path this past year has been one of tremendous change. I got married, took a leave of absence from my teaching job, started a small business and moved to Hawaii. But although these were big changes, they have put me on a path of discovering who I am and where I want to go. Part of understanding who you are is recognizing where you come from. In Hawaiian culture it is important to honor and remember your ancestors. It is a common practice in gatherings here to call into the meeting the spirit of a family member (living or deceased) whom you wish could be there as a witness or participant. We honor who we are by remembering those who came before us.

On a recent trip to Maui, my husband Mike and I visited Kahakuloa, the birthplace of his grandmother. You can see in the background the precarious road we took to get to that place. The road was wrought with difficulties: potholes, hairpin turns, places too narrow for two cars to pass (resulting in one car having to back up around said hairpin turns until you reach a spot wide enough to allow the other car to pass)… But it was also filled with breathtaking views, interesting characters and unbelievable experiences. Although the path might sometimes be challenging, what happens along the way is worth the trip. And isn’t that really what life is all about?

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Yoga. Love. Mana.

One of the most difficult things about moving to a new place is finding friends. When you’ve spent your entire life living within a 30 mile radius, you have a lot of people around you that you’ve built relationships with. Sometimes we forget how much energy it takes to build and maintain relationships. We take our friends for granted.

I’ve only been living in Hawaii for a few months now. And I’ve found two friends. Well really one friend because the other is really my husband’s friend (they did their PhD program together). But I’m working on it. I’ve been pushing myself to do things that I would normally never do; go to random classes in the park, sign up to learn hula, ask a random person who I met at a charity event if she would like to hang out sometime (that’s how I got my one friend)… And it’s working. Slowly my friend stash is increasing. We’re starting to build relationships with some of the people we’ve met through yoga. We see them and they know our names, know that Mike’s mom has been in the hospital. They ask how she’s doing. The beginning stages of friendship.

Someone who I know will continue to become a friend is our yoga instructor Jonathon. He’s just beginning his yoga business but is already an amazing teacher. He’s Native Hawaiian and is embracing his culture along with yoga. The Hawaiian people are very spiritual. They believe in the interconnectedness of people, the Āina (earth) and ke Akua (God). This flows perfectly with yoga. He calls his business “Yoga Love Mana.”

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The view during our yoga class

Jonathan holds his class at 10:30 Wednesday mornings in Kapiolani Park near the bandstand, right between the duck ponds. He begins by encouraging his students to pay attention to the sounds around us: the birds chirping and splashing, the waves of Waikiki crashing, the wind blowing… and even the sounds of technology which infiltrate the sounds of nature on a regular basis.  He then does a chant in the Hawaiian language. Even though I don’t understand all the words I know that they speak of aloha and the spiritual energy (mana) that all things have within them. It is very grounding.

The Young Living Sacred Frankincence oil that I’ve dropped into the palms of everyone there helps to center us and to focus our mind on growing; stretching our bodies and our minds to become stronger and more in tune with ourselves and with the universe. Jonathan leads us in our practice for about 90 minutes. He challenges us to try new things. To keep trying. To try again. He reminds us to reconnect with the intention that we set at the beginning of the class. My intention is always that myself and my business will be used to serve the people here. Somehow I know that this will be. It gives me peace.

We finish the physical work in shavasana. Jonathan puts a dab of Young Living Lavender oil on our foreheads as we pay attention to rest. The smell begins to awaken our senses. To bring us back to the present. To bring us outside of ourselves and back into the world around us. The class ends as all yoga classes end with Namaste; “The light in me acknowledges the light in you.” If only each person lived their life with this greeting in the forefront of their mind; recognizing that we are all connected: āina, people, animals, God… how different would our world be?

Jonathan is coming to our home for dinner this evening. We will share food and talk story. And we all will have found another friend.

 

Swap Meet:Gifts at a Bargain

img_4249If you’ve ever wandered into a gift shop in any tourist town, I’m sure you know that the prices will blow your mind. $6 bottles of water, $300 beach cover ups, $35 T-shirts… it’s nuts! Well Hawaii is no different. All of Waikiki, hotel gifts shops, North Shore boutiques are insanely pricey. After spending a thousand dollars on your plane ticket, you know you need to shop like a local and get your souvenir swag at the Swap Meet!

The swap meet (or swamp meet as my husband calls it) is set up in the parking lot around Aloha Stadium. Vendors rent tents and display all sorts of trinkets; from ukuleles to pearls, for sale. Admission is a dollar and includes parking.

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Renee Becht’s beautiful jewelry. We are big fans!

Mike and I have been going fairly regularly, trying to get our Christmas shopping done. We’ve actually made acquaintances with some of the vendors and have some favorite booths. Not to mention it is a pretty good work out; I’m guessing it’s about a mile around the stadium. What do we buy there? Yesterday was a pretty light shopping day, we picked up a few last minute gifts and some treats for ourselves: snacks from Lins (crackseed-look it up), a sea glass, sterling silver and silk cord necklace from our favorite (and the most beautifully decorated booth there) Renee Becht (check out her etsy store at rbdesignshawaii@etsy.com), and a couple of air plants set in driftwood from a local vendor (local people can rent space on Sundays to sell whatever they have on hand: like garage sale items, homemade crafts or plants).

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Some vendors have told us that the most popular items are T-shirts, beach towels and other souvenir type items. But seriously? Why not take home a hand carved bone shark or a beautiful, handmade piece of jewelry instead? Either way, if you do your shopping at the swap meet you are helping to support someone’s small business rather than putting more money into the big hotel chains coffers. And, if you know me, you know I’m all about supporting small businesses! So, whether you live here on Oahu or just visiting, come on down to Aloha Stadium Saturday, Sunday or Wednesday, and pick up some super cool swag.

Mele Kalikimaka!

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