You know the joke about the monk that gave the hot dog vendor $20 to “make him one with everything” and when asking for his change, was told “change comes from within?”
Maui is a volcano 15 miles from the most active “hot spot” on planet earth where lava continuously pours out of the depths of the earth to create new land. It’s the second Island in the tallest chain of mountains on Earth (measured from the sea-floor) in the middle of the largest expanse of Ocean. You could say the Hawaiian Islands are the “navel” of the Earth. The inside of the planet is always becoming the outside, more obviously here than on the continents.
Getting to and being on Maui has been a truly volcanic process, and the joke is on me. Any and all discrepancies and incongruities in the way I want to live and the way I actually live are in my face.
Despite Bren and I doing our absolute best to make letting go of California life a smooth transition, we both got stressed beyond our limits and got sick. The only thing more stressful I have ever done was help my wife die.
Nonetheless, we pulled it off and arrived at a beautiful, affordable RV with deck in a garden setting filled with birds, 4 minutes from the beach and 6 minutes from the most masterful bodyworker either of us have ever experienced. We bathed in the warm ocean and whale song, received transformational body healing, gorged on pineapple, papaya, passion fruit and amazing fish tacos and began to feel like we really did land in paradise!
Not so fast! We’d never lived in an RV so when it was a little smelly, we thought “well, no big deal, now we know we don’t want to live in an RV!” Then one night we came home from an amazing double healing session, feeling the best we had felt so far, and had to close all the windows because it was raining hard. And the RV stank. It was so bad we had to turn on all the fans just to be able to breathe enough to sleep. It was like sleeping in the last row of seats in a jet next to the engines and the toilets. We felt poisoned and betrayed and like we might get sick all over again.
Our landlords were mystified, said it had never been that bad for them, tried all sorts of deodorizers and pumped the tank but nothing worked. It wasn’t until I crawled under the RV naked and discovered a kloodgied grey water drain pipe was holding stagnant water and belching swamp gas back into the RV that I was able to create a proper angle to allow the water to drain and 90% of the stench cleared.
Another day Bren and I are waiting outside the port office to have a tow truck take her car to the mechanic shop. (Turns out the dock workers in California had killed both batteries in her electric car somehow, probably by leaving the key in for weeks). I started to complain about the petty tyrant that guarded the gate and had imperiously ordered us to “go away and come back at 1pm sharp.” At 1:03 the tow truck driver shows up and I go to start my car and it won’t start. It’s never done that once in 17 years. And it won’t start until Bren says “beg for mercy!” Boom, starts right up and has never been a problem again.
Here’s what I feel is really going on: We came here to live our dreams into reality and to share our process so others can see it is possible for them to do the same. We came here to start over and let go of all our old stories and our attachments to our tension and resentments about what appears to be “other peoples” negligence, stupidity, obstruction and unfairness. Any way I tell myself an old story that I am oppressed by anyone or any circumstance will IMMMEDIATELY become “truth” here until I see it as myself creating that “reality.”
If my dream is to live in harmony and abundance with the land, plants, animals and my neighbors, then that very intention will bring up every old attachment I have to my fear based stories of lack and oppression until I see that I am the source of creating my life that way. There is no “slack” here. You live your dreams or your nightmares. Fortunately, as soon as I see that, the good magic I came looking for starts to happen again.
Of course it takes time. The RV still smells. Bren’s car will be fixed with a new battery because it was still under warranty so it will be like a new car!……Life is a messy process and I can feel how living here is graduate school in how to live life. Every day brings new challenges and new gifts. Aloha spirit is a daily spiritual practice!!
Torus Photo courtesy of Rick Russell; Mathematical Creations