Connected & A.L.I.V.E. in 2012 ~
I recently facilitated the first class of A.L.I.V.E. 2012, a program I designed to help people Awaken to Living with Inspiration and Vitality Everyday. I believe the key to living with a sense of inspiration and vitality everyday is CONNECTION…with our passion, each other, and the essential life force that surrounds us all. Before we can connect with anything external, we must connect to a deeper place within ourselves. In the A.L.I.V.E. journey, we explore the four aspects of Self (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) through the lens of the universal elements.
Many cultures embrace three, four, and sometimes five natural elements in various ways. Years ago, Walt Keale, a dear family friend, teacher, and neighbor shared a teaching from his kupuna with my family and me. He shared the “Nine Elements” from the Hawaiian perspective, and in my mind, it seems far more complete than some common schools of thought. The Nine Elements, as shared by Keale, are: la (the sun) Hina (the moon), Kane (fresh water), Kanaloa (salt water), makani (wind), ahi (fire), ‘aina (earth), kupuna (ancestors), and piko (you and me). From this perspective, we recognize both fresh water and salt water as they are each are vitally important to life, regardless of where you live on the globe. It is interesting to note that, as our first A.L.I.V.E. class dove deeper into the realms of water, our participants in Hawai’i endured torrential rains, thunder storms, and even a couple rounds of hail, a first in the islands! Recognizing the ancestors and ourselves is another distinct difference in this system of observing the elements. Our ancestors, deceased and living, have a significant impact on our lives, even those we’ve never known. Likewise, we (as the “piko”) have an impact on all the other elements, and all the elements, in turn, effect us – in both positive and negative ways. A.L.I.V.E. takes participants through a unique and dynamic elemental exploration. As this first group connected more deeply to the elements, we all discovered passionate new pathways leading to the bliss that begets us to fully awaken to living with inspiration and vitality everyday.
Speaking of connection, it was evident that, despite our very diverse group, we were united by something greater than perhaps we can even comprehend. Our group spanned 30 years, with participants ranging in age from almost 30 to approaching 60. We had a Native Hawaiian who’s genealogy connects her to O’ahu and the the small island of Lana’i and a Japanese-Hawaiian who grew up in Colorado. We represented both the west and east coasts of the continental U.S. with a woman from California and a man from Georgia. We even had a participant from South Africa! The military community was well represented with two military spouses, a combat veteran, and a grandmother who shared her stories about growing up as a “military brat” long before many of us were even born. Our A.L.I.V.E. ohana also included an elementary school teacher, a stay-at-home mom, a professional dance choreographer/teacher, and a childcare provider. The diverse backgrounds, interests, and professions made for interesting gatherings and lively conversation.
Everyone in the group was a teacher in some way, and while technically I was the “facilitator,” I was incredibly privileged to be a student as well. I am eternally grateful for the beautiful souls that had the courage to delve into the unknown and ultimately take center stage in their own lives. The group’s ability to show compassion and be present for each other allowed authentic expression to flow with safety and ease. The radiant spark of connection we had with one another surely fanned the flames of passion residing within us all. I wish all the participants of the first A.L.I.V.E. class continued blessings for the blissful road ahead. May you always grow towards the sun, dance under the moon, be fed by fresh water, cleansed by salt water, have wind in your sails, a sacred fire burning, and the everlasting guidance of your ancestors. Always remember “E piko kakou.” We are all connected.
Find your passion and follow your bliss!
*The video below celebrates our first A.L.I.V.E. group and their families. The pictures are set to the music of Walt Keale (singing along with some of my favorite young people). “Kunkle,” we love you and thank you for sharing your musical messages!
Categories: OLA LOKAHI