Be the change by having the Spirit of Appreciation…..Hawaiian Style
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
As many of you know I am in Lanikai (Oahu) this week for the marriage of my son Kevin to Stacey that took place on Saturday, July 5th. I get to officiate their wedding this weekend and I am in appreciation of being here with them both. In the meantime, my serendipitous story of how I met my new friends Faye and Wendy.
I rent with Airbnb when I travel and this time I hit the jackpot for stays. I arrived in the evening and had no clue – I just knew that I was going up, up and up a hill the night before in the dark. Upon awakening the next morning – the picture above is what I saw. The most delicious view from a hillside home that was built about 45 years. Was I in appreciation or what! I had to pinch myself a few times. Not only is the view spectacular but Faye (my host) even more spectacular and her adult daughter Wendy charming as ever. We quickly became friends and I now have forever friends here in Lanikai. Their way of living is one of hospitality and so much love for their guests. I am in her home and yet I am right at HOME! I have a pool outside my bedroom sliding door and can use it anytime I wish. Not only have they welcomed me but also have included my family. Faye has prepared meals and has included me in their dining experience. I realize they surely know how to live.
I was telling Wendy about my blog site and I asked her, “what shall I write this weekend?” She stated I should write about appreciation! Of course, of all topics why not appreciation and perfect timing!
Faye lives on top of this beautiful mountain area where you can see the Pillbox (One of the favorite spots for Kailuans is the view from atop Ka Iwi Ridge behind Lanikai. The short, steep hike to the “pillboxes” offers breathtaking views of the Mokulua Islands and Koolua Mountains. While it is unclear how many were actually constructed, we do know that both the Lanikai and Diamond Head pillboxes were part of the island’s defensive system. They reportedly were observation posts built between World Wars I and II, which could alert shore artillery batteries to any approaching enemy ships. Eventually they were stripped out and left abandoned by the military) from her terrace and they get to have this view every single day. They know what they have and they totally appreciate it! The view is of the Mokulua Islands. Faye and her friends all get together once a week and play a Japanese card game called Hanafuda they laugh and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. A sense of joy and love surround them. They live in appreciation for their friends and the simple life!
In this land of beautiful flowers and friendly people there is so much appreciation for life and for beauty. I am in gratitude for the gifts that I have been receiving in so many ways. Last Sunday, I was walking Lanikai Beach and it was around 8:00 a.m., I was headed back to Faye’s house and an outrigger canoe team asked me if I wanted to paddle with them. I have never paddled Outrigger Canoe in my life but my sense of adventure quickly said, YES! Before you know it I was in the 4th seat and headed out to the open waters. The team quickly gave me instructions that my paddle needs to follow exactly like the person in 2nd seat; it’s all about timing in outrigger paddling. The instructions came from the person in 3rd seat and she stated – HIT – every time we needed to change our paddles from the right side of the canoe to the left side of the canoe. As we began this experience, the rain started and it was the most amazing feeling to have been rained on (an Hawaiian blessing). You see it doesn’t rain for long here in Hawaii. We got to the Mokulua Islands (the Mokes) with the other outrigger that we went out with to celebrate Peter’s birthday on June 29th. They advised me that usually they paddle for about an hour and then they are done. But this time, we paddled out to the Island and drank champagne with strawberries. Did I tell you that I started that morning by telling Faye about gratitude and how when we are grateful then we get more to be grateful for. So of course, this was to be part of my experience. More gratitude with an experience of going out to the Mokes with 11 other people from this area. The cool thing is that the men all had biblical names – Thomas, John, James and Peter. They were all so hospitable and kind towards me and one lady said to me, “I am living vicariously through you for you have that spirit of adventure.” Go figure! Living in appreciation can lead to so many amazing adventures if we only allow it into our lives…..be open and enjoy the simple things of life! For Faye and Wendy know the simple things of life and enjoy through the beauty of their surroundings. Today we are invited to join Faye and her family for a “Thanksgiving” meal consisting of turkey and stuffing. How appropriate – isn’t that what we do once a year in November???!
Spread the JOY and LOVE……and be in appreciation…….
Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts….Alan Cohen
Be the change you want to see in this world by living in an attitude of appreciation…..
Remember, may the possibilities of today excite you!