Creativity and the Rain

Today I went swimming in the rain. When I say swimming I mean moving fluidly in the ocean. It’s the kind of thing most people don’t think to do. When it’s raining most of us automatically think of staying inside. It’s this kind of automatic response that limits us in many ways including with our creativity.

Actually, I was going to get wet if I swam while it was raining or not raining. When I get these promptings to do things that I “normally” wouldn’t do and I follow them, I’ve noticed it makes me very happy. Itʻs the kind of happy that comes from the inside and moves out, and I feel connected.

Connected to what you ask? Whatever it is I’m doing that’s outside the box of my normal response. There’s a newness that my brain loves, my whole body and being loves it.

That’s one of the rewards of doing things that make us happy, feeling connected. It’s like escaping from a prison, the prison of responding the same way every time and being disconnected.

I haven’t by any means mastered this and I’ve made a commitment to follow it when I’m able, even if it’s uncomfortable.

Swimming in the rain can be uncomfortable…and joyous.

I love to sing when I’m swimming. I call it going for a SwimSing, and it wakes me up, it’s one of the times I feel most alove. That was a “typo” … ha!

I’m uncomfortable at first, especially before I get in the ocean and I can feel each raindrop as it touches my dry warm body.

Inevitably I move into joy, if I stick with it. That’s the part, the sticking with it when it’s uncomfortable, that’s when I find that deep joy.

I think we all want to feel connected to something greater than ourselves. For me it’s when I’m in communion with nature, I get that feeling.

I’m aware there are many of us who would not find joy in swimming in the rain. That’s not the point. The point is to find what it is that opens us into something vast, something we didn’t even know we were longing for.


Music of Molokaʻi

Molokai Musician series – Molokai Dispatch – 2016

Zelie Duvauchelle, Music of Molokai,

Photo by Debbie Delatour

Zelie Duvauchelle was born and raised in Puko’o, east end Moloka’i.  She is currently working on her album entitled “Hu”, which means ‘to pour forth’.

For the last twenty years she has been performing, composing songs, and preparing for this album.

Duvauchelle’s big news is that her album will be co-produced with recording engineer Milan Bertosa. Bertosa recorded Israel Kamakawiwo’ole singing ‘Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World’ and ‘White Sandy Beach’ for the first time in a spontaneous late-night studio session in 1988. He was also the sound engineer for many of falsetto singer Kindy Sproat’s recordings. He will record her singing and playing ‘ukulele in August at her ocean-side home in Puko’o.

Q. What’s your earliest musical memory?

Being in my grandparent’s garage with all my aunties and uncles. There was a party and my aunties were dancing — just getting up and dancing, and my uncles were playing music. I was playing with the other kids.  My auntie Mary was doing the “Bottle”dance, which was a naughty hula, and the adults were laughing so hard, I ran over to watch. I don’t remember the exact song they were playing. There was an empty whiskey bottle and they tied it around Auntie Mary’s legs, they rigged it somehow with nylon stockings, I think. Whenever she would do an ‘uwehe the bottle would go up her mu’umu’u. I was small, and watching this bottle go up and down under her dress. My grandma them were laughing so hard they were crying. She was real kolohe, my Auntie Mary, and as she got older she became real religious, and when I tried to talk to her about it later she said “shhhh, we don’t talk about that.” I’ve never seen anyone else do that dance.

Who has influenced you most? 

As a musician, I would say Kindy Sproat. He was married to my dear friend Cheri, and I did an apprenticeship with him through the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. I would fly over from Molokai to the Big Island, sometimes for a week or for a weekend and stay with him and Cheri. He would sing songs and tell stories, and I recorded the songs, and I would play them back and sing with the recordings to learn the songs.

He taught me about kaona in music, the hidden and layered meanings in songs. He had a deep love for Hawaiian music, and he passed that love on to me. I listened and learned how much our Hawaiian ancestors loved nature and flowers and birds and the ocean and love making. Every thing that we Hawaiians sang about, was all of this love for this place and each other, and that was the great gift he gave me, was this love for the land, and nature, and things unseen. Now my music reflects that love.

Q. What does music do for you? 

Writing songs marks something important in my life. I’ll write a song about something, or things, in my life that I am really passionate about or some event in my life, like paddling around the island for example. My song Ka’apuni ‘O Moloka’i is a record of a paddling trip around Moloka’i. And now every time I play that song I can recall the whole trip. Because I wrote about it, and I sing about it, I can recall that event over and over again, so it helps mark something in my life, something precious to me.

Music also feeds me. It’s been a healing salve for me. It’s been something that when I am going through difficult times, I could always sing and be uplifted. It provides spiritual connection and it allows me to express my relationship with everything in nature including people.

It makes me happy, it enlivens me. There is something about singing that opens me up, opens my heart.

Q. How is Molokai present in your music?

Moloka’i is present in all of my music. Because I am a product of Moloka’i, I was born and raised here, it is in my being. So when I sing or play or write songs, that essence of Moloka’i is always in there.  Because it’s in my cells and in my bones. It can’t help but come through in the music, no matter what I am singing. No matter where I am, I take Moloka’i.

There is a certain kind of quiet, and stillness and spaciousness and potency that comes with being raised here. It is the energy of Molokai Nui a Hina, Moloka’i Pule O’o. It’s just part of who I am.


Ho’oponopono and Healing Addictions

It is common knowledge that experiences in our early years play an important role in brain and behavioral development. Ho’oponopono looks at past memories, traumas and stresses (I refer to them as entanglements) as the cause of a diversity of illnesses. The emotional patterns we learn beginning in the womb and then as small children – the first 7 years of our lives – live in our bodies and our minds, and stay with us into adulthood. If we haven’t done the work of “setting things right,” we can pass these on to our children, just as our parents passed their traumas on to us, and their parents to them. This sets up generations of wounds until we don’t even know where the original trauma came from. Unresolved trauma can manifest in a number of ways and one widespread manifestation is addictive behavior.

In my private practice my clients who have experienced trauma, stress, and anxiety at a young age tend to repress their emotions. The root of their problems including drug and alcohol addiction, can be traced to difficult childhood experiences. The parent-child bond is crucial, and when there is abuse, neglect, poverty, or parental stress in a child’s life, emotional and other health issues begin to show themselves.

From the perspective of ho’oponopono addiction is not solely a problem of the addict, the responsibility is shared with family and community. There are many different kinds of addictions including sugar, television, shopping, working, drugs, alcohol and eating. Anything done to excess can be an addiction. Usually the addict is trying to soothe or numb themselves to escape some feeling that they may not even be aware of. In fact most of the time there is no awareness.

The ho’oponopono I practise involves ceremony in conjunction with sharing and bringing awareness to the entanglements in a group setting. The ceremony begins with chant and prayer to call on the deities of healing, and particular plant substances are present as representatives of the deities as well. The group process serves as a safe container for the work to take place, and great care is taken to assure that a state of Aloha is held during the entire process.

The similarities of our traumas is always evident. We all suffer from common wounds and it serves and heals us as we hold space for others in their process of discovery. There is a meeting of our humanity that happens when we become present for each others healing. It is always my honor to facilitate the container as a place of safety and Aloha, where profound healing can take place.



Easy Meditation

For so many years I heard about meditation and how good it is for us. I tried many times to start a practice with no success. Believing meditation was not for me, I gave up trying and became the occasional meditator.

Then in December of 2012, while reading a newsletter from a vedic astrologer with whom I have had several readings, I saw that he was offering meditation classes. I wanted to do them but the cost seemed high so I put it aside, again. Upon further investigation on his website I discovered a 2 CD meditation class. I decided to try it. I downloaded it and listened to it right away. To my surprise his style of teaching really resonated, and I meditated for the first time with ease.

The part that did the trick for me was when he said “it’s absurd to think that there are not thoughts in meditation.” There are thoughts in meditation? All this time I thought I wasn’t meditating if I had thoughts. I thought I wasn’t successful at meditating because I could not stop the thoughts. As it turns out there are thoughts, sounds, sensations, emotions, all of it, happening as a mixture. A mixture! Wow! I don’t know why I hadn’t put that together before, watching the mixture in the mind and the thoughts coming in effortlessly, with no direction from me, nothing to do, just notice and be. What a relief!

I’ve been meditating for 20 minutes twice a day, morning and evening since buying that CD, and I love it! My body loves it, my mind loves it, and I feel really good. I feel purposeful while doing the simplest of tasks, walking, even doing the dishes. I feel happy for no reason, I have more energy, and I need less sleep.

The resistance to meditation is gone. I feel the deepest gratitude for whatever happened, for whatever shifted, thank you, thank you, thank you. I didn’t make it happen, it is happening and I am here to greet it.

I will now include insight meditation as part of the Hawaii residential retreats with some instruction for those who need and/or want it.

Namaste & Aloha!


Sea Salt Cleansing Ritual

Sunrise House Clearing Ritual

Zelie at Sunrise

Zelie Sunrise Ritual

Salt Cleansing Ritual #1

Just before sunrise, (starting in the east corner) circumambulate the house tossing sprinkles of salt and offering prayers for the things you want to come to fruition while in that house, and of course gratitude for the house. Timing it so the sun is just rising as you are completing the circumambulation (ending in the east corner at sunrise). Watching the sunrise in reverence & gratitude.

Salt Cleansing Ritual #2

In little bowls place salt and put them in each corner of each room of the interior of the house (offering the same prayers as above). Leave them for 7 days. After 7 days pour them in the different drains in your house along with running water clearing all the pipes too. Offer prayers of letting go/cleansing while doing this. A sunrise/sunset timing would be appropriate for this one…placing the bowls at sunrise and releasing at sunset 7 days later.

Ha – The Breath of Life

A simple breathing practice…

  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, expanding your belly and your back as you count to 4
  • Suspend the in breath as you count to 4
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth using the Ha sound, while pulling in your naval, piko, toward your spine as you count to 4
  • Suspend the out breath as you count to 4
  • Repeat for a total of 4 rounds

In the Hawaiian language “Ha” is the word for breath and also for the number 4. That’s what makes this practice so easy to remember.

If you can remember to simply slow down and do 4 breaths many times throughout the day, it can bring you present to the moment, relieve stress, promote vibrant health, and awaken unrealized potential.

The Breath of Life is the vehicle to the healing presence within each of us.

It is wise to give any practice you are beginning a period of 90 days. Make notes in your journal of your state before you begin, and during the 90 day practice. At the end of 90 days read your notes and celebrate the changes that have taken place by treating yourself to a celebratory meal.


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