On finding yourself and finding your guides.
While living on Kauai the topic of energy continually arose. It wasn’t a concept I was familiar with, but it seemed to be something everyone on the islands accepted with no question. When I first arrived on Kauai I was on a search for something. Honestly, I was on a search for everything. I was so confused about what I believed at the time I was open to almost anything. Concepts and beliefs that might not have had a chance of entering my atmosphere found a receptive and willing individual during that time of my life. I was spiritually open in a way I had never been before, and I was seeking truth in all its forms. When people started referring to each of the islands as having their own energy I was intrigued. What did they mean? And how did they know?
Different people explained it different ways. Someone told me that Maui had sexual energy, and someone explained that the Big Island had fire energy—clearly connected to Pele the goddess of fire and volcanos. When I started to look more into the topic, I learned that each island is said to have different energy related to the seven chakras. The Big Island connects to the root chakra and has a grounding energy and Maui connects to the sacral chakra and fosters creativity, and the other islands similarly connect to other chakras but I’ll let you do the research for that on your own. In the beginning I simply took it all in and asked a lot of question—not really understanding and if I’m honest, thought these ideas were a little coo coo. However, I would soon find myself to be more of a believer than I might have originally imagined.
So here I am arriving on this little island in the middle of the Pacific learning about new things like chakras and energy not sure what to believe. Interacting with people from all different walks of life: locals, hippies, travelers, spiritual seekers, yogis, and the list could go on. Yet, as my time continued and I experienced the magic of Kauai, I knew it was true. This place embraced me like nothing I had ever experienced before. They weren’t kidding when they refer to her as Mama Kauai. She took me in at one of my most vulnerable moments in life and cared for me in ways I could have never expected. The chakra apparently connected to Kauai is the third eye. She is said to have intuitive powers and will show you things about yourself you didn’t see before. My time on Kauai was filled with awakening moments. Beginning to learn argentine tango a few years back started to open the door to some powerful shifts in my life, but Kauai would continue to push the door so wide open that there was no shutting it again. It was a lot to take in for someone raised in the evangelical Christian tradition.
Mama Kauai embraced me from the moment I stepped off the plane. My kind employer picked me up at the airport and immediately offered to take me to view an apartment she thought I might like to rent, two weeks later I moved in. After my impromptu apartment showing, she took me to my two week interim home so I could walk to work until my car arrived. I was dropped off at Noreen’s place.
The most lovable and colorful Long Islander turned Kauai Islander. Nor created home to many a traveler passing through and particularly had a heart for mainlanders coming to work for the local school system. She was the perfect landing spot for a newbie island girl. She took me to the best beaches in her tiny island ride, made me delicious treats, invited me to holiday celebrations, told me stories of the islands when she first arrived 30 years ago, and most importantly, introduced me to Catherine--who turned out to be my best friend on the island.
Catherine and I did everything together. We both worked at the same school and both needed a good friend. We explored that little island every weekend during the first year. Found every little hidden beach and tasted all the island treats we could manage. She had known some spiritual struggle and heartbreak herself and she gently and carefully helped me to shift my perspective one day at a time.
She helped me to open my heart to new spiritual concepts and traditions, even taught me the tarot—she showed me consistency and loyalty. She gave me open and honest feedback. Just thinking about the patience that woman had in listening to my struggles over and over again with no judgement and only love, it brings me to a place of gratitude. We still reference each other as forever friends.
If for a moment I thought Mama Kauai would allow me to let go of tango while I was living on Kauai, I was wrong, because tango would bring me the creative and intuitive goddess Isa. Although a small dance community, Kauai had one of the most loving and accepting communities I had ever experienced.
From the moment Isa saw me she recognized my pain a mile away and as an empath she recognized she might need to keep her distance. Thankfully, my persistence and maybe Kauai’s mothering embrace, wouldn’t let her. We became friends and she spoke into my life in ways I never could have imagined. She pushed me past the illusion I was living in and helped me to embrace myself more fully. Isa invited me to ecstatic and African dance events, drum and singing circles, and she helped me to recognize myself as a woman of faith again after wondering if I could ever find my way back to any faith at all.
I’ve now mentioned Noreen, Catherine, and Isa but the list could continue. I could tell story after story of beautiful, strong women who entered my life during this time on Kauai, a time when I was learning to embrace my own feminine energy and a time when I needed people to show me the way back to myself. I was actively seeking myself, but these women and others helped me find a new perspective. They helped me open my heart to a new way of being in the world. They mirrored openness and acceptance. They taught me something from their experience, some were a little further down the path and some younger than myself. They shared their wisdom as healers, creatives, yogis, entrepreneurs, clinicians, and fellow humans. Each one of them wrapped their loving arm around me and embraced me for exactly who I was even though I was morphing before their eyes. I have always been blessed with amazing friends, but Mama Kauai showed me community, love, and support in a revolutionary way.
I didn’t know what I was looking for when I first arrived on Kauai. At moments I thought I was on a search for self, but really, I was there all the time. I just needed to recognize my worth and own it. I did a lot of work alone but God must have known I needed guidance so I found myself on Kauai where the guides seemed to show up abundantly and I was blessed to see myself clearly. I saw myself in the reflection of those loving woman and guides. There is no shame in needing help there were moments when I wanted to figure it out on my own but really, I don’t think I could have. I needed these guides. Maybe you need some guidance too? Be open to what the universe presents you with—there are guides all around us, we just need to be open enough to recognize them and allow them to embrace us like Mama Kauai and her many goddesses did me.
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