Thanksgiving Numero Dos

A year ago, I wrote about Thanksgiving at the Dole House where friends become family.  While the Dole House event was successful and wonderful and (fill-in any and all great sounding adjective), we will not be repeating the fiesta as life is driving us to other areas.  This year Thanksgiving will be spent with other but equally important family, the ones bound by blood.

Earlier, I wrote what I was thankful for on my less-glamorous MySpace Blog:

“I thank Above and Beyond for all the blessings.  I thank you good people for keeping it real as can be.  And I thank me for having the perseverance not to throw away my ideals. ”

I’d like to expand on that here:

I also want to thank the Above and Beyond.

God to some, Buddha-Nature to others, Allah, Ganesh, Brahma, Ra, Osiris, Pele, and so many different names.  Above, Beyond, and I might add All-Around for me.  Thank all parts of You for paving the road on this beautiful journey.

I thank you good people for keeping it real as can be.

Truly, thank you all so much.  My family, my friends, that lady that helped me out of the blue to pick up a tie, my Coaches, that douche/saint who hit me with their car and never stop but opened my eyes to acceptance, everyone really because each cog is important in the life machina.  Oh and I can’t forgot to say thanks to that little girl who taught me how it important and great something so simple as a smile can be all those years years ago.  Mahalo nui loa to all of you.

And I thank me for having the perseverance not to throw away my ideals.

I can’t stress how important we each are in life, especially our own lives.  We are each the lead character in our own movie, our own book!!!  If you took Indiana Jones or Harry Potter out of their respective stories it wouldn’t be the same.

That being said, I’m thankful for having the strength to believe despite the challenges and the dark times. I am thankful for digging deep and pressing on through it all with my ideals on one sleeve and the knowledge that comes with learning from life experiences on the other.  I’m thankful for my gifts as well as my faults because they are here to aid me in this journey.  And I am thankful for the Aloha, the Spirit that is deep in my heart.

Our society faults us for being proud at times, in Hawaii, it’s a little more frowned upon.  I’ll be the first to say I can’t stand it when someone like Kanye West is a prick while at the same time be the first to say he makes some wonderful music.  Then there’s the things I’ve said about the number of politicians I’ve observed along the way, but you know, I feel many of them believe what they are doing is making the world better.  It’s those people, who honor and challenge our beliefs and feelins, who show us what’s deep within us.  All the good and not-so that we see in the world comes from within.  And well, I can’t fault anyone else for living their truth along the way.

This Thanksgiving is more about truly living for me and for once I’m going within to find out what that really is about.  I’ve but grazed the surface in this area but that’s not going to stop me from continuing in that direction.

Have a great Thanksgiving to any and all.  What a wonderful world we’ve created and I really mean that.

Mahalo ke Akua.

(shaka)

“If you don’t get out, you die…”

“If you don’t get out, you die J…”

Those were the words of my Coach as I struggled beneath the dead weight of the three training partners, all adult men ranging in weight from 155-170lbs.  My weight fluctuates between 170-174lbs. these days just to give you an idea.  This was my second time in this one minute drill and about forty-five minutes into our MMA Conditioning class(my second class of the day) filled with similarly physically and mentally draining exercises.

“If you don’t get out, you die J…”

I am still alive but I didn’t get out.  The words were quite figurative, perhaps to light a fire.  What it did was spark deep thoughts within, something that I, a seeker of knowledge, a spiritual sojourner, needs to grow, to go on.  I’ve replayed the experience in my head, thinking about what to try, how to make each movement count so next time I will get out.

“If you don’t get out, you die J…”

The class on Friday, in case you missed it, my arm got clipped by a car.  These words had a greater impact considering how I came within a foot of getting cleaned out by a driver who couldn’t even stop to see if I was okay after hitting me

“If you don’t get out, you die J…”

Some say that in life, things happen for a reason.  I can only feel that these experiences are pointing me in the direction of greater life appreciation, preparing me to live more fully, something I’ve worked on for years, and realize I will continue to grow and learn from for the remainder of my life.

“If you don’t get out, you die J…”

How many times in life do we come so close to that which we dream, only to give up, because of a challenge or because the going gets too tough?  I know in the past, I surely wasn’t ready for some of the challenges I faced and in turn, I couldn’t have finished in the way that I would have liked.

“If you don’t get out, you die J…”

Considering what I have been through thus far in my life and looking at these other events that keep popping up, I have no doubt I will press on.  I also feel that whatever comes my way, the training partner that is Life itself, is preparing me so that I “live” when the pressure is on, that I can finish strong, win or lose, so long as I maintain my integrity, so long as I don’t give up.

“If you don’t get out, you die J…”

Thanks Coach.

Just another number

So yesterday I became a statistic that I didn’t want to be a part of on Oahu: I got hit by a car(a 2007 study indicated that at least one pedestrian was hit a day on Oahu). I was walking home and three houses away from where I live, a walk that I do on a near daily basis, a car sped by and I got clipped in the arm by its passenger side mirror. Thank you above for looking out for me because the driver did not stop despite the loud pop. Sure, they did slow a bit at first only to speed away after they saw me walk forward to retrieve what I had dropped.

A number of things ran through my head immediately from “OWWW F***” to “Great, now I can’t train” and of course, “I can’t believe the driver did not stop. Would they have stopped if they had hit more of me?” I paused, took a breathe, moved my arm, wrist and hand, then went home and iced it.

I sat down and it was like an epiphany occurred…

I realized that often in life there were so many things beyond my control, that the only thing that matters is I do my best and while I might intend for things to go one way, life also has its plan, therefore accept life as it is and keep working at life, keep seeking.

I’m a pretty sensitive person and for the most part I care alot about people. This has caused me to get hurt sometimes or wonder about the actions or lack of actions by others(family, friends, people in general) and just sit in bewilderment and sometimes more hurt.

I’m also quite critical of myself. I caught myself last night doing the same thing(“If only I’d been walking in some other place). After something occurs, I tend to revisit, reflect and determine my role in an effort to see if maybe I could have done something differently. While that is the case at times, I feel that people have a good gauge, an intuition, when something doesn’t feel right(and when it is) and we owe it to ourselves to honor that. Yet, in the past I have drifted toward blaming myself, repressed how I felt, even taking the approach of prostrating myself in order to remedy a solution or to make peace with it versus accepting something as it is or a people as they are.

Maybe it was the numb feeling that stemmed from my arm as it vibrated through me. Maybe it just the shock that I was hit by a car and the person didn’t care enough to stop. Or maybe it’s just me and has been all along and I realized that through it all, the so-called good, the so-called bad, I’m alive…

I’m at a place where I can accept things as they are without seeking to find an absolute answer because being alive is answer enough. And that answer can change in a moment, my life changes every second, with every breath. I don’t get it all but I feel like this is the first real step I’ve taken in my journey.

I can also accept me. Let others be as they are. The fact that I AM ALIVE is special enough, reason enough for me to feel good, to love, to pursue my dreams, to let go, to just be. I can finally accept that, for once in my life, accept that along with all the things in my life that have challenged me.

To the driver of the car, at first I may have had some choice words for you, my brother, my sister, whoever you are. And oddly enough thank you as this event has seemed to awaken something deep within.

the spirit left the moth

I remember the day when the spirit left the moth
they say that spirits reside in moths
I always thought our spirits went when we did
where they went
that’s the next step
and some spirits would linger

I remember the day when the spirit left the moth
throughout my life I had gone from one extreme to the next
tried to manifest what I desired
take control and you know
everything fell apart
I lost who I was

I remember the day when the spirit left the moth
so there I was
in the dark, rock bottom, the gloom
the whatever
and I saw a moth and
well, life came to my aide
lit the way
I gave myself up to the current

I remember the day when the spirit left the moth
they say the moths were good luck
life was back on track
as I prepared to move, packed and unpacked the boxes of my life
I found that the moth
had died.

I remember the day when the spirit left the moth
I suppose when a moth dies, it means the spirit could go on its way
Maybe the reason spirits linger in the first place
Is to help others through challenges they had experienced.
I may never know.
I do know that I laid that moth to rest
and smile when I see a moth.

Fishing

Ho, wen I was moa young
I loved to fish
Bra was so mean
Every time I wen go fish
Was wit my Fadah
Some good memories dat

You wot time I remembah most?
Was wen had me, My Dad and my Bradah
We neva catch nothing dat time
But was Fadah and Sons
And well, not too much memories is better dan dat

Nowadays, I fish alone
Not cause I no like fish wit dem
But my Fadah, he on one other island
And my Bradah, he always get work
Das okay, I still remembah

And well, the fishing I do
Is moa like life fishing
I stay casting here and there
Fo’ different opportunities
Den see watch the tide brings my way

Still kinda like small keed time
When was me and my Dad
Only thing it’s like trust in Above