Kalani Honua Blog

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Adrienne Brown

Kalani was an utterly healing experience for me. I was a part of the sabbatical program - it was a big risk for me to invest in a month halfway around the world, in the jungle. But I had amazing inspiring conversations with the staff beforehand - and it was worth every second and every penny.

I was immediately welcomed into the community by the staff and volunteers. There is a lot of care and love in the ohana, and it was easy to access. 

The week I landed, there was a transformative writing workshop being offered, and a hypnotherapist available. Both had wonderful impact on me. There was an abundance of opportunities for engaging in personal growth and healing, with visiting teachers and with the skills of the community. 

I was part of the agriculture team, which I hadn't properly packed for, so right away I was directed to the free box for work clothes. The agriculture team began each day with Hawaiian chanting and gratitude, then got sweaty together weeding and working the land. I looked forward to each day of work, and spread my 8-day sabbatical work commitment over half days to make it last longer.

I took tons of yoga classes with a variety of teachers and learned things that have stuck with me for my personal practice. A stand-out teacher was a woman named Kathy, in her 70s, who gave me permission to be gentle with my body and really listen to the wisdom in it - that yoga is about increasing my capacity to be conscious of spirit. 

I went on weekend adventures across the island to Kona for beaches, and in the midst of it fell in love with several of the wonderful people working behind the scenes. One of them, a healer named Jai, will stay with me forever.

I boldly spent as much time as I could exercising my clothing optional rights in the pool, sauna and hot tubs, as well as using all of the bodywork sessions that came with the sabbatical - I got reiki, watsu, lomi lomi, shiatsu. 

I left Kalani glowing, with several friendships that continue to deepen and grow me.

Gratitude abounds. Now I am recommending it to other friends who need to regenerate.

 

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aubrey Vora

In Hawaiian shamanistic teachings, there is a story passed down called the Bowl of Light. It offers that we are all born with a bowl filled with light, which if tended to can develop into a strong source of life energy. However, over time our bowls can get polluted with “rocks,” taking the form of burdens, expectations, and negative emotions, dimming our light and weighing down our bowl.

Everyone wants to be free of suffering. For women who have gone through emotional or physical trauma, finding a safe space to express oneself freely with a supportive sisterhood can awaken life-transforming understandings. This is why Katalin Koda, author of Fire of the Goddess, and her co-facilitator, Kelley Linn, strive to provide a safe container for women to uncover and nourish the sacred femininity within them. Doing so allows women to integrate the strengths and understandings of this energy into everyday life.

“By creating ceremony we relinquish our smaller self and merge with the dynamic, larger spirit, we are dissolving our ego and habitual tendencies into the connectedness of the universe. Each time we create ceremony, we become more fluid and less attached to stagnant emotions and mental constructs.” - Fire of the Goddess

Katalin and Kelley’s work explores the use of ceremony to reclaim and reframe what one already knows, incorporating the practices of Anusara Yoga, shamanism, and the study of goddess archetypes. This combination allows one to connect more deeply with a strong sense of self-love, power, and wisdom: qualities shared with Pele, the goddess of fire and lava who has been honored for hundreds of years on the Big Island of Hawai’i. “Illuminating the creation of new land and the destruction of old, Pele IS the Fire of the Goddess and the brilliant emanation of the Sacred Feminine on Hawai'i Island.”

Kelley works with Katalin to integrate the practice of yoga into the work of the sacred feminine, to aid the exploration of inward expression, finding physical poses that awaken natural emotions, rather than the form-focused fitness yoga which has spread through many western practices. Just as smiling during meditation can call forth a sense of peaceful joy, a deep bow toward the ground during yoga can evoke a sense of gratitude. For those seeking to heal old traumas or change habitual tendencies, focused practice of yoga can awaken a deeper connection to the feminine qualities which live within all people.

There are many lessons and messages that come through this work. Katalin shared that “people are often fragmented, with energy spread in many directions. They often forget the healing that takes place when you are giving freely from the heart. It is time now to align yourself with your soul purpose, and to activate in order to spread love and share joy. Become a creator or creatrix of the reality you wish.”

Kelley offered, “Remember your intrinsic goodness. You are perhaps not ‘perfect’ in all actions, but at your core you are naturally and genuinely good.”

It is common for those who embody the sacred feminine energy to have so many rocks in their bowl of light that they cannot sip its nurturing nectar. With the help of intentional ceremonies and practices, as well as the support of the sacred sisterhood, we can empty all of the rocks to allow a new source of life to flow. Only then can we share our abundance with those around us, rather than our source. And it is in that state of abundance that we are able to heal- ourselves, our loved ones, and the world at large.

For more information about Katalin and Kelley’s offerings

visit Katalins website at: http://katalinkoda.com/

Fire of the Goddess will be returning to Kalani in March and June of 2013.  Learn more

Katalin’s book is available on Amazon

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Andy Freist

Many guests fall in love with our organic granola during their stay, and can often be caught filling thermoses to smuggle some home. So,  we have decided to pass along the recipe, to you so you can have Kalani's famous granola anytime you wish. Enjoy with breakfast, use to make a parfait or trail mix, or in any other creative recipe you can dream up.

Ingredients (organic):

8 cups old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked

1 cup each of at the least four of the following:

Pecans
Almonds
Pine Nuts
Sunflower Seeds
Unsweetened Coconut
Walnuts
Cashews
Pumpkin Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Peanuts

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons seasalt

1/2 cup brown sugar


Preparation:


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss everything together, but don't break up the oats.

        1 1/4 cups coconut oil, unsalted butter or peanut oil

        1 cup maple syrup

        2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2. Mix the above ingredients well and pour over granola. Mix with hands then place on a cookie sheet in an even layer and press down to flatten granola.

3. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Do not toss while baking.

4. Cool completely on cookie sheet then put in airtight storage container.

Enjoy!

3 comments

Monday, June 11, 2012

Andy Freist

Tranformation Ignites Heart Fire

Angels ground me I seek deeper love
letting go like the rain drops land all around
each light-beam lands on my skin in gratitude
I trust each day a gift I see to this day my life brings
wholeness I lust
cherish where I come from
beleiving in where I go
that star in my sky reaching for this breath
I am joy
In rest
and in my hands i sense freedom in the passing wind
starlight dreams in my whisper
enlarging my true essence
my tropical spirit flower intrigue with the red winged bird in flight
lush soothing jungle
smiles from heart surround me
bliss full dance
expression power of ocean waves
just below the surface alive moving lava of intent always
changing, manifesting, transorming, alarming, igniting
the grace of Pele appears
All is a part of me...thank you
I want to hug the ground, kiss the plants
say mahalo to Buddha for reminding me
I am peace
My Grandma's butterfly wings send me to new heights
I feel her smile, her proud tickled heart embrace
I have no doubt opportunity awaits
magic abundance is here
I trust~
Deep mahalo's to my Kalani `ohana for all you individually are and i wish you all greatness in where you fly~

Love,

Sommer Joy Albertsen

1 comments

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jesse Graeter

E Komo Mai - Welcome

My time at Kalani has been about interactions.  About myself, other individuals, and about how we come together as a whole to form a community.  I came here with my partner Ellie and we were embraced as individuals and as a couple.

As a volunteer here at Kalani you receive a note card when you arrive and when you depart. They are like a greeting card with a message inside when you unfold it, with room for people to write short messages.

My arrival card welcomed me to Kalani with aloha.  There was an inspiring quote from a previous volunteer giving me a flavor of the experiences that awaited me.  There were also the critical details of the pool location and when dinner was being served.  Then below the printed text was a handwritten note from Zori.  Welcoming me to paradise and inviting me to an orientation tour of the property the following day.

Then 2 months passed.

On our last day, Ellie and I received our departure note card.  This card simply said that we will be missed, sending us onward with the aloha spirit.  Then all the blank space was filled in with handwritten notes from our friends.

“You guys are so perfect here!!! I will miss your beautiful energy and smiles. – Shelley” … I met Shelley the night the kitchen staff took the evening off.  A group of us non-kitchen volunteers had a blast serving dinner that night!

“You are both so wonderful.  You are both doing exactly the right thing.  Mahalo, with love. – Taylor”  … This brings back memories of talking with Taylor on the dinning lanai, the laundry room, the maintenance shed.  Topics ranging from GMOs, road bike touring, to activism.

“I am lost for words.  You are two beautiful people full of smiles and light. Sure hope you boomerang back to Kalani. Aloha a hui hou. – Marilyn” … Ah yes, the late night hot tub soaking sessions with Marilyn sharing an engaging conversation or sharing a comfortable silence.

“Loved our conversations. Stay real and joyful! Love – Jen” … I often grabbed a seat next to Jen during meals.  The introverted sides of our personalities really thrived on being extroverted with each other!

“Have a fabulous time biking the island and continuing your series of life adventures.  Great getting to know you and Maria too! – Deb” … We arrived at Kalani the same day as Deb (same airplane!).  When Ellie’s mother Maria visited us for a week, Deb and Maria went adventuring along the Puna coast while Ellie and I worked our shifts.

“You are both such an inspiration! Hope to cross paths with you again one day.  Travel well, mi amigos! Love – Clarity” … Who would have thought that a lady from New York City and a fella like me from a mountain villa would have so many deep connections?  It’s all the product of an hour long hike through a muddy jungle to a secluded white sands beach frequented by sea turtles. 

 This is a sampling of the hundreds of connections that were made with the beautiful people here at Kalani.  Yes, I do look forward to crossing paths  once again and I will take these fond memories wherever I go!

Mahalo!

- Jesse

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Taylor Powell

A quote from Taylor Powell, who made this video:

"My mother always asks me, 'Taylor, what are you doing?'  This is my answer."

What are you doing? from tee pee on Vimeo.

1 comments

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Samuel Hogarth

Samuel HogarthAloha my beautiful Ohana,

It's very different being in the UK, it's flipping freezing here.

I want to express to you all what my Kalani time meant to me and what you all mean to me.

I am very grateful for every person I met in Kalani, you all helped and supported me on my path, taught me new things and helped me to realise things I already knew.

I have made strong, deep, lasting friendships with beautiful people. I have gained a home in Hawai'i, a place where I know I can go and be welcomed, be happy, be peaceful. All of the Ohana work together to make Kalani a wonderful place to live and the result is inspiring.

I have gained a higher state of happiness than ever before in my life. I have decided that wherever I am in the world, every day I am going to live Aloha.

Mahalo nui loa for Kalani, the realm where dreams become reality, and mahalo for every person who helped to create it and who helps to continue it.

Aloha,

Samuel

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

William Buchholz, M.D., Los Altos, California



The author Dr William Buchholz with his wife Dr Susan Buchholz during their stay on Hawaii's Big Island

Saying "Yes" to Kalani

I was captured within an hour. My friend picked me up at the airport and described all the wonders of Kalani on the 40-minute drive.

Even as I checked in I sensed a difference within minutes. I recognized the change that came from being in a heavenly space, for that is what Kalani means, “heaven on earth.”

My idea of heaven is being with a loving, accepting family, being nurtured and cared for, and being perfectly safe and at ease. Maybe “Peace,” with a capital P could be a shorter description.

As day became evening we walked the grounds. The sense of life was overwhelming. So many plants cohabited with each other, vines of philodendron enfolded trees up to 50 ft tall. Individual Ti and bromeliads were everywhere, as uniquely different from each other as humans.

I cannot come close to describing the flowers. I have never seen such shapes and colors before. Each stem seemed arranged in a massive bouquet. Each bloom presented itself for sex, seducing insects to pollinate them, starting the next generation.

The volcanic rock beneath my feet was alive, too. In its own fashion, created by lava flows over the centuries, the living earth revealed itself. There were smooth black rocks, some with glistening satin surfaces, others worn to a matte finish by longer exposure to wind and water. In other areas there were fields of sharp black rock, pock-marked by the bubbles of trapped volcanic gas. Brittle edges had broken and created knife-sharp fields impossible to walk upon. Whatever shape, there was always the memory of the living volcano that formed them.

And binding plant and rock together was a community of individuals who lived, played, and prayed together at Kalani. It was the 'people energy' I felt initially. This energy permeated me on deeper and deeper levels as I began to understand the intricacies of the human organism that had been created here.

There were rules but no boundaries. There was the freedom to say ”yes” to experience and welcome new friends and sensations openheartedly. There was the freedom to say “no” to the hold of lives lived before encountering this heaven, Kalani.


I heard countless stories of people who came for a week or month and stayed for years. One woman spoke of a dream to be more creative that was realized as she understood she could leave her old job. Another told of his search after retiring for the “next thing” so he could bring his skills and experience to serve another purpose. One man who found that his hands could heal was drawn to leave the mainland and work here, supporting his family and infant daughter.

In such a short time I made my decision, too. I wanted to give back to this place, this jungle, this family. I imagined and felt the smile God must have shown at His Creation when he said, “This is good.” 

I am drawn here because of the peace, the beauty, and the life that is present. I doubt I will abandon my mainland home and life to move here as so many others have done. I know the peace I felt is within, available to me by saying “yes” to it. And I also know I can come back to Kalani to remind me and hear the chorus of yes, once again.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Brenda Surtees


People choose to Volunteer at Kalani for a variety of reasons. Some come for the promise of a new experience, or for an extended stay in Hawaii. Others come for Kalani's Yoga and Workshops, or simply for a break from their day-to-day lives.

Brenda came for healing after a major life crisis and, like so many volunteers before her, she left transformed.

Read more about her inspirational journey below.

* * *

Breaking Point

A few months before coming to Kalani, I experienced 'THE' major crisis of my life.

One minute everything was going along smoothly, and the next everything around me was falling apart: partner relationships, housing, finance, and my career. Everything.

Finding myself very suddenly at a major crossroads and utterly desperate for inspiration, I had no idea where to go. I only knew that I wanted to regain my self-respect, self-confidence and the love for life I once had.

As I processed the feelings of shock and confusion, a gentle guidance to visit Hawaii emerged. I had fond memories of visiting the islands many years ago, of the Hawaiian people, their hospitality, and how happy, graceful, and at peace they were in life. I felt (and hoped beyond hope) that they might help me find peace in my life too.

A Google search lead me to Kalani's website, and I remember being amazed at the pictures I saw of Kalani's volunteers: everyone was beaming with love. I thought, "I have to go there and see if this is for real..."

Months later I arrived and I knew that I had found paradise.

Everyone was so friendly and happy, and people introduced themselves with a hug. Just like on the website, each person's face was beaming with love! There was a magical energy there, in the air, in the earth, in the community, that could not be put into words. Silently I thought to myself, "Yes, it really is for real!"

Life at Kalani

During my three-month stay I volunteered in the Housekeeping department. One of the daily highlights was when we all stopped work at 9:00am to gather around while the shift leader inspired us with animal cards, a game, an exercise, a meditation or a piece of music. That was great, as it centered us all and prepared us for a hard day's work.

Monday morning meetings were another highlight for me. Everyone would meet up and learn what was happening at Kalani that week, new volunteers were introduced, departing volunteers were given a group farewell, and at the end of the meeting we all stood up, held hands and sang a Hawaiian chant together. It certainly helped us feel like one big 'Ohana (family).

In my time off I enjoyed so many awesome adventures, from swimming in between two giant turtles, to sitting silently in a pitch black lava tube with 12 of my 'ohana and experiencing the spirit of the land.

I learned to be spontaneous and open up to new experiences; one minute I would be waiting to attend a meeting, and the next I'd be off on a staff trip to Green Sands Beach! Or I'd be saying goodnight to a friend, when suddenly we both hopped into the back of a passenger van to watch shooting stars from Coconut Beach! It was a huge lesson for someone who had NEVER been spontaneous in her life!

From Transformational Breathwork, to Aerial Basics, Trance Dance, Ecstatic Dance, Yoga, and Hula, the weekly classes at Kalani were fantastically awesome and life changing! My favorite class was Huna Healing, as we always left feeling so positive.

Ohana nights, organized just for volunteers, were so much fun. From Disco Dancing, to making Vision Boards to Manifestation workshops! So Good! Women's Circle nights were beautiful and an honor to attend.

Heading Home

There is an indescribable powerful force at Kalani. Its energy seems to fluctuate with the energy of Pele (the volcano Goddess). Emotions can be so intense at times, as many people are going through life transformations. This can be challenging, but challenges are opportunities to grow and look within. Challenges can lead us to where we want to go (directly or indirectly). But everyone at Kalani is very supportive, very loving, and very understanding. They always make time for you and give you space when you need it. Because of this, people learn to be themselves at Kalani.

Now that I'm back in the United Kingdom, I'm grateful for 'THE' major crisis in my life. It was a blessing, because without it I would never have experienced Kalani.

As they say, there is no predicament that can't be turned into an advantage and no burden that cannot give you wings. I must thank Kalani for helping me to find joy in life again, for helping me to love myself and to feel loved.
 
Kalani gave me wings, freedom to be me, and showed me unconditional love.
 
I learned at Kalani that you are meant to have an amazing life. You can change anything in your life by changing the way you feel. Circumstances don't define the quality of your life, your response to them does.  When you change how you feel about any subject, the subject must change. What you think about, you bring about. Life is your call!
 
I've now returned home with the power to live in the moment. I am Grateful! I have a great job, great relationships, fabulous finance, and fantastic friends and, of course, many new friends - the beautiful souls whom I had the honor to meet at Kalani, and who I look forward to seeing upon my return.
 
If you're reading this blog because you're considering a visit to Kalani, go on and take the plunge! Come and experience this beautiful place on Hawaii's Big Island.

Whether you're a guest or a volunteer, there are amazing experiences waiting for you!
 

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Max Fathom


A few weeks ago the Kalani 'Ohana was blessed with "I Witness", a beautiful poem by Poet, Performance Artist, and return Kalani volunteer Max Fathom (pictured).

May it bring as much light and joy into your day as it did ours :)

* * *

The Witness

I witnessed life unfolding as the sun rose up to kiss a flower snowflake that had fallen from a tree
I witnessed the witness watching this creation and everything expanded in me
I witnessed what humans can do when they are safe and sound
I witnessed inspiration rise up… and I watched her fall back down
I watched the lessons leave their marks on an island made of fire
And I felt my spirit lift as the io flew higher and higher
I saw how love can grow when she has solid ground
And I saw the challenges transformed when they had snuck back around
I watched myself come home to me in a place where no orphans be
And I watched the mystery rise up and return again to the sea
I watched the gift unwrap itself with fingers made of light
And I saw the darkness do a dance to music made of night
I watched some go thru the wringer and come out soaking wet
With tears from a place they hadn’t forgiven quite yet
And then I watched them drip dry in complete inspiration
Dazzled and in awe of the transfiguration
I saw courage grow in me I saw a love that would accept no bribe
I saw mothers who were fathers
Sons who were daughters
I watched rocks come alive
I watched a bird inform a turtle on the ways of the air
And when that turtle flew I couldn’t help but stare
I watched life jump up and live again and again and again
I saw day turn into night
And as my head kissed my pillow I knew
That everything would be alright.

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