Just a guy from Michigan

Authored by: 
Joe Joppe

I came for a visit to Kalani. To be a volunteer and do a three month stint. To take a chance and pull out of a life I was very comfortable with to one that seemed very foreign. A little risky for me from a past perspective. So I've been here for around five years now and after only two weeks here I knew inside that I was going to be here for a while. Why or how long? I wasn't quite sure at first.

Over the years Kalani has changed so much for me, but in reality I'm learning that it was in fact my own perception that has changed. In the beginning I was swept away by the beautiful, lush foliage, the friendly people, the cocqui frogs, the full moons so bright that you can read a book by it. The smell of the rain, the great studio spaces along with my cute and comfortable A-frame. But of course what is it that makes any place great?…the people of course. The minute I stepped out of the car from being picked up at the airport I felt I was home. The open easy-going attitudes along with so many warm friendly smiles and this very distinct feeling of being in the presence of non judgment.

People from all over the world arrive and leave and sometimes leave to arrive again later. Time and time again I'm witness to people having major shifts in perception here. Taking away something special and leaving things that were just extra baggage. Too heavy and not needed anymore. Everyone in this world regardless of what religion they are, where they come from, who they know, what they eat or what ethnic background they come from could probably all conclude that they want true peace of mind and to have that peace of mind ALL THE TIME.

I'm learning that where ever I may go there my mind is. Where ever I travel to I take my state of mind with me. Happy, sad, mellow or moody it comes with me like a package deal that is absolutely unshakable. Then what's so special about Kalani? Us, you, me, the people here. We all want peace and are trying to make and give peace to have it. Being part of the management team we are creating a place with our own rules. Rules that are made not to enforce, but to make for what is best for Kalani as a whole. Then all of us as individuals creating a peaceful space with "the whole" in mind. Creating a space where people can not feel judged by how they look, their sexual preference or what they wear, sometimes they wear nothing at all! It doesn't matter because those are things that are all external. I feel deep inside we all desire, know and want to remember and uncover those feelings of peace which we've always have known since time began. It has never left us, it just has been covered up with ego perception we ourselves chose to cover ourselves with.

Kalani is a place of remembering for me now. A place where I am reminded of who i really am and not who I think I was. Kalani is a place where people accept and love you and allow you to express yourself creatively. A place where all I see are reflections of myself in other people who are reflecting back that desire for peace back at me. I'm waking to a inner peace I've always known with friends I've known forever at a place where heaven really does seem to meet with the earth. Kalani Honua