Kalani Honua Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stephanie Juris

Even as I sit down to write this blog piece, my inner-critic is already having a field day -

"You're writing an article telling people to be vulnerable? What gives you the right? Who made you an expert at giving people advice when you can't even take care of yourself?"

My inner-critic and I have a really close relationship, we thrive on two things; insecurities and poor self-worth. I've realized that I want to change all this and I'm desperate to find a way how. Even over the last few years I've become closed-off and guarded. Even my close friends I keep at a distance; I seldomly break down and if I do, I feel exposed and uncomfortable.

I recently returned to Kalani, my happy place, my island in the sun. I figured that maybe it was my East Coast life that was hardening my spirit. A trip back to the space I love so much would open my heart. And it has. In ways that I could not foresee.

I became sick shortly after arriving. My usually-healthy self played host to a slew of different (and scary) bacterias; soon I was taking more wellness days then I had, collectively, in previous years. I broke down in meetings with leadership, cried in my tent, cried to my mom, cried to anyone who would watch me cry. I felt confused, hopeless, and lost.

Taking antibiotics, having to stay in seperate housing, not being able to swim, all had a direct impact on my mood. I felt like maybe I've made a wrong choice in coming back, that maybe these sicknesses are a sign that I'm not meant to be here.

Timing couldn't have been more perfect. I joined a workshop faciliated by our Personal Development Manager focusing on Brene Brown's TED talk on vulnerability (now, as I'm typing this, I have goosebumps, I'm realizing the sychronicities are a little crazy). I started receving support from acquaintences within the community, asking how I'm feeling, if I need anything, holding space for me to just breathe. Over the past few weeks, as my health has come back, I'm noticing that my spark I've been searching for is still a bit dull. I write this post today to trigger that exposed and uncomfortable feeling I spoke of earlier. I'm continuing my, shall we say, personal lesson in vulnerability? 

I've noticed this is a raw time for many - for those who are interested in astrology, we're in a challenging cycle. The Venus Retrograde mirrors our environments to let us see what is going on internally. Really reflect on that one for a second - if you're not happy with what's going on around you, look within yourself. This is a huge opportunity to get to know yourself better. And how do you do that, you may ask? Be vulnerable.

When taking a plunge - don't forget your birthday suit. (Collage by Stephanie Juris)

Have body issues? Get a journal. Write down one thing you love about yourself every day for one week.

In our vulnerability group, one of my issues centered around my discomfort in my physical body - my weight, appearance - the whole package. I have an underlying feeling that I could be better. Instead of sticking to the same rountine of promising to go to a fitness class everyday or to FOR-GOODNESS-SAKE stop eating sugar/gluten/dairy/etc. I decided that I needed to heal inside first. To love myself from the inside out. Writing something that I loved about myself really allowed me to step back and stop dwelling on the negative. What did I write about? The fact that I love the color of my eyes, the way I catch up with people through a hand-written letter, the way I write. After a few days of apprehension, I began to look forward to this process.

Cry. Laugh. Scream. It feels really good.

Feel your emotions and don't hide from them. So often I hear people taking about avoiding negative emotions - anger, fear, anxiety -  and why wouldn't we want to? Avoiding these difficult emotions seems like a great idea, right? They don't feel good, they tend to trigger bad memories that we want to forget or get rid of. However, long term avoidance of emotions does more harm than good - when you avoid being vulnerable to your emotions, you pay the price in the long term by creating unhealthy behavior patterns. I'll put myself in this example:

When I feel stressed, I eat. Almond butter, usually - though any sort of nut butter will do just fine. It's a comfort for me and I can justify it by 'it's a healthy snack,' but it's really just filling an internal void. This pattern does nothing but harm me, it becomes an addiction, and I do it time and time again.

I'm learning to change the pattern. Instead of running to the lanai to grab a mug of almond butter, I'll go for a walk. I'll sing a song on the way to the Point. I'll call a friend and talk. I'm getting out the emotions and replacing the old habits with healthy new behaviors.

Have tangible goals for yourself.

My favorite word lately is 'sustainable.' Allow me to use it in a few sentences -

"Is this sustainable for me?"

"Is this sustainable for my environment?"

"Is this sustainable for the community?"

My goals include:

1. Build a housing structure for myself in the next 10 years.
2. Learn fermentation.
3. Create my own body care products.
4. Live a life that is sustainable.

Sustainable means: is this healthy for me? Is this going to wear and tear on my body/outlook/life/etc.? Is this going to affect how I am able to be of service to those in need? Ask yourself these questions and don't be afraid to start speaking up and building boundaries for yourself. Saying no is the hardest but most rewarding thing sometimes - which leads me to my next point -

Say no.

Being vulnerable means speaking up for yourself and reclaiming your power. Saying "no" can be difficult, but, on the other hand,  saying "yes" when your guidance says "no" leads to resentment and anger. This causes discomfort, drains energy, and is not sustainable in the long run - for all parties involved. This one is short and sweet - just like those two letters. NO.

Ask for help.
We are not mind readers, superheroes, or robots. We are human beings who need help at times. The way we receive this help is by asking, by being vulnerable. There's fear that comes with this:

"What if my request is met with a refusal*?"
"What if I'm ignored?"
"Will I appear weak if I ask for help?

Move through the fear; we are all connected and in need of each other’s support whether we want to admit it or not.

*Remember that people may say no and it's nothing personal.

So my friends, these next few weeks will be about vulnerability whether we like it or not. I implore you to be vulnerable and see what happens. It may feel messy and painful, but I've learned that healing isn't always pretty and sometimes it hurts like hell. I ask you to reach out to others and share space, give a smile, a hug, share a meal with someone new. Branch out of your comfort zone and dive deeper within those scary parts of yourself that have been untapped. The results will be worth it.




Thursday, July 23, 2015

Stephanie Juris

It’s beginning to drizzle as the couple behind Nicoco Hawaiian Gelato, Ashley and Sean, and their friends, Zoe and Phil, pull into Kalani to pick me up for an afternoon of lychee picking. On Hawai‘i Island, we know the rain may only last mere moments; plus it’s a hot day, so I welcome a light shower. Either way, I know that whatever the weather does is unimportant because I’m about to go lychee picking with a car full of new friends. Ashley and Sean moved out to Hawai‘i almost 10 years ago in search of a place that embraced a healthy, local, sustainable way of life. The couple had both been vegan - favoring a plant-based diet - for quite some time, and the tropical abundance of Hawai‘i was becoming more appealing to their discerning palates.

I first met Ashley and Sean in 2013 after spotting the incredibly friendly, tattooed duo at SPACE Market, a weekly farmer’s market at the end of the Red Road in Kalapana. At the time, they were selling soap for local Puna company - Filthy Farm GirlSoon after, Ashley and Sean decided to try selling four flavors of their handcrafted gelato at that same Saturday market (Mint Chocolate Chip, Ginger Turmeric, Chocolate, and Turkish Coffee). A consciously prepared and unique offering, the gelato sold out at a surprisingly quick pace. They returned to the market the following weekend and sold out once again. This continued for a number of weeks until they decided to buy a few more ice cream machines and transition their beloved hobby into a business. Fast-forward to 2015, and the duo has found a market for their signature products all over Hawai‘i Island. And, you can expect big things from them in the coming months - hence Phil and Zoe's presence on our lychee-picking adventure. Another power couple, local filmmakers Phil and Zoe are creating Nicoco’s Kickstarter campaign, scheduled to launch late Summer (don’t worry, we’ll help spread the word as soon as it’s posted!).

Buying, foraging, and supporting local farmers to get Hawaii-local ingredients has always been a part of Nicoco’s mission. Whether it’s sourcing turmeric from a farmer down the road or picking lychee’s off the tree at a friend’s house - you can trust that what’s inside each gelato is not only delicious, but locally sourced.

In the last couple of years, Ashley and Sean have made almost 200 different flavors. The lychees that we’re picking today from their friend, Helio’s farm are going into a batch for tomorrow at Uncle Robert’s night market.

When I visit Uncle's the following night, I can hardly wait to sample the gelato. While I wait in the long line of people waiting to get a scoop, I marvel in how attentive Ashley is to her customers, letting them sample each flavor, never tiring of saying “It’s vegan! We make our gelato with coconut milk!” with a huge smile on her face.

I sample the White Chocolate Pomegranate and the Honey-Peanut Butter. Both flavors are so rich with goodness that they seem more like a thick, healthy smoothie than a gelato. I know that what I’m eating is filled with love and true aloha-spirit, and, of course, names of ingredients I can pronounce! I end up getting the Lychee and Honey-Peanut Butter. It gives me such a great sense of satisfaction knowing that the lychee was made with ingredients that were picked only yesterday from a friend's orchard.

As I bring the gelato back to my friends to sample, they all ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over the deliciousness. Luckily, I won't have to wait until Wednesday to get my next gelato fix, because it's available at Kalani's Hale Aloha the future site of fall’s Market at Kalani opening.

Ready for your sample?

Indulge in Nicoco at the following locations:

Big Island Booch, Conscious Culture Cafe, Hilo

Hilo Farmers Market, Saturday

Kalapana Smoothie Shack

The Locavore Store, Hilo

Lucy’s Taqueria, Hilo

Uncle Robert’s Night Market, Wednesday


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ali Slous & Stephanie Juris

Do you dream of a world with access to fresh, local produce and groceries within walking or biking distance? 

The Market at Kalani, a non-profit natural food market slated to open in Fall 2015, will make this dream a reality for Puna residents, many of whom must travel as many as 50 miles round-trip for food and other basic essentials.

2014 was wrought with challenges for the residents of Puna. Although nearly a year has passed since Pele and Iselle delivered two unpredictable natural events to Hawai'i Island - lava that threatened to isolate the region, along with the first hurricane landfall on the island in recorded history - the area is still recovering and initiating new practices to prepare more effectively for the future. 

The Market at Kalani emerged as an idea to help further this effort and continue building Puna as a model for a thriving planet. Upon launch, The Market at Kalani will represent a collective leap forward for the area, currently considered a 'food desert' by the US Department of Agriculture.

Food deserts are defined by limited access to grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers. While Puna is blessed with an abundance of fresh produce due to the proximity of local farms, residents often find themselves behind delivery vehicles en route to farmer’s markets and grocery stores at considerable distances. Currently, the closest full-service supermarkets and wholesalers are located in Hilo, an average of 15-25 miles each way.

“We have taken the charge of leading the effort to open the non-profit market, so that people will have the access to the basic staples that they need to maintain their families right here in Lower Puna." L.J. Bates III, Kalani’s Executive Director shares.

In addition to providing an accessible, affordable, and bountiful food oasis, The Market at Kalani will support Puna resident’s sustainable living practices, delivering food from farm-to-fork at a significantly reduced environmental impact. The availability of fresh food and other essentials within walking or biking distance will be a huge improvement to residents’ quality of life as well as to area visitors and guests.

Utilizing a membership-based model, The Market at Kalani will provide an abundance of locally favored goods and services, contributing to a thriving local economy. Customers of The Market will be treated to farm-fresh organic produce, juices, smoothies, Big Island Coffee Roasters espresso, Tin Shack baked goods, grocery, bulk, hot and cold prepared foods, and frozen items such as Nicoco Gelato. The Market will also create new job opportunities for Puna residents.

Because The Market is a non-profit venture, all proceeds will facilitate the creation of even more enlightening free classes, events, and services at Kalani, many of which are open to the community.

To help bring The Market at Kalani to fruition, local residents and global supporters of the organization are being asked to contribute.

Visit Kalani.com/TheMarket to find out how to support this significant development for Puna and beyond!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Stephanie Juris

Since 2013, Kalani has hosted Troy McPeak's group, "Peak Beings Hawaii Yoga Teacher Trainings, a 200-Hour Registered Yoga School (RYS) Immersion." In each of his seven visits, throngs of aspiring yogis have descended on Kalani’s campus to expand their knowledge of this ancient healing practice. In 2015, Troy will lead his eighth teacher training here at Kalani.

Yoga came knocking on Troy's door while he was working 80-hour weeks as a project manager and engineer on multi-million dollar bridge and highway projects throughout the United States. Upon observing the effect that the stress of his job was having on him, a work colleague suggested trying yoga.

After discovering the rehabilitative potential of yoga, Troy decided to take a break from his career to travel and to deepen his practice. This decision eventually led Troy to thousands of hours teaching and training all around the world. Troy's passion for empowering students and helping them to find a yoga practice that works for them is what he strives to create for each student. When our friend Troy grows up, he says he wants to become a rock star. In our eyes, he already is one.

"Through the (Peak Beings) teacher trainings I am able to help develop and nurture future yoga teachers to go out and change even more students than I ever dreamed of helping. Seeing the graduates from the Unified Yoga Teacher Trainings go out and teach in their community or around the world helps me to fulfill a personal dream of mine. Yoga has helped me so much along my life path to gain physical, mental and emotional strength during my own personal struggles that I can only hope that in some way I can help others to discover the gift of yoga. I am passionate about creating and helping to develop future yoga teachers that are knowledgeable, safe and compassionate with their students and willing to meet them where they are at in their practice."

Many of Troy's students who have come out of the Hatha Vinyasa-style training often refer to Troy as: "The graceful yoga guide who truly emphasizes owning your own practice...Troy models his yoga practice both on and off the mat, an inspiration to us all!"

Are you looking to deepen and explore your own yoga practice? Join Troy for "Peak Beings' 200 Hour Unified Yoga Teacher Training (Yoga Alliance RYS)", June 13–July 7, 2015. Troy will also offer trainings in October/November 2015 and January/February 2016.

“Hawaii and the Big Island provide the perfect natural environment to be with oneself. Nature has so much to teach us, if we give ourselves the time to slow down and be with it.”


Monday, May 18, 2015

Ali Slous

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." ~ Socrates

Where are you on your path?

As human beings, we share a common desire to create the best life possible. And because we are so diversely different from one another - lovingly endowed with unique gifts, talents, and abilities - each individual path looks completely different from the next.

When we envision our personal path's unfolding, we may visualize something outside of ourselves - a winding yellow-brick road leading to the promise of an emerald city. We experience periods of positive momentum, when everything is going well and the things we want are falling neatly and miraculously into place. We seem to be on track.

Then, we experience life's "pitfalls"; moments when it seems like everything has gone awry. At these times, it's easy to feel like we have stagnated, backtracked, or even failed, and that we will never achieve our desired outcome. We begin to believe the negative self-talk that bubbles up into our conscious minds, telling us that we have lost our way.

During these experiences, remember: losing your way is simply not possible. In reality, the path cannot exist outside of yourself, because you are the path. Every challenge has been carefully and meticulously designed by you to elevate you to your full potential.

When you fully open to, experience, and, ultimately, transcend your unique challenges, you are freed from past limitation. In this space of surrender, you can invite in the overflowing source of love and abundance that is already yours.

May Ha‘awina Hawai‘i | He'e nalu - Ride the Waves

He'e nalu is a Hawaiian phrase that means "to ride the waves." A natural seafaring people, the Polynesians were among the first to "surf" ocean waves on olos (surfboards), as depicted in ancient petroglyphs carved into stone and lava rock. Surfing was considered not only a recreational practice, but a spiritual art, requiring courage and trust to glide along powerful ocean peaks.

In ancient Hawaiian culture, all kinds of people - including royals and commoners, men and women - took part in this leisurely, pleasurable activity. Surfing was less regarded as a reward for a hard day's work, but as an everyday activity. This reverence for surfing culminated in an annual beachfront celebration, a festival known as Makahiki.

Ancient Hawaiians perceived surfing - a form of play - as an integral aspect of life in the islands. Enjoying the daily pleasures of the Hawaiian Islands' natural gifts was a privilege afforded to all - and it was not contingent upon hard work, suffering, or sacrifice.

As we consciously ride the ups and downs of our life's unfolding, we can embrace the concept of he'e nalu. A nod from our Ancient Hawaiian ancestors, he'e nalu suggests that relaxation, leisure time, and play are essential to our vitality and well-being. And, if nothing else, he'e nalu reminds us, above all else, to enjoy the ride.

- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stephanie Juris and Ali Slous

Amid a trifecta of auspicious celestial events - Spring Equinox, supermoon and solar eclipse – a group of world-renowned astrologers descended upon Kalani for The River of Stars Conference to contemplate our place in the cosmos. Among this group of spiritual thought-leaders – such as Maurice Fernandez, Linda Tucker, and Rick Levine (who submitted his widely syndicated horoscopes from Kalani’s Communications Office) – was also Kaypacha, a rising star in a new paradigm of educators, who share information freely through YouTube.

Kaypacha, who has utilized astrology as a healing art for over 35 years, publishes a weekly astrological forecast entitled: “The Pele Report.” Kaypacha’s Pele Report began with a webcam as a playful means of sharing insight with friends and colleagues; it has rapidly grown to captivate a niche audience of individuals seeking inspired guidance to navigate the ongoing global shift in consciousness, as well as budding astrologers. As of now, each forecast garners as many as 50,000 views. Even with the exponential growth of Kaypacha’s following, he still edits and uploads each video himself from wherever his travels take him.
Each video, created outside in nature, includes a breakdown of the week’s astrological aspects along with an authentic sharing of what the energy that week will feel like, and how we can adapt to it. Watching Kaypacha’s videos has become a weekly ritual for his viewers, as they offer a sense of comfort and release, steeped in ancient wisdom. He closes each report with a relatable mantra and signature sign off: “Namaste. Aloha. So. Much. Love.”
We held an intention to synch up with Kaypacha during his visit to Kalani. We were thrilled that the stars aligned for an opportunity to sit down with him in between a packed calendar of event presentations – such as “Painting Your Horoscope” and “Rites of Passage” - personal chart readings, and private workshops. We discovered that this celebrated astrologer’s experience on The Big Island mirrors many of our own experiences of transformation and self-discovery.

Kaypacha’s powerful moniker – an Inca word translated as puma – came through Mother Giamvati - a Brazilian shaman - during an ayahuasca ceremony in Brazil. This rebirth came after an abrupt departure from his then home on The Big Island and set off a sequence of life-changing events that catapulted him into a new identity and role.
In the Inca teachings, the Puma was known as the guardian between worlds and the guide between this world and the next. Preferring to be called Kaypacha rather than his given name, Mother Giamvati  told Kaypacha that practicing his new name would activate its meaning and vibration: mastery of the sensory world.

In his own words - on recieving his spiritual name:

Following his unfolding spiritual path, Kaypacha’s adventure led him to Costa Rica, where he found love and invested in land as part of a burgeoning permaculture community. There, Kaypacha lives his message of sharing resources and encouraging collective consciousness. With representation from 26 different countries, 43 lots, shared community kitchen, pool, yoga space, and gardens, Kaypacha is not only talking about the new paradigm, but fully embodying it.
Kaypacha took a moment to reflect on his returning to The Big Island for the first time since 2012:
In his own words - on returning to Hawai‘i:

Beginning another new personal chapter, Kaypacha shared that where he used to feel like an outsider, he can now be recognized going to get a cup of coffee or traveling through airports en route to workshops and appearances around the world. When we asked him how does he keep up with the demand for the content he creates each week, he replied:

"All I can say is that spirit is definitely behind me, through me, helping me. I live a magical life...When I'm on track, I feel so supported, and I am so blessed, and I am so grateful."

In his own words - on spirit:

With regard to being back at Kalani, Kaypacha adds:
“This place is changing now; it has turned more into a community. That’s very exciting…there’s a lot going on here. This is the leading edge.”
Kaypacha’s teachings remind us on a weekly basis that the new paradigm is no longer created by talking about ideas and information. Rather, we welcome the new paradigm by living it, modeling it, embodying it, leading by example, and, most importantly - sharing our knowledge and wisdom with others. 
And, as for integrating self-care into his globetrotting, content-sharing lifestyle, Kaypacha remarks: “You gotta do your yoga. If you’re not doing your yoga in the morning, something’s wrong.”
To learn more about Kaypacha and to watch “The Pele Report,” visit his YouTube channel or explore The New Paradigm Astrology Cooperative.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

LJ Bates, Kalani Executive Director

“Synchronicity is ever present for those who have eyes to see.” – Carl Jung

As Executive Director of the extraordinary Kalani Honua, my schedule is rarely the same routine from day to day. While I have my own personal rituals that both prepare me for the day, and then ease me from the day, the happenings in between those practices are never the same. This vast diversity of daily events, and the energies of our varied conversations, combine to become the source behind the richness of the Kalani experience, and the reason that our days seem like weeks and our months feel like minutes. If you have spent any time here at all, I am sure you have felt and experienced this magic.

Kalani founder, Richard, Executive Director, LJ, and General Manager, TikiThere is a remarkable joy, honor and privilege of serving this ‘ohana, this community and this world, from, what I believe to be, the best vantage point on the planet. You see, as ED of Kalani, I have the opportunity to observe human behavior from so many viewpoints within the human experience…laughter and comradery, failure and disappointment, fulfillment and bliss, fear and animosity, joy and love, anger and frustration, freedom and happiness. I am blessed with the daily opportunity to see the full spectrum of humanity as our ‘ohana begins to explore and find their path to healing along with their realization of the blessings before them. For many, it is also the first recognition of those fierce barriers and protective walls, which we all create in order to protect ourselves, yet prevent us from a joy-filled existence. It is simply awesome to see these transformations on a consistent basis.

I am also offered the perspective of witnessing both my own response to the human experience, as well as the varied methods by which my ‘ohana employs their own techniques of maneuvering through our shared existence. It is a remarkable opportunity; this witnessing. It allows me the opportunity to both surround myself with people who compliment my shortcomings, as well as observe the beauty and brilliance of the diversity within our ‘ohana. Because of this opportunity to observe human behavior, I truly believe that I am one of the luckiest people on Earth, managing one of the best roles that I could ever possibly imagine or manifest. I am humbled and grateful for the place I hold within this remarkable place on our planet.

As I bask in the beauty of our diversity, I cannot help but recognize the deep need to enhance equality among our community and the need to come to a collective understanding of the word “enough.” I see the effects of the outside social systems creep its way into our community and I hope, on a daily basis, that we will create something better…a system based upon justice and equality that serves everyone, not just the few. And while some of the external systems and structures are required by the very nature of our present global economy, it is my greatest wish that we at Kalani create new and innovative systems that improve upon our current economy and create new structures that serve every member of our community equally.

The wonderful part of living in a place like Kalani is that you get to see your personal wishes become a source of exploration for others…especially as we research varied techniques to achieve equality, while thriving together. Here at Kalani, we can do better than the external system that has challenged our souls…that system that required our spirits to seek each other out…searching for new ways of living with the Earth and with each other. It is nothing short of inspiring to have found each other…and together, we can do better! Which calls my attention to the daily attempts we make to inspire those who come to us having already been inspired by that “seeker” in all of us…which forces us to change our lives, find a new path, and make the journey to the magical land of Kalani. I often get to hear the stories of how people find themselves here, and when I do, my soul is instantly energized as my heart swells, filling my chest with the realization that we have found yet another beautiful spirit, who has miraculously made their way here, to add to the gorgeous diversity of this magical place.

"Mission Moment" with LJIf you have joined us for the Monday Morning Meeting of our entire ‘ohana, you have witnessed the beauty and soul-nurturing impact of a community truly immersed in gratitude, who comfortably and openly share their appreciation for one another. It is a beautiful thing to witness and even more beautiful to participate.

My method of weekly participation is through my “Mission Moment.” This started out as a method for me to introduce and strengthen our collective knowledge of Kalani’s mission statement and the purpose behind our service efforts. Since then, the Mission Moment has evolved into an opportunity where I am able to tap into the synchronicity of the ‘ohana and highlight a common theme or feeling that has been floating through the community.

The synchronicity at Kalani is something that can only be defined as magic, as these weekly themes show themselves so easily to me during each of my daily meditations throughout the week. If there is a prevalent emotion, theme, or challenge, rippling through our community, it immediately shows itself and we are able to speak to the issue and connect directly to the souls of our ‘ohana. This is but one more benefit to my role; to connect with this gorgeous collection of beautiful souls, each and every Monday morning, and share in our collective synchronicity.

When I first arrived at Kalani, I used to test the synchronicity of Kalani’s ‘ohana by simply asking questions at breakfast. I would ask easy things like: “I wonder what would happen if we painted that…” or more difficult questions like “Has anyone ever thought of changing the way we…?” After delivering those questions, just once in the morning, I would simply wait. But, I learned that I would only have to wait until lunchtime. By that time, I would either hear from a vast number of people who were thinking the same thing, and we would discuss how to move the idea forward, or, on the other end of the spectrum, I would not hear another thought on the subject. I got to know very quickly that the synchronicity of Kalani came from the fact that our community was its own energy source; flowing and pulsing in a unique state of synchronicity which could both energize a thought into beautiful results, or keep a thought from disrupting the collective flow. It is a powerful force and a beautiful entity to acknowledge.

It is my greatest hope that everyone get to experience the synchronicity of Kalani…whether through your participation in volunteerism within our community, through the sharing of your wisdom around our dining lanai tables, or through your delivery of creative ideas to improve our community. It is remarkable how quickly we can tap into the entity which is Kalani’s synchronicity, and either experience that our synergy is in line with the community, or find that our idea has fallen flat. And even though we often move on from those ideas which do not immediately resonate, it should never stop us from collectively attempting to move new thought forward. The introduction of new methods and ideas, especially within a community which experiences such high synchronicity, is the only way we will reach new heights in our operation and in our service to others.

I thank you for your personal contribution to our Kalani ‘Ohana and I love you!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ali Slous

"Do you think you are a puny form when the universe is folded up within you?" ~ Sufi Mystic

Are you spirit or are you matter? We often talk about being "spiritual," but what does that mean and how can we bring ourselves down to earth?

The sensory, three-dimensional world is composed of energy; infinite swirling molecules that, when interpreted by the mind-body system, facilitate vibrant experiences of form. As part of this interpretive process, our minds categorize people, places, and things to form understanding. The mind habitually draws from stored mental concepts to comprehend experiences and create meaning.

As we expand our awareness, we may encounter new experiences that defy all stored mental concepts and rational, scientific explanations. As a result, we must choose to seek another source of information to understand the significance of an event.

At the moment we can no longer rely on our rational, logical mind for explanation, we are introduced to spirit - a stream of intelligence that exists beyond stored concepts in the mind. Upon awakening to spirit, we realize that spirit is an underlying constant, the transcendental energy source that infuses all things material.

When we become aware that our spiritual and material nature are inextricably linked, we may become increasingly connected to earthly magic through the physical body, our vehicle for experiencing this realm. Integrating simple practices like barefoot walking, sky-gazing, or sharing unconditional love with a pet can deepen our connection to the wondrous experience of life on earth.   

April Ha‘awina Hawai‘i | Mauna Kea - White Mountain

Mauna Kea, or "white mountain," named appropriately for its snow and ice-capped winter peak, is one of five dormant volcanoes that make up Hawai'i Island and represents the highest point in the state. Located here on the Big Island, Mauna Kea stands over 33,000 feet from base to piko (summit), making it the world's tallest mountain.

Mauna Kea's summit is also home to Poli'ahu, snow goddess and counterpart to fire goddess, Pele. Whereas Pele's lava destroys that which no longer serves and creates space for new life, Poli'ahu coolly and elegantly guards the sacred home of the Na Akua (Divine Deities), Na 'Aumakua (the Divine Ancestors), and the meeting place of Papa (Earth Mother) and Wakea (Sky Father).

In Hawaiian culture, the kupua (demi-gods) - including sisters Pele and Poli'ahu - represent powerful aspects of nature that shape both our outer and inner worlds. As we practice appreciation for life, we can invoke Mauna Kea as a sacred earthly temple, protected by Poli'ahu's icy sheath. 

- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -


Monday, March 16, 2015

Ali Slous

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ~ Lao Tzu

Are you ready to March forth? What has been unfolding beneath the surface of your life that is now ready for expression?
This month's powerful Spring Equinox is punctuated by a rare celestial event: a supermoon solar eclipse. A potent planetary alignment, the equinox supermoon eclipse heralds the arrival of a great burst of energy: the power necessary for new life to emerge from the (seemingly) dormant winter earth. If this winter season has felt particularly challenging, we can allow this supermoon eclipse to represent the shift to a completely new chapter in our lives.
During a solar eclipse, the moon, traditionally associated with our inner emotional being, temporarily blocks the light of the sun, representing our conscious awareness. While the light of consciousness is "off," - creating a disruption in ongoing mental processes like interpretation, classification, and judgment - we may open greater access to profound intuitive and emotional clarity.
With emotional clarity, it becomes possible to move "stuck" energy out of the way so that new emotional landscapes can emerge. When the light of consciousness comes back "on," we are receptive to new insights into what we must give up, change, or transform to manifest the highest possible outcome for our next chapter.
Fortunately, we need not "do" anything to harness the energy of this great shift. Rather, our simply being here on the planet at this auspicious time of awakening facilitates the alchemical process of transformation to unfold naturally, as all things do.

March Ha‘awina Hawai‘i | Mālamalama - Patience

Mālamalama means "the light of knowledge," and is also associated with English words including clarity, clear perception, and enlightenment.

Hawaiian creation myths refer to mālamalama as the light of creation that follows a period of darkness (po), as well as to the light of the moon (mahina), when it shines brightly against the night sky. From a mythological standpoint, mālamalama invokes the light of the sun as illuminator and life-giving deity in the sky.

Mālamalama also carries the meaning of spiritual enlightenment. In Hawaiian cultural teachings, mālamalama is described as the inner feeling of joy that arises when one becomes fully present in the task or interaction at hand. This joy compounds when one considers the collective as an extension of the self, and acts accordingly.

As we prepare for the Spring Equinox, we may contemplate mālamalama - the light - as the counterbalance to the dark. In doing so, we can help align ourselves and our loved ones with the inner light of clarity that inevitably follows the darkness.

- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ali Slous

Kalani announces ILLUMINATO on February 28th, 2015 – a nighttime light installation and performance art show that sets Kalani’s expansive campus aglow at the end of the winter season. In its third year, ILLUMINATO will present unique ways of experiencing light, visual, and performance arts, set against the canvas of Hawaii’s elements.

Kicking off Kalani’s fortieth anniversary year, ILLUMINATO strives to embody Kalani’s non-profit mission: to facilitate learning, healing, and wellness, utilizing Hawaii’s abundant natural and cultural gifts. An open invitation for creative self-expression, Kalani welcomes seasoned and novice artists, alike, to bring their vision to fruition as part of ILLUMINATO’s sensory wonderland.

“There is something magical about things that glow in the dark that bring out the kid in each of us. ILLUMINATO gives people of all ages a chance to renew our sense of awe and our desire for exploration” said Drew Delaware, Kalani’s Communications Manager and ILLUMINATO creator.

Outdoor exhibits will include fire-sculpture by Sprocket, professional fire-spinning and dancing, a candlelit labyrinth, and a unique improv-based performance by Big Island Improv in Kalani’s specialized watsu pool. Local Puna artists Rose Adare and Peggy Stanton will also contribute to the evening’s talented roster.

Centered around a thriving, volunteer-based intentional community, Kalani will draw a diverse mix of local residents, international visitors, and innovative artists for this one-of-a-kind experience. The pre-event revelry begins on Kalani’s Dining Lanai for an India-inspired meal, after which diners and show spectators can begin exploring campus. Event attendees are also encouraged to “wear” art, through creatively-lit costumes and glow-in-the-dark attire.

One of Kalani’s most highly anticipated events, ILLUMINATO celebrates the artist in each and every one of us.

To participate in the show, please contact [email protected].
To view images from ILLUMINATO's past, visit our Facebook Album.
Love taking pictures? Hashtag your images #ILLUMINATO to share your photography with the Kalaniverse.