{via my iphone.}

No cash to fly tropical this summer? That’s okay. Read this to find out how to bring Hawaii to you.

I’ve only been officially living in Hawaii for 2 weeks (Not counting the 20+ years I grew up here). But after living on the west coast for awhile, I’m starting to pick up on a few things that makes Hawaii, well Hawaii.

When I post pictures via Facebook, it seems to get the most interest. Everyone wants to live here. And although I take living here for granted, I have noticed a few things that makes the islands different from the mainland. I think you’ll appreciate the fact that you don’t need to buy a ticket in order to bring a peace of Hawaii with you home.

If you’re feeling sucked dry and drained from busyness, burnout and overwhelm, try adopting some of these easy, breezy island ways to incorporate a freer way of living into your life.

1. Move slowly.

This is no disrespect to the locals. In fact, I think they are on to something here. Not only is the speed limit significantly slower, but the pace of life is slower. It may not be 100% in your control, if you’re living in a big city or work in high-tech. But even those who live crazy lifestyles can still find ways to carve out time to control the inner chaos by slowing down a bit. This means doing the following: Breathe slower. Walk slower. Fight the urge to rush through traffic, check off all of your to-do list, and get things done fast. It may seem frustrating at first. But after awhile it could feel as refreshing as a spa day. I’ve tried it and my heart rate actually reduced from the 70s in San Jose to the upper 50s here. Miraculous!

2. Smile and be kind to a stranger.

Almost everywhere I go in Hawaii, I’m met with a genuine smile and a caring voice. No more, “How are you doing?” without a second look from bank tellers and cashiers. I actually feel like I’m being seen (just like in Avatar). Try talking to people this way and see if you feel more connected.

3. Do something nice for someone.

Local people hold up traffic. You know why? They’re always letting people go in front of them. I’m not saying we should all do this. In fact, it can get frustrating for the other drives waiting to go. But maybe try it in other areas of your life. Spontaneously buy flowers for a friend, offer to pick up lunch for your grandma, or volunteer to help out someone with an errand. It doesn’t cost much and what you get back will be priceless.

4. Celebrate pau hana time.

Locals play as hard as they work. Don’t expect anyone to answer emails on a Friday or to work past 5:30 in Hawaii. We’re all too busy surfing, running or kayaking to bother. You might thing your life is too busy to devote time to taking care of yourself. But you’re wrong. You’re more likely to do better at work if you’re a happy camper.

5. Making eating “in” again.

People from Hawaii love their food. They don’t just enjoy it. They talk about it. They savor it. They talk about the next time they’ll eat again. I’m not saying we should all pig out on whatever we want to it. But I’m suggesting we forget temporarily about “diets” and being healthy and try to tune into our body, to reconnect with what we need to feel nourished, and feed ourselves with that.


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