Crafty Friday: Sir Mix a Lot

Since we’re still in the process of packing and unpacking, I haven’t had much of a chance to craft. But I have moved things around for a little fun. Exhibit A: The coffee table

I nabbed the napkins at a local Kailua store Kai Boutique, the flowers were from my husband. Everything else I already had except the photo in the frame. It was an iPhone picture taken of my own homemade art ala oranges and printed on our printer. The framed looked was created courtesy of my iPhone cover. In other words, completely by accident.

Forgive me, if you find that amusing at most. I really need to get back to real crafting. In the meantime, here’s an old post I did when I had more time. It’s just me putting paintbrush to canvas scared out of my wits whether it’d turn out or not. It sort of turned out like tulips. What do you think?

Floral Acrylic Painting

It was painted after another week of beautiful blooms bought for me by my husband. It’s part of my weekly splurge, a little happy pick me up and something to inspire me for the week. This week I got hydrangeas. Not sure if I can tackle them yet. But we’ll see…

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How to Bring Hawaii to You

{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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How Do You Know It’s Time to Call it Quits?

Unfortunately, there’s no sign on the door that says, “Closed,” when it’s time to pack it up and go. You need to be a bit of a detective, a sleuth, an intuitive master to figure out that.

Here’s what I do know.

Life doesn’t just let you alone without any clues to help you on your way. But you need to be 1) open to hearing them 2) ready to embrace the message.

When contemplating the move from California to Hawaii, the decision was not easy. It was probably a lot harder than you’d think. It took many conversations within myself to decide that listening to my intuition was smarter than following my head.

It took carefully packing away my fears, gently rocking my inner child and softly and compassionately showing it the way.

In short, it was no cake walk.

But in the end, I’m here and all is well. And I was reminded that life is easier when we listen to ourselves.

 How do you know when it’s time to go?

1. You feel restless.

2. You wake up at night with a, “Something’s not right feeling.”

3. You’re terrified about the decision you know you have to make.

4. You’re tired of living the life you’re living.

5. You keep getting signs that you should be doing something else.

In all honestly, you know what you have to do. You may be too afraid to do it. You may believe that you can’t. Sometimes what’s really holding us back isn’t the thing we have to do, but the belief that we can’t do it.

Allow yourself to imagine the possibility that you can, that you have all the tools you need to do what seems impossible, that fear is just a normal part of the equation.

Our fears will never go away. But as we get stronger and courageous and more able to face them, we allow ourselves the opportunity to fulfill our life purpose and to grow into the person we were meant to become.

We only have one life to live. We only have this moment. If something isn’t working in your life, please dear friend,

consider changing it.

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New Year’s Day Every Day

Once in awhile someone will cross your path by chance and you know it’s for a purpose. I felt that way about this lady, and I feel the same way about my guest blogger Cindy Scheopner. Her story below brings me hope about the possibility of changing our lives. Not just on New Year’s Day, but every day. It’s such an inspiring post.

by: guest blogger

I cannot ask for a New Year better than the one that ended. Each year has mostly been better than the past. I am pursuing a PhD in philosophy in Hawaii, a late in life, third career that is going well. My life partner is supportive and kind. He sails while I philosophize. Our children and grandchildren are healthy.

That does not mean everything is perfect. I manage, somehow, to stress myself while living in Hawaii. I am behind on several projects. My kids call with complaints about what I have or have not done. I’m overdue for a haircut and still carrying around more weight than I would like. I haven’t yet found the Tai Chi group I’d like to join.

These concerns pale in contrast with the past. Once, I struggled to balance a very demanding professional life with an increasingly dysfunctional private one. The man who captured my heart insisted on stomping my spirit – an exercise that destroyed us both. Making me feel bad didn’t make him feel better but he couldn’t stop and I couldn’t stop caring. For many years, I thought I could become perfect enough to make him happy. Even after I no longer believed that, I wasn’t sure how to release myself and my children from his death grip.

I cannot say the process was easy or fast. But each day I take a certain number of steps. The days that I take more steps forward than backward leave a foundation for the next that is higher than the last. Some steps were through blurry tears. Some were through sheer terror. But they led me to a place of respite where I could forgive myself and look ahead.

Eventually, I craved adult companionship but could not imagine who would want to share my messy life. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a fellow refugee. We joined hands and continued to make daily steps-still sideways sometimes, often in circles but always beside one another.

Often my partner says “I can’t believe we can live like this!” He means living in Hawaii, but he also means living in peace with one another. I don’t know how we managed to find one another, but we each realized how lucky we are and hang on tight. The advantage of a miserable past is appreciating a less-than-perfect present.

As I walk along the beach, I watch each new wave erase footprints from the sand. It is an ancient, eternal process that restores the sand perpetually. I seek not perfection in my future nor to erase the imperfections of the past – only the new beginning promised by each wave.

About Cindy Scheopner: Cindy lives in Hawaii with her partner, Rick. She is writing a dissertation to complete her philosophy PhD while Rick sails. Between them, they have six daughters, four step-children and three grandchildren. In past lives, Cindy was an attorney (briefly) and a journalist (lengthily). She has no idea what she’ll do with a philosophy degree, but it’s a whole lot of fun. She Tweets as @Scheopner and posts random pictures and thoughts at:

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