Monthly Archives: November 2012

‘Tis The Season…Giving and buying are two very different things

It seems like every year we all go through the madness of buying stuff for people…what for?

I get asked every year where it was that I bought whatever it is that I have given anyone as a gift…you can imagine the surprised look on their faces when I simply breathe the words, “I didn’t – I made that…” and yes, this is the basics of the Spiritual side of Giving gifts versus buying them

Imagine yourself and imagine that you are waking up yesterday long before the sun rises. Imagine that feeling you had when you were out there, cell phone in hand, making sure to it that the others in your party of gift buying marauders went out into the Holiday Wilderness of merry mad-making. Imagine how frustrated it makes you that you cannot afford this, that and whatevahs for whoevhas, and now recall that feeling within you, that heavy weight of your own disappointment when you come to accept the idea that this year, and if you are like a lot of people, for years already, you simply cannot stray from your own budget. Yes, the holidays in this country…hell…in every country…has become a madness of who can buy a better gift than who, who can impress someone else, not with the thought behind the gift, but more, the motive. No one ever thinks about the motive behind a gift.

I always have.

The Motive Behind the Gift

Be honest, guys…you are as much a sinner in the church of buying something simply to impress someone else, or perhaps, and this is usually the case, it is that you are in a competition with someone else to see who can buy the best gift as anyone else can try hard to say they never did is.It is a sad truth about us here in the west – we love our bling. We are the blingiest bunch ever…but we don’t have to be.

I hate to tell you this, folks, but the best gifts that people end up with are not on any store shelf. You see, unless it is your kid who you are scrambling about over, the gift is meaningless to someone else unless it is something that they can use. If they like whatever it is that you bought – great, but still, there is that thing in your purse or pocket that gets lighter and lighter and those things which come in the mail are not going to be different. They are still gonna get sent to you, and you are still going to have to pay them. Either way, unless you can afford to still pay them, which, I know that collectively the thinking is that we each like eating far more than we like to impress people, and this is more so when there are kids involved…that really, this year, there are not a whole lot of us who can afford to shop like we used to.

This year, let the motive behind the gift be all about Love, and if there is anything that I know that I Love MORE than anything else it is when someone who is part of my life takes the time to really think about what it is that I can use, and more, what it is that I will Love even more than something off of a store shelf because when we make the gifts we intend to give, not only is our own specific energy also associated with that gift,  that same Love energy that we put into it is compounded by a whole lot, and it is all due to the energies which we are putting into a thing. I know this is the truth. It was about twelve years ago that I stopped buying gifts for anyone other than my kids and starting making them, and in some cases, the “making” of a gift was simply something that I did for them….a favor of some sort, or perhaps there was some editing work or marketing that they needed done…maybe it was what I refer to as being a “Reverend Correspondence,” which is simply something that a member of my own Tribe really needed for some issue happening in their lives that only I and they knew about.

Sometimes, the gifts which mean the most are the ones which are intangible

My line of work is that of healing. I am ordained. It is my calling to reach out to people and ask what ails their Souls. However, I still need my day job, which is in marketing, in promotions, in all things communicative, and since it is like that, since it is that I somehow complement all the people in my life in one way or another, it makes sense that when they ask me what I would like from them for Christmas, my easy answer is “If I need you to (fill in favor here), just please be able to do it and that will be the best gift ever!”

And you know what? They do not fail me. You see, when we are willing to give of ourselves in a manner that is more helpful than egotistical, when we are willing to shed a bit of ourselves, within reason, that is, and give it to someone else who we know will appreciate that exchange of energy, that is the point at which, to an extent, we have learned something about who we are. When I make a gift for someone, it is a very Sacred Moment for me, the moment that I happen upon the perfect gift that would match this one perfectly positioned in my life recipient, and the best part is that no matter what, I know what I give to them is markedly appreciated. To those who know me the most and the very best, I am that one person they know they can go to in their time of need and that I will open my ears and my heart and my Soul to them, and in that exchange I am gifted by them with something that nothing could compare with – I am allowed a portion of their Selves, and that, my dear readers, is an absolutely priceless gift because in it is the gift of Aloha, the gift of Lokahi (unity) and most of all, the gift of the Soul.

So, since it is that MANY of you have asked me how it is that I manage to make sure that the people who I consider as being the very most important in my life who are not also my kids or my siblings, the answer is very easy….

I Make the Gifts that I give each year to the people who have bothered to do as much for me…and yes, they all know exactly who they are, and when me and your Christmas gift this year meet up, I promise you that the moment you open it you will know, for sure, that a LOT of my time, caring, energy and most of all, My Aloha, went into it.

There are a lot of people on this planet right now who are, at this moment, struggling for a way to present a gift to their loved ones who have no idea what to make or give to them….send me an email…let’s think about it, shall we?

When this time of year comes around, you have to ask yourself one question…”What would mean more to me…something that someone went and bought, or something that someone took the time to really think about me and what I am all about and went according to that?”

Second choice…hands down….(wrote she as she sat writing this while staring at a framed picture of hula girls who are now mothers themselves and who once were my own hula students from years ago…)

As always-

I LOVE YOU ALL !!
ROX

Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book authorchoreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved



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‘TIs the Season … Soul Gifts…

“Be Excellent to Each Other….” 
     (From “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” 1989, Metro-Goldwyn-Meyers Studios, Inc.)

The famous line from a film which could, in some ways, be the spiritual definition point for an entire generation, the one called “X.”

The very one which I am a part of. The very one which the people who travel this Path with me are also from, at least most of them. The most of us are in possession of an old Soul, of a Soul which begs to learn and a Soul which only bothers to Love and to Care and to be One with the Very All That Is…This post…this thought…this Mana’o of Love, of giving, of Aloha…this is meant for you guys, and yes…you all know exactly who you are…those who can call me “Aumakua” or, “Ancestor,” have learned very well the very lessons brought to them by a generation which preceded theirs and it shows. Love knows no place within where there is no measure of sharing to be had, no measure of Knowing that for sure, this time, it is not only personal, the lesson contained within the lesson, but more, it is life-exacting and right now, we could all use the exacting ability, not only of choice, but more, believing these very words which are before you at this time. It is not only the message that is from me,  but right now I have become the conduit for the Aloha, as guided by the Soul within, the Aloha Spirit which those closest to me know is as homegrown and real as it gets.

Yes, sometimes it is a bit to deal with, but most of the time, that same Aloha gets worn by those to whom I impart this gift to, and the most important part is that my Tribe knows what needs to happen with that gift once it has been given to them.

Every year around this time many people are wondering what to buy for whom on their list of gift-getters. I rarely bother with a list – one, there’s no gift anywhere on any store shelf that can quite adequately describe the deepness of Aloha, of Love, of Cosmic Energy that I have for the people who are in my life. Two, my gift to them and the world is always my own energy, always the Aloha within me because it is a gift which we can all return, a gift that we can each keep giving, and one which never goes out of style.

Sure, we can go out, be broke in a few hours after having spent money on things that for some recipients, will hold no meaning (because that is just how they roll), and you can make merry, intoxicate yourself with the palate’s offerings of the day as well as imbibe yourself, and it will still be all okay, or you can still eat, drink and be merry and do so with the thought in your heads that there is no gift that we can go out into the wilderness we call our own that will match the one which just keeps on giving. In my world, ’tis the Aloha Soul within me which rules, which prompts me to seek those in my midst who can offer their own measure of Aloha to the world, who know the very strength and the very truth of the gift that they give, which is the gift they – the people in my life – give to me, and it can never be matched by anything that can be found in a jade dealer’s jewelry case.

The people who reside in my life are the very ones who have gifted me throughout the year, both those who have been with me for the bulk of my lifetime as well as those who have only shown up recently, with the things which we all need, which are intangible in nature and which can only come from each of them. From them all I get the essential things in life that I need, that yes, I can provide myself with, but life is so much sweeter, the Path made easier to travel, when you have companions, and for them all I cannot even begin to describe for you the very depth of Soul, the very realness of Spirit, the undying nature of the very Aloha within them each, the Aloha which, in some manner, I know I am responsible for having brought to them as well.

My thinking is that if we take the time out of our lives for purposes of buying things for other people, why can we not also take the time, year round, to be grateful – truly and dearly grateful – for the people who share our lives and fill our lives with Aloha? At this time of year it is hard on some people to wrap their heads around the thought that again, we are expected to give people things when what they really are waiting for is the thought and the energy behind the things. I know that when my daughter makes me a piece of Spirit Jewelry that it is a gift that holds its own magic, its own power and that it is not the jewelry that matters but the energy which my Gracie has put into the fabrication of that piece. I know that when Napua comes to take Gracie for the day, when Patrick takes my “Moshpit” baby boy overnight, it is not only because of Enoka, but also because my siblings know without having to ask that their big sister needs to Be within her own energies for a little while and they respond with that measure of relief. I know that when my big son, Jeremy, and his pals, Tim and AJ, come to me with a gift from our mutual friend Nate, that it is because they know me well enough to know that that is a gift most appreciated, will be utilized in the fashion it is meant to be, and most of all, because they know me well enough to know exactly what it is that I am both needing and desiring. Never am I disappointed when the thought precedes the giving.

I could sit here and give you all more examples that would match this one, and the people behind these shows of Aloha would agree with me if I chose to exemplify the things that they have done for me, some knowing they acted in kindness on my behalf, and most of them never even realizing the gift they have given to me until I have returned it in some fashion. Yet all of them, every single one of them, no matter who they are, and mind you my Tribe grows almost daily, Know well that I care, that I Love them with a deepness that can only be had from other members of This Soul Tribe which we all share, of an Ohana which was gifted to me by the very Heavens above where Akua sits watching us, seeing our motives and knowing our intentions and making sure to it that the very requests of the heart and soul which are only particular to our own selves and God are met. These people, all of them, Know, Believe and Live with this regarding me and who I am in their lives everyday, and it is truly the one gift which I Love to give to them the most, as it is the very one which we all so dearly need, the one most appreciated and most of all, the one which is meant to be shared.

To those who know who they are, I extend to you all this welcoming message from the Heavens above that you are to each Know within you that there is a specialness to you , a meaningfulness which you have brought to me and a Soul which is inextricably now a piece of my Life which I am too happy to receive. I want you all to Know that without doubt, you are meant as part of the grander scheme of all things “Rox,” of all things “Mapu, and of the very life which, because of each of you, has been made easier to map and to anticipate, and for that gift which has been and keeps being received by me, I must extend my great big Kisses of Aloha, the embraces which are filled with the Light and the Love, not only of this most Sacred season, but of the very deepest recesses of my very Hawai’ian Soul.

 I need you all to know that no matter where you are in the world, no matter where your life takes you and no matter what it is that you each decide to do with this, the Gift of Aloha which I impart to you all, and it is my intention to take that same gift which you have each imparted to me and take it out into the big, bad ugliness called Life and share with others the power and the beauty and the magic that is that measure of Aloha, that I am here, will always be here, and that no matter what happens, you will never ever be alone in this lifetime.

To you, each and every one of you,  I give to you on this first day of the madness called “The Holidays,” a wish of peace, a gift of Knowing that you are well Loved, not just by Akua, but most assuredly and absolutely by me…I bid to those within my Soul Tribe the thought in all of your heads that this time in our lives is most exciting, is filled with the memories of the things which broke all of our hearts, and the knowing behind that energy that we all, whether we realize it or not, went through those things so that one day we would collide into a madness that Hawaiians know is called “Aloha,” which is the very Life’s breath of all humanity. We are meant to be with our Soul Tribes, and for all of you I am very deeply grateful for your presence in my Life, for the energy and the Love, the honesty and the Knowing that truly, I am not alone in this world, in this lifetime and in this energy.

To whom it matters…may your Holidays be completely and totally filled with Joy, may your days and nights of these, the last few days and weeks of a very storied year for us all, a year known as 2012, a year when things did not make sense, still, in a manner, do not make sense, even though we all know that there is something up in the cosmos that is big, grand and life changing, and that we are all going to be privy to receiving of the good things we all pine for, have all requested through tears and through rage and with the quietly screaming tearful misunderstandings we went through, both alone and collectively, I give to you these very wishes of my own Hawai’ian heart, of my own Soul and with every single thought of Love and caring behind it.

I bid you each and all the most life changing, the most memorable holiday season, and one which we all anticipate to be filled with happy surprises, with a chance to see who we each are through and because of one another, and most importantly, the thing that we each share with one another, regardless of the day of the week or month or the time of the year…

May your days and nights this holiday season be imbued with the Essence of Aloha, and may we each finally know that it is truly the Gift which matters most of all !!

And to those who share much with me, quite more than only knowing well the phrase “Be Excellent to each other, and party on, dudes…” Mahalo for your presence in my life, as without you all there, I might not realize how much collectively, we care…more than that, in a singular fashion, I may not have ever known that I am worth everything that has happened, and more, worth all the things which broke me in two, because here you all are, reminding me that I am good enough, strong enough and that yes, I matter…in fact, I matter to you as much as you matter to me.

May you all and each enjoy this holiday season, and should it ever be known at this moment that I truly bid you all the very most inspiring holiday season that any one of us has ever had

I Love You All !!

ROX

Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book authorchoreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved



‘Tis the Season…Aloha is Infectious

Yesterday I told you about this guy and his friends…today is no different, and it is a beautiful thing, indeed!!

And if we feel it’s all a mess, yeah, yeah,
Why don’t we try a little, try a little lve ‘n’ tenderness?
If we got more than comes around, yeah, yeah,
Why don’t we care a little, share a little?
Sure to come back around…” (Tesla- “Stir It Up, Baby“)

I Love It!

I Love it when the holidays prove themselves, through the acts of kindness by people who serve others for a hobby. Yesterday was one such story, and today, as well, is another such story. This time, though, I can make mention of the man’s name, because the man I am talking about is in search of people who will be willing to help him in his efforts to serve the people in the community that he lives in, and also the communities in which he serves as a plumber. 

This is my friend, Roger Thomas, “Flood Guy.”

Roger and I went to the same high school. Roger is a plumber who is also a very giving, very charitable Soul.  Lots of times we read about people who do this only around the holidays, but there are people out there who do this sort of thing all year round. Roger is one of those people, and for many  years now  Roger has been doing good in the communities he serves through making sure people have enough food in their homes to feed their families with, and making sure that Na Kupuna (the Seniors) are warm and have enough to eat.

This year, though, Roger had, and Roger STILL has to, figure out a way that he can continue to serve the people in his community because the charity for which Roger did so much for …for many years…has had a change of administration, and Roger chose to part ways with that organization as he felt that on his own, he would still be able to serve those in his community through his charitable efforts. 

Yet this year, too, Roger needs help from people – within his community and wherever else, for that matter (the internet is a magical thing, yes? You meet the coolest people here…) – to continue on his mission. He needs help. There is so much this man wants to do, so much need he sees, but he cannot find an organization who will support his collection efforts – it blows my mind that no one needs a guy like this making them look really good. Come on! Really? It’s this time of year that people like me, like Roger, like lots of my Tribe – this is when we are at our best. This is when people need to know…no – not want to know…not would like to know…damned well need to know that someone cares about them. 

Too many people have become cynical, and they are the very same people who want to see to it that they don’t look bad, but at the same time they won’t do a thing about it. They will continue to say what they will but they will not back up their own play. Luckily for me, the only kind of people who I know are the kind who have integrity, the kind who are not afraid to give of themselves so that others do not have to feel like they are going it alone. These are the kind of people who do the most good in the world, and are the only kind I care to have anything to do with. 

Roger needs a whole WHOLE lot of help, so I am asking you all nicely…and I WILL be back in a day or two – I Promise you All – with yet another request, just like this one, and it is my greatest hope that you will at least reach out and see what any of these people who I write about need, and yes, of course, you can send your correspondence to me – they will get the email.

Roger needs people who are knowledgeable in the area of nonprofits and how he can continue on with his efforts, get his community involved, and make sure that everyone who he comes into contact with at least has a winter coat to wear. The desert areas, Riverside isn’t technically the desert but it’s close enough to it…in the winter time it gets to be very, very cold, and those who are in frail health, who are alone, who have no choice and also have no family to turn to…these are the people who depend on my folks like my good friend, Roger Thomas.

If there are any of you reading this who are in the media, who are in Roger’s area, who can help him out with …well, with everything, really….ANYONE READING THIS who can help out Roger, would you mind sending me an email?  I don’t mind taking them for him…I mean, I “Facebook see” Roger everyday, just about, and we are still pretty good pals….years mean nothing to people like me, like Roger, like a lot of people I know. 

Just…come on, help a brotha out, will ya? Send me those emails…Roger’s waiting!

I Love You All !
ROX

Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book authorchoreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved





‘Tis the Very Season…A Story That Wrote Itself

Inspiration- it’s that thing that hits us in the head at just the right time…

The holiday displays have been displayed and have been that way since the week prior to Halloween. This year I am thankful that there has been an entirely new group of folks who have entered my life, and sometimes the reasons show themselves to me in a manner that is “stay tuned for the next episode of “What is Reverend Roxie gonna do this time?” but this time…this time was different from all the other times but so totally not. I have been shown pictures of certain people who mean anything, not only to one person whom I share a bond with, but with a few…like maybe…5 people. This one person knows who they are, because they are very adept at saying what is on their mind and when he struggles for the words, it is normally a picture of a person who he used to “know”, and by “know” I mean that while he still knows them, he does not know who they have become. One of those things that some of these people he shows pictures to me of, or plays music they used to play, or simply shares with me, wistfully at that, are the people with whom he has shared a past bond with who have lost themselves in the world.

The hardest part is knowing that some of these people are homeless, and by my own account being without your own address is, in short, really hard, and when it visited my life back in the early 90’s, not through my assistance in making us that way, and when it was that there were addiction issues which loaned to the problem, I knew then what I still know now….homelessness strikes like does disease. It does not differentiate. No one is immune. Like any lengthy disease might show up in our lives after a lot of years ignoring what was right there all along, so, too, does homelessness sort of sneak up on a person. It snuck up on me and when things became do or die, fight or flight, leave or get beaten more, I left, and when I left I had someplace to “go home to.” I knew then what I knew this time, that after I’d lost my house in the desert that I would be able to return to the place where I would again be one of the kids at home.

Yet not all of us has that convenience. Sometimes we end up dong things that we know we should not, and eventually the madness that I hear is addiction becomes the all-too big bigness in life. I hear that addicts end up consumed with their own needs and eventually they hit rock bottom and in many cases, homelessness is the end result.

So, you can all basically guess that after I’d put my eyes on this picture and measured the energy, not of a distant sadness at the sacrifice of talent only, but also the loss of a friend. I know this ache, and I know it very well. It is that same ache you get when you roll up onto a serious accident and realize that your life was spared because not twenty minutes prior to your rolling up to that horrific mess you were asked if you might not like to ride with the band to Corona and on your own way there you recognize the mangled mess that was once your friend’s car, and then, because you are the only one dumb enough to get out of her car in the middle of a rainy night on the 71 southbound, you creep closer to the wreckage and realize, through the stream of tears which are now like that rain storm, that not only would you have been just as gone as your friends were, but more, that you no longer would see them unless it was in remembrance of them.

Yes…they were my friends…and yes…they asked if I might not like to save the gas in my Blazer..and yes, indeed, it was me that rainy night, two decades ago, where the realities of drunk drivers being on the road at the same time as I was really hit home for me. I was a wreck for a long time, the memories of my friends’ bodies strewn across the road like 5 little rag dolls. I recall it like it was yesterday, like it was just last night.

But …just last night…someone else showed me a different wreckage, the kind that breaks your heart, over and over again, not because they have fallen on avoidable hard times, but because you can see the real them behind the thing that ate their life. It makes you want to cry. It makes you mad. It hurts you. I know this. I see it in the eyes of this person, although he tries hard to hide it, that this affects him. And those who are close to me, who know well the depth of my own Aloha and how real it is the idea that I Live from that Place, that place where I keep vigil over the Tribe which I call “my own,” know well that when I say that something must be done, that that is absolutely that – so, here is what I have come up with and this…THIS, other than the work I do for other spiritual types, artists and the like…is what I am all about, and yes, I know that there are others like me on this rock called Earth who are just like I am….you know that you are here for a grander purpose.

I chose to take the “scenic” route home last night, and along the way saw things that hurt me, that would hurt anyone like me, who believes that there is a purpose for all of us, yes, including those who can be considered as being “The least among us.” Biblically they are the meek, but in my language, they are part of the Soul Tribe that I am part of, that is mine, and it is by association. Hawaiians ALWAYS, at least most of us, take care of our own, and these homeless people are “My Own.” They are mine because someone close to me once knew who they were when he knew them, and now ?

Yeah…I saw a whole LOT driving from his town, through mine, and what I saw saddened me, but at the same time compelled me to go out into that same wilderness, to be Like Christ in the manner that we must kokua others, we must Malama those who can no longer malama the ‘aina for themselves. Much of it was avoidable, and all of it hit home for me, all because of that one picture.

In this case, the grander purpose is easy. Along with the paid work that I do for other business owners and self-employeds like myself, I am BIG on giving back to the community, and right now in the Inland Empire my community needs to reach out and help me with collecting winter coats and blankets for the people who have fallen to homelessness…and let’s not forget that some of those who are homeless are children. That’s right, guys…here in my town, if you did like I did last night, while it rained, while it was cold, while it was still in my head and while I had no idea as to why it was still there, the picture of this young man who I know I have handed much money to, but when I rose this morning, albeit later by hours than I am usually awake, the thought in my head was of working on the things that I have been hired to do, but more, reaching out for both assistance as well as compassion, to give to those among us who can barely recall who they are, let alone what time of year it is.

So there you have it…my campaign for this year, and likely for years to come, is reaching out and making sure that those among us who cannot afford a roof are at a minimum, warm…warmth is the greatest thing in the world when you are freezing your okole off, and if there is one thing that I am allergic to other than Eucalyptus pollen, it is the cold. I have to wait to hear from the businesses, the political officials, the very people in my life, in my community, and most of all, who reside somewhere in the heart and soul of me, and you all know exactly who you are….I am awaiting their emails in reply to mine, and I know that they will help me, because that is just how they roll…just…like…Mapu…like me….

…who’s with me? Who among you will help me care for the part of the Tribe who, at least some of them, do not even know the day of the week, and some of them cannot even recall their own name? Who among you will take part in this, the feeding of the Soul which is Your Own?

…and mahalo to that person who has been an inspiration to me from day 1, even through the things which have broken his own heart a million and one times. Still, he manages to smile, even through the wildnerness which he calls his very own. Mahalo nui…

Of course…you all know it…

I LOVE YOU ALL !
ROX

Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book authorchoreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved



The Silver Lining – Words about Domestic Violence and Emotional Abuse

Being someone’s victim is never a good thing…

…like all else that I tend to put a silver lining around, I will also attempt the same thing here and now as well.

It is not a secret that for the majority of my adult life I was someone else’s victim. It is also not a secret that I have survived the maladies of the sickness of the Soul which is caused by being victimized by someone else. For longer than twenty years I was victimized by someone who was supposed to have my health, safety, dreams and longings held in his heart and soul. In reality, what he held was contempt at the very idea that I have dreams, hopes, that I am every bit as smart as I seem to be.

For a long time I was given suggestion after suggestion- “You should just leave him, Roxanne!” was what I heard a lot of, and I tried, and he always found me. When he found me, I always paid. And paid, and paid, not for sins that I had actually committed, but for the ones that he was afraid I might. There was always something that I did wrong, or something that I was not smart enough to figure out how to do, or something just not right about me, and always it was pointed out to me. Sometimes it would be pointed out to other people as well, and again I was forced to live through the shame of it all.

It is a shameful thing when someone in an intimate relationship brings violence or even the words in threat of violence to a situation, and more often than not, even as it is a man who will brutalize a woman, there is a population of women in our midst who seem to think that it is fine and dandy that they strike first so that they are not the victim first, and they are who make me the sickest of all. Yes, I Love them and have compassion for them, but there is no excuse for violence between two people. There is no reason to make people live down the sins from a past that the a person was not a part of. There is no reason to hurt someone first so that you do not have to hurt at all. That is backward thinking. That sort of thinking that you will “get him before gets” you, at least in the physical or in the verbally abusive sense, is not cool.

It is not cool to make someone else feel bad about themselves because you feel badly about yourself. I feel right in spouting like this, because lately, even as I am a product, was a victim and am now a survivor of an abusive situation, was victimized by someone of the gender opposite of mine, it does not mean that I have the right to assume that all men are bad, are abusive, are ugly on the inside. They are not. Men are not the enemy – our refusal to forgive our abuser is the enemy. Men are not more prone than we are. Women are not the ultimate victim. Both genders are equally prone to becoming victims.

When a person is victimized, immediately we are given to a heightened sense of awareness. We are more inclined to recognize things that, in the past, we might have not because the simple truth is that when we were not someone else’s victim we were more inclined to be satisfied with only our being able to sense and see what was there, sense and see what is physically in front of us, and never were we inclined to see more than what was there. Yet, when a person is victimized there are a lot of inner dealings that happen, a lot of things that we go through internally that previously we would not have and it is because we were not forced to pay attention to them.

When we are forced to pay more attention to our surroundings, we are also learning to be more aware, and this is the silver lining involved with ending up a victim but choosing to be a survivor. We end up with something ugly, or rather, start out, that is, being someone’s victim, and at the end of it all, after we choose to no longer be in pain, we are found to have better abilities, we find that our sixth sense is far stronger than it was not too long ago. While I will never say that being abused has the quality of being a blessing in disguise, I will say that because we end up having to figure out a way to survive and ultimately have the right to call ourselves a Survivor, becoming a survivor and the work that we have to do in order to survive in an emotional and a spiritual sense is the greatest workout that any person’s life will ever endure.

I wrote this today because while it remains that statistically, women are the most visible victims, men, also, are victimized in the same manner that we are in that they have so many “manly” expectations placed on them that to think for a moment that these are thinking, feeling creatures who are just like we are seems to make us all think that somehow, because they have feelings, this makes them less a man. I beg to differ. When a man can express himself, can truthfully express his own feelings and really know when he has been hurt and when said same man can seek out his own healing, namely when said healing and teachings come from a woman, it is that same man who, like the women in my midst, will rise above the ashes of his own life, like the Phoenix we women are likened to.

I also wrote this today in honor of the men in my life with whom I share a particular bond…it is because they are in my life that I now can see both sides of the street, both sides, in a gender sense, of what it feels like to be a victim who wants to survive and more, I have a greater sense of respect for them. I do not need to tell them who they are. They already know. There are not a lot of them, but still…they know who they are and I am grateful for their presence everyday of my life.

If you are or someone you Love is an abuse victim, be there for them. Listen to them, and most of all, don’t judge them.

They have already been through enough of that.

I LOVE YOU ALL !
ROX

Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book authorchoreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved


 


Honor Your Soul

Take the Time Everyday to Recognize Just Exactly How Cool You Really Are !

Talent.

It is something that I have recognized since I was a child, namely musical talent. And I should be very adept at pinpointing out the talent in others because that is part of the reason why my job is a joy for me – I am blessed in that, again, the majority and the typical client of mine is a musically talented person who has just so much on their mind that they need a little help with trying to figure out what is “theirs” and what is not.

And I am very well adept at seeing talent, seeing drive, seeing all there is in other people but when it comes to myself I am sorely under-represented by me. While it is that I am aware of my own talents and gifts, it is a rare thing that unless I am asked about it that I will talk about it, will demonstrate it, and even as I want to show people, sometimes, at least for me, the time is not right.

The time is not right because in my own Soul I feel like there are people who will judge the one thing that exposes my Soul the very most, and that one thing is Hula. I have spent my entire life dancing hula, learning hula, studying the spiritual aspects of it, but when it comes right down to it, even as I cannot say that I suffer from any kind of stage fright, that I suffer from anything like that at all, sometimes it is just hard for me to get on up in front of people anymore and dance my dance.

It should not be this way. My friend Dannie told me today that I needed to do something OTHER than the technical side of my work today, that I needed to create something and that I needed to be joyful with it because if I didn’t I would be just like I was earlier today – moody and just not that fun to be around. And if you are reading this and you know me well, then you know, too, that there are two things that I try really hard NOT to be these days – moody…not that fun to be around.

Well, when you are at the end of your rope, which, a lot of us are at this time, what I specifically needed to think about was not what I was doing but more, what I was NOT doing and what I have not been doing lately is Honoring My Own Soul in the manner which it is most accustomed – dance…hula specifically, and with a wild abandon. So rather than sit here and work more on things that I did not want to do (let’s face it NO ONE really wants to do the work associated with their respective “day jobs”…Soul Coaching is my All The Time Job…and the one which I Love the Most!)

So  I turn on Owana, and I sit and I listen and soon my eyes well up and the tears are flowing and I realize that the reason that I am crying is not because of anything other than the sudden realization that things in the cosmos are about to crack wide open and that right now we all need badly to stop and proverbially smell the roses which are currently in our lives. And by roses I absolutely mean that over the last four months we have all been through a whole lot, likely more than we even Know we have been, and that in that time we have seen the ugliness that is the reality of our lives and we have all elected to do away with what no longer serves us. For weeks I was heart broken because for weeks I thought that I would never teach Hula again. Yet it is not in the teaching, because I still teach hula, just not in a group setting and for a totally different reason that I started dancing for pay when I was 15. In 1985 it was because I liked making that amount of money for the short amount of time that I had to “work.” Anymore now, I find that the joy in me, the very Lifeblood of my Soul is contained in that one Dance, in that one thing that I have so loved for so very long that to think of my life without it is an impossible thought because the truth is that it just will not be that way. I won’t have it that way.

SO in light of these things, I elect that the next time I am asked to dance for people, I am just gonna do it because more than anything else, the thing that we all need to expose to one another is the contents of our Soul and my Soul contains all the Beauty that is my Aloha Ancestry, that is the story told with music and hands and the joy of being Me.

Do NOT insult who you are by putting off what it is that you Love to do the most. In my case what I Love to do the most is not just help other people heal from their Spiritual issues and their Soul Ailments…the thing that I so Love to do is show others that yes, this really is me…and my Dance will Prove it …

Do not any further deny your Soul its access to the rest of the world. Don’t forget to Honor Your Soul on a Daily basis.

It is the part of You that You Really Are, so Let It Be All it Truly is, because Who You Are Truly Is A Gift and the Gift of the Soul is the very Gift we not only give to the rest of the world, but most of all and most importantly, it is the most important Gift that we can Give to Our Selves !!

Aloha!!
I LOVE YOU ALL !
ROX

Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book authorchoreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved






Aloha – The All That Is

We misuse the words “Love” and “Aloha” 

If there were ever a time in this space of history where Aloha is needed, it is now…in fact, it is always now that there needs a bit more Aloha injected into our daily lives.

Aloha. 

Its literal meaning is “the presence of breath,” and my favorite, “The Breath of Life.” When we think about the word, “Aloha,” immediately, at least in the minds of the masses, the picture which is held in the mind is that of tourists wearing black tube socks and “slippahs” which are “coordinated” with their awful tropical print shirts and their expectations that their every whim will be seen to because they are “in the Land of Aloha,” and that somehow they are entitled to everything they see and do not see. It is funny that many of us willingly go into a nonverbal spiritual contract with people where on our side the Ego is in charge and on the other person’s side they are expected to extend that Aloha to us, but not us to them. This is the same mindset that people have when in Las Vegas, when they are on vacation anywhere – that somehow, because they spent far too much money on a vacation that they probably didn’t really need to take and now the rest of the people in their awareness is somehow meant to pay for it in some way or another.

This is SO not Aloha !! Aloha is life giving, is somehow akin to the idea that we are all connected to one another, and yes, it is because we eat, breathe, “eliminate,” “procreate,” feel, laugh, cry, be angry, and basically end up being, all in the same manner as anyone else would. This should tell us, then, that no matter what, we are only “entitled” to the same things that the person who is sitting next to us at the Blackjack table is.

We are all here for a purpose, and that one purpose is Aloha, and in many corners of the world, “Aloha” is called “Love.”

Love.

Love is Aloha. If I bid you with an Aloha, if I embrace you, kiss you on your forehead, make sure to it that  I have done and said everything that I possibly can to ensure not only that you have what you need, but more, that you know without a doubt in your mind, heart and soul, that you are very Loved, if you think, by no one, at least you know that one person on this planet does, in fact, Love you…as you are…warts and all.

Yet even this term, “Love,” can be taken out of context for what it really is. Love is the basis upon which all of Life is formed, including us, because it was through the Love of the Omnipresent Creator (or Creatress…I make no differential between the two…Spirit…Akua…Is Spirit…no matter what anyone thinks) that we are possible, that we are here, that we are in Unison on some level with one another. That we argue and fight is one thing, and right now the thing that the world is most in need of is Aloha…is Love.

I won’t sit here and tell anyone that the things that they have been through somehow didn’t hurt them, and I won’t sit here and assume that the people in my own inner circle heal in the same way or at the same time that I do. What I am saying is that no matter who thinks what, and no matter what it is that we are likened to believe, we are all deserving of some sort of relief from what is “other than Love.” What is other than Love is that which makes us know that somewhere there is someone who exacted in our thinking the idea that we are not worthy of being accepted as we are. No one told the 9/11 victims or their families who are also among the survivors of that tragedy how to give and to show Love at a time when Love was the only thing that was absolute and the only thing which would be unwavering. No one told the good people of New Orleans that they would need to be of assistance to one another, that they themselves were expected to deal with the cries of their fellow Louisianans as those very same Louisianans lay dying. No one told the survivors of the landslide in Ventura a few years back that they would need to be there with and for one another as the rescuers unearthed the horrors of the tragedy before them.

Even as these are extreme examples and possibly examples that bring back memories of a time that we would all rather just no longer remember, it is impossible for us to forget that pain, but what is more amazing is that we also never forgot and in those instances were reminded, too, that Love always wins. Love always conquers. Love always Is. Love does not change. Love does not go away. Love is always Love and it is always available to us.

In this time in history we are finding that each and every one of us is in need of some sort of healing, of some sort of relief, of some sort of measure of Aloha that is real, that is permanent, that just Is. Think about all the things that you do all day long, the people who you are in contact with throughout your day, and when you look at your world from this point forward, look at it with and through the eyes of Love, the Heart and Soul of Aloha, for it is in those very times when the Love that always Is will reveal itself.

You cannot know what is not there if you also do not know what IS there, and what IS there at all times is Love. No…not lust, silly…LOVE…the kind that frees people even when they are literally captive…don’t forget it and more than that…

Never forget…
I LOVE YOU ALL  !!
ROX


Reverend Roxanne Cottell is the Kumu Hula and Creator of the Spiritual Hula Program for Women and the Co-Founder of Na Hula O Ka Wahine ‘Ui. She is a blogger, book authorchoreographer and Spiritual Adviser. If you would like information about “ROCK your NUPTIALS” Weddings or simply just to contact Roxanne for information about the Spiritual Hula Program for Women or information regarding private hula or Spiritual Guidance sessions with her feel free to send her an email.
(c) 2012 Roxanne K. Cottell. All Rights Reserved


 


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