We all have one thing that we each desire as part of our lives. We each know that seeing those desires to fruition takes a lot of doing, and thinking and most of all, believing, that it will happen.
I am a recovering pessimist. It’s true. All my life I have until about a year ago truly believed that in order to have anything good at all in our lives, that we HAVE to sacrifice things that we have and that we love right now. I used to be, and in some ways, still am and always will be, one of those people who hangs onto things for the sake of posterity as much as for sentimental reasons (ever notice how the word ‘sentimental’ includes the word ‘mental’ in it? …another time…another blog…). I don’t want to sound like somehow those things have no use for me, because I use them for the sake of recapturing energy from the time that those things are from, and use them when I am ‘dwelling’ on a person’s issues and soul needs. I say that I am a recovering pessimist because of the fact that all my life all I ever did was believe what other people said about dreams and dreaming and that for the most part, the thing that I wanted to do with my life and that I am presently doing with my life, it somehow was NEVER going to work.
NOW, when I think back to the time before I could drink alcohol and stay out past ten P.M., and I think about all the things that I wanted to do, and I fast forward to this time in my life, I find that my dreams for being a working Intuitive, a paid healer and now, to add to that, one who utilizes what I know and how long I have been in love with Hula, I realize that no matter what anyone told me and no matter for how long, my life was meant to be spent as a healer, as someone who can relate, as a person whose skills in all things “communication between humans,” all somehow have brought me to this point in my life where I am now ready to build the other part of my practice and income…a new hula halau.
Hula I Lalo Ka La, Helendale, CA
When I started teaching, officially, in my own halau, it was, at least in my mind at that time, the most unique thing in the world. And I was right. It was not only the most unique thing to have a hula studio in the middle of nowhere, but a hula studio in the middle of nowhere that actually survived. That was the part that I had a hard time believing – that it would survive, but it did and did for longer than I thought it would. At the time, I taught mainly children. I loved those kids, but at the time, I was likely not the best role model for them in that I was very competitive, overly combative in my thoughts about being better than the “other” dance teacher.
I recall dwelling on that word “other” for a lot of the time I taught these babies. I did it because for many years, as an island person, I had to mark the box called “other” when it came to my ethnicity. Whether I like admitting to it or not, that is what fueled my passion at that time. It was not that I was any good at what I did, not that my haumana really enjoyed themselves and being part of something that I knew was teaching them more than only this dance which I so very much Love. When it dawned on me, even in a far-off way, that my antics were not serving my purpose, let alone truly teaching these children the meaning of Aloha, of Ohana, of not having to hate on people just because they were different or not part of our social group – this is when the love for this dance became the thing that I would choose to show.
Yet, what also did not dawn on me was the idea that the children and the teaching of them was merely practice for this time in my life, where I sit here knowing that it is now time to begin piecing together what my hula is and has always been meant for. It was never meant for competing with other people, because I am a lousy competitor. It was never meant for me to use as the prize that I could hold over other peoples’ heads just to prove to THEM that I could do what I wanted to do with this amazing thing I knew, because I did not like it then, the showboating, and I do not like it now. It was never meant for anything that I thought it was meant for.
It was meant, through my teaching these children, as a vehicle through which this part, at this time, of my dreams to become the reality.
I know what I have to do, in the mechanical sense, to get this up and running, but that was not the part that I had to learn from those magnificent children. What I had to learn was a whole lot, and what I received from those babies is something that cannot be bought, for any amount of money. What I got in return from this group of children who most of them are now in high school, some are in college, a few have families of their own now…I learned the essential nature of Love in its purest form – the sort that is straight from the heart and soul of a child.
A thing of beauty is a thing forever
Hula has always been a beautiful thing to me. Even when I was barely a baby myself…3 years old…I was very taken by its grace, by the very ethereal nature of this dance. Of course, I was also awestruck by the person I saw doing this – my mother – as she listened to music that, at that time, I did not understand the language, much as I can now, but I understood something that my mother did not realize, that I did not realize until I had my own kids…love is shown to us in measures of beauty.
Hula is a measure of beauty. Hula is poetry in motion, because there are stories being told, through the hands of the dancer and the songs being danced to. Hula is the silence between the notes and is the thing that most people are shocked to know that I know. When they recall me as a young girl in high school, the one thing they recall is NOT that I loved my dance class, but that I was shyly proud of my culture, that I was able not only to cut a rug like Janet (Miss Jackson if you’re nasty), but that more, I was in love with being Hawaiian, was taken by the very grace and the beauty that was hula…and not just any hula, but my hula.
Hula always soothed me. I had the upper hand with it, namely when it came time to do our dance “tests” and like all normal teens I was never really ready to turn anything in (unless, of course, it was something like Janet, Miss Jackson if you’re nasty). However, because I had a pretty good grasp of Hawaiian language as it pertained to hula, and had I found myself not prepared well enough to do anything nasty like Miss Jackson, it was hula.
Rarely did I not get an “A” on those dance tests…
I am pretty sure that it is not hard to see that I have a great and enduring passion for dance, in particular the dance of my Ancestors, of which I can readily and willingly refer to myself, as well, as a living Ancestor to those who have learned this dance from my teachings. Those children will not ever forget that they, for a short time in their little lives, spent time with an erratic yet very Loving Hula Kumu named Rox or Mapu or whatever it was they called me. They will always have that learning, will always know that if anything at all, even if they did not learn this dance as well as I wanted them to, they learned how to be with other people who they might not have liked but learned to grow with and learn to get along with and most of all, to Love.
Hula taught me to love me. Hula brought out of me that essence that is alive and well within us all. It gave me the things that I needed to get through a lot of terrible things in my life, and it did not dawn on me that this is what those kids gave to me until much later…til 2008, when everything in my life that I knew as mine and normal suddenly became the banks and the bill collectors’. Hula in Helendale with Hula I Lalo Ka La and the children whose laughter and silliness is what my time as their Kumu gave to me. It gave me the understanding that I am different. It gave me the strength that I would need to get through these times, right now, and never has it ever not been in my mind – that I would be back teaching hula, because just like part of my practice is to sit here, almost daily, and give the world these thoughts about things, it is also mine to teach others how to Love, how to be with people for the sake of sharing that Aloha.
Mostly, though, this time, it is meant to bring to others the energy that is healing, the light that is the Love within us all, and the family which a lot of people do not have to go home to. Being homeless literally is bad enough.
Yet, there is nothing quite more lonely than feeling like there is no home to go to, where souls like our own meet, talk, be with each other. This is now what hula is about for me.
Hula O Ka Hipa’ele’ele
Since the time that I had to let go of Hula I Lalo Ka La (It means “Dance beneath the Sun”…kind of appropriate given that I lived and taught in the high desert…lotsa sun there all the time), and in between that time and now, I have managed to teach on a one to one basis with other abuse survivors. (Na Hula o Ka Wahine’ui…the dance of the beautiful woman) Now, though, with that one-to-one program in place, and with the majority of students I taught no longer needing hula as a means as medicine only but now and also as a means of fitness (truth!), I can go one better than that and have been building, daily and bit by bit, the love-child that has been in manifest since …well, since a long, long time ago…probably around 1973 when this all began for this Kumu Hula Kahu Reverend Maoli Chick.
“Hipa” means “sheep,” in the ancient language, and there are many different ways to say the word “black,” and in this case it is ” ‘ele’ele.”
Yes, indeed, and it is manifesting the way it is meant to…think a day, breathe about it for a day, then for two days, get out there and bug the hell out of my friends …musical ones and artistic ones and the ones who have no clue why it is that they want to learn this dance. Indeed, my intent IS to call it Hula O Ka Hipa’ele’ele….hell yes…Black Sheep Hula, because that is what I am, have always been, will always be, and it is with grace, honor and loads of pride that I am. I am not one who is much for labels or being judged, but I am one for standing proudly, even loudly, tall and lovingly, as who we each are.
I have always been the one to stand out, have always been loud and sometimes obnoxiously so, and always, have somehow been very proud of who I am, of what I am, even if my obnoxious nature could, at time, be very off-putting. Because of the familial issues, I have always been the Black Sheep. I used to think that it was a stain on the minds and eyes of those who said they loved me, and I know that they do. They just cannot get used to me, and that is okay, too. I don’t have to have those people there anymore. Even though what I went through with them hurt me, it also shaped me, also made me this me, the person who can no longer see in them what they still may see in me. All I can see in anyone anymore is their potential toward healing and Love.
This is what my hula is all about now. It is my mechanism through which those things that live within the hearts and souls of the permanently scarred and the damaged people, the ones who cover their history and hide who they were with a few well placed and beautifully created tats, the ones whose light behind the eyes, even though the evidence of their selves as them now tells a different story, tells me the truth of them.
Hula for me was something that I thought would only be contained within itself, something that I would now do while I cooked dinner listening to Led Ka’apana and Owana Salazar. This was okay for me in 2009 and 2010. But as time passed and my memory of how it was that I would make things okay for me when I taught all those babies this dance, I realized that my best pal on this end of the country, a soulful, lovingly bitchy person named April told me back in 2008, when I lost everything…I realized that she was right. April told me that I would never be done with hula, and that it would just become something else for me. Dannie confirmed it. Noreen confirmed Dannie.
Then along came a succession of failed attempts, followed by a long time in between called 2011, 2012, and 2013 that told me these women were right. I could not then, much like I cannot now, deny my soul its purpose, my self its dreams, just because other people have zero faith in their own dreams becoming real. If there is anything these three women, my three best women friend, have never conveyed to me over the years, it is the idea that dreaming up something outrageous is never impossible. I have never been told or got the energy that I could not or should not do this. I have always only been told that it has to be a good reason, a better one than only paying my bills, that would bring it to life.
The motto for Pisces is “I Believe.” I am a strange Pisces, because for a lot of years, I was not able to believe in anything that I thought of as being something that could be tangible, that could be part of my life, but after so many years of doubting, finally, I am true to my Pisces Self…
…because now really, I Believe…
…in myself, in my heart and soul, in all those tatted out, formerly addicted, formerly unacceptable to society, formerly anything who have chosen daily to remind me that indeed, Rox, this is your essence and it is anything BUT unbelievable…
DO NOT hamper yourself by doubting that you can do whatever it is that Spirit, through others, tells you that you are meant for. All you have to do is believe, and then all you have to do is choose and then…all you have to do will become apparent.
I LOVE YOU ALL !