Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Same Suit, Different Energy

Many of us are convinced that whatever it is that we have trained for in terms of our work in the world is static and cannot be melded to also include Spirit…wow…really?



When I started my college education many years ago, I was primed to become a dance art therapist. This is not what happened, at all. I won’t say that I could have become this…dance therapist…either, because of the ugliness that became a part of my life at that time, the ugliness that is domestic violence and emotional abuse. While it was that I still taught, danced, and performed hula, it seemed as though just doing that with that particular dance was so totally not enough, even then, when I was a young woman in my early twenties.  I was told, at that time, that hula was enough for me, that I didn’t need to aspire to more than that, and with that, I should have been happy. I wasn’t. I love hula. I have always loved hula. I would never be able to see my life, ever, without it being some part of my everday, much as it is now. Like some folks enjoy, love and live a particular sport their entire lives, so , too, do I love and live hula.

It used to be, long ago, when I owned a hula halau in the high desert, that my thinking in so far as the dance went was very well cut and dry – you teach, you perform, you do parties, luaus and the occasional bit part, and then you just go on throughout your life loving something that you have always loved, never do it in the capacity that you once did, and enjoy your happy memories. Then, when the day came that the things that had gone on in my own life and in the marriage which turned out to be akin to a university education in survival, I realized that I was not done with this dance. It took more than two decades for me to realize that, while it was that I loved teaching this dance, loved to perform it, loved to do what has been done traditionally for generations, I knew (and my two soul sisters, April and Dannie both confirmed it as time passed) that my hula was meant to evolve into something that not a whole lot of other Kumu Hula’s love for this dance had – the chance to be used as medicine for my aching, tattered heart and soul, and more, the very chance to do what I had always dreamed to do – be able to dance for my living, while still doing good things in the world at large. This is not to say that theirs is not what mine is, because even they would tell you that this is the truth. Theirs is every bit to them what my own hula is to me. Medicine, in some form.

Trading the Pa’u skirt for the Kahuna’s Apple Bottom Jeans

Hula, as it is well known, is normally, when performed, done in some sort of skirt, and most of the time, it is a Pa’u skirt (no, not grass…cotton…brightly colored and patterned cotton…anyway…). When I lost my house in the desert, I lost more than I thought I had, but it was not as though what was lost could not be way more than it was when it was at its height of coolness. Here I was, with three kids, no house, a dog and a car…and no hula. I had suffered a huge loss that, at the beginning, did not seem to be as big as it ended up being, but in that bigness of loss, I found something bigger that can never ever be lost.  After months went by, and after I had had the worst time being anyone’s wife, and after not having danced or taught others to dance had finally brought me to my knees, it was inevitable – the mp3 player had been primed with all my numbers…and outside, there was a full moon.

It was on this night, without my realizing so, that hula became something completely not what it had ever been for me in the past. It became my Medicine Dance. Hula became the thing that I would turn to, that I still turn to, when my heart felt like it was about to again shatter into a million tiny pieces. At that time in my life, there was not a lot that would not turn me into a heaving mess of tears. It was not that hard to make me cry, and it was not that hard to make me feel like I had been and done something wrong. It was not that difficult to hurt me. It was not that difficult to make things hard on me. It was a daily thing for me to fall apart into a mess of tears. It was not that hard to help me have a very, very bad day. Yet, at the end of that bad day, there, as always, to save me from another shot of liquor, to make me not want to go into the baby daddy’s room and wash down a handful of pills and end my pain, even if only for a few hours, was my Medicine Dance.

There, all my life, was this thing called Hula. There, right under the bright and wide full moon, for a long, long time, my suit had been changing. Suddenly, I realized my own metamorphosis. My skirt became a pair of jeans and a tank top, and those clothes, my new “suit.” I found out that I did not need a degree (although I do have one), that I did not need to do much more than just never stop dancing.

So, I never did.

And I never will.

Hula, suits and how they all relate

I think I have made it obvious that I used the thing that I grew up doing as the thing that would help me on the worst days, the thing that still saves me on those days. We all have that one thing, that one thing that we do, for pay, for free, and in that one thing we are expected to do with that one thing, we are also expected that we should only do one thing in relation to it all. Marketers are only expected to market to one type of demographic. Musicians are only expected to play one kind of music. People in certain jobs are expected to only do one thing and to stick to that one thing, never using it at all for anything other than money.

There comes a time in all of our lives when what we do needs to match who we are. I could have stayed as I was, only preferring to teach and perform and only do what I do for money, rather than what it has become, which is medicine and is not medicine that is available in the manner that I deliver it by anyone else. This is the thing about what it is that we each “do” – it is subject to grow and evolve into something that it was not at its own inception.  I started dancing hula when I was 3. By the time I was 12 I was performing in front of audiences, and being asked to compete. At 17, hula was only one of four jobs that I’d held, but it was the very one which I so loved the most. At 33, I owned and taught in my own hula halau. At 40, when there was no more halau, no more students, even as there were still lots of shows I’d done, my time as I’d known it to be in regards to this dance which still, in the minds and hearts of many people, defines me, was over with.

I had to think of something, because it felt like I had nothing left in the manner that was visually creative for me that I could embrace. I took the year off, still not realizing that when I was outside, feeling like my heart was going to just break into a mess of shattered tears, that I was relearning to embrace this dance, relearning to appreciate me and everything that hula has always meant to me and for me. More time went by. More tears. More nights, cold, rainy, or blazing hot…there I was, most of the time beneath the bright almost full moon, and for three nights, even to this day, I could be found outside, music only heard by me, dancing, sometimes laughingly, sometimes tearfully, but none the less, there I was, and there I will be, beneath the Akua (first night full moon phase) Moon, being as graceful as I can, my audience being the moon, the stars, and the night creatures, and of course, The Goddess and the Aumakua, singing to me through Keali’i Reichel’s or Owana Salazar’s beautiful voice…

It did not dawn on me that my two best girlfriends these days were absolutely spot on when they both told me that I was not done with hula, that hula would evolve into something much bigger for me, that it would be something that would be for everyone, not only for little kids and most certainly not only for show. Those days, the ones for show, while they are not completely over (hi Sabrina!! It’s gonna be a blast!!), they are not as important to me as are the moments that I have, with all of those survivors who have already come to me to learn about this dance which I love so very, very much. While I cannot say that this hula is better than the time I spent with my hula keiki in Helendale, I will say that my life is richer now because I choose to take The Medicine Path with it.  My Auntie Kalei told me one time, after many years of not having seen me dance hula, that it was the very essence of me, that it was the thing which my Soul showed itself best through, and that it would be something that I could use to change lives. She was right.

She is always right.

What does your Suit want to be when it evolves?

Think about that for a moment, okay? Hear me, that is, if you know what it is like to have a conversation with me,  and understand that I could easily be standing in front of an audience right now, saying these very things and still be able to make one thing clear, either way – that thing that you do  that Spirit chose for you to come into this lifetime to do, that one thing that you would do for free or for as much kala (it means “money”) as anyone is willing to pay, or both – Only you know what that is. It may well be that you are in this awareness this time around to see if you can mold the suit to the Soul. I just finished telling a friend of mine that there is something that she can do with what she used to do, with what she is so, so, so well educated, brilliantly clever and so very, very much the Ikaika Wahine in doing, that she can take her skills and rather than do what she used to do with them, take it up a notch and go forward into the blackness that is our many veterans’ issues here in this country and take on the role of the protector for those whose lives were once lived to protect.

The things that we can do in our professional lives, with the things that we are on the inside of our souls, can become the marriage of soul and body, right before our very eyes, if we can just look there, where it is that our hearts are and who those very hearts beat for. If we could just take a moment to really think about the things that we have at our whim, and know that with those things we are meant, by the very conception which brought us each here, for the purpose of bettering our own lives, through the things that we are and the things that we can do, and for us to go out into our own worlds and be everything that our abilities, our talents, our gifts, who we are, where we are, need and can solve the question of why we are here in the first place.

If we are meant to do anything at all, we are meant with purpose, and we are meant to get there with the things that we are each born with and come into this lifetime with. This is the truth. We are here to do those things that we love to do, for others, and with others, so that together, even whilst on our own, we can make a huge difference with each little thing that we do in our lives. It is hard to believe that it really is that simple.

Just do what you do.

The rest will just be what it is meant to be.

I Love You All !



“Medicine Dance” coming soon to lulu.com.

Cover photo by Randy Jay Braun, Hawai’i’s Camera Artist


Chasing the Dragon (Yeah…I went there)

Every one of us has chased a dragon or two in our lives…

My dragon’s name was money. I will admit it. I will even place the Kuleana on the idea that it was my Moon in Taurus which compelled me, at one time, to chase every single opportunity that came my way, so long as it equaled money at the end for me. I will not venture to say that the things that I did were illegal, and neither that they all completely wholesome, but, they all indeed did net me something, and the most important thing that they ever netted me was a lesson – normally a very dearly needed lesson.

The things that we will opt to do for the things that we think we cannot live without are also the things that we can refer to as being our dragons

We think we cannot live without the things that we pine for, obsess over, and believe that the longer we chase them, the sooner we will have them, so long as we do not ever give up chasing them.

Let’s look at the word “chase,” for a moment, shall we? I don’t want to go into the literal meaning of the word, but rather, I want to venture into the energy that is the word “chase.” I know that when I think about the word “chase,” immediately I am inundated with thoughts of high speed police chases in Los Angeles, and automatically I am thinking about trying hard to attain something that continues to elude us. I am willing to say that I have had a hard time with chasing the dragon of an income that comes from only one source (my Spiritual Practice), but then again, I am not chasing anything anymore. I am building a business that, anymore now, as far as my own involvement is concerned, and like any other type of business, will take time. I was not the most patient person when it came to being able to continue with the accumulation of monetary wealth, and while it is that for the most part, I actually and technically did bring in extra monies from my activities, I will also tell you all that it did not matter where I got the money from, and no matter that it was NOT ill-gotten, I will say that I was not exactly happy with myself afterwards.

While I was able to satiate what I thought was a need (the need for me to feel financially secure), it turns out that I was doing what a lot of addiction specialists would tell you is classic addiction tendencies. These days I am very well to agree with them.  When I came to terms with the reason behind why I chased my particular dragon I was a mess emotionally. I had become the thing that I loathed, and I had become a person who I didn’t even like, at all, and it was because I allowed something that was fear to make me believe that I would, without a doubt, end up penniless.

Guess what?

I was right. 

The times that we are right and don’t want to be right are the times when we need to pay specific attention to the things that are happening with us on an internal level. When we feel like we have to come up with things in order to come up with other things, we know that we are chasing something and normally that ‘something’ will either elude us or we will end up not being able to get enough of it once we have “caught” it. This is the reality that most folks don’t think about when they are thinking in terms of being obsessive to the point of insanity.

What the hell are you chasing for real?

And why the hell are you chasing anything or anyone at all, even if it is metaphorically? Let’s think about that one for a moment, shall we?

Think about “Tom and Jerry,” and “Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner,” and these days, “Fairly Oddparents,” or perhaps even “Mr. Crabs” from cartoon “Sponge Bob Squarepants,”and see, there, too, the thing about a chase.

How many times does any one of these characters ever end up landing what it is that they are chasing? (Ummm rarely, if ever) How many times, should they eventually land what they are chasing, does it last very long? It doesn’t, and it doesn’t because the creators of those cartoons and those characters would have nothing to give to their waiting audience without these characters having a great need to chase whatever is their obsession.

Is it the thing that they are all chasing, or is it the idea that there will be enough, at least for a little while, of whatever is the feeling that a person gets from being able to breathe for a minute, even if that might mean selling out and selling one’s soul just to have it? Is it that the obsession is bigger than the reason? What is it that makes a human being feel like something outside of themselves is the absolute thing that anyone needs to get along in the immediate timeline of their lives?

Why is it so very important to anyone at all to chase what it is that we will?

I would imagine…

I would imagine that those who are obsessed with anything at all would not be able to see what it is that I am saying here. What I am saying here is that, I would imagine, to chase something, or someone, is akin to chasing the best high that anyone could hope to have. Now, don’t get me wrong – there are some things that I will admit to enjoying, and others that I VEHEMENTLY am opposed to. Because I am not willing to allow people, through my words, to think that I am judging anyone at all, I will refrain from stating that people who chase a high are pitiful, because I know a different thing than that.

However, I would imagine that the pursuit of something, and to say it in that manner, rather than to say that we are always chasing something, would allow a person to think about what it is that they are doing, not only to themselves, but also to the people in their lives. The people in our lives are there and studying us, observing what it is that we are always doing, and because we are always doing what we are always doing, it is very normal to us and could be thought as being our everyday normal behavior. It is when that behavior becomes the thing that others note us for. To be in pursuit of a goal is one thing, but to chase a dream, no matter how wonderful that sounds, seems as though the outcome would never come to be.

Pursuing something – that is not chasing something. That is giving the impression and the energy of someone who knows that there is a specific thing at the end of the energy that they want to see. “Pursuit” and “chase” mean essentially the very same thing, but the energy emitted by them each is very different. It is like the example that I give of noticing the different energy behind the words “choice” and “option.” They mean essentially the very same thing, but at the same time, they do not.

This is why I am very good at telling people that they need to be careful of the things that they say, because really, even though words mean the same thing, they are used in very different context.  Two words can mean the very same thing, but at the same time, their meanings are not the same, if you thought about it long enough. It is because of the other words in the sentences that we create that cause these words to be different.

When we think about “pursuing” and “chasing,” one denotes that we are fully in charge in pursuing our dreams, and the other makes us automatically think that we will chase something until it is too tired to continue eluding us. It is like having a choice to make, and being able to know what one’s different options are. They mean the same thing, but they don’t. This can also be said about the words “obsession” and “addiction.” While I know about one, I know nothing of the other, at least I don’t think I do, and I know, for sure, not firsthand.

The energy which is created by our words is real

I am a strange chick, make no mistake, but it is what makes me perfect for the work that I do in life. My work involves giving people a clue about why it is that certain words and the energy behind those words make all the difference in the world. That words mean the same thing is one thing, but that they have different energy is where I bring it to the world in a manner that is not the same as everyone else’s is.

So, my magical point here is that, when we are chasing something, we must think, too, that we will never catch up to it, and that if we finally ever do catch up to it, it will, via the very energy that tells us that there is a marked difference in words that essentially mean the same thing in the literal sense but in an energetic sense are as different as night and day.

We are more inclined to chase the dragons which are wrecking us. We are more apt to take the road that is heavily traveled, because we know that on that road we will not have to travel all alone. We know that for some people, chasing their own dragons seems to be the thing that they just…do…in life, and it doesn’t matter if said dragons are the sort created in a lab, or if those dragons are created in our thoughts. They all are the very same thing, that is, if we feel the need to chase anything at all.

It is like one spouse trying hard to make the other spouse not only not see them for who they are right this moment, but who also expects that same spouse to equate forgiveness with taking them back ,when in reality, forgiveness is one thing, and accepting people who hurt us in the past and creating the possibility that they will be able to come back into our lives in the same capacity they were there and in our lives in the first place and within that allowance will create the same havoc they did in the past. I see it all the time, and the unfortunate thing about this is that, the offending spouse is totally clueless about the real reason that the way they themselves want things to be are not the same way that their other person can have it.

It boils down to the idea that humans expect forgiveness, and when that forgiveness does not include everything it had to offer them in the past, they get ass hurt. The ass hurt is not the issue – it is the expectation that people love others more than they love themselves, and while that is a nice idea, it is also an idea that is not very safe and will not allow so that the outcome for the offending spouse will be what happens. This happens a whole lot in abusive relationships, where the one who hurt the other believes that what they did to the other person …that they should just get the fuck over it already and allow their creepiness to have a chance to invade life for the victim again. (I said it…victim…deal with it…you have to earn being a survivor)

Once it is that the offending person realizes that the person who they hurt the most and who trusted them, NOT with anything material, but with the keeping of the other’s Soul, this is when the cycle of abuse begins again. This is when it is that things can be likened to the chasing of dragons, because it becomes an obsession for the offender to chase being in control of someone else, of controlling how they feel and what they think, and it is nowhere. To an abuser it is nothing to not think before they speak, to believe that who they are is enough for someone else to no longer have the ability, let alone the common sense, to allow hurtful people, no matter who they are, close enough to them again for damage to be done.

Yet, the offender is so filled with all these emotions, all this arrogance, all these things that blind them to the reality that is the other person’s. The offender thinks and believes that everything is forgivable or at least negotiable, that people should understand their reasons for the abuse, that people need to get over themselves already so that they – the offenders – can have their way. That is really what, technically, it is all about. It is really about the control of a thing, when speaking in terms of abuse, and the control is what can be thought of as the thing being chased.

And chase it, they will.

They will chase it because every offender believes that their victim is not human, and that the victim has the capacity to be able to fit into their own lives and their own sense of sanity, one more person to create havoc in the world. It is the victim whose emotions are riddled with self-doubt, with rage, and with every little dent and ding to their souls, and it is the victim who knows the reality that is the offender’s, but it is the offender who will continue to believe that what it is that they think they need is housed inside of their victims, and the only way for them to land their particular dragon is to get what they think they need and obsess over from said victim. The madness continues, because it is not the victim that the offender is really and technically in need of, but rather and only the control that they can exert over their victim that they are chasing.

I did not, do not need to be told this stuff, because I was that victim. And that is all I will say further about the nightmare that was once my life.

I was that obsession, that addiction to needing control. I was that victim who earned her survivorhood, and was that victim who did not need to chase the dragon of freedom, because it was the pursuit of wholeness that mattered and not the absoluteness of needing to be told that I need to be afraid, that I need to do what the police to me to do (it failed almost every time), that I need to follow the recommended advice set forth by “experts” (who could not be as much an expert in this crap as any survivor of it is), that I needed to do much more than to just not give into the people who victimized me, the thing that they were obsessed with and even addicted to.

That one thing, as I already stated, is control.

Pursuing that which eludes us means one thing

Again, I will reiterate that what it is that we think we have to chase is also what controls us. This is why I used the example of domestic violence.

Anytime we think we need to chase anything at all is also time to stop and take notice of why.  If we obsess over things related to that one thing, and we find ourselves always thinking about it and also the real reason behind what it is that we think we are chasing it for, we will have in our midst the reason as to why it is that we feel that emptiness where the wholeness of completion should be. It does not take something or someone else to make our lives complete. It truly only takes our being able to accept things as they are at any given time.

If we thought long enough about the reasons that we become obsessed with people or addicted to things outside of ourselves, we will know, no matter what, that the reason we do what we do is because we have a void. It is in that void where the creation of who we are is at. It is not meant that we would fill that void with things and crap that is about or even technically is other people. Other people, no matter how great their intentions are, are going to and SHOULD be taking care of their own interests, because it is in that modicum of self-care that also accommodates not only the void, but allows us through that energy to also help others.

When we choose to fill the void with things that are not that  great for us, choose to do things to our bodies that we know will hurt us and will cause us more pain through the process and temporary elimination of that pain through “numbing things” of any kind at all, we are also choosing to tell Spirit that we are not good enough to be well, that we are not able to trust what we know has been set out for us and by Her so that we can ultimately not have to deal with the same pains again. That is what this thing called “The Process” is all about.  It is not meant to make us nutty – we choose to go that route when we choose to chase dragons and not pursue dreams.

Stop Chasing Dragons

Seriously, stop chasing dragons, no matter what they are. Whether it is that you are trying to fill the void with drugs, booze, other people, you need to understand that it will not be anyone else but you or anything else but your ability to take the dragons by the horns and lead it, rather than allow it to lead and control you.

Think about how easy it is for that Roadrunner to make that Coyote chase him…

…and Mr. Coyote has never successfully been able to catch or control that damned bird since September 17, 1949.

That’s like, 64 years, guys….

Think about it.




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