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On Being Bold
by Susan Pa'iniu Floyd

If moving in one particular direction causes harm to another, what do we do? It depends on our intention. A shaman intends to help others, so a shaman would move in another direction if possible, or move in the same direction differently. A warrior shaman strives toward perfection, so he or she would probably refrain from helping others until there was little, if any, chance of causing harm. This could take years, if not a lifetime of preparation. An adventurer shaman would probably move in directions that felt right until indications of harm or imminent harm came into awareness. Then a new direction would be made.

In these times, many, many people are looking for help, and I believe each one of us that feels like reaching out to help, should let go of the limitations and step forward. Be bold, be confident and at the same time, be open to the red flags and be willing to change

In lomilomi class, we learn to help another being let go of tension. That means we press into the body slowly, respectfully until we reach a place of resistence and then we hold patiently until a letting go is felt. Without the connecting, reaching in and finding the places of tension, without being bold, we could hardly help others to change. Without the slowness and sensitivity, we could bring more tension than release, more harm than good. How does one improve skill without taking a chance? In every lomilomi, we take a chance, yet we minimize those chances by staying aware and balanced and flexible, so we can change directions in a second's notice, with calm assurance that a better way is unfolding. And as we practice on ourselves, getting to know our own body's reactions to our actions, we improve our ability to stay focused (using hula) and energized (using hula and chanting) and loving (by making conscious decisions in a spirit of aloha).

All of life is a chance, everything is flexible. Taking no chance is near to not being alive or rather, not living. So be bold, yet be the navigator, guiding. Increase skills, and trust that the prayer within to help, not harm, will be answered.

Some time ago my presence at a party may have caused emotional upset to some participants for reasons that are not important here. At the time, I was so happy and full of exuberance for life that I didn't have the sensitivity to perceive this. (I was being bold, but not sensitive enough) I've had time to reflect in my own mind, to relive the experience and practice it differently. Given a similar circumstance, I would probably act differently. In an infinite universe there is always another way to act to effect the kind of harmony I so desire. I don't stop driving a car because some people need to manifest an accident (maybe for getting a break from work or perhaps for collecting insurrance. or for having time to read a book while recuperating). No, I just navigate through life with the prayer that they and I will never meet. Some one else with a matching pattern can be part of their dream. So my personal haipule (prayer) is to have a happy life while sharing as much happiness with the whole world as I possibly can. And I increase my skills of sensitivity and awareness so I can continue to be bold in my happiness!

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