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Choices
by Paul Waters

I recently returned from a book-signing trip to my old college town where I did undergraduate studies. It was fun seeing old friends, some of whom I hadn't seen since the 70's, and to be able to share the Huna kupua ideas and methods with an entirely new generation of young, eager minds.

During my stay, there was a birthday party held for a friend and myself, where old times were revisited, pictures of our youths were passed around and the old question "What are you doing these days?" emitted from nearly every lip. I heard twenty-five years of choices reflected from people in all walks of life. We had all met in the same pub during our days at the university. At that time we were comrades in education, parties and extracurricular activities, but have since chosen our individual niches in life.

Sheila decided that her job with the unemployment office resulted in her unhappiness, so she changed careers and began working in the more beautiful and serene State Park program. Alan loved the horticultural aspects of wine and used to drink to excess, but quit altogether. He then began working in a winery in total sobriety. Randy found peace in teaching art. Terry was a former waitress, but felt a need to help the disabled and began private practice. Now she is part of the city's hospital staff. Mac was always interested in philosophy, and is now a "perennial student," while working full time with the university. All are happy and living their dreams.

Gene, on the other hand, married the girl of his dreams and let her go for a bottle of beer. Dennis also married the woman of his dreams, has a great family and career as an engineer, but submerses himself in whiskey 16 hours a day, debilitating the family unit and threatening his future.

Choices today are our steps to tomorrow. I was saddened to see a few old "comrades" choose lives of seeming despair and self-destruction, yet could not reach out to them without their consent. They have yet to ask for help, but their names are in our Healing Circle nonetheless, as I have seen many kus change dramatically from our efforts and blessings. How many millions of others are choosing to hide or withdraw? How can a kupua help?

In the Huna principles we can learn much about our own choices. The power of awareness allows us to see what it is that we truly want in life. The power of focus connects us with the dream, and the power of the present allows us to experience it. Of course, if there is any resistance, the power of freedom gives us the ability to release it, bringing the unlimited universe to our fingertips. When one or a combination of any of these principles is not present, we often find ourselves limited to the choices available according to our set parameters. To explain something as seemingly simple to one in despair may be quite a long endeavor before an understanding is grasped, yet without offering them an opportunity to see their own choices little change can be expected.

It was very heartening to see so many of my old friends living their lives in harmony as I have over the past quarter century, but there are many others whose choices have not led to the same degree of happiness. Let us, as shamans, reflect upon our own choices and stay aware of our reactions to them, that we may continually design fruitful and fulfilling lives.

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