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Seeing Windshields
by Susan Pa'iniu Floyd

As I sat contemplating a theme for this article, I remembered something that has often worked in the past. I would begin to write and experiences would happen that gave me great subject material. With less than 48 hours to finish, I had doubts about trusting that process. First of all, how much living could I do in that short period of time meaningful enough for me to write about? Then, would I have time to put it into words? It seemed much easier to write about adventures that I have already had, like most recently my three week trip to Tibet. But my gut said TRUST, stick to the present moment. Knowing what doubts can do to any endeavor, I redirected my attention off the doubts and went about the task of living.

Having been on the road for 5 months, I decided to enjoy watching TV for a change. Can you believe, I had never seen the movie Superman? I watched it right up until 3 am! Then I went out for a walk and discovered the most beautiful starry sky above me. I took a blanket and went with Topaz, one of my cats, to sit in a lounge chair on my lanai (balcony). For an hour I watched the splendor as gentle thoughts and feelings floated through me. What a joyful feeling I had as I noticed energy filling me without any effort on my part, like a battery getting recharged simply by being plugged in. At 4 am I went inside to sleep and woke up totally alert at 7:30.

Boy, I was happy! Singing, I fed the cats, and began to fix breakfast. Then everything changed. I was told something that my Ku (subconscious body-mind) reacted quickly and strongly against. I let myself move out of this heavenly space and become tense with indignation. Luckily I had a friend to bounce a few ideas off which helped me to see (IKE) my old, restrictive patterns: finding logical explanations to defend my position, then if that wasn't effective, expressing ultimatums. This awareness helped me to calm down enough to call the involved party. But wait, no answer. That in itself caught my attention. (Everything in life has meaning, and we ultimately give it that meaning.) I said mahalo (thank you) for the chance to calm down further and look at this from other points of view. Here was a great opportunity to release, to change (KALA), unproductive habits. The first thing to change was to keep effectiveness in mind.

OK, so, would defending my position or point of view work? Before I answer that question, what does it mean "to work"? What was my goal here? That my ideas would be accepted? Was it possible that another point of view could make as much or more sense than mine? Yes, of course. So I tried to imagine what those points of view might be. I wasn't doing very well at coming up with alternative ideas, so staying open to the unknown seemed the best approach. And what about this idea of defending my point of view. Defending, the very word, brings up Ku concepts of fighting. How about rewording it and bringing in a new concept like "presenting my point of view". Isn't that a whole lot more peaceful? For a moment there, I had forgotten how much I treasure this whole Hawaiian Huna Way of the Adventurer. Remembering it made it easy to see my goal as finding a harmonious solution to the situation. And then it was ........

......time to go to Talk Story. No accident that this opportunity was next AND no accidents at the questions people asked and the answers Serge gave. No matter what the topic, it seemed the answers all involved keeping attention on the solutions desired and not on the problems at hand (MAKIA). Either one will be energized and the choice is ours. My habit had been to instantly respond to conflicts with hurt, anger and defense of my position. None of these feelings are ones that I want to have more of in my life and none of them are great paths to solutions. Again, I was given a chance to reinforce a new pattern of confident expectations.

This one change not only brought about a totally harmonious solution within minutes (even better than I had hoped for) but the rest of my day was filled with so much magic that I am still reeling from it.

I am proud of how far I've come over the years in my evolution into a happier, healthier person thanks to Huna. My periods of unhappiness have been shorter and shorter. Now I see the possibility of also having fewer episodes. This particular experience, laughable as it now is, was really traumatic at the time. It wakened me to a habit that was so close I couldn't see it. Like Serge said, the windshields of our cars are there but seldom are noticed. (Until they get real dirty, then we might stop to notice and clean them.) Habits are useful if they support our paths, if they don't it's perfectly useful to change them, but first we have to see them! Living life on this earth is like taking the car out on the road. Of course it will keep getting dirty, but the dirt is different each time depending on where you go. And the cleaning process, IKE, KALA and MAKIA, can become another good habit that hardly gets noticed!

PS. A follow up to this experience is how fast I notice more subtle expressions of the same old pattern and am quickly able to change them. My tone of voice was still portraying the warrior's need to defend and that gave out the wrong message. Now I am really beginning to understand why my communications haven't always worked. Wow! The gecko chirps! (It just did, and Hawaiians say to be aware of the preceding thoughts or spoken words, they are important.)

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