Hi There!

Welcome to my island of sanity and serenity. I'm Sandra Pawula - writer, mindfulness teacher and advocate of ease. I help deep thinking, heart-centered people find greater ease — emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Curious? Read On!

My Hawaii Life: Celebrating the Healing Power of Nature

Rainbow, Big Island, Hawaii If you would like to listen to me read this piece, please click below or continue on to read the text.

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I grew up in a large city.  I never envisioned living on a fruit farm.  Life is not predictable, at least not for some of us.

This isn’t a commercial farm nor is it a large farm.  It’s just our humble attempt to live more sustainably.

Weeding, mulching, and feeding constitute my main tasks on the farm.  The scent of Cuban oregano and lemon grass delights me as I pull and hack and sweat - in moderation, of course.

We planted these permaculture stars around the base of our fruit trees to keep the weeds at bay along with various forms of unusual spinaches.  In theory (and hopefully in practice), the circle of lemon grass inhibits snails too, which are plentiful in this territory.

I would probably stay glued to my computer all day, but I’ve gotten myself into this impossible situation:  the land demands care.  And sitting too long in front of a computer screen causes its own aches and pains.  I’m grateful to be released from the obsession of likes, pluses, hearts, and retweets, called to duty by this lovely lava land.

Citrus Tree, Big Island, Hawaii

Working on the land:

Calms my mind.  When I plant my feet on the ground, I spontaneously feel centered. I have to pay attention and stay in the moment or I might hurt myself.  I stumbled backwards onto a lava rock last year and had a large black and blue cheek (you know the one I mean) for a month.  I wasn’t able to sit or lay comfortably in most positions for more than a week.  The land insists on this present moment.

Eases my heart.  It may be a tiny contribution, but I know I’m doing something good for the world by growing some of my own food, using less gas by staying close to home, and honoring the elements, which give life to us all.

Frees my wisdom.  When I abide in the spaciousness of the present moment - at the invitation of the land - insight naturally arises in its own time.  I don’t have to overthink, drain my brain, or get a headache trying to figure things out.

Jack Fruit Tree, Big Island, Hawaii

Boost Your Health and Well-Being

According to Chinese medicine, the Earth Element represents the feminine, nurturing, and receptive qualities of life, all so needed right now to bring the world back into balance.

If you feel caught up in mental activity and internet overload, see if you can pull yourself away to touch base with the land.  Literally, touch the earth and tune into what nourishes you.

The Earth Element is associated with the late summer and the transitional periods between seasons.  However, if you have digestive issues or feel ungrounded, disconnected, or worried - signs your internal Earth Element is out of balance - you don’t have to wait until those times to regain your ground.  Here are some simple ways to reconnect with the Earth and thus simultaneously nourish the Earth Element within you.

  • Plant a tree.
  • Grow a planter garden on your deck.
  • Start a small herb forest above your window sink.
  • Sprout some seeds or beans.
  • Enjoy a picnic sitting on the grass.
  • Climb a tree.
  • Take a walk in the park.
  • Avoid wastefulness and consume only what is needed out of respect for this Earth.
  • Strive for unity, harmony, and the middle way.

I came to Hawaii to heal from a debilitating illness.  I didn’t intend to stay, but I’m so grateful I did. I needed to connect to the Earth for my own health and happiness.

All the elements express themselves dramatically where I live:  onyx-colored lava, unending ocean, trade-winds caressing one’s face, pounding sun alternating with sheets of rain, and the rare gift of space.  People often express envy that I live in paradise.  And, I do.  But rest assured there are a few drawbacks here too.

Consider the countless annoying insects, unsavory rodents, and constantly chirping nocturnal coqui frogs, who multiply prolifically on the east side of the island.  Volcanic Organic Gases, known as VOG, irritate people with allergies and environmental sensitivities.  Not to mention, with all due respect, the lava has a mind of her own and goes where she will reminding us that life is always uncertain.  The government sprays the roadside with toxic pesticides.  You might end of climbing coconut trees for sustenance because jobs are limited at best.

Ultimately, paradise is a state of mind, isn't it?  But, I won't deny for a moment how precious it is to live surrounded by beauty, the natural elements, and the spirit of aloha.  I'm grateful to the Hawaiians who lived in sacred relationship to this land both as its steward and its servant.

May every day be earth day!

Do you spend time touching base with the earth?  I cherish your comments and would love to hear.

P. S.  This is my first time recording a piece.  I apologize for the imperfections, but hope to get better as I go along. Do you find recordings like this helpful?  Do you tend to listen to recordings when they are available?

Thanks for reading!  If you have a moment to share the goodness on social media, I would be deeply grateful.  May you be well, happy, and safe. With love, Sandra

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