As of late August, I will be moving to Hawaii to embark on a six month long adventure that will see me living and working in an Hawaiian jungle for three months, before flying to Central America and travelling down from Mexico to Colombia. Surprisingly, very little thought has gone into booking this trip – I saw an opportunity and let my heart pave the way for me to follow.
In Hawaii I will be working on an educational retreat centre in the jungle, which honestly sounds like paradise (think yoga, meditation, martial arts, beaches, surfing, bamboo huts, wild pigs – the list goes on). The application was fairly straight forward, I had to fill out a few forms which was followed by a phone interview, designed to find out the intentions I had for my visit. During the interview process I was introduced to the concept of the word Aloha.
As many of you will know, Aloha is used in Hawaiian culture both in greeting and in parting, but also as an expression of love. The roots of the word are: alo (sharing, in the present), oha (joyous affection, joy) and ha (life energy, breath). Therefore, the word Aloha literally means “the joyful sharing of life energy in the present”. It also is reflective of how the more you express your love and compassion for yourself and those around you, the more it comes back to you.
In this way, Aloha reminded me a lot of the word namaste. Which means “the light in me honours the light in you”. Light in this sense can be seen as life force, with which we are all connected to via breath (our vital energy). Both Aloha and namaste acknowledge our connection to breath and our connection to the life force that is both within and around us. The life force – or light – that resides in all nature.
To me this is clear representation of the interconnected nature of life and language. Both words, used in greeting and parting for thousands of years, have similar roots and meanings, affirming the connections we have to each other and to all living things.
…so on that note,
Aloha (hello) to my next adventure, aloha (goodbye) to my life and everything I know here for 6 months. And finally aloha to all of you, and prepare yourself for many posts filled with sunshine and jungles from August onwards.