After two weeks travelling to Hawaii, one of the most important lessons for me was to see how my joy and happiness depended on how much I was in the moment. Being present was the highest and most powerful criteria for my state of happiness, no matter the situation or environment I was in.
One night I was in an old hotel that was a panoply of businesses occupying the myriad of rooms facing on to the central courtyard below, a crescent moon shining down for our main spotlight, and a candle for ancillary lighting. The music was subtle, tunes arbitrarily chosen from chord progressions to support rapping. I was playing hand drums, which takes my total concentration. With that concentration, there is nothing that can intrude. Focus on the present.
Lying on the beach with very few people willing to brave the cool elements, the sun and beautiful Pacific ocean dominated the environment, and began to fill my mind with serenity and joy. But it wasn't the environment, it was my own mind that allowed for the beauty around to fill me up, to feel the energy of the island. In the moment, I was able to experience my bliss.
Attending Unity of Hawaii, I was able to release my experiences prior and to enjoy the experience of this service, to experience the warmth of the people around me, to appreciate the gifts of the spiritual guides present. I danced down the aisle to offer my gifts; I appreciated each person who approached and asked questions, only in the moment.
Perched on a mountainside above Moanoa valley, nestled among lob lobby pines, I was listening acutely to the winds and looking at the waining twilight, clouds spinning off into the west. In the moment that would never be again.
Flying into Cincinnati, the terrain was being occluded by impending dark, noticing the highway's curve and whine, the slower pace of blacktop tributaries leading to my quiet abode, a home by any other name. . .
Looking into each face, stranger or old friend, there is only this moment. Pain is of the past. Frustration is of expectations. This moment includes neither.