All You Need to Know About Life, You Can Learn on the Road to Hana

Oh, Hana. Just the mention of the place makes most Maui residents smile and sigh – it’s our ultimate escape. Mainlanders escape to the islands. Islanders escape to Hana. If you think life is slow on Maui, just wait…it’s about twenty times slower in Hana. Time doesn’t matter. The only clocks you have are the rumblings in your belly telling you it’s time to eat, the pruny-ness of your fingers reminding you to get out of the water and reapply sunscreen, and of course that fiery ball in the sky that oh-so-slowly (but never slowly enough) rises and sinks out of the ocean every morning and night. You do what you feel like. Some venture to Hana to party and socialize. Others go for solitude and relaxation. Others go for epic waterfall hikes and adventures. Some camp. Some rent a treehouse. It doesn’t matter. You go for you. And it’s always a good decision.

There’s plenty of space on the internet dedicated to the road to Hana. I’m not going to go into that. It truly is a beautiful drive. But if you want to learn more about the banana bread stands and botanical gardens, you’ll have to surf the web a bit further. I want to talk about the life lessons that a weekend in Hana can provide, because truthfully, something magical happens when you make the drive.

I recently completed a yoga teacher training here on Maui – a wonderful, life-giving experience, full of mini-epiphanies and, honestly, the revelation of a lot of thoughts that both rocked and reinforced my foundation. Throughout the training, we addressed certain “Laws of Transformation” from a book by Baron Baptiste called 40 Days to Personal Revolution. They’re essentially spiritual laws that govern the universe, principles by which we as humans can live and grow. It’s all about creating a flow of energy and light in your life – you stop swimming upstream and fighting against the so-called obstacles and stressers in your life, and everything becomes so much easier. As we were rounding one of the fifty million bends on our way around Haleakala, I realized something. Going to Hana is the perfect mini-allegory of life and a beautiful illustration of these laws of transformation. You can try and plan as much as you want for your weekend excursion, but it’s usually best to leave it up to fate. That’s when the magic (or dare I say it, the transformation) happens.

Below I’ve listed some of the laws of transformation and my explanation of them, via my most recent Hana experience. The next time you have a chance to venture out to Hana (or to your own version of Hana), maybe you can dive a little bit deeper and see the room for spiritual growth in your own time away.

1. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

For me, this law is so crucial to living a meaningful life. As Baptiste puts it, “the question…is not will I survive if I step out of my comfort zone? The real question is Will I survive my comfort zone?” Bring back the childlike spontaneity. It is our vitality. It’s how we grow. Take chances. Do things that scare you.

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2. Shift Your Vision

This law is all about shifting from seeing with your actual eyes and getting more in touch with your third eye. The Tibetans believe the third eye is between our two literal eyes, and is the source of our spiritual vision. If you take the time to soak up the beauty of Hana, it becomes apparent that there’s an abundance of energy out there, available to you if you only open the space for it.

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3. Drop What You Know

This is all about the willingness to drop what you’ve been taught and to look past the words of others (the same words that may have directed your choices and feelings throughout your whole life) and get in your with your own intuition. It’s the shift from living in our head to trusting what’s in our heart. Follow your gut! Pssst…I wrote another post on that here.

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4. Relax With What Is

It’s almost like you grant yourself complete permission to just check out for a few days when you go. It’s a beautiful thing to not need to worry about anything, because you left all of your stress behind at the Kahului Costco. Do you want to go jump into the ocean? Do it. Do you want to sleep in and lay in the hammock all day? Do it. You learn to relax with what is.

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5. Remove the Rocks

I love this law. It states that “transformation comes not be adding things on but by removing what didn’t belong in the first place.” You peel off the toxic layers and emotional baggage and find the perfection that’s already within you. Kind of like when you go skinny dipping….JK. In Hana, you remove all sorts of rocks by removing the negative feelings that may be affecting your life and just enjoying what you’re experiencing.

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6. Don’t Rush the Process

This is my queen law. I wrote an essay on this one. It’s beautiful. It’s the path of patience. Being okay with what is, and being open to it. Every situation is an opportunity to learn and grow, to appreciate. In Hana, you either settle in to island time, or you drive yourself crazy waiting for the twentieth tourist car to cross the one lane bridge in front of you. Just relax.

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7. Be Still and Know

Stop overreacting to small things, and practice coming into stillness. When we can do this, we lift the level of our attitude and begin to respond in new ways. This creates a whole lot of space for grace. This inner stillness, once mastered, can reflect outward into all the comings and goings of our lives. How beautiful is that? Because your trip to Hana doesn’t last forever. But you can carry that sense of peace and joy with you….

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And then when it’s all said and done, you return to your life. Work. E-mails. Cell service (gross). But you’ve recharged your batteries. And you glow a little – or a lot – brighter because of it. You do come back transformed. Just remember the joy. The inner peace. The relaxation, and patience, and understanding. The inherent sense of goodness in all situations.

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