how to surf

acts of fear

constant trust in the power of prayer

Having the great good fortune of living in Hawai’i, the ocean is a source of great comfort and support. And yet I’ve been in the ocean only twice since I last wrote you. That’s only two times in over a month; that’s highly unusual. And yet I’ve been surfing this whole time. 

Surfing for me is riding the wild waves of a lifey life. It’s knowing which ones will be challenging, yet fun, and which ones do I need to dive under and regain my breath as soon as possible. Lately there’s been some big waves. Personally, we’ve had 2 deaths in the family and prolonged sickness. 

But I rise. Each day. Like a wave. Like a sunrise. Sometimes with gentle grace and rainbows; sometimes with turbulence and obscuration. Always with the presence of the higher power. Don’t forget gravity!

And I surf the waves. Surfing is prayer. Prayer is chanting. Prayer is asking for guidance to be okay in this moment, no matter what, and remember that presence matters and awareness of breath strengthens presence. 

How do I surf when life keeps getting super lifey? I relax and take it easy. I cease fighting anyone or anything. And in turning my life over to a higher power, I find the ability to surf the emotional waves of life without drowning in overwhelm. Breathing and cultivating gratitude are my daily practices.

I’ve learned from Hawai’i lifeways and Mary Kawena Pukui that the Hawaiian has continued to pray in the same wholehearted spirit of his ancestors. With deep devotion. With lively fervor. With constant trust in the power of prayer to ease the burden and enhance the beauty of daily life. 

This inspires me. 

Chanting as a Spiritual Practice


My Buddhist practice includes a chant of aspiration and dedication of merit. 

From the stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness, and death, from the ocean of samsara, may I free all beings.

Buddhist chants, Hawaiian chants, Yoga chants; vital aspects of my spiritual life, an energetic exchange to my higher powers. To give breath as a sacrifice and an offer of my willingness and eagerness to live a more spiritual life. 

Last time I wrote you I included a beautiful Kundalini yoga chant, Akaal, I play daily that has helped hugely with the recent death of my in-laws. Akaal means “Undying” and refers to the soul that is being released. This sound current helps guide the soul to pass out of the earthly realm…

I pray with faith in the constant power of prayer to ease the burden and enhance the beauty of daily life. And from this place of energetic aliveness, I pour into others. My purpose is to be of maximum service and help others liberate from their own suffering, and one key way I do this is in my work with couples and their relational health. 

Special Offer for Relational Health Coaching

Now through the end of the month (November, 2023) I have a special deep dive relational tune-up for you. Message me at [email protected] and let me know what shift you wish to manifest in your primary relationship and I’ll do my level best to guide you there. Mention “deep dive” for the special rate of $333 for a 3-hour Discovery & Breakthrough session. (Regularly $1,000).

Take good care of yourselves and spread Aloha. 

Kindly,

Amy E

Amy Elizabeth Gordon | Relationship Doula
Serving Hawai’i Island and beyond
808-936-3733

You matter. Your relationships matter.

clear your mind  
open your heart  
rekindle your spirit  
energize your life

Cut thru chaos

trifecta of bliss

Are you more mind-full or mindful in this moment?

Hello again. Thank you for reading my updates. Your time is just as valuable as mine and my purpose for sharing how I’m negotiating my energy on a daily basis as a relational health coach is to uplift you to have extraordinary relations with Self, Other, and Spirit.

Last week’s email update was full of personal challenges and I wanted to take a moment to share a bit how I cope. Here’s a beautiful chant I play daily that has helped hugely with the recent death of my father-in-law.

Akaal

The key to all of it, the “so muchness” of what is going on, is to be mindful. To pause and notice. And in moments of awareness, to notice my noticing.

How do I feel in my body temple now? What are the sensations of my present experience? Coming back to my senses is key in being grounded in the present moment. Turning my life over to a higher power is key in surfing the emotional waves of life without drowning in overwhelm. Breathing and cultivating gratitude are my daily practices.

I know what being mind-full is like. For me it’s that itty-bitty-shitty-committee that wakes me at 2am demanding I think about life, death, and every possible worry in between. Shifting into mindful consciousness is when I can take the reign of my magnifying mind and focus on gratitude and embodied presence.


Here’s a few nudges to cut thru chaos in these simple ways:
1. breath practice
2. gratitude practice
3. media diet


1. breath practice

breathing in, i know i am breathing in
breathing out, i know i am breathing out

in 
out

mind wanders to the next worrisome thought
discursive thoughts distort serenity
habitual hydraulics of hypersensitivity hijack wellbeing

return again to a mindfulness breath practice

breathing in
breathing out

in
out

2. gratitude practice

craft a daily gratitude list:
(for example):
1) sobriety
2) sunrise in shades of pink and purple
3) full moon eclipsed by clouds

A-Z gratitude practice
what starts with “a” that you appreciate?
“b”?’
“c”?
typically you’ll fall asleep before arriving at “z”

upon awakening smile before feet kiss the earth

continue the gratitude practice by writing 100 things you appreciate about yourself. Yes, you. A hard, worthwhile endeavor for all of us. In this, you’ll be overriding the tormentor left over from yesterday (your self critic). And cultivating a higher Self of resilience, compassion and service who is tender, powerful and generous. 

3. media diet

Watching media diet is important also. Gently asking, am I tethered to my devices in a way that they control and demand my attention or are my devices on my leash, able to be trained and contained?

My attention is precious. So is yours. Harness it now.

Take good care of yourselves and spread Aloha. 

pause and celebrate the balance of light and dark

journey of transformation
happy equinox


Can you pause and celebrate the balance of light & dark?

Happy Equinox: the time of balance of light and dark as the sun moves across the sky. And during this time of Piko O Wakea, Autumnal Equinox in Hawai’i, we ask for focus, grounding, and stability. One of the key ways I generate and receive this is from my supportive communities, and you are a part of that greater community.

Today, my Beloved husband, Marc, and his father, Jim, are in Switzerland having their last moments together. Jim, now 80, decided upon a VAD (voluntary assisted death) due to his Alzheimer’s. Both his parents and sister died of it in long-term care facilities and Jim firmly did not want such an experience for himself. 

Marc will be back on the Big Island next Friday, full moon, where he continues the on-going support of his mother, Kath, as she approaches her “completion day” with M.A.I.D. (medical aid in dying), which is legal in Hawai’i. She stopped her chemo earlier this year. Both his parents, though recently divorced, live with us. 


Personally, I’m emotionally tuckered and relatively neutral about these events — not morally opposed, nor staunchly in favor.

Rather, I’m an attentive observer, watching it unfold and coping/supporting/floundering along these uncharted waters. And, I quit trying to save their marriage! I pray for peace for all of us.

I’ve taken this break from regular emails to you in order to process family matters and my own journey into menopause; focusing more on sleep, running, and meditating, all while working and tending to family and house and garden needs. 

Thank you for reading and offering any support, understanding, and Aloha at this time. Hope you are all well and I look forward to future connection. Be well

.
Here’s a few nudges to celebrate the balance of light and dark at this time of year in these simple ways:

1. light a candle to remember all you have to be grateful for in your heart (and all that you don’t have)
2. go out and view the night sky and witness the growing moon and remember light punctuating the dark times
3. acknowledge the both/and, the bittersweet reality of relational health: both deep sorrow and deep serenityI won’t be able to respond to each individual message I receive. And, I appreciate your concern. Take good care of yourselves and spread Aloha. 

Kindly,

Amy E
Amy Elizabeth Gordon | Relationship Doula
Serving Hawai’i Island and beyond
808-936-3733
You matter. Your relationships matter.

clear your mind  
open your heart  
rekindle your spirit  
energize your life

how to enjoy relational health during transitions

transition

If you’re anything like me, change feels like a series of speed bumps on the journey of life. If I’m going too fast through transition in my life, it is jarring, uncomfortable and downright discombobulating.

There is an alternative to racing through life. Cultivate awareness of allowing space for grace. Honoring your inner guidance system. Hibernating. Radically resting. Preparing for change (it’s inevitable).

Here are the distinctions of extraordinary living that show us how to maintain relational health in transition. Seeing them in a simple list helps keep it simple. 

1. trust yourself to no longer abandon yourself

2. focus on your own hula hoop (mind your own business)

3. repair your part in relationship breakdowns

4. have faith you are enough

5. clear your mind of stinkin’ thinkin’

6. open your heart to receive the love

7. rekindle your spirit to get resourced

8. energize your life

9. recognize your interdependence

10. own your responsibility

11. embrace generosity

12. raise your relational consciousness

Seasonal shifts, moon phases, stages of life — all these transitions deserve time and space to flow smoothly. Listen. And cultivate gratitude for those moments to simply be still and honor silence. 

​You matter. Your relationships matter.​

how to spark transformation

writing
Aloha Dear One, 

If you’re anything like me, you want to evolve beyond your fears and elevate the space around you. Being an active participant in my healing journey to live an extraordinary life of everyday enlightenment requires daily practices. One of these is foundational to wellbeing: keeping a journal.

Noticing the story we tell ourselves, and being courageous enough to write a new ending to this chapter of life allow us to live a good life and be of maximum service to others.

We change in here to ignite out there.

We can spark transformation by cultivating a writing practice. 


Here’s a few highlights from an article called Journal Writing as a Powerful Adjunct to Therapy by Kathleen Adams. M.A., LPC to inspire us all to reimagine our relationship with writing:

10 Reasons Why (journal writing is a powerful adjunct to therapy)

One. Immediacy and Availability. A journal teaches containment, present-centeredness, and self-direction. The journal truly is “life’s companion.”

Two. Catharsis. It’s vitally important to have a place to scream, rant, rave, ventilate and express without fear of judgment or reprisal.

Three. Object Constancy. The relationship with the journal can become a living metaphor for the relationship with self, and from there, the relationship with others. 

Four. Repetition. One of the most important therapeutic tasks for people in pain is to break the silence and tell the story.

Five. Reality Check. It is true that writing it down makes it much more difficult to continue a pattern of denial.

Six. Self-Pacing. The self-pacing aspects of the journal can become a way of regulating and monitoring the life process, of learning balance and choice-making and natural consequences.

Seven. Communication. The journal becomes a forum, a testing ground for ideas, opinions, awarenesses, fears, and insights that are moving from the pre-verbal to the verbal realm.

Eight. Self-Esteem. The very act of journal writing, in which thought is put into tangible expression, is a life-affirming celebration of self: I write, therefore I am. I exist. I have a voice. It can be heard.

Nine. Clarity and Commitment. The process of reflective writing has a cumulative effect; after weeks or months of journaling, one may discover, I no longer have to be a victim.

Ten. A Witness to Healing. The journal is a wonderful witness, it provides an ongoing trail map and trip log of the journey of healing.

There is no right or wrong way to journal. Reply and tell me about your practice now.

contemplate your true nature

doula

Where I’m from, my parent’s love for me was rooted in worry, anxiety and dread.

  • “I’m anxious to see you.” (Mom said each time I planned a trip home)
  • “Be careful.” (Mom uttered every time I left the house)
  • “You’re too sensitive.” (Dad chided me to be more tough — so I didn’t get hurt so much)

And yet was I was told, repeatedly, was that they loved me and they wanted me to be happy. Yet the energetic exchange was negatively charged. 

In my adulthood, through the journey of conscious partnership, connected parenting, and ongoing sobriety, I’ve learned a few replacements:

  • wonder replaces worry
  • delight replaces doubt
  • rejoice replaces regret

And thus I return to my true nature. The childlike wonder, delight and ability to rejoice is still in me. And you, too. Experience liberation from negativity. When we quit worrying we allow space for wonder to emerge. Worry is praying for things we don’t want. Free up that energy with a glance up at the cloud or the stars right now.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.

These extraordinary benefits of right living — experiencing daily delight, wonder and rejoicing in the sober mind and tender heart–become rather ordinary and mundane.

So instead of consuming (I just deleted more social media apps from my phone), I’m contemplating my true nature. If you’re anything like me, social media drums up old love exchanges: worry, doubt, regret. 

Clearing up clutter of distractions and releasing the pinch of judgement and tech anxiety brings relief. Clarity of mind and openness of heart are glimpses of everyday enlightenment. This, dear one, is a worthwhile journey. I’m delighted to be your guide from the side. 

My master’s degree is in Contemplative Psychology. To contemplate is to allow the divine in. Years of practice working with my own mind and tenderizing my own heart cultivates bodhicitta: enlightened mind and awakened heart (same thing).

And so it is, Aloha Friday.

Your matter. 

Your relationships matter. 

With tenderness,

Amy