GRITS in Paradise – Absorbing the Energy of the Ocean

Born and raised in south Alabama (a Girl Raised in the South), I never thought I’d be living in Hawaii. I never even felt the desire to come here on vacation. But when we got off the plane in Honolulu, I was struck by the fact that even the AIR feels different on the Islands. Lighter, cleaner, with some indefinable energy that seems to change you on a molecular level as you breathe it.

The air here is soft, filled with molecules of water from the Pacific Ocean. More than 50% of the human body is water. And with every breath, we’re incorporating the invigorating energy of that immense, always-moving body of water. Our molecules are in a constant state of death and rebirth, so once we get to the islands, every new molecule that replaces the old is imbued with the energy of the ocean.

All that water suspended in the air can even be seen.

It’s why Hawaii has so many rainbows.

It’s why the sky has such a luminous quality.

It’s why everything the light touches seems to sparkle.

But it’s not just the amount of ocean water suspended in the air that gives Hawaii a special vibe. The water crashing against the cliffs and shorelines generates a strong kinetic energy that can also be felt. It’s mesmerizing if you’re close enough to see it, but even when you can’t see it, it’s there.

It’s easy to wake up early in the islands, even if you’re a slug-a-bed at heart (as I am). The roosters start crowing at 4 a.m., and by dawn, the other birds are busy brightening up the day with their sweet songs. Burrowing under the covers to disappear for another few minutes just doesn’t hold the allure it once did. I don’t catapult out of bed in the mornings by any means, but I’m always happy to wake up slowly, serenaded by the birds chattering beyond the open windows. It’s not long afterward that I want to go out and see which of the orchids are blooming, and whether any of the heirloom tomatoes I planted are beginning to turn red.

I’m getting up early and going to bed earlier too. My body seems to be aligning itself to the island’s rhythm, and it feels good to be living more in tune with the heartbeat of the earth.

Now, I’m not advocating that y’all should move to Hawaii. But even if you stay put—because everyone in the world can’t live here, obviously—I’ve brainstormed ways to create a spirit of Aloha that you can tap into anytime, no matter where you live (click on the links to be taken to my favorite recommendations on Amazon).

  1. Clear the air. Use an air purifier—or a few—to keep the air in your house as clean as possible. If you like essential oils, diffusers are great too. There are also certain house plants that are known to clear the air. If you’re one of those people who can keep plants without killing them, I encourage you to try it.
  2. Get in the water. If you live near the ocean, or any body of clean water, go for a swim or a soak or a float. Or take a mineral-salts bath to relax in the evening. If you have a jetted tub, use the jets to oxygenate the water. But all you really need is the water, and the patience to set aside any knee-jerk desire to hop up immediately and do laundry or paperwork or whatever else you think you need to do but don’t really. Epsom Salts are readily available in all the big box stores, but if you need help falling asleep at night, magnesium salts work even better.
  3. Practice grounding. Walk barefooted in your house whenever possible and stand or sit on the ground outside for a few minutes every day. If you’re housebound or live in a high-rise, you can even buy grounding mats. I’ve never tried one, because hey, the dirt outside is free, but you can get them on Amazon too.
  4. And speaking of dirt: Get your hands in the dirt. Gardening is good for the soul. It just is.
  5. Spend time connecting with nature. You don’t have to drive to a dedicated nature preserve. Walk outside your own house and sit under a tree, or open your windows and listen to the birds and the frogs and the wind sighing through the leaves.

I know it’s easier for me to connect with nature and absorb the energy of the ocean now that I’m living in paradise, but no matter where we live, we’re all close to one paradise or another. And easy or not, it’s important to connect with the earth and understand that our health and wellbeing is tied to the health and wellbeing of the planet.

If all you can do is keep a few houseplants or run an air purifier and an essential oil diffuser…

If all you can do is carve out a half-hour to sit in a warm bath before bedtime…

If all you can do is walk barefooted in your house or patio or yard every now and then…

If all you can do is pull a random weed that you happen to spot in a concrete-jungle flowerbed…

If all you can do is stare at a tree outside your window…

If all you can do is one small thing that connects you to the earth, even if just for a moment…

… then do that.

Do what you can and don’t worry about the rest, because all you can do is all you can do. We’re here to experience the human experience, to enjoy life on earth, to contribute what we can when we can, and to learn when we need to let go of anything that doesn’t serve our highest purpose. We’re probably supposed to learn some other shit too, while we’re here. But learning is more fun when we’re having fun, so how about we commit to doing that first?

Because when we’re having fun and enjoying life, everything else gets easier.

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