I have a second nature for spotting a trend. I saw the cupcake trend starting before every town had a cupcakery. Even deep social trends like noticing that during the recession people were realizing their stuff was not as important as it was when they were working so hard to keep getting more. Then people like myself and my family started to leave the houses they were struggling to afford to go to smaller homes, taking the burden off their shoulders financially so they could spend more time with their families and less time being stressed out. I started to see that people were realizing that sitting in the office 40 hours a week was not the way life should be lived. Then I started to realize a local trend which is starting to branch out, how many times the word ALOHA has popped up. And not just the word itself. The concept.
Aloha is a feeling, not just a way for Hawaiians to greet each other and bid farewell. When you truly embody Aloha, you breathe the word. Aloha, literally comes from the Hawaiian phrase, “Breath of God”. The Hawaiians would press their foreheads together upon meeting and feel each other’s breath and they knew the other had the breath of God within them. Nowadays you can see if someone embodies Aloha by how they act and work with others around them. It’s integrity, your reputation, your personal brand.
I was intrigued by this article on Huffington Post Hawaii today, about five Hawaiian words that sum up the way of life and thinking in Hawaii: “The native Hawaiian concepts of pono, aloha, aina, ohana and mana are crucial to understanding how Hawaii has consistently ranked as the least stressed and happiest state in America.”
There have been many comments on my 365 Things to Do in Kona Facebook biz page about what Hawaii means to people who yearn for it after they vacation here or have left the island to find jobs elsewhere. They don’t miss the beautiful Kona sunsets or the warm tropical air necessarily..they miss the Aloha and the “feeling” that they get from being here:
This is a comment I loved from the comments on my blog, too: “Sometimes it’s when someone leaves and they cry that they realize they were meant to be here.. it’s a heart thing.. plus, the people here are sooo nice, I love coming home..”
This is what Oprah Winfrey, a part time resident of Maui, said, “The real substance and value of being in Hawaii is the unspoken “spirit” of the people and the surroundings”. If Oprah has found Maui, and 19 billionaires have found Kona, you KNOW there is a trend occurring.
One of the trends I am spotting now is how many people are contacting me to ask me about living here on the Big Island because they want to move here, as well. I have gotten to the point where I say, “Did you feel called to the island”? And they gasp and exclaim, “YES!” Most of my friends who have moved here within the past three years have felt called to live here, too.
In fact, my husband and I, while sitting on a beach in Santa Cruz watching the waves on Valentine’s Day 2010, both realized at the same moment that we needed to sell our properties in California and move to Hawaii as soon as possible. (We were struggling to keep two investment properties and the condo in Hawaii going). As soon as we made the decision to leave the Bay Area, our hearts became lighter and we knew it was a life changing decision we would never regret. After spending summers in Hawaii, we too, felt like something was missing from our souls by not being on the island. I know I am not the only one who has felt this.
Aloha and that feeling of deep connectedness to the island have created a culture of love, kindness, patience and encouragement which people from around the world are starting to discover when they visit here or talk to their friends who have spent time here. The trend may be that more people come. I know that only people who are called, who “get” the Aloha Spirit and live in gratitude, “get” to stay. We are the “Ambassadors of Aloha” and show our friends on the mainland and around the world what that means. And that will change everything.