Spent the last few nights with Gary Zukav and Linda Francis. So grateful for their dedication to the path.
Although Gary has been on Oprah 37 times, he is one of the most humble, vulnerable, and authentic men I have ever met.
A few pieces of wisdom really resonated with me.
First, Gary said that at one point in his life he was afraid of being afraid. He said the clinical term for this is “macho.” I realized how much of my life I overcompensated for being afraid—afraid of being alone, afraid of my emotions, afraid of not being good enough.
Next, Gary and Linda said there are only two intentions—one that comes from love and one that comes from fear. Other intentions they referred to as “out-tensions.” When deciding on any course of action, they ask themselves if they are coming from love or fear.
This reminded me of a conversation we had with a Hawaiian elder named Manulani Aluli Meyer. She said, “When love is at the center, ego isn’t.”
Manu continues, “We are dedicated to the purpose of what love means in this lifetime. And it must start within your own practices and your own commitments and your own deeds. That is why I love Shakespeare’s quotation when he said, ‘By my actions teach my mind’. I love that because it is not by our talk or by our words, it is by our actions. So that is a very cultural statement. Basically, stop talking, start doing. And when you are doing in the vibrancy of what aloha is, then there is a healing on the planet.”
As a grandson of a Hawaiian man, I have the kuleana (responsibility) to dedicate my life to “what love means in this life time.” My purpose is to be aloha. To be pono (righteous).
I often ask my sons, “Are you being pono (righteous) or pilikia (troublesome)?” This is similar to Gary and Linda’s practice of questioning whether they are coming from love or fear.
Lastly, both Gary and Linda refer to this life as “earth school.” We are souls here to learn. I love that view of life.
During one circle, I felt obliged to share a talk I had with my cousin. I was telling him how I was a compassionate boy when I was young. I remember crying while watching Laura Ingals on Little House on the Prairie.
Then my step-father entered my life and started whipping me with a leather belt when I was 5 years old. Talking to my cousin, I was furious that I didn’t have a choice in this monumental event in my life.
After 12 years of abuse, I turned into a cruel and angry adolescent who lacked compassion. This lack of compassion torpedoed my life. I lost lovers, friends, and jobs. After I hit rock bottom, I dedicated myself to becoming a compassionate man and raising compassionate boys.
But it was/is a process. On the phone with my cousin, I simultaneously grieved the innocence of that 4 year old compassionate boy and raged at the injustice that he was forced to suffer.
Then I was struck with a vision. I saw my soul floating above the earth plane before I was born. My soul could see my whole life laid out before it. And then…it CHOSE to incarnate into this life.
I chose physical abuse. I chose cancer. I chose unemployment. I chose all these things because I knew that they would bring me to the awakening I am experiencing right now.
I thanked Gary and Linda for the term “earth school,” because I now realize that I chose my own curriculum. Of all the classes available, I chose Physical Abuse 101, Introduction to Cancer, Financial Hardship 2B, Mediation 100, Advanced Surfing, Intro to Kapu Aloha, and the Noble Friends Seminar.
After this realization, I no longer blame others for what is happening in my life. I don’t blame my step-father for using corporal punishment. I don’t blame my mom for choosing to marry my step-father. I don’t blame my biological father for choosing to go back for a second tour of duty in Vietnam from which he never returned. I don’t even blame myself for all the trespasses I have committed.
When there is no one left to blame, we can only love. Love everyone. Love everything. I hope this new path helps me do “in the vibrancy of what aloha is” and heals the planet.
Who are some of your influential spiritual teachers? What realizations have shaped your life?