A Hurricane of Love

Boarding a return flight at the end of a vacation can sometimes feel like waking up with a bad hangover; that same energetic bell-curve, mental dread and emotional head rush. Repacking my bag feels like an impossible task — especially now that my bikinis are wet, my clothes are dirty and my hiking shoes are caked in red Hawaiian mud. “How the hell did I fit everything fit in the first place?” I wonder as I stuff my belongings inside. Desperately in need of one last smoothie bowl, I make a stop on the way to the airport and (perhaps intentionally) nearly miss my flight.

A few tears, warm hugs and heartfelt alohas later, I find myself in the TSA security line. It takes almost everything inside of me not to turn around and b-line it back to the beach. A small part of me even wishes another natural disaster would hit (no casualities or harm though!) so the roads would close and I could be stuck for a few more days. The other part of me is keeping my fingers crossed about getting an exit row seat — or the whole row to myself. The rest of my conscious mind is working to forget the stack of unopened emails in my inbox. The emails that have been ignored for the past week — or two.

Luckily, the Airline Gods hear my prayers and I score an exit row window seat. As the plane takes off, I can feel my tan lines starting to fade. My belly drops, chest tightens and heart sinks in and as I gaze out the window and watch the island get smaller and smaller — then it disappears completely, leaving me with nothing but a little bag of pretzels, a diet coke and a sea of blue water below.

For a moment I stop, close my eyes and I am breathless. Why does it feel so wrong to be leaving this place? I begin reflecting on all of the laughs and experiences I shared with my family and close friends. The miracles and mishaps that made the trip that-much-better. My heart fills with gratitude as I scroll through the photos on my phone, replaying the moments that have faded into memories; memories that will remind me to live passionately, openly, and wholeheartedly, even after I return “home”. These are the memories that remind me to laugh when you lose the rental car keys at the end of an all-day hike. To dance around in circles even without the bonfire. To sacrifice sleep in order to catch the sunrise. To go where the wifi is weak.

They remind me why I travel and what sharing new experiences is all about.

Back in the Mile High city, I let my suitcase sit in the corner of my room for a few days — maybe a little more. I refuse to put on close-toed shoes again because I prefer the feeling of my own bare feet. While waiting in line for my coffee, I’m hit with a heavy wave of homesickness. Still waiting for my soul to arrive, I find comfort in stillness and solitude. Finally, after I go through all my clean socks, I’m forced to unzip my bag and settle back in to the present moment of life. I return to the studio and spend a little extra “me” time on my mat. In meditation, I am greeted with a sense of gratitude and bliss. I decide to stop living in the past and become fully present, for there is so much goodness in knowing that your time away was enjoyed well spent.

It’s always good to leave a little something for next time.

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BRING IT, LANE

It’s so interesting how the universe works during those big, “life moments” — where we plan, prepare and try to make everything run smoothly. We tell ourselves, “Everything. Is. Going. To. Be. Perfect.” Suddenly, in a moments notice, the force of mother nature takes over and we are forced to reevaluate, adjust and compromise.

I am forever changed and humbled by the love I witnessed on this last visit back to the Garden Isle. The purest connection, an unwavering love — an unbreakable bond between two people that found union in the most beautiful marriage; despite unforeseen circumstances. In a hurricane of love, #LaneorShine, I was reminded what truly mattered.

Hurricane Lane: A small, yet powerful reminder that life doesn’t always go “according to plan.” Plan A quickly faded into a long lost memory and was replaced with a whole new perspective and approach. Plan B brought our family closer together. These are the moments when can choose to either fight and resist — or to lean in and allow nature to run its course.

Cassady and Kepa embody genuine and everlasting love in the rawest form. Their wedding day is a mere reflection of their journey together is a true testament of their commitment to their love and each other. Even as the storm was approaching, on perhaps the most important day of their lives, they were filled with nothing but positivity, strength and optimism. Their attitude towards the chaos and what was happening outside (literally), was inspiring, humbling and reminded us all about what those “big life” moments are really about.

It’s about adapting, accepting and finding abundance; even in the face of disappointment and change; the light in the darkness. It’s about tuning into the present moment, your connection to each breath, how sensitive you are to every flicker of sensation and emotion in the body. It is the delight with which you savor each unique moment, the joy with which you greet each new day. It is knowing yourself as presence —  the power that creates and moves worlds. It is your open heart, how deeply moved you are by love, your willingness to embrace and to hold what needs to be held. It is meeting others in the field of honesty and vulnerability, connecting beyond the story, sharing what is alive. At the end of the day, it’s not so much about where you are, but who you’re with.

It’s reaching out to the universe and trusting that it will carry you, hold you, and guide you on your journey through love.

I’m incredibly grateful that I was able to share their special day with them, for the was nothing short of perfect. I love you both so much.

Thank you to all our family and friends who came together to create such an unforgettable experience.

“A content heart is a calm sea in the midst of all storms.” -Morgan Maassen

In the great spirit of Ohana, Love and Aloha,


Chelsea