Aloha fellow learn-it-all
Greetings from Waikiki, Hawai'i 🌺
I have gone fully rogue on my quitting of caffeine last December. I joined a coffee membership at this beautiful cafe that I have been working at every day. It is such a vibe. I love it.
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Now, let’s dive into letter 71 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
I went back and read through my journal entries from the past month.
I pulled out these highlights and patterns to learn from for my Monthly Review of July 2021:
What I loved
- Adventures to Lulumahu waterfall, hiking up Kokohead crater, , sky diving, swimming through a cave at Shark's cove, Diamond Head, swimming in Makupu'u tide pool
Learning from Seanna how to free dive so my ears don't pop
Camping at Kahana Bay and disconnecting from the world
Stargazing on the north shore
Accountability to run with Isabella and 4 miles feeling like a breeze
My first time open water swimming in the ocean with Krysta
Learning how to surf and teaching my cousin Christa how to surf
Being the most active I have in my whole life walking at least 6 miles everyday
Walking at least 6 miles everyday and tracking my heart rate through my Garmin watch
Starting a iX mindfulness meeting each week and loving the social aspect of discussing what arises and meditating together
What I lacked
- Consistent writing and publishing. A calendar is in the works that I will be more firm with myself.
- Financial budgeting in this new environment. I have started to use an app called Spendee. It's been invaluable so far.
- Relief from stress in my job. It feels like constant fires being lit. I am starting to run and swim more regularly as a mode to tame this.
- Space and time away from my phone. My new habit for August will be to have at least one mindful minute a day in the morning. I will not jump to check my phone in the morning to missed calls
- Momentum in finding a new project or job after August
What I learned
- Needing to put up emotional boundaries for all the new people I welcome into my life
- My body and mind can only take so much physical, emotional and mental stress. I need to create more time for myself to recover
- Feeling productive in an environment when you are surrounded by people who are on vacation is a challenge. I am learning self-patience rather than negative self-talk expecting myself to be able to achieve what I could in my stable environment in Chicago
- Cooking in a hotel with a microwave is a struggle and I am grateful to have a communal kitchen space in the Polynesian hostel
- Wiping out while surfing teaches me humility because we can’t control it and it is sooooo much bigger than us. It’s very important for the human ego to believe in something much bigger than us. Watching surf wipeouts on You Tube is a laugh
- Slow and steady wins the race in my book for hiking. Sit on your bum if more points of contact are necessary
- Students can say they are interested in so many things but it’s what they actually show up for that shows they truly care about
I listened to the podcast “The Boundaries of Self” on my mediation app Waking Up with poet and writer David Whyte and Sam Harris. It was thought provoking to lean in and rewind multiple times these bits around poetry, identity and finding balance in life. Here are some reflections:
- Life is all about how we use our attention. It becomes the substance of what we do with our attention over time.
- With poetry, “You are trying to overhear things you never knew you knew.” The understanding of the words can divulge to you overtime, so that is why it is important to list phrases three times to be empathetic to the listener and allow them time to process as you read to them.
- The path to the future of where you are now can not only unfamiliar to you, but also couldn’t have been something imagined for yourself. That is the way that life goes. “You always meet the new you in the mirror in the form of a stranger.”
- You need to have courage to say no to the work that is killing you over time and coercing you. That environment in the long term has a tremendous effect on you and is undercutting your sense of well-being. Longevity is about feeling like you are in power of your work and actively participating in the choice to have it.
- On reality: “What always happens is the meeting between what you desire from your world and what the world desires from you. It’s this frontier where you overhear yourself and you overhear the world. And that frontier is the only place where things are real. That is the conversational nature of reality. Stay on that frontier as fully as you can.”
🏖 Hawaii Update
Diamond Head is a volcanic cone that lies on the southern coastline of O'ahu. This is known to Hawaiians as Lēʻahi. The Hawaiian name is derived from lae plus ʻahi because the shape of the ridge line resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin.
There was a helicopter that zoomed down while I entered the crater with my students. The park ranger told me this was the 20th person that got airlifted from the site this year. There is no shade and folks that come forget to drink water and pass out due to it.
The view has one of the finest I have seen of Waikiki, where I've been living. Here's the whole gang of us:
I kayaked to the Mokulua islands off of Kailua on the north side of the island.
Wowzers the waves up there are choppy. There were about 15 to 16 knots of air and a couple of the students couldn't make it. Nearly a week later and my arms are still sore. When we got there, I saw an endangered monk seal and got to jump off a cliff! Talk about a rush. Surprisingly the second time was more scary than the first time. Watching the tides for a bit and having a countdown is essential to actually take the plunge.
Floating in the tide pool on the island made me feel like the Little Mermaid. As for the way kayaking back was much more of a breeze going with the waves.
🔎 Word to define
Ricochet: a shot or hit that rebounds one or more times off a surface
The action or movement of a bullet, shell, or other projectile when rebounding off a surface
In earliest French use (15c.) "verbal to-and-fro," and only in the phrase fable du ricochet, an entertainment in which the teller of a tale skillfully evades questions, and chanson du ricochet, a kind of repetitious song; of uncertain origin
In 1758, originally in a military sense, from French _ricochet_ (n.) "the skipping of a shot, or of a flat stone on water"
As I go out on the surf, I see what looks like wave after wave ricocheting off of the reefs. These create for some nasty breakers.
🌟 Quote to inspire
"Every opportunity is attached to a person. Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They’re attached to people. If you’re looking for an opportunity — including one that has a financial payoff — you’re really looking for a person." - Ben Casnocha
❓ Question to think about
What habit would you like to try this month that would make your future self proud?
📷 Photo of the Week
Today with my cousin Christa who just flew in and with some students planned a spontaneous trip to the Byodo-In Temple. It is a replica of the original in Uji, Japan over 950 years ago. The temple here in O’ahu was formally dedicated in 1968 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.
It was absolutely gorgeous. It looked straight out of a movie.
I rang the bon-sho (or sacred bell) twice with the shumoku (wooden log) for some extra good luck.
The most recent mindfulness meeting consisting of meditation, journaling, reflection and discussion was held here. It left us feeling serene, lighter and grateful. The resonating sound helps to remind us that everything in life is transitory.
We were there all the way until the temple closed at 5pm and I wish I could’ve stayed longer. The Koi fish in the pond are overweight though and don’t need any more food.
To my cousin Christa for arriving here in Honolulu safely and already being such a hoot to have around. She's helped me realize how novel and blessed I am to be able to sunset surf and eat the freshest fish all within the same hour.
I appreciate you reading this! If certain ideas resonated or you have feedback to improve my future newsletters, I’d love you to leave a comment, reply to this email, or send me a message on Twitter @JenVermet. If you want to learn more about who I am, I welcome you to visit my online home.
Never stop learning 😁
- It takes courage to design a life that you are proud of. It is worth it.
- Money is a vehicle to opportunities. it is replenish able while your time is not.
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