P a r a d i s e
Defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a place or state of bliss, or delight
D e l i g h t
Is one of the first words that I would use to describe
H a w a i ‘ i
Deep blue waters that make you want to jump in
Beaches with buttery soft, caramel colored sand
Hawai’i’s beauty doesn’t just stop there. What was most beautiful to me was the amount of respect that all Hawai’ians had for the land they lived on, and for the native history and culture.
While I was on the Big Island, I learned the story of the goddess Pele, who, according to Hawai’ian culture, was the creator of the Hawai’ian islands. She did so while I on the run from her sister, the goddess of the sea.
Pele’s sister was angry as Pele had just stolen her husband. As Pele went, she took her staff and used it to dig around her path, looking for her home. She finally got to Hawai’i, where she dug her staff into the group, and created the new islands, including the Big Island in Hawai’i, where she now rests in one of the volcanoes. When the volcano erupts, the magma flows out and hardens, creating new land for Hawai’ians to live on. When we went on our Lava Hike, we climbed over Magma that was created in 2013- not too long ago. That is why in Hawai’i, they have the utmost respect for Pele for continuing to gift them with the land they live on. But Hawai’ians also believe that their land is Pele’s for the taking, if she wishes to take it back; it was gifted to them, but Pele still owns it and for that purpose, they must show their great gift respect.
This was the biggest lesson I took away from Hawai’i. To me, having respect for the environment means understanding that the environment is not yours.
You are loaning it.
Someone or Something else created it and so it belongs to that force, or power.
Not to you.
It’s great to visit places like Hawai’i and lie on the beaches, take plenty of pictures in cute swim suits and pretty dresses, but the real experience of being in a place comes from immersion.
Learning everything you can about where you are, and in that way, becoming a part of that place and carrying it home with you.
S e a t t l e
Seattle is beautiful, but like in most other cities, it seems like it was built to fit nature only in its nooks and crannies. We are known to be “greener” than most, and we love talking about composting and recycling and this and that. But when you live in the city, you don’t get to see a lot more green than that.
Cities are littered by buildings,
Crowded with busy streets,
Noisy because of the honking cars,
L O N E L Y
Because even though there are people everywhere,
Sometimes you can’t help but feel like no one else has the time of day for
Y O U
There are, of course, arguments for why cities are so busy.
They are where we continue to build industry.
They are where many successful businesses and people are able to thrive.
But there is no denying that the feeling of loneliness does not feel successful.
So how exactly do you stop feeling like you are alone?
You can’t make people spend time with you
And you also can’t make yourself a part of the place where you live and work if you don’t take time to immerse yourself in it, like you might if you were on vacation.
I realized that often we participate in immersion in other places- paradise, like in Hawai’i- but we don’t bother to do it in our own home towns, because we feel like we know them.
But have you ever thought that maybe, the reason why you can’t feel
with your environment is because you haven’t tried?
But this is why it’s so important to
make your home in paradise
or, in better words,
create paradise in your home
But creating paradise is “bigger” than “GOING GREEN”
If you start composting more often and that’s it, it’s not going to make your life better.
Google pictures of any beautiful place that people go to for rest and relaxation, and you will find that they all have something in common
The green stuff is the natural environment.
In other words, the part that you go on vacation to feel
“in synchrony with”
The black stuff is everything else.
Natural beauty should not be wasted or disguised or ignored
You can take this symbolically you don’t need to start knocking down city buildings or advocating for more trees to be planted.
Just do your best to find away to structure your life around nature, not the other way around.
That is paradise. That is the ultimate relaxing environment. Don’t just “love yourself”- love the place that you live in too, and your environment, even in the biggest city, will become
p a r a d i s e
So how exactly can you imitate life in paradise in a busy city environment?
Use natural light instead of artificial light
Use empty plastic containers to create your own herb garden. Put it near your window
Start learning about the native history of the place where you live. What is the story of your home? Embrace it’s birth story.
L E A R N I T
R E S P E C T I T
P R A C T I C E I T
or at least it’s values.
Eat whole or less-processed foods. There is a reason why those Kale chips you might have tried on vacation, or that pineapple smoothie tasted so good while you were in Hawai’i- putting nature in your body pays off. Not only is it better for you, but it also makes you feel better about yourself. That’s one of the best things about paradise!
Give yourself a break from technology when you get bored, pick up a book instead of picking up your laptop to watch Netflix. Lay out a beach blanket near your window and pretend you are on the beach.
Stop wearing makeup take a break from trying to look put together, and embrace the skin that you were given.
These are all just ideas, of course.
How you choose to create paradise is