Initially though, being at Kalani was a total shock. I had a tough time experiencing the rawness I always wanted to express and be expressed by others. I felt resistance and judgement. In the first week I wrote in my journal that “these hippies just seem like a bunch of insensitive assholes.” I thought I would be escaping soon. But that didn’t last long, just an intense transition that was followed by a feeling of freedom that I hadn’t experienced since I was a child. Laughing to the point of crying, hugging for 5 minute intervals, sharing childhood traumas with the person I just met over breakfast, swimming naked at the pool, telling that person I’m interested in them, the list goes ooonnnnnnn. It is actually pretty hard to describe, I feel that I am just brushing the surface.
Maybe what I experienced isn’t for everyone. But it satisfied so much of what I felt was lacking in my life previously. In the past I had had moments of this sort of “WTF?!” feeling in my work, school, and social environments. Questioning why we need to cut our hair short and get more serious as we get older, why we feel like a freak if we’re not married by a certain age, why we compete to “get to the top” in the workplace, why we only accept people into our circles that meet certain criteria in terms of job status, social skills, and wardrobe. I include myself in engaging in all of that by the way, I was playing the game. But I felt like shit a lot of the time. My mind would not slow down and as I lay in bed in prep for the next work day, all I could think about was everything that happened that day and what would happen the next in interacting with clients, coworkers, that stupidass meeting, everything. I lived for the weekends and happy hours to cure that anxiety.
Having some space to reflect on it now, I can’t help but think that we could all be living by new standards. Whatever it is that feels good to us, and not simply just abiding to cultural norms. When we thrive we then have the energy to give back to the world in that way in which we are craving, in the small scale and the large. So, I encourage you to ask yourself.. what does that mean for you? What do you crave? What would your ideal world look like in terms of work, interactions with others, play, all of it? What small action step can you take now in that direction?