16 September, 2012 - Day 4 in Paradise, the Sheraton Maui on Ka'anapali Beach, on the island of Maui.
Our days have consisted of this: Buffet breakfast and chewing the fat with our favorite waiter at the Black Rock Terrace at 9, a stroll along the beach to the Whalers Village to brouse around the shops until 11 or 11:30, then it's back to the Sheraton Maui to change into our swimmers and dive into the warm and crystal clear waters of Ka'anapali Beach. Lunch at 2 at one of our favorite restaurants, nap and write until 4, then it's another swim before getting dressed for dinner. And this we do every day. For 5 days, until we check out. Doesn't get better than this, right?
But Peter and I had had a tiff about something, enough to bring past grievances and frustrations to the conscious surface. Past issues filled my brain space with inane conversations, phantom discussions and "what ifs" - waste of time, I know, but you try and stop the monkey in YOUR brain when it gets going! So it was in this mind space that I slipped into the ocean with my goggles for a swim, losing myself in its silky embrace, along the warm waters to clear my head and heal my spirit. I abandoned myself to the weightlessness and any control that I may have thought I had over any life situation.
And then, it happened! I spotted a giant turtle at the bottom of the ocean floor, slowly making its way in my direction - too far to touch, but close enough for me to see the markings on its shell clearly. While I tried to stay to the side of it so I could see it clearly, it seemed to want to keep moving to a position directly underneath me. And then it was. I felt the most amazing energy travel upwards and a wave of emotion overwhelm me. I suddenly found myself in tears, little sobs that surged through my system, flushing away all the anger, frustration and negative emotion that had accumulated over the year, it seemed. I can only describe the experience as surreal. After what seemed to be an eternity condensed in a moment, the turtle swam away.
Whoah! What just happened! I knew that turtles were very powerful totems, especially for the ancient Hawaiians, but I didn't really understand their significance. We were also swimming in a very sacred space for the ancient Hawaiians, the area of Black Rock on ka'anapali Beach. When we returned to our room, I quickly Googled "Turtle Totems" and this is what I found:
"Turtle is the oldest symbol for the Earth. It is the personification of goddess energy and the eternal Earth itself. If you have a Turtle totem, you must be mindful of returning to the Earth what she has given you. Honor the creative source within you. Use water and earth energies to create a harmonious flow in your life. Ask the Earth for assistance and her riches will pour forth. If a Turtle totem shows up in your life, slow down the pace of your life. Bigger, stronger, faster are not always the best ways to reach your goals. Turtle is fine teacher of the art of grounding. When you learn to ground yourself to Earth's power and strength, you place focus on your thoughts and actions and use the Earth's limitless energies rather than your own to accomplish your will. "
Hmmm ..... that message was for me alright. Especially the bit about "slowing down the pace of your life", and "bigger, stronger, faster are not always the best ways of reaching ones goals". While there was a part of me that remained guilty about doing nothing and relaxing in Maui, it seems that this is where Peter and I are meant to be at this point in time. Worn down by the challenges of the past 7 months, we both needed to heal and re-charge our batteries.
And so, through this experience, I learnt that nature never stops teaching us valuable life lessons. We just need to be present and humble enough to hear the message, and accept it with thanks.