started counting my blessings, my
whole life turned around."
Willie Nelson (b. 1933)
will have heard people say to count your blessings, and when
think about the things you're grateful for, that's exactly what
you're doing. But what you may not have realized is that
your blessings is one of the most powerful practices
you can ever
do, and it will magically turn your whole life
When you're grateful for the things you have, no matter how
they may be, you will see those things instantly increase.
If you're grateful for the money you have, however little, you
will see your
money magically grow. If you're grateful for a
relationship, even if
it's not perfect, you will see it
miraculously get even better. If you're grateful for the job
that you have, even if it's not your dream job,
begin to change so that you enjoy your job more, and
of opportunities for your work will suddenly appear.
The flipside is that when we're not counting our blessings, we
fall into the trap of unintentionally counting negative
count negative things when we talk about the things
we don't have. We count negative things when we criticize or
find fault with other people, when we complain about traffic,
waiting in lines, delays, the government, not enough money, or
the weather. When we count negative things they increase too,
but on top of that, with every
negative thing we count, we
cancel out blessings that were on their way. I have tried both -
counting my blessings and counting
negative things - and I can
assure you that counting your blessings is the only way to have
abundance in your life."
Count Your Blessings from Rhonda Byrne
(See more below under travel notes.)
Gratitude. Everyone has good days and bad days but a grouchy traveler,
making note of every complaint, is not someone you want
traveling with! We travel to experience other cultures,
lifestyles, food, healing methods, religions and spiritual
"We're not in Kansas anymore Toto" and once in
Oz we shouldn't
expect things to work like the finely greased wheel back home.
People are the same
everywhere. We say 95% good and 5% not so
good at the
moment. Throwing oneself out into the abyss creates
experiences that would never happen at home. We can read
books about being open in life, listen to talks, attend
seminars and workshops but traveling forces us into the arena.
Gladiators all, we can either fight our way through life or we
can turn our attitude around and enjoy what the flip side has to
offer. Looking at life
the lens of Gratitude makes all the difference on the
For instance in the west we take for granted
things like washing machines, salads we can eat, and a clean sit
down toilet that flushes. I often will subconsciously include in my
mental list of thanks a clean toilet - having checked into a
small guesthouse on the North Silk
Road in China only to find
they had no toilets, no outhouse. Walk
out the back in the
field was the reply. The stories are endless with intrepid
And so often the toilets that are available are so absolutely
unbelievably indescribable that gratitude for a clean
very appropriate. Did I ever tell you the story about the rat?? A young boy was overheard in Africa describing how
people are in America, "And they have so much clean water
America that they go to the bathroom in it." Gratitude
simple things in life is a great place to start.
I am ever thankful for the visit back to Hawaii every year.
Time to share with family and good friends. A vacation
from our vacation. Always a bit of a difficult transition
from our life as nomads back to 'normal life'. As we
become more global citizens, every year
me more removed from the norms of western society.
normal anyways? Whatever normal means it shouldn't
be used in the same sentence with us.
One of the only things missing in our nomadic exploration of
this fascinating planet is time with family and friends.
We keep in good touch via Skype and calls and email and Facebook
but nothing beats
face to face over a piece of cake along the
ocean, with a red Kona sunset saying good bye to another
glorious Hawaiian day. One
on one time to catch up is an
important part of the time shared.
Having the visit around Christmas
encompasses the Holidays and birthdays. Great meals,
lively discussions, hikes and visits to
spend time with Gami
keep us busy. Tutu and Grampy love
time with our precious grandchildren Kayla,
4, and Kaimana, 1,
kept us on our toes 2-3 days a week. We
usually chose to go
out exploring with them and had many fun
playing. Playing is mandatory at any age.
How soon adults
forget. Being around that endless young
energy reminds us
what is important in life.
Barb opened their home to us in Kohala Ranch for Christmas.
What a pleasant memory picking up my Mom at her
along singing Christmas carols at the top of our
at the beach for a look at the palm trees and waves
then a tasty
festive banquet together, prepared by loving hands.
the ocean and through the palm trees to our friends house we
Hawaii is a gentle combination of the infrastructure of the
land U.S. and the warm soothing Polynesian culture.
is possible to have the best of both worlds. That is if
afford the price of Paradise.
This year we were warmly welcomed in to the apartment below
Shane & daughter Mariah's lovely new home. Mariah is
of an amazing W'wa Hawaiian sailing canoe program at
and Shane is working at a Condo development. Besides family
gatherings, birthday celebrations and invigorating hikes through
the rain forest of Kaloko, we helped with their house
the 1st Birthday Luau for Kaimana, a Hawaiian
from near and far joined in to make it a
memorable, fun event.
Whoa Shane, what a voice!
One on one time with son Kevin and his jeep found us at
South Point and up watching the sunset at 14,000 feet on
snows of Mauna Kea. We were invited to Kevin's office, to see
new successful career as a real estate agent with Clark Realty.
We were proud to see how well he is doing.
Currently having 9
homes in escrow shows just how far he has
come and certainly
where he is going. Just give him a
call!We were able to house sit in Honokaa, at the wonderful
Blue Lotus Bed & Breakfast, owned by
Peter and Jeanette, for 3 weeks
while they flew off to New Zealand. They settled here
after sailing around the world with 2 children for12 years.
See the world is full of travel crazies! We were within 5 minutes
of my Mom's residential home or 'Hale' for the elderly.
Many, many warm special moments were shared together
about our cherished family life growing up, plus our wild
adventures traveling the planet through the years.
there we had a great visit with my brother, Paul, from
Wisconsin. He loved to be around family and to escape the
bitter winter back home. Lunch with dear girlfriends, who
will always be friends no matter the distance, was always heart
We then spent a wonderful week catching up with friends in
Honolulu on the capitol island of Oahu. Oahu is always a
of activity around Waikiki. A sunset at the
Sheraton Moana on
the beach, watching hula is a tradition we
were able to carry on. Another fun event was dancing 'on
the beach at sunset' to
the lively tunes of Henry Kapono in
front of Dukes. Hanging at
health food stores, having the best
spring rolls in town at Phuket
Thai on McCulley, scouring a
large thrift shop for my next years 'wardrobe', and visiting
with Friends in Manoa after the Sunday
hour of Quaker silence
were highlights. We hiked to the top of Diamond Head
Crater, walked for hours around Ala Moana seaside
spent a full day exploring around the island. Thirty foot waves on the North Shore were spectacular; too choppy for
but thrilling to look at.
On our return we
dusted off our traveling shoes and spent a week driving around
our own Big Island, once again visiting friends
along the way.
We told them we were coming and gave them lots
of warning to get
out of town but instead we had a fun time catchingup and
sharing the latest wild travel story. First we backpacked
and camped 2 nights at Makalawena Beach, one of the prettiest
remote beaches in Hawaii. Catching up with Bob and Kije,
gazing out over
the ocean or singing around a campfire reminded
us that this beach was where this adventure all began 13 years
ago. Married by Bob
in a pareo, after he went surfing, we
then flew off to Kashmir, starting our life of exploring the
world together. Sometimes it is hard to be
24-7 but we have worked it out and are still talking
these years. Looking for the good in each other and loving
each other conquers many things. Besides we have lots of
together playing. We then explored Hawi in the north
part of the island and spent more time with Bob and Kije, their
llamas, at their home with spectacular sunsets
looking over Maui.
Hamakua coast on the NE side we explored Waipio Valley,
slopes of Mauna Kea with Kevin and the eclectic First Night
the plantation town of Honoka'a. Celebrating Mardi Gras at
the Honoka'a Theatre to the pulsing sounds of Buckwheat Zydeco
and his Cajun band from New Orleans was 4 hours of non-stop
dancing, clapping, hooting and grooving. The United States
is a creative, diverse country and we enjoyed some of the best
to offer from New Orleans to Hawaii.
explored Hilo, its colorful market, the oceanfront parks, and
quaint local culture. Further on to Pahoa to visit friend
we spent 3 days experiencing the epicenter of eclectic.
is busy doing their thing from old hippies to young 'trendys'.
Vibrant markets, the Red Road through the lush jungle, Kahena
clothes optional beach, scenic coastline. If you don't see
in this parallel dimension, it doesn't exist.
around the island through Volcanoes National Park, with
active vent spewing orange lava into the ocean, we ended up
mysterious lava desert past South Point. It touched our
to be welcomed so warmly by good friends Ric and Rose.
the travel bug too they have since been to S America, the
and Europe. Good friends are always good friends,
which side of the planet we all end up on.
The best way to explore Hawaii's Big
Island is definitely to drive
around it. This is not an easy task as
driving non stop would take
over 12 hours. You'll soon be
immersed in a varied landscape
unlike any other. You'll
encounter jungle, farmland, active lava
flows, warm tropical
beaches, cool highlands, and views of soaring
mountains and plunging valleys. And everywhere,
you'll feel the
aura of the mysterious Polynesian ancestors who
sailed here more
than a thousand years ago and named the island Hawaii.
This island was the first kingdom of
Kamehameha the Great and
is big enough to put all the other
islands into, with room to spare.
As development has
changed the face of the islands forever this
quiet island has remained the true Hawaii.
And so it
goes.........................................Next off into the
yonder to visit Thailand. We have spent 12 plus
the world and now we start our second time
around. That was
just recognizance and this time we will
travel slower to favorite
places or explore new places we
missed. Until next month Keep
Smiling and let us remember
to take the time to be grateful for our blessings in life.
Switching from 'stinking thinking' to Gratitude changes our
lives. We are Thankful for the knowledge to protect
ourselves from the radiation from Fukushima and that the
are rising so slowly. I am Thankful for my kids
listening to the
facts and now they must make their own
decisions. Take care and Thanks for
following us on our adventure and Thanks for keeping
Love, Light &
xoxoox Nancy & Joseph
US Dollar equals less each year.
Prices are high
and transportation difficult but there is starting
to be a more
budget market on the Big Island. Try
www.airbnb.com and consult
the travel guides. Share a car
with other travelers.
The bus goes around the island 4 times a day but it only stops
at designated stops. Be creative and enjoy what this
island has to offer.
Keep an eye
on activity of radiation from Fukushima. Be
Be prepared. Be aware. Thanks Reese.
FURTHER INFORMATION TO SUPPORT YOUR AWARENESS:
Radiation Expert: Fukushima Exposure being Covered Up –
Kevin Kamps http://youtu.be/RxEGwpNlXb4
This a end of year 2013 Review of Fukushima – Some
interesting information to consider :http://youtu.be/9mn8XUxVq0g
For those of you who know David Icke then you know he has
some speculations that can seem out there though it is very
intriguing. Published May 19th 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8YzzI0j4iM
http://www.naturalnews.com/Fukushima.html - Lots of
‘And the Hashimotos aren’t alone. The families of at least
other children near Fukushima have reportedly decided to
the same thing to protect their children from long-term harm.
This comes as local leader Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of
Futaba, a town near Fukushima, recently issued a warning about
radiation levels near Fukushima being four times higher than
for a trip around the Big Island was found listed as
most interesting drives of the world by National
Gives an idea of what the Big Island of Hawaii
has to offer.
Begin in Kailua-Kona
In Kailua-Kona, American missionaries started the first
church in Hawaii in 1820. Today, the Mokuaikaua Church
Alii Dr.; 1 808 329 0655;
rebuilt in 1837 of crushed coral and lava rock, is
still a quiet
sanctuary. Step across the street to the
shaded 1838 Hulihee Palace (75-5718 Alii Dr.; 1
808 329 1877;
now a museum.
Check out the enormous koa wood chair specially
accommodate Princess Ruth, who measured over six feet
tall and weighed over 400 pounds (181 kilograms).
Nearby, along the shore, is the reconstructed Ahuena Heiau
(75-5660 Palani Rd.; 1 808 327 0123;
Heiaus are ceremonial stone structures usually built on a
(as in this case). Using Ahuena as his headquarters,
Kamehameha conquered and unified the Hawaiian Islands in the
century. The surrounding village remained the capital
of all the Hawaiian Islands until 1821. "For some of us, it
still is the capital,"
says Kaleookalani Nakoa, a native
Hawaiian and one of the
official guardians of the heiau.
Kona Coffee Living History Farm
Continuing south along the scenic two-laner, you're soon high
above the ocean, fields of bushes and berries indicating that
this is coffee country. For a taste of the plantation lifestyle
established over the past century, pull into the Kona Coffee
Living History Farm just before the village of Captain Cook
(mile marker 110; 1 808 323 2006;
You'll learn not just about locally grown coffee but also sample
the luscious fruits that abound in Hawaii, such as Kona oranges,
passion fruit, and guavas, among others.
A side road leads to Kealakekua Bay, from which you can see a
monument marking the place where British explorer James Cook
stabbed to death by the natives in 1779. This happened just
year after he and his crew became the first Europeans to set
foot on what he dubbed the "Sandwich Islands."
Back on the main road, stop at the mountainside Coffee Shack
(after mile marker 108; 1 808 328 9555;
built on a coffee plantation. Besides Kona coffee, lunch, and
breakfast—try the eggs Benedict—the lanai, or porch, has views
of 26 miles (41 kilometers) of coastline far below.
In the same area, don't miss St. Benedict's, better known as the
Painted Church (84-5140 Painted Church Rd., Captain Cook;
his congregants the illusion of being in a European
Belgian priest painted the interior with a simple trompe l'oeil
technique in the early 1900s. Also nearby, look
for the 180-acre
(73-hectare) Puuhonua O Honaunau National
Historical Park, preserving what's left of an ancient Hawaiian
a sacred place of refuge, and a heiau. Among
the original arti-
facts on the site are petroglyphs and a
Lava Fields and Forests
For the next 40 miles (64 kilometers), the road traverses,
nately, old lava fields and Eden-like forests with
colored bougainvillea and hibiscus along the side
of the road.
Also look for tropical trees like the
pod and ohia trees with feathery red
At Naalehu, stop at the Punalu'u Bake Shop (95-3642
Hwy.; 1 808 929 7343;
famed for Portuguese sweet bread and malasadas
Box up an assortment to eat later in the car.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Soon the Belt Road rises in altitude and lowers in temperature
until reaching Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (1 808 985 6000;
Stop at Kilauea Visitor Center to get maps
and current advice on
how to safely view active lava flows in
the park. A good bet is
a ranger-led hike.
Consider overnighting on the rim of the park's Kilauea Caldera
at the Volcano House (1 Crater Rim Dr.; 1 808 967 7321;
Another lodging, in the town of
Hilo, is the 1899 Shipman House
(131 Kaiulani St.; 1 808 934 8002;
a Victorian mansion where author Jack
London and his wife, Charmian, stayed during their 1907 visit.
North from Hilo, take a turnoff to the old village of Honomu,
whose funky false-front businesses include an antique bottle
shop. Honomu exists mainly because it's on the way to Akaka
Park (1 808 974 6200;
known for its 442-foot (135-meter) falls and lush rain forest
Leave the main highway again at Honokaa to reach the
overlooking the nearly deserted Waipio Valley,
850 feet (250
meter) below. It's one of the premier
panoramas in the state.
Only four-wheel-drive vehicles are allowed to drive down the
steep road to the valley floor and its black-sand beach.
Continuing toward the village of Waimea (also called Kamuela),
along rolling hills of bright green grass, you'll enter ranch
country, marked by billowing mist and lowing Angus cattle.
at the Parker Ranch Museum (67-1435 Mamalahoa Hwy.;
1 808 885
to learn about the
ranch's long history. It was founded by
American sailor John Parker, who arrived in Hawaii in 1809,
worked for King Kamehameha, and eventually bought land.
On the ranch, you can stay in a garden cottage at the historic
Jacaranda Inn (65-1444 Kawaihae Rd.; 1 808 885 8813;
with a sumptuously remodeled ranch
house and bunkhouses. It's a
favorite of astronomers visiting
the observatories atop Mauna
Kea, the island's tallest peak at
13,796 feet (4,205 meters).
For breakfast, try the French toast
made with Portuguese sweet
From Waimea, leave the Belt Road to take the winding Kohala
Mountain Road to Hawi. Hard-hit by the decline of the sugar
industry, Hawi has recently revived. Besides the rustic Bamboo
Restaurant (55-3415 Akoni Pule Hwy.; 1 808 889 5555;
look for Kohala Winds of Change
(55-3435 Akoni Pule Hwy.; 1 808
which imports and sells scores
of organic Chinese teas.
Now head south on the warmer and drier low road, stopping
history lesson at the windswept ruins of the Puukohola
808 882 7218;
In 1791 King
Kamehameha completed his conquest of the Big
Finish Back at the Airport
From here, it's almost a straight shot back to the airport. Side
roads lead to luxury resorts with sandy beaches and green golf
courses. Also watch for signs to petroglyph fields that have
primitive figures—of turtles, fish, and canoes—carved into the
lava flows. They represent the native culture of old Hawaii that
still survives on the Big Island.
Hawaii is a year-round attraction, but if you visit at Easter
(March/April) you can see the Merrie Monarch Festival in
weeklong hula extravaganza that sells out months in advance (www.merriemonarchfestival.org/about_merrie_monarch_
for local weather conditions. For more on Big Island must-sees,
code for Hawaii is 808. The attractions above fall
221-mile (355-kilometer) Hawaii Belt Road, driving
counterclockwise from Kona International Airport, on the
shore, south to Naalehu, northeast to Hilo, northwest
and south to the airport. Allow three days, including
—Text by Robert Bone, adapted from
National Geographic Traveler
Count Your Blessings
First thing in the morning, or as early in the day as you can,
Count Your Blessings. You can write out your list by hand,
it on a computer, or use a special book or journal and
of your gratitude in one place. Today, you are going
to make a
simple list of ten blessings in your life you are
When Einstein gave thanks, he thought about
grateful. When you think about the reason
grateful for a particular thing, person, or situation,
feel gratitude more deeply. Remember that the magic of
gratitude happens according to the degree of your feeling!
with each item on your list write the reason why you're
Here are some ideas for writing your list:
I am truly blessed to have
because why? .
I am so happy and grateful for
because why? .
I am truly grateful for what? ,
because why? .
With all my heart, thank you for
because why? .
After you've finished making your list of ten blessings,
and read each one, either in your mind or out loud.
When you get
to the end of each blessing, say the magic words
thank you, thank you, thank you,
and feel the
gratitude for that blessing as much as you possibly
To help you feel more gratitude, you can be grateful to the
Universe, God, Spirit, goodness, life, your greater self, or
other concept you are drawn to. When you direct
something or someone, you will feel it
even more, and your
gratitude will have even more power,
and create even more magic!
It's the reason why indigenous
and ancient cultures chose
symbols like the sun to direct
their gratitude toward. They were
simply using physical
symbols to represent the universal source
of all goodness,
and in focusing on that symbol they felt more
The practice of counting your blessings is so simple and so
powerful in altering your life, that I want you to continue
add ten more blessings to your list every day for the
days. You might think it could be difficult to find
you're grateful for every day, but the more you
think about it,
the more you will realize
how much you have
to be grateful for.
Look closely at your life; you have received,
and are continuing
to receive so much each and every day.
There is really so much
to give thanks for!
You could be grateful for your home, your family, your
your work, and your pets. You could be thankful
for the sun, the
water that you drink, the food that you eat,
and the air that
you breathe; without any of them you
wouldn't be alive. You
could be grateful for the trees,
the animals, the oceans, the
birds, the flowers, the plants,
blue skies, rain, the stars, the
moon, and our beautiful planet
You could be grateful for your senses: your eyes that see,
ears that hear, your mouth that tastes, your nose that
and your skin that enables you to feel. You could be
for the legs you walk on, your hands that you use
to do almost
everything, your voice that enables you to
express yourself and
communicate with others. You could
give thanks for your amazing
immune system that keeps
you well, and all of your organs that
maintain your body
so that you can live. And what about the
your human mind, which no computer technology in
world can duplicate?
Here is a list of subjects that will remind you of the major
areas you can look for blessings to be grateful for. You can
also add any subject you want depending on what is
you at any time.
Magic Gratitude Subjects:
Health and body
Work and success
Nature: planet Earth, air, water, and the sun
Material goods and services
Any subject of your choosing
You should feel significantly better and happier after each
you Count Your Blessings, and how good you feel is
of how much gratitude you felt. The more
gratitude you felt, the
happier you will feel, and the faster
your life will change.
Some days you will feel happy really
quickly, and other days it
may take a little longer. But as
you continue to Count Your
Blessings every day, you will
notice a bigger and bigger
difference in the way you feel
each time, and you will see your
blessings magically multiply!
Practice Number 1
Count Your Blessings
1. First thing in the
morning, make a list of ten blessings
in your life you are grateful for.
Write why you're grateful for each blessing.
Go back and read your list, either in your mind or
loud. When you get to the end of each one, say the
thank you, thank you, thank you, and feel
the gratitude for that
blessing as much as you possibly can.
Repeat the first three steps of this magical practice
every morning for the next 27 days.