Archives for December 2008

At Peace In Hawaii – Wellness Program

What would you do if your spouse who was your sweetheart since high school and father of your two young children died unexpectedly after 26 years of being together?  Grieve of course, as you try to go on with your life without him.

But, at that time, seven years ago, our most recent client was told by family and friends, “Be STRONG!”  No one gave her support or permission to mourn her loss.  She was expected to go on with her life as if nothing had happened.  So she stuffed all her feelings and became “super Mom”.

Then, expectedly, seven years later, the flood gates opened.  She could not stop crying or carry on her life as single working mother any longer.  She knew she had to do something and found on Lokahi Garden Sanctuary the internet.  The magic of Hawaii, our land and home here, our presence with her as a residential client and the program we created for her, proved to be a winning combination.

She came came from Vermont to Lokahi Garden Sanctuary for two weeks to address the issue of grief she had never had a chance to express about her young husband’s sudden death 7 years ago, leaving her to raise their two young boys.  It was such a privilege to work and play with her and see healing taking place before our eyes.  Facilitating this successful program with her reminded my husband Richard and me how effective and powerful this approach is and how much we enjoy our partnership in doing it together.  Daily, we offered her meditation, movement, bodywork, counseling, time to write in her journal, outdoor adventures and gourmet food from our organic gardens. We arranged authentic Hawaiian cultural experiences including blessings, ceremony at the Volcano and Hula as well as medical consults and social events.

The first week we helped her  focus fully on acknowledging and expressing her grief.  We helped her create a ceremony of release to say good bye to her husband and brought her to the fiery brim of the Volcano at dawn to meet a Hawaiian healer.  He helped guide her in the ceremony, and blessed her.  We then hiked through the rain forest down into the steaming caldera of Kilaeau Iki.

The second week we helped her focus on  getting in touch with her true self and new directions in her life.  A play day on the land, drawing, kayaking and swimming with the dolphins were some of her highlights.  A plan for some changes in her life in Vermont and follow-up support from us was drafted.

Here is what she wrote to us when before she left: “For me, Hawaii is a magical and powerful place.  There is a peacefulness that I immediately felt when I arrived at Lokahi Garden Sanctuary.  During my stay, the Wellness Program held that same magical and powerful connection. Richard and Natalie harmoniously combined their talents to guide me through my healing process at my own pace, offering support and encouragement every step of the way.  With their insight, and being surrounded in the beauty that is Hawaii, I was finally able to find the real me.” KV, 11/08