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Okay, so travelling in general could be very stressful at times, no matter who you are travelling with and no matter where you are going. Planes, trains or automobiles, kids or no kids, friends or foes, something bad is bound to happen, no matter how minor or major the incident. Travel incidents just come with the travel package, right?
Well, let me tell you, the first two days were hell. Ironically, it was not because we had a baby in tow. In fact, Kirra did soooooo well at the airport waiting in long lines, plodding through TSA, and she was a champ (in my eyes) on the flights to and from Hawaii. She got a little restless toward the end of our flights, but who doesn't? (You should feel my biceps...talk about workout).
TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT:
American Airlines, you suck.
There were no clear signs of where to check-in, nor were there clear, designated fancy red line ribbon thingies. What happened to the fancy red line ribbon thingies??
There were no regular check-in lines to check into. The only thing available were these little self check-in kiosks, scattered throughout the floor, underneath the big American Airlines signage.
"No problem, I've got this shit. I'm a computer nerd. I've done this before, we'll be done in 5 minutes flat..."
The self check-in kiosks were not working properly. 1 out of 5 computers in our line were in working order. There was ONE employee that was available to assist our entire area (which was filled with a massive crowd of unorganized, helpless, desperate souls).
Then I looked outside to the Valet check-in. LIFE SAVER. We tipped our dude $20, worth every penny.
Because of said disorganized check-in lines, we were were one of the handful of people to get on the full flight. I even saw a guy sitting a couple of rows behind us roll his eyes, as poor Kirra started to fuss. In my mind, I was like, shut it, dude. Shut your rolling, judge-y eyes.
Yep. No matter how prepared we were and no matter how early we got to the airport, we were that family.
And NO time for a diaper change.
SO much drama for this mama. Sheesh.
SINKING INTO ISLAND LIFE - BLESSINGS ABOUND
Even though our trip didn't start off as smooth as possible (does it ever?), there is always that moment when you step off of the plane and breath in the tropical air that is filled with the scent of sweet plumeria leis...where everything slows down and everything is ooookay.
We crashed out pretty darn early on the night of our arrival, only to wake up at 5am the next morning to find out that there was a Hawaiian blessing and ceremony taking place on the beach where we were staying.
I took this as a sign, and decided to use this opportunity to introduce Kirra to the ocean water for her very first time, as well as, honor my transition into motherhood. The releasing of being a maiden and honoring my role as a mother for Kirra (which was quite the journey, especially with her wanting only me during the entire trip) was something I've needed since she was born. Some sort of meaningful ritual to make it all legit.
And this was it.
Coincidentally, it was also the anniversary of my beloved furry family member, Moana (my other daughter - no, really) passing, and to add to that, the name of the chant was about 'Moana', and it took place in front of the iconic Moana Surfrider resort. Whaaaaaaaat?
I swear, I didn't plan it that way.
And the funny thing is, is that Brendon and I have always believed that our dog, Moana, was the one who sent Baby Kirra to us. That, my friends, is yet, another story.
This beautiful "Ho 'ala" (or awakening) was a Hawaiian ceremony of renewal of mind, body, and spirit, and it took place at sunrise, facing Diamond Head. It was a practice of getting into the correct mind-space, cleansing body, mind, and spirit, focusing our minds toward a future, filled with renewed vitality, hope, and happiness.
An ocean blessing of sorts.
Kirra loooooooooved the ocean water, and she had a big grin on her face when we took her past the shore break. It was such a special moment. Of course, we didn't get it on video or capture any photos, but it was definitely memorable.
At Dusk. Quiet. Still.
Diamond Head in the background.
Perfectly peaceful, as we chanted toward the sunrise:
E ALA E
E ALA E
KA LĀ I KAHIKINA
Awake! The sun is in the East
I KA MOANA
KA MOANA HOHONU
At the ocean, the deep ocean
PI'I KA LEWA
KA LEWA NU'U
Climb to the heavens, highest heaven
AIA KA LĀ
E ALA E!
In the East, there is the sun, arise, awake!
So, there was a point during our trip where Brendon and I decided to stop trying to plan and control every single second of our vacation time (because, naturally, that's what we had been doing all along to make the vacation happen, right?!).
Let go of planning.
Let go of needing to figure what we needed to do next.
Let go of figuring out where to eat and when should we eat and what time should we eat and what about the baby?
So much pressure, man.
And once I decided to consciously let go of control (damn post-partum OCD. There is such a thing, isn't there??), all was good in the Hawaiian hood.
And I applied that to tending to Kirra the entire trip, too. Letting go of having to be the perfect vacation mommy. Letting go of having to be the perfect vacation wife.
And my, oh my. Everything just fell into place as easily as it could in paradise.
FAST FORWARD A FEW DAYS
As I was sitting on my surfboard, salt water dripping from eyelashes and onto my lips, a dear friend and beautiful surf sister that I've known for many years gently shared this little piece of a truth-bomb that was given to her from another friend, on being a mom:
"Your life is no longer your own..."
What? Ouch! No, no, no. La, la, la,la, la, la, la...
"I know, how depressing, huh?" Thank god she shared the same sentiment as me.
I really didn't want to hear that, and my instant inward, silent reaction (being a life coach and all) was, "Pfffffft...there you have it, another limiting belief, disguised as wisdom, promising to hold me back from doing all of the things I want to do in my life."
But the truth was that I had only a small window of time to paddle out and enjoy my very first surf session since I became pregnant with Kirra. And the truth was, was that I was thinking of Kirra every single second I was out there.
What was she doing?
Is she playing with Daddy?
I hope she's not crying.
Is she having fun?
I missssss her.
And, it was true. I have been admittedly been playing this game of denial with my former maiden-self for quite some time now. "What?? My life isn't going to change that much. I wish people would stop telling me my life is going to change. Bah, humbug. Not happening over here. Because, see look: #TRAVELLINGWITHBABY"
And then, my break-time was up.
Long gone are the surf sessions that lasted for 2 hours at a time.
Long gone are the surf sessions that had me staring off blankly into the horizon with no care in the world.
Long gone are the surf sessions where both Brendon and I could surf together, wherever and whenever we want.
Long gone are the carefully planned surf sessions, perfectly synced with the tides, the wind, and the swells formed from stormy seas thousands of miles of away.
Yes, this is all true. BUT, it doesn't mean I have to give up the things that I love and stop doing the things that make me feel complete. Otherwise, I will really go insane. And that is not good for me. Nor for Brendon. Or for the Baby.
So, let's reframe this, shall we? ('Reframing' is an example of a pretty awesomely simple coaching technique, where we change the meaning of an unwanted situation in order to gain a more positive perspective on the outcome...incredibly useful stuff, if you're feeling stuck!)
MY LIFE IS STILL MY OWN AND NOW I GET TO SHARE ITS BEAUTY WITH MY LITTLE BABE
The flip side to this new mamahood thing is a whole 'nother world that has opened up in tremendous ways. New ways of being. New ways of seeing. Now I get to share my love of life, of travel, of the vast ocean and its blessings, with my little girl. I have a whole new perspective of ocean-life from the eyes of a child. And it has been magnificent. And soooooo much FUN!! So much laughter (Kirra is a really funny baby, guys!) And the LOVE, I can't even to begin to measure.
As soon as I got home, I had a conference call scheduled with my fellow Creatively Fit Coach Team members. And it was just what I needed to seal the deal of this whole transforming into motherhood thing (although, I suppose it never really is a process that ever ends, is it?)
In speaking with my colleagues, something kept ringing in my ears loud and clear:
So, as a new mom (and your Creatively Fit Coach), I'm going to practice what I preach and go back to the canvas and commit to my personal painting practice for four months straight. So I could allow myself to re-connect with myself.
To make time for me (selfishly, how dare I do such a thing, that thing they call self-care?!)
To connect with creative, kind souls (are you ready?)
To connect with mother nature (I hear the ocean waves calling to me as I erratically type)
And to just beeeeeeee...FREE, INDEPENDENT, SELF-EXPRESSIVE and LOOOOOOOVED!
AND, I'm going to commit to my creative coaching practice and my clients, my people, I miss youuuuu!! Whew...cheers and big MAHALOS for sticking with me through my transformation. I hope to support you with the same.