Mother nature is truly a force to be reckoned with, and we have had plenty of proof lately with the downpour of rain a month ago that wreaked havoc for the east side of Oʻahu and the island of Kauaʻi. Most recently, the lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi continues to do a number on things. When mother nature creates a major disturbance – bumper-to-bumper traffic and destroyed property that disrupts the lives of many – it’s hard to see the gift.

What I have learned is that unexpected disturbances are a part of life and necessary towards growth and change. If life had no ups or downs, but stayed pretty much the same, after a while, life becomes ho-hum. Many, including me, do not like change, because why rock the boat when it doesn’t have to be rocked? Many like routines and set schedules – predictability that allows one to feel safe and in control for the most part. Control is an illusion, but provides mental reassurance that something can be done when things go astray.

Have you noticed that the more you resist change in your life, the challenges and difficulties escalate even more? As scary as it may sound, surrendering to what’s happening often leads to solutions that could not be seen before, which eventually leads to acceptance of what needs to shift or change in your life or perspective. Until something from the outside brings awareness that something is amiss, change will not happen.

Begin now to connect with your body and identify what challenges activate certain body pains or health symptoms. One symptom that has been challenging for many is vog. Due to all of the volcanic ash that is being released into the atmosphere, many people are being affected. You may be suffering from vog or have family, friends, or colleagues that are suffering. If so, take a look at the irritants in your life. Take this time to reflect on anything that is causing grief or irritating you – people, work situation, life situation, etc.

If you have lost your voice from the vog take a look at where you need to express your truth either to yourself or to another. If your eyes are getting irritated, take a look at your perspectives and ask yourself what is it that you need to see more clearly or pay attention to. Last but not least, if you are coughing or having a hard time breathing, reflect on what is happening that is hard for you to accept or breathe in your life.

Awareness is the first step. The next is to acknowledge what this awareness is, followed by acceptance of the things that are irritating you. Until you can be brutally honest about what the irritants are in your life, and you deal with it, vog will continue to pester you or your loved ones. Assess what things you don’t have control over and let it go, and the things that you can change, make a plan and then take action to clear those irritants out of your life. Take responsibility and be pro-active in your life and your well-being.

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