This is pertaining to my hānai son, Jason Poole. I call him Iakona. He's been with me for quite some time now. I've always admired this young man. I invited him to join me. I took him in as a son.
How did Pittsburgh-born, classically trained singer Jason Poole find himself knee-deep in mud, gutting fish on the remote island of Molokai?
Monday, June 22, 2015
I went to the gym today. I’d love to tell you that I’ve been going regularly for the last several months.
I haven’t gone in a while. But there are things that need to be done. Simple things like taking care of this body I’ve been given: eating well; exercising regularly; drinking enough water; sleeping (as) soundly (as possible) at night; meditating; filling my mind with healthy things, beneficial things.
I haven’t been doing those things lately. Well, not with any sense of regularity.
Earlier this month, my young nephew received a FitBit as birthday present. Do you know about these things? A “simple” bracelet that tracks your steps, your sleep, the number of floors that you walk up. It’s pretty incredible. It helps to make the wearer more aware of what they’re doing.
And because I’m competitive, I got one, too. (James got one, too. We compete, seeing who can accrue the most steps every day.) And it’s made me very, very aware. I didn’t know how sedentary I’ve become. I wasn’t aware of how little sleep I managed to get every night; and how the sleep I did get was restless and UNrefreshing. (Maybe the “spare tire” around my waist and the dark circles under my eyes and the should have been clues?)
Having that little device on my wrist has allowed me to “see inside myself” a little bit. It’s allowed me to get a better picture of what’s happening in my body.
This weekend, I took a good, long look at myself in the mirror. I looked tired and out of shape. And I wasn’t happy.
So this morning I went back to the gym and M O V E D these ol’ bones and muscles. I reminded myself that it’s a privilege to be here on this planet.
And as I walked (and jogged, thank you very much) I could hear an echo of Pops’ voice in my head, saying what he always says just before we hang up the phone. “Mālama kou kino. Take care of yourself!”
I’ve got an important job to do–sharing Aloha is no small task! And now, maybe more than ever before, it’s become even more important. And I can’t share Aloha well if I’m not living the example, if I’m not “walking the talk” as Pops calls it. (“Walking.” How appropriate.)
So I’m moving. I’m moving.
And my eyes are open. Becoming more–even just a little more–aware.
And Iʻm writing it about it here on the blog in hopes that my “full disclosure” will help keep me accountable. And maybe, just maybe, it will inspire you to Mālama Kou Kino, too.
**How are YOU taking care of yourself these days? Drop me a line in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
When I work in the schools, sharing Hawaiian culture and music with the kids, I run into some tricky territory.
I call my kumu, my root teacher, “Pops.” Because he’s MORE than just my teacher; he’s my Hawaiian Dad.
But when I talk about my life outside of Hawai’i, I often reference my family back here in the continental U.S. So to make matters a bit easier to understand…
I tell the kids I have a Pennsylvania Dad, the man who helped make me, the man who raised me and has always been my father.
I have a Hawaiian Dad, my Pops, the man who has raised me from a tadpole in all things Hawaiian.
I tell them I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I have TWO Dads.
And you know what? The kids totally get it. No questions asked.
(Well… that’s not quite true. A little boy recently asked me, “How can I get two dads?” Ha!)
I love my two Dads
And you know I’m not lyin’
One’s a Pennsylvanian
And one’s a Hawaiian.
Happy Father’s Day, gang.
Aloha Lā Makuakāne.
Right on.0 Comments
Friday, June 19, 2015
I can hear Pops’ voice in my head: “Aloha i kekahi i kekahi. Love one another. So important.”
I need to remember that. We all need to remember that.
Right on.0 Comments
Friday, May 29, 2015
See that handsome man in the photo? That’s my teacher, my kumu. He’s also my Hawaiian Pops. And I say a prayer of thanks for him every day. It’s his birthday today. And I’m singing it as loudly as I can: Happy Birthday, Pops! Hauʻoli Lā Hānau! I’m so glad you were born! Right … Click here to read more…1 Comment
Thursday, April 23, 2015
I went to the gym today. And I went with a purpose. I went to run. Ok… nothing major. Not a marathon-length run. Just a few easy miles on the treadmill. But it still feels like a big deal. My body has given me a lot of grief this past year. I’ve been going to … Click here to read more…6 Comments
Friday, April 10, 2015
May you immerse yourself in the spirit of hula. May you find the ability to focus when it’s time to dance. May you remember that it’s not about the competition. May you remember it’s about honoring the kūpuna, those that came before. May you remember that it’s about honoring the words of the haku … Click here to read more…0 Comments