Before I moved to Maui, several people told me the same thing. It wasn’t the kind of thing I expected to hear when perched on the edge of relocation. But then, who expects to move to Hawaii? Each person expressed the message differently, but all had something in common: they lived on one of the islands either full or part time.

“Living in Hawaii will deeply change you.” 

One said the changes would occur at a cellular level. Another told me that when I return to the Mainland, people will experience me differently. Another said, “You’ll never be the same once you’ve lived on Maui.” So sitting at the six weeks mark—which may be a bit premature—I’m taking blog stock of this prediction. Already, it appears to be true.

MOUTH: Without conscious intent to alter my already healthy diet, I’m eating about 70% raw thanks to my love affair with kale and the raw green drink I imbibe most mornings. And I make that luscious wonder myself!

HEART: I’m more effortlessly generous than I ever remember being. My housemates are the primary recipients, but the spirit of it extends outside our walls. I feel generous even when I’m not actively sharing.

SENSES: Nature is now like a person I’ve always admired, but finally have a relationship with. I’m attuned to the birds; love-struck by the mountainous, oceanic panoramas; nurtured by the brilliant flowers gathered on our walks. And Haiku weather! It’s like a lover who’s the perfect balance of radiance and reflection. That alone could alter my cells!

BODY: I’ve taken yoga classes before. Tai Chi too. But now, I get them and they seem to return the favor. My eyes filled up one night in yoga class and later, my teacher and housemate, Linda, told me I'd been beaming. I remember a bit of  limb-trembling the in the past, but never tears and beaming.

GUT: But the biggest change by far is the most unexpected of all. I am cultivating a new habit of telling the emotional truth—with my housemates, my family, and my colleagues. Some ancient, protective barricade has been penetrated. The result is that with every choice to be emotionally honest, a light turns on inside and more of me is illuminated. Lines from Bentley Kallaway’s song, “Counting Miracles” come back to me:

I’m counting miracles
There must be one for every star
I’m counting how much we can really change
And still be who we are.*

A Hui Hou, (‘til we meet again)