Spiritual Practice of the “Island Life”


Beach in Sinkyone Wilderness [Photo by Jeff Richards]

My office-mate just returned from a 3-week vacation to the Western Pacific. While visiting family, he spent a lot of time on the beach and in bars relaxing and enjoying the “Island Life.” Hmm… that sounds really nice. And I don’t think I’m the only one. Work is good, but so is rest. As we talked about the declining health of particular elders in our family, our conversation turned to working out and taking care of our bodies as an essential way of living.

As created spiritual beings our bodies are where the Spirit resides. We are temples, cracked and chipped as we are, as our Brother Paul wrote. And we know this to be true. Prolonged stress or inactivity leaves our bodies overtaxed and underused. This causes us to squelch the God-given spirit within and cut us off from sensing what Jesus is saying to us as well as our ability to do what he says. If we’re stuck in fight or flight long past the moment of alarm we overextend ourselves, leaving us frayed and exhausted. And when we don’t physically care for our bodies we leave ourselves weak and inflexible.

From what I understand, being a land-dweller leaves my perspective skewed; the Island Life is an integrated life. One that is easygoing, taking stress in stride, doing what needs doing and yet enjoying the beauty of creation, including yourself and those around you. Yep, I want that life. I want to be flexible and strong, sensitive and healthy. That sounds like life empowered by the Spirit.

Which way to the beach?


One thought on “Spiritual Practice of the “Island Life”

  1. Indeed, the spirit of aloha, even Aloha ke Akua. When Patti and I lived above Hilo on the Big Island for a season, I especially discovered this aloha pace of life. Everything was slowed down, people let each other into traffic, drove slow and generally stopped to smell the pikake flowers.

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