Like many others, I’ve gone to Hawaii to “get away from it all,” to seek the wonders of the world through nature, and to connect more deeply with my inner peace and spirit, which at times seems so difficult to do in the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day existence. On returning, I fully and humbly realize that I have just spent special time with some of the most beautiful, pristine, precious,sacred, serene, and amazingly unique expressions of Life on the planet, all of which I felt deeply inspired by and spiritually connected with. I bet you think I’m referring to the stunning beaches, brightly colored birds, playful porpoises, majestic waterfalls, gentle trade winds, swaying trees, and plentiful plant life, but I’m not.
While all those things also meet the description, what I found the most wondrous of all were the people I encountered on my sojourn. Other human beings! I ended up going to Hawaii to have a spiritual epiphany about my relationship with other people! How wild is that? What I was trying to get away from became the high point of my journey.
What was it that caused this to happen? The spirit of generosity and authentic loving-kindness of those we met along the way was truly overwhelming. From our fellow travelers to our hosts and the local and native people we encountered at every turn–all seemed to embody what has been referred to as the Aloha spirit. The food servers in the restaurants, the airport personnel, the car rental representatives, the sales clerks, and the people on the street were extending themselves with what I chose to interpret as a sense of authentic joy, love, respect, and most important, reverence. Then, the most amazing thing happened. Upon my return home, I discovered the very same thing with the people in my own home, church, and community. Nothing had to change but my perception of life. The realization I had was that I didn’t need to travel 2,500 miles to experience what I really went to Hawaii for–to get away from the world by seeking beauty and peace in a distant land and culture. Granted, going there truly helped inspire me and realign my perspective, but the fact is that the real beauty in life lies within the hearts and souls of all the people we share our planet with, our family of the earth.
When we lack the ability (awareness) to consciously look into other people’s hearts and souls and feel that connection, we miss the opportunity to have a conscious sacred relationship with the Divine by means of one of Its highest forms of expression, human beings. The saddest part is that we may also miss the real exquisiteness of life for if we can’t see the authentic beautiful, pristine, precious, sacred, serene, and amazingly unique expression of the Beloved in one another, we could sail the seven seas and seek the wonders of the world and would not find it there either. There it is, the real Eighth Wonder of the World, walking right by us every day: people!
So don’t miss the glory and wonder of it! As spiritual explorers, we know that’s a treasure worth seeking. You really don’t have to go that far to discover the Eighth Wonder of the world; just pause, take a deep breath, and look into the eyes of the next person you encounter today. Perhaps the best place to begin requires even less travel; just look into the eyes of that beautiful being staring back at you in the mirror. Now THAT is a sight to behold.
Dennis Merritt Jones has been involved in the human potential movement and the field of spirituality for the majority of his life as a teacher, author and keynote speaker. His most recent award winning book is “The Art of Uncertainty ~ How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It.” Jones is also the award winning author of “The Art of Being ~ 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life” and “How to Speak Science of Mind.” Dennis writes a free weekly MindfulPurpose E-Message available through his website, www.DennisMerrittJones.com, and is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post.