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Arms of Aloha

Aloha!

I will tell you a story. About Hawaii. And about my big complex I had since I started massaging. A moral dillema almost. Something that was like a shadow on my practice and eventually became one of the main reasons why I even went to Hawaii (ok, end of dramatic intro).

Very quickly after I started massaging I understood that lomilomi is more than just my job. It’s more like a way of life, way of approaching reality, way of connecting with myself, other people and the world. Way rooted in love and compassion, in aloha. I became very much interested in Hawaiian tradition, history and culture.

And a “problem” emerged.

Because I am not Hawaiian. Do I even have right to practice traditional, indigenous and sacred Hawaiian healing art? Do I have right to speak about aloha, ‘aina or ohana if I didn’t grow up in the culture where these concepts come from? Honestly, this was my concern for almost 2 years. And the answer is not that easy. Some Hawaiians even today would say I have no right to do lomilomi. And if I wanted to learn 50-60 years ago, nobody would teach me – lomilomi was a family thing, not shared outside ohana (family), not to mention to non-Hawaiians. “Who is your kumu?” (teacher), I would be asked.

It wasn’t until 1970s when Aunty Margaret Machado, as one of the first Hawaiians, started sharing these practices outside family. She wanted to teach everybody “with a Hawaiian heart” – and not everybody was happy about it.

Kahu Abraham Kawaii, whose lineage I represent, also taught lomilomi to non-Hawaiians (my kumu Susan Floyd was among them).

Aunty Mahilani Poepoe, another renewed lomilomi teacher and elder, envisioned arms of Aloha spread around the whole world. She was talking of people, native Hawaiian or not, carrying the message of aloha around the globe.

It took me two years and a journey to the other side of the globe to learn how to approach native Hawaiian traditions and healing with real respect; to find a balance between indigenous teachings and my own culture, my own roots. To get rid of “I’m not Hawaiian” issue. To simply feel happy and blessed that I can get inspired by this fascinating culture and land of Hawaii. To share love and compassion. To spread my Aloha arms around the globe.

Aloha, Magdalena

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