In my short stay of nearly a month, I feel I have learnt a lot from my experience here at Aloha, and I am confident there will be many more lessons and growth on my evidential return to this special place. Yet I feel called to share only one small, but to me very powerful, aspect of #lifeataloha that I will strive to take away and share with the outside world. This is the communication and language that is used here and that I now use.

Communication, honesty and transparency are the foundations of this community. I have never felt so much trust with people that in reality I barely know. There are no secrets, there is no gossip, there are no expectations; only compassion, respect and love for all members of the community and those outside too. Every conversation is meaningful and authentic, no interaction is shadowed in implications or lack of clarity. There is so much care and thought put into every word, yet at the same time no special effort is required. Each question, response, and share is consensual and gentle: “may I offer you a reflection?” “are you open to..?”, “can I share something with you?” “would you like to share?”, and I always respected, appreciated and honest regardless of what it is,  “I don’t feel like sharing right now”, “I don’t feel ready to receive” “I don’t feel I can give you my full attention currently”, “thank you for your reflection” “thank you for sharing”.  This honesty and transparency helps build the trust so strongly within the community that you know whatever someone says is their truth, their true feelings and there is no fear of rejection or judgement in sharing yours. This specific language is almost universal within the community and it is something I noticed, appreciated and adopted very quickly.

It is understood that each persons experience, and emotions are unique and always valid, regardless of what they may be. It is actively practiced not to give each other advice, not to tell them what they should or should not do even though sometimes this may feel like the most natural way to help. And not to take what people might say personally even if it is directly related to you – this is their experience, it is true to them and valid. Instead you offer them your own experience or a reflection of what you see in their words or actions and through this allow them to perhaps see another perspective or find their own path more easily.

There are no expectations here. This is beautiful to experience. You can be anyone here and be accepted and loved. You can share every thought you wish about anything that is alive within you but the community together and individually will expect no more or less from you and you expect nothing from them in return. No further actions are required.

Each member of this community is growing, learning, and healing in their own way, but all are so full of love you feel completely supported throughout your own journey while still walking the path alone.

Amber (U.K.)