From the Director

Aloha,  <<First Name>>

The brightest lights currently shimmering on our family tree are our three nieces, ages 8 and 6. They fill a puka (hole) that would otherwise be dark and empty between all the cousins aged 20-30 and all the as-yet-unborn members of the family whom we hope will appear on the tree someday. Oh, do these little girls light up our lives!

Katherine is the oldest, then come the identical twins, Ember and Naia. Katherine organized the thanks of our Thanksgiving celebration this year. Before dinner started, she handed out little sheets of paper for all of us to write down what we were grateful for. After dinner, the twins hailed the whole family to collect in the living room. The twins presided while Katherine (with a little help from her mother Debbie) read each gratitude aloud. We were all tickled. Katherine astutely recognized that she had not received a note from every family member, and wanting to give everyone their opportunity to soul shine, she asked, “Is there anyone who wants to add something they are thankful for?” And sure enough, there were.

These are the same little girls who provided funeral flowers for the poisonous tadpoles I had to eradicate from our fish pond “so you won’t feel so bad, Aunty Renée.”

Ember – at this stage – is the motherly one. When I was under the weather for a couple weeks, she brought me hot tea, a shawl to keep warm, and would just check in regularly to see whether I needed anything else, always with a hug. On the last evening of Thanksgiving she invited any interested family member to the floor, where she was giving marvelous full body massages. “Everybody asks me how I know how to do this,” she told me. “I don’t know, I just do!”

Naia, the little imp, has a body that can’t help but burst into dance when the slightest strain of music comes on. And her repertoire of dance genres seems to be endless. She’s a self-guiding fashion maven; she always devises a hair adornment for herself – often a little ponytail sprouting lopsided off some part of her head.

Since their parents met each other a little late in life, the girls were born when my brother Dan had already become something of a grump. The girls are so much fun though, Dan told me earlier this year, “You know, being around all these morose young techies at work, I’ve decided being miserable just doesn’t make me happy.” Indeed!

Dan makes sure to take his giggling, squabbling gaggle of girls on a family outing every weekend. They hike, go to science exploratoriums, ball games and museums, on trips to the park and bike rides. Dan still grumbles and shouts over the to-be-expected arguing that inevitably erupts from time to time, but I can tell he adores the precious time he gets to spend with all his girls. Be sure to catch the hilarious father-daughter movies below.

In case you despair of Christmas becoming a soulless commercial event, allow me to share with you Katherine’s wish list, which Dan sent us all, prefaced with this note:

I thought this was pretty funny. Here’s Katherine’s xmas list. Note the legend at the top. Stuff for other people. Stuff she wants. Stuff she needs.

No toys. Underpants, paper and chapstick. Who IS this kid?

We don’t let the girls watch commercials. Perhaps we have gone too far…



@ for someone else    ✓ I want     ☆ I need

Book Shelff
✓ Cuby that I can fit in
✓ Bean Bag & pillos
✓ Blankit with stars on it
☆ Cup with a top
@ Slipers 8w that have ✝’s on them
✓ wall berAerations
✓ A’s hat’s
@@☆✓ a lock on my door
@ a notebook
@@@@@☆ more paper
☆ more tank toqs
@@ under pants
@@@@☆crims hat5
@@ geans
✓ jean jackit
✓ leather “ “
1,000 @ more food for the Homeless
☆ @@@@ rake’s #5
@@✓ new stocing’se & mitin’s E
☆ chapstic

As you read down the list, you realize how many more items are in the first category on her legend: @ for someone else. Besides ‘1,000 @ more food for the Homeless’, my favorite item is ‘@@ under pants’. I asked my brother: “Who’s missing their underwear? One of the grandmothers? You?!?”  Dan had no idea why that request was on Katherine’s list. My mom was the one to solve the mystery: “Oh, she wants those for her mom: with crosses on them like at Mommy’s church.” Holy undies!

Of course these adorable little girls may eventually become obnoxious teenage snots. With a little luck – if that day comes – we’ll have a younger generation cooing and gurgling in bassinets under our Christmas tree! In the meantime, these three, Katherine, Ember and Naia, shower our holidays with their whimsy and laughter!

Wishing you a holiday season of heart-warmth and Joy,

PS  Please tell me about the brightest lights in YOUR life! I love hearing from you.

Renée Tillotson, Director, founded Still & Moving Center for teaching mindful movement arts from around the globe. She is inspired by the Joy and moving meditation she experiences in the practice of Nia, and by the lifelong learning shared at the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara, California. She intends that Still & Moving Center always be filled with laughter and friendship!

Celebrating Magnificence

Marie Silva

New Nia White Belt

Hooray Marie, new graduate from the Nia White Belt training here at Still & Moving Center in November! A heavy, wounded ex-martial artist when we met her, Marie fell in love with hula when she first saw our kumu hula, Malia Helela, leading our dancers in a performance in Kailua. Living in a shelter for battered women at the time, Marie became our most devoted work trader in compensation for hula classes with Malia. We now enjoy her cooking for potluck-satsang every Sunday!

As Marie progressed in hula and danced hard at home, she began shrinking, almost before our eyes. Her chubbiness seemed to melt away until we had an elegant, lithe new dancer in our midst.

A few months ago, Marie offered to teach a dance class for other overweight women to gracefully transform themselves through healthy movement – just as she had. To prepare for that possibility, we sent Marie to Nia White Belt training. After the very negative treatment Marie had received when she was pushed to become a  board-smashing 3rd degree black belt in Karate, Nia training with the kind-hearted Winalee Zeeb was a healing experience.

Marie couldn’t have been prouder or happier than she was when she received her Nia White Belt certificate with her husband and daughter there cheering her on! She celebrated with fellow international graduates Ayumu Kawasaki from Japan, Dominica Sattler from Italy & Switzerland, Evelina Ruseckaite from Lithuania, May del Rosario, Murat Demirtas from Turkey, and returning trainee Eleanor Fong.

Elizabeth Haughton 

Vital Itals – soaps with purpose

VITAL- essential, important, high priority

ITALS – unprocessed, whole, natural state

Elizabeth Haughten hand-makes her fragrant, artistic soaps at home while caring for an infant and a three-year-old!  Living in Pearl City she uses local farmers as sources for many of her ingredients, such as coffee and lemongrass. Vital Itals soaps are not only free of animal products but also never tested on animals, bringing peace of mind to the health conscious and ecologically aware, all while supporting small, local business.

After her first child, Elizabeth felt as if she wasn’t having a chance to express herself artistically, so one evening in 2013 in Philadelphia she told her husband she was going to start making soaps. Her husband encouraged her, and being from Jamaica he contributed the term “ital” to her brand name, and Elizabeth started concocting. Everyone loved her soaps! Especially once they learned the soaps are vegan.

Now having moved to Hawaii, Elizabeth has received such a great response from people here on island that she keeps going. Her customers (like me!) love the local and harm-free qualities of her soaps, not to mention that they are beautiful and smell fantastic. She gets to bring her kids when she makes her soap drop-offs, whether at Kokua Market, Waimanalo Co-op, Down to Earth or Still & Moving Center!

Her cold processing technique allows her to separate and artistically swirl her soap ingredients. She creates green color from spirolina, gold from turmeric, black from charcoal – all of which have health components, and she adds them to her base of coconut butter, olive butter, shea butter and sometimes mango butter. Her soaps are gorgeous!

Recipe for Health

Purple Garlicky Sweet Potatoes
Contributed by Linda Awana

4 large Okinawan sweet potatoes (~3 lb)
½ head garlic
1 ⅓ c butter or coconut oil
1 ⅓ c milk (dairy or coconut)
Salt & pepper to taste


Peel and thickly slice potatoes.

Steam until fork or knife slides all the way through easily.

Finely mince garlic.

Melt butter over low heat with minced garlic.

Add milk and bring almost to simmer.

Meanwhile, thoroughly mash potatoes quickly to retain heat.

Add milk mixture gradually until desired texture is achieved – more milk may be needed.

Season with salt & pepper.

Add a sprig of a fresh green herb to serve.

Healthy Life Tip

Play with Children
Contributed by Marta Czajkowska

I was already an adult when my little sister was born. Even though I felt guilty not connecting more with her, I was judgmental of wasting my time self-indulgently playing. She didn’t have any kids her age around, just grownups. How lonely it must have been. Nobody to fantasize with, to build forts and dollhouses with, nobody to rough-house with her.

As she grew up and I matured, I realized that I have missed an opportunity – I realized that as she grew up she started losing her spontaneity, her imagination, her pure joy for life and replacing it with her opinions, her ways of doing things and her habits.

I am lucky to be given another chance. Or I should say many. When I enter a family gathering, or a barbeque I head straight for the kids. I don’t wanna miss a thing. I listen to their quirky thoughts, ask them questions and hear the answers. I say things that make them laugh. I make up stories. I play in the mud. I chase them around, pick them up, throw them into haystacks, climb trees, dangle them from their ankles and tickle them to death. Most of the time it’s a workout for me and tons of fun for all of us. I become like them – curious, open, easy to entertain, and spontaneous. I get great ideas. I completely surrender.

I urge everyone to try it – it definitely beats the booze-fueled small talk of the grownups at the party. Peek-a-boo is the quickest way to connect with a baby. If you don’t quite know what to do with the older ones, just start chasing them: most kids’ favorite game is running for their lives. If you don’t have the physical opportunity to roughhouse, just ask them stuff. Ask them what they think about the world. Ask them who got in trouble at school. If you pay attention, they will tell you and teach you things you’ll never get from their folks.

Video Fav

Convos with my 2 Year Old, Season 1, Episode 1

Convos With My 2 Year Old - EPISODE 1
After watching this hilarious video, I couldn’t stop myself from watching every single other one this father has made!

“You have forgotten that you are magicians.” – Debbie Rosas, co-creator of Nia

The vast majority of Americans woke up this morning to a world of our own creation which we did not expect to wake up to – no matter what our hopes or fears might have been about the election. We find ourselves on a path to a different future.

I therefore need to give you this foreword to the letter I was already intending to send you:

As magicians, we create what did not exist before. We conjure up our reality in our interior vision, breathe into it our life force, our will, and shazam…. what we want appears.

What we want, what we will. We have just demonstrated that we can will a new reality into existence. Collectively, we are magicians.

Lesser magicians have blurrier vision, weaker will; more potent magicians have a more focused vision of what they want to exist, stronger will to achieve it.

The effect of our magic stems from the smallness or largeness of our view of the good. Fear creates a narrow, crimped view, like putting blinders on a horse so that it can only see what is directly in front.
A fuller, more expanded perspective allows us to see the larger whole, to take more factors into consideration.

Three points to keep in mind about our creations:

  • We can always expand our view. When we do that, we make room for more beneficent magic. Sometimes we need to suffer a bit to be able to look at our creation from others’ perspectives; if suffering comes, let us use it to more wisely use our magical abilities.
  • Our collective creation consists of myriad individual creations. While we are affected by and contribute to the collective creation, we remain continuously responsible for our individual creations.
  • Magic is ALWAYS possible. We create it moment by moment. And there are more forces operating in the universe than we can recognize.

This week is dedicated in our Still & Moving Center almanac to the Path of Kwan Yin, the goddess known throughout Asia for her compassion, mercy and wisdom. Such beings renounce personal salvation, remain outside Heaven’s gates, so to speak, to help the ascent of all other beings in the universe. Whether considered bodhisattvas or angels, Christ-like beings are always present, waiting to be invited into our midst, waiting to help breathe life into our beneficent visions.

I’ve heard that people in positions of great power, who hold even a small amount of openness to the welfare of all, can become – unknowingly, perhaps to themselves – agents of larger forces of beneficence. That is especially true when there is a collective will for the greater good. And that is the American Dream for a freer, happier world.

Whatever we may think of our newest creation, let’s work some good magic.

Here’s the original letter I composed for you last week before momentous events called forth the foreword:

I create my life is by only doing what I want to do. Really. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t do it. I may grumble, but if I am doing something, it’s because I’m choosing it. I may not like some aspects of my life, or recognize how or why certain things are happening, and yet I’m still choosing how I deal with it.

You know what? We All Do What We Want to Do. I’m just coming to realize that.

Talking isn’t doing. Sometimes we talk dreamily about what we wish for. Unless we SEE it and take steps to make that wish a reality, there is no will power bringing our wish into existence. Wishing is different from voting. People in a democracy who vote are more active agents of their own future than those who don’t.

We’ve all met people who are enormously dissatisfied with their job, their marriage or their country. It’s tricky to recognize that we are actually choosing that job, that relationship, every day, every hour, every second we spend in it. We seldom step back and look at all the alternatives that we are actually – if unconsciously – rejecting to stay where we are. We might throw up our hands and say, “Well, if I quit this job, I won’t find another one, and then I won’t be able to pay the rent.” Maybe… but that’s still an option. “If I don’t stay in this relationship, I won’t have a someone to love me.” Maybe… still a choice. Some people even decide to quit their country – or not.

Whenever I hear myself saying that I HAVE TO do something, I catch myself. No, I don’t HAVE TO do anything. Even a person forced into slavery – such as Epictetus, a Greek slave who famously became a respected Stoic philosopher – can choose. Epictetus taught that even though external events might be beyond our control, we still direct our own actions, words and thoughts.

It’s in recognizing our choices that our magic power resides.

Cliff and I watched our long-time employee Brian Mahnken balloon up to a tremendous weight as a young man and struggle with many consequences of that heaviness. What he WANTED, though, was to be a normal weight. Even though he recognized the tendencies coming from his addictive family, he saw his weight as ultimately being a choice. It took many years of dietary wrestling, plus two surgeries, to get himself to a weight that satisfied him. Lonely here on the island, Brian set out with his new, handsome self to find a wife. He carefully crafted on the dating websites exactly what he was looking for in a life partner, as well as the kind of husband he intended to be. When he and Terry discovered each other, Brian got not just a wife, but her whole extended family! Then – try as they might – they couldn’t conceive the children they wanted, so they found a way to adopt a beautiful little girl, Gracelyn, and even managed to be present in the delivery room when she was born. This man sculpts his life events with his will.

What about our ‘negative’ realities? Do we create those? Yes, especially when we don’t realize that we are the authors of our own life’s book. Have you ever tried without success to make someone else happy?  Discontented people tend feel that they were given an inadequate role in the book of life. No one else can MAKE us happy. And truly, no one else is responsible for our unhappiness. We are exactly as happy as we want to be. Whenever the blame game happens, it’s because we do not recognize our own power to carve our own today and tomorrow.

Remember in Mary Poppins when the chimney sweep Bert makes delightful chalk drawings on the sidewalk, and then he, Mary, and the children all jump into the gorgeously colorful land he has drawn? We create our picture of reality, and then we jump into our own chalk drawing.

If we see ourselves as downtrodden and beleaguered, and lo and behold, we can hardly make it through our grey, miserable day. If we see ourselves as capable of self-transformation, amazing things are possible.

Young the surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a tiger shark, went out surfing again 3 weeks later. She just didn’t stop doing what she wanted. She re-framed a seemingly terrible incident: “I’ve had the chance to embrace more people with one arm than I ever would with two,” and “I’m a reminder for young girls that you can do it if you set your mind to it.”

Even a magician cannot change the laws of the universe. We live in a cause-and-effect universe, and our choices – both personal and collective – have outcomes. However, we can still choose our attitude, and our future choices. When Bethany chose to surf in waters shared by sharks, she took her chances. She couldn’t stop the shark when it suddenly took her arm, and she couldn’t grow it back. But she was heroic and noble in response to her loss. Isn’t it intriguing that she chose to go back out, knowing it could happen again? There’s such a defiance in the human spirit that refuses to be constrained by externals. I love it.

See the video below to glimpse the more inclusive world vision of a 14-year-old slam poet who has chosen her own response to the life-damaging fashion industry rather than merely remaining a benumbed teenage mall shopper. Her vision is the beginning of the magic of re-creation.

We are all magicians, creating and recreating our lives, moment by moment.

PS  Reply to tell me how YOU create magic, and about how you choose to respond to what our collective magic has created.

Renée Tillotson, Director, founded Still & Moving Center for teaching mindful movement arts from around the globe. She is inspired by the Joy and moving meditation she experiences in the practice of Nia, and by the lifelong learning shared at the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara, California. She intends that Still & Moving Center always be filled with laughter and friendship!

Celebrating Magnificence

Kara Zahl

Hawaiian LMT & yoga teacher

After more than a year of battling red tape, Kara has emerged the victorious Hawaiian LMT: Licensed Massage Therapist! Ta Da!

Originally licensed in California, Kara has been practicing bodywork for 14 years. She’s been a student of the healing power of touch since her childhood. Kara is trained in Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Pre-natal Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Cranial Sacral Therapy, and various other bodywork practices. She weaves these modalities together to create a therapeutic session that caters to the particluar needs of the client in the moment.

Kara also draws from her yoga practice, bringing the power of the breath and often suggesting yoga postures that can help whatever physical issues are present. Kara feels blessed to be of service through helping people feel better in their bodies, and we feel blessed having such a caring positive force teaching yoga and now giving bodywork at Still & Moving Center.

Jennifer Loftus

Nia Brown Belt Teacher on Maui

Several years ago, Jennifer tragically lost her husband to a rogue wave – while she sat on the beach watching – within a month of finally moving to their dream home: Maui. Jennifer is a living example of healthy emotional survival, healing and recovery from a devastating event.

Jennifer credits Nia and her close friendship with Nia trainer Winalee Zeeb for helping to effectively move forward with her life, Nia’s motto being  “Through movement we find health”. She also maintains her career as a vocal coach. Appropriately, “Move Sing Heal” is the name of her business.

In her quiet strength, Jennifer is a real hero of mine.

From Jennifer Loftus: 

“I am the Producer of my own Life Story”

I am the producer, director, playwright and leading actor in my own life story. I choose my other leading actors and supporting cast wisely and with intention. Some may come into my story and stay until the end. Others may enter for a short time and then make an exit, or I will exit that storyline.

As the playwright, I choose what to write next when my plot shifts dramatically and unexpectedly, and I choose when to shift my own plot allowing for revisions and rewrites.

I take the time to envision my set, my wardrobe, my props, my makeup, my lighting, my music, my sound design, and my choreography …and then I take the action steps necessary to create my design.

As the leading actor in my own play, I don’t get stuck in the same roles…I allow and encourage myself to try new roles on for size when I have outgrown the former role, or when it’s simply time for a change.

I ask myself if I like the current act I am in, and if not, what elements can I change? Perhaps I take an intermission to re-write, re-design or re-cast. And then I ask myself…

What will my next act be?

March 4, 2014

Recipe for Health

Fusion Antipasto
Contributed by Ed Soon

Hard-boiled egg, sliced
Mayonnaise seasoned to taste with good curry powder, garnishing the egg
Avocado, mashed with lime juice & salt
Pomegranate seeds
Canned artichoke hearts
Black olives
Pomelo (or any other citrus) thinly sliced, membrane removed
Honey, drizzled on top
Salt & Pepper

Arrange all ingredients neatly on a platter. Present as a self-serve appetizer plate.

Healthy Life Tip

Establish a 90 second rule for yourself
Contributed by Marta Czajkowska

Can you imagine JOY at your center and as a natural state of being, moment to moment? It is possible! You can divert negative thought trains.

The rule goes like this: give yourself 90 seconds to be upset, then release it. Limit the time you spend on suffering or self-pity. Anger, frustration, disappointment, fear or any other negative emotion has a limited lifespan: 90 seconds, to be exact.

Lately I have been very successful at looking at a bright side. It’s taken some time to implement a this rule as a deliberately chosen habit. The tip comes from Anthony Robbins, famous life success coach, dedicated to helping people achieve their dreams.

It’s just not worth spending any extra energy on feeling bad. I realized through practicing this exercise that happiness is like a muscle. You have to train it to grow it.

Things don’t always go our way, and that is part of life. I’m ready to encounter difficulties. I just don’t let them influence me for more than 90 seconds. I now simply appreciate what unfolds after that.

So next time something upsetting happens, you can vent, cry or scream for exactly 90 seconds. Then smile, throw your arms in the air, punch your chest with pride, then let go and carry on,  unencumbered. Exercising this rule may feel fake and awkward in the beginning, but the more you fake it, the more you become it. At first, your 90 seconds of upsetness may take a few days. With practice you can decrease the time you feel miserable.

Why put yourself through it, really? Let the rule, rule!

Video Fav
Our Relationship to Fast Fashion

It takes clear vision of what IS to begin to create what COULD BE

I grew up singing patriotic songs with a glad heart. I loved Presidents Day, with the stories of Washington’s honesty and his winning our freedom from the British, and of Lincoln’s setting the slaves free and his brave words about our new nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Free, independent, at liberty, I was born an American in 1955, not long after the USA had played such a major role in defeating Nazism and totalitarianism in World War II. I learned from my parents and teachers that we were fortunate to live in a country where not only resources, but, more importantly, FREEDOM was abundant.

As a Political Science major in college, I learned about the original, unique structure of American democracy, with its system of checks and balances, its independent courts, and our free press. Those institutions largely ensure that we live under the rule of law instead of under the whim of whoever is in power at the moment. I believe those are still pillars of our existence as a free society.

Within my lifetime, however, America lost some of its innocence, involving itself in wars we did not win and probably never should have been part of. With a self-incriminating assertion of everyone’s right to free speech and equal opportunity, we began to acknowledge that we had not shared our material, political or social abundance with African Americans or Native Americans. Both of those developments cast us upon something less than moral high ground.

Given the inexcusable lapses of some of our presidents in my lifetime, there were moments while traveling in other countries that I was ashamed to admit that I was an American.

Coming to Hawaii – where local people proudly sport emblems of the islands on their car windows, on their clothing, and even permanently tattooed into their skin – was curiously heart-warming to me in my forties.  I loved their love of ka ‘aina – the land.

Just as in my childhood I had enacted scenes from lives of the pilgrims, our Founding Fathers and the pioneers, when I arrived here on island, I watched Hawaiian residents enact scenes of their last Queen’s reign.  And just as I had sung songs about the beautiful and free country to which I had been born, I listened to people here in Hawaii sing rapturous songs about their island paradise and their brave ali’i (kings, queens, nobility).

The people of Hawaii feel a sense of closeness and connection to the land, its culture and its history that I had had as a child growing up in mainland USA. I adore participating in our hula halau, dancing love songs to these radiant islands and the adventures of their dearly beloved queens. I miss feeling that way about the United States as a whole.

Last week my mom flew from her current home in California to her childhood home in Ohio.  The description she sent of her flight across counrty rekindled in me the deep, deep love that we share of our homeland and its ingenious and independence-loving people. I’d like to share her letter with you:

“Dear Family,
Terrific direct flight from Oakland to Columbus… clear skies with cloud cover only as we neared the Mississippi River.  This is such a vast, glorious country we have, and so little of the land has human inhabitants. Initially after leaving the ocean, the western mountain ranges keep the landscape below exciting. Natural and dammed blue lakes are occasional gems in the mountain terrain. Roads amble haphazardly, it seems, hugging the mountain sides.

“Then, the Great Basin. Farmed fields near the mountains follow the contours –  it’s like looking at a topo map. The flatland farms are lily pads of colors; some are green or gold; harvested fields are grey or brown. I know they plant in gigantic circles for irrigation; don’t understand how these circular fields get watered after the crops gain height – are there sprinklers, and if so, how does that work?

“Occasional fields of various colored rectangles and squares interrupt the pattern. Farmers seem to live miles from the nearest neighbor. I wondered about the long bus trips students must take to and from school; maybe they have Wi-Fi. One gigantic solar farm was plunked down in the middle of nowhere… no irrigation, desert.  Does someone have to live there tending the farm?

“Then the Rockies…

“The Prairies… endless. I marveled at the courage and fortitude of pioneers, seeing only flatness, no trees, no relief to the eye. Then having to ford rivers that meander here and there, who knew where. The river patterns resemble trees-of-life throughout the landscape. Today’s roads – the traveler probably sees their route become a vanishing point and would welcome a curve anywhere. Circular fields disappear and the landscape resembles a gorgeous quilt of other geometric shapes in their early autumn colors.

“Farms become smaller, roads more frequent, and rivers meander and wiggle along, often determining the boundaries of fields.  Windmills dot the countryside.

“Finally…Ohio. Good place to have grown up….

– Love, Mom”

Quite an ode to her birth land, eh? And yet Mom’s letter is about more than the physical beauty of the land. She looks at it from the perspective of the people who have lived and traveled here, people who have crafted their livelihoods upon the ‘aina.

My 83-year-old mother is a childhood survivor of The Great Depression, who sent her brothers off to fight for global freedom in World War II. She is the one who taught me the dream of our American kupuna, our ancestors: the golden dream of a land where peoples of every color and creed can live peaceably.  A people of hard work and heroism who stand up for what is right. The vision of a land where everyone is welcome, where each person is equally protected by just laws, and where there is plenty for all.

Thanks, Mom, for reminding me of what it is that I love about this country.

Mahalo Hawaii, for showing me – in a microcosm – a harmony of widely diverse cultures living together, creating a singing whole of interblended parts living on these gloriously beautiful isles of land. You have helped to renew my idealism.

I trust that our bravery, our commitment to self-guidance and the impartial rule of law – all this light – will outshine our fear, our sense of impotence, and our misguided wish for security – all this darkness that can cause a people to willingly put themselves in the hands of tyrants. Through all our stumbling, I maintain faith that our country’s internal compass will guide our way. In the fog of our confusion, I encourage us all to sing out the gospel song my brother and I sang as young children, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

PS  Am I just a soppy patriot? Please push Reply to tell me how YOU feel.

Renée Tillotson, Director, founded Still & Moving Center for teaching mindful movement arts from around the globe. She is inspired by the Joy and moving meditation she experiences in the practice of Nia, and by the lifelong learning shared at the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara, California. She intends that Still & Moving Center always be filled with laughter and friendship!

Celebrating Magnificence

Martina Kamaka

Keiki O Ka ‘Aina & Fit Physician 

Dr. Martina Leialoha Kamaka is a Native Hawaiian physician from Kāneʿohe, Oahu, who works as a Family Physician and Associate Professor in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the University of Hawaiʿi at Mānoa, John A. Burns School of Medicine.  She currently serves as the President of the ‘Ahahui o nā Kauka, the Association of Native Hawaiian Physicians.

Martina just celebrated her one year anniversary with the Still & Moving Center ‘ohana.  Even as a busy doctor, teacher and active community member, Martina sets an example of leading a healthy lifestyle by regularly attending our Nia, Pilates and Dance Fitness classes. She also brings her daughter Kalei to Still & Moving for private instruction from May Del Rosario.

As a physician, she believes that we cannot have healthy populations without healthy ‘āina (land, environment).  Much of her work at the medical school centers on this concept as well as the important role of culture in the patient physician interaction.

Martina has had the privilege of twice serving as the medical officer on the Hōkūleʻa voyaging canoe. Her first sail was in 2009 and most recently, in 2014 on an Aotearoa (New Zealand) leg of the world wide Mālama Honua voyage. Martina treasures the Hōkūleʻa because it symbolizes cultural renewal, mālama ‘āina (caring for our environment), and is a source of pride for Native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders. She hopes that the Hōkūleʻa’s voyaging reminds people of the incredible wisdom and science of the ancestors and inspires us to apply that wisdom today.

On a final note, Martina sends this message to Still & Moving Center’s Fitness Specialist, May Del Rosario: “Mahalo, May, for helping me to prepare physically for the voyage!”

Ngon! Vietnamese Restaurant 
941 Kawaiahao St, Honolulu

In the bustling global village of Kaka’ako, Ngon! Vietnamese restaurant is a proverbial hidden gem just a block from Still & Moving Center.  The food is delicious, fresh and authentic.

Walking past a new little Japanese rice factory (more on that in another letter!), you arrive at Ngon! During any given lunchtime, you can hear a number of different languages around Ngon’s tables. It’s as if you’ve walked through the door and stepped into another land.

My favorite is their amazing Vietnamese crepe, vegetarian style with tofu and bean sprouts. It’s an all-hands-on-deck dish if you eat it Vietnamese style: Use a piece of lettuce leaf as a wrapper for a piece of your crepe. Add a leaf of basil or mint for extra flavor. Dip your wrap  into the fragrant sauce with carrot and daikon shreds. Pop the tasty morsel into your mouth for an exotic eating experience, right here in Honolulu!

Owned by the Huynh, with owner Anh, her brother Quoc and mother Buom, Ngon! has been in business for three and a half years, always providing cheerful service with seemingly effortless efficiency. The place is spotless and the kitchen happy.  You’ll find me here a couple days a week!

Healthy Life Tip

Float your tension away Contributed by Mālia Helelā, Kumu Hula

I discovered this effective relaxation therapy when I was a young mother working full time as a massage therapist in Waikiki. Unable to afford regular massages myself, I started swimming in the ocean on my lunch break. My Dad had taught me how to float on my back as a child, and I now found myself naturally rolling to face the sky as I rested on the sea’s surface. As I tipped my head back and dangled my legs downward, I began realizing that I could let go of all the tension in my body. I could sense the slightest of waves rippling through my bones. The sensation was amazing and did wonders for my tense muscles. I remember leaving the ocean refreshed, feeling that my body had been supported and rocked by the waves.

Nowadays, I get regular massages from my fellow Still & Moving Center therapists, who are wonderful…and I still love to float in the ocean, as does my daughter, Ilana (in the photo).

Recipe for Health

Bright Autumn Salad

3-4 multi colored carrots – orange, yellow and purple

1 large beet

1/2 cucumber

5 sprigs of mint

1 T balsamic vinegar or lemon/lime juice

2T olive oil

Shred fresh carrots and beet. Quarter cucumber slices. Chop mint, except for decorative sprig top. Mix in dressing. Top with mint sprig and pine nuts – optional.

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Hamilton the Musical

"Hamilton": A founding father takes to the stage
Isn’t it great that the rap musical Hamilton has inspired a generation of people to memorize catchy lyrics about this remarkable piece of the American Founding Fathers’ history!

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