July 29, 2012

I’m not great at being: it takes practice.

Lumeria Maui: Waylon’s Journal.

Brianna, one of our editors, is moving to Amsterdam from Boulder with her longtime BF. So she drove me to DIA yesterday, so we could have a goodbye talk. Things are good. With Kate, Lynn, Lindsey as our core paid staff right now, she’s helping me feel like I can board a flight for what is (seriously, embarassingly) my first vacation of my life. I’ve never been over an ocean. Never been by one, unless you count Boston, NYC, LA, NJ, Halifax. I’ve never left the continental United States, except for Halifax and Montreal. And I’m 38. Been working (and loving, for most part) one or two jobs since I was 18.

I board my flight for San Francisco. Not much of a view (I’m over the wing), but we fly over the Flatirons above my home in Boulder, then more big mountains and canyons and deserts. Then, the water as we near SF. I get off the plane, and there’s Mel, an ex-girlfriend I’ve continued to be close with.

Lovely, sane, grounded, silly, independent, she’s a popular yoga teacher at the biggest yoga studio in Austin, Black Swan Yoga, and she regularly records videos for Black Swan’s yoga video club, which helps bring yoga to those who can’t, or don’t want to, make it to a yoga studio. She’ll be recording videos during her stay with me in Maui.

She’s recording one right now, as I write this, in fact. [Video will be added here later]

We arrived late last night—long flight from SF to Maui—picked up by longtime colleague and friend Craig King, a troublemaking visionary organic chef who’s, these days, really into offering healthy cleanses. I did one last year, first of my life.

He drove us, convertible top down, through the mist in the dark to Lumeria Maui, where I’m staying for 10 days. I’ve been a bit burnt out (not inspiration-wise, just physically and mentally) and humbled by a rough few years, and I’m finally ready to take a little more care of myself, beyond managing my stress day to day, which (via meditation, bouldering, bicycling, community, yoga, my dog) I’m pretty good at. What am I so stressed about? Nothing much, now—but for years (elephant just turned 10) I’ve worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week—and loved it, for the most part. Too much of a good thing can be wonderful. And the word “work” doesn’t describe what I do—as a Buddhist, I’ve taken a vow to be of benefit, and service is joy—a relief compared to the selfish, self-defeating alternative that is our consumerism-driven society.

The world is wonderful. It’s also going to hell, in a hand-basket, environmentally speaking. It’s also improving, radically, in some areas of civil rights. It’s a mixed bag. In any case, my aspiration has been to build an independent media hub that could help get out the word about the good and the bad. To “bring together those working and playing to create enlightened society.”

But a few years ago, I turned my magazine online, and in so doing gave up my car, office, staff, house went into foreclosure. Then, kicking me while I’m down, I had an epicly scary though brief relationship, one that I have yet to recover from. So this vacation is a mark of fruition: a chance for me to relax, take a step back, work less, cry, love and be loved, explore, surf badly, yoga-it-up, breathe wet low air (as opposed to Colorado’s dry high air) and just be.

Do is all we do, in modern society. But being is the foundation of doing properly. And I’m not great at being: it takes practice.

So we found our room, last night: it’s simple and tasteful and luxurious, all at the same time. I’ve only dated a very little—maybe twice in two years, since X…so it’s an immense salve to be with someone who I can trust, who cares for me, who I care for, who gives me a hard time in a funny way, who’s independent and is replete with what I need.

We woke up early, after sleeping for what felt like forever, and ever.

We none of your business (one note—the community-furthering nature of the courtyard layout of Lumeria does make intimacy…intimate—there’s walkways immediately outside our windows on three sides of our small but cozy, tasteful room). We showered (the shower’s river-rock floor is both stylee and practical), dressed, left our room (“Lana Lana”—all the rooms have names as well as numbers), enjoyed the simple continental breakfast offered by Lumeria—granola, yoghurt, coffee, juice. Craig had put out some special Pineapple Love Ball-jarred juice just for me and Mel. I didn’t see any compost bin in the dining room, which would be nice—80% of trash is compostable. [There is compost in the kitchen itself] But with the local farm supplying much of the food and historic nature of the place and the eco-minded renovation, Lumeria is pretty thoughtful, eco-responsibility-wise.

Lumeria is a restored, century-plus-old building structured around a courtyard.

Videos and info here. It’s “green,” but not explicitly so. It’s elegant—feels a bit like waking up in the Forbidden Kingdom—I half expect the Emperor of China to stroll past, with retinue of 3,000.

After lime water and breakfast, Mel and I walked about the grounds, taking photos and Instagramming and generally being techy young people, ruining the present moment with our cameras. Only she and we have humor, and know when to put our cameras away. And I am here to review, good and bad and amazing, whatever I do and see. And she, one of the most popular yoga teachers at one of the most popular yoga studios in America, is here to do several videos a day. It’s realistic, given elephant’s size and reach, and Mel’s studio’s videos’ reach, to say that very few yogis and true-vacation-seekers won’t know about Lumeria after this visit. And so, far, I’m in love and awe of what’s been created.

I feel like I’m in a New Age commercial, in a good way: chimes and tropical flowers and fruits and 8-foot Buddha statues and views of farms, valleys, water, mountains and mist falling…statues, art, yoga, essential oils, geodes everywhere. Got to see my first avocado and coffee trees (the source of my superpowers) today.

And that’s it, so far. Look forward to meeting Xorin, the founder and creator of all this—and going to some town, after lunch, with Craig and Mel.


Craig picked us up around 130, took us to “the world’s best parking spot,” right on the beach. After getting out and looking for (and finding) huge turtles for half an hour, Mel and I walked for 45 minutes down the beach, stopped, she filmed another video for Black Swan Yoga while I meditated and swam (for the first time in the ocean other than the Venice beach, a fun briney salty moment). Later, we drove up into the forests…a totally different climate, the trees more like out of the Pacific Northwest that the tropics we’d just been swimming in.

Craig took us back, we ate a huge local salad (we picked most of the salad right then) with olive oil and salt and peppers and yumminess. Mel and I ate it in the middle of the courtyard. She had a ton of video editing to do, so the night ended for the most part. She woke up early—we’re still both sleeping deeply, fully, peacefully, as if on top of clouds in heaven—and did another video, and has been editing all day. I’m a busy boy, too, though trying to take a break—overall, it’s a pleasure and an honor to be around someone who loves her life, both the work and play in it—and needs her space and independence and worktime focus. We’ve been working together, since Lumeria’s simple, delicious continental breakfast (which, this morning, included local small bananas, love the local), all day. We did take a break or two to rant and argue about yoga community, and lack thereof—she got off the phone with her colleague and boss at Black Swan yoga, who/which she loves very much, and was inspired to discuss it. Being around such discussions every day with elephant, it’s familiar territory, and I share her passion and enthusiasm for the subject.

Now off for adventures, beginning with meeting Noah, the head of the farm here that supplies most of Lumeria’s local food.

Read 12 Comments and Reply

Read 12 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Waylon Lewis  |  Contribution: 1,455,650