Expanding Your Heart: The Hawaiian Way

March 19, 2020

by Iona Russell


The power of realising that we can choose how we want to be is life changing. You alone hold this power, and there is a simple set of guiding Hawaiian Rules that can help you to change your mindset in order to believe this, even if at first the concept seems too good to be true!


I have an affinity, a deep connection with Hawaii, which started in my twenties. I was lucky enough to secure a job in 1992 as a nanny on Oahu. Whilst I was there, I would write to my mum, before the days of mobiles and internet, sharing my philosophical musings, dreams and experiences as an adventurous 21-year-old. I had totally forgotten all about these letters until years later, after my mum’s passing, I was going through her papers and found one particular letter that she’d kept. In it I’d said I wanted to write a book one day. I found this letter the same month that I’d signed my publishing deal in November 2018.

I felt the call back to the islands last year. I was visiting friends in the US, and completely by chance I found myself back on the island of Oahu. This trip was filled with endless beautiful coincidences, magic and Spirit.

This visit was different to when I was 22 and on the island in body only: this time I was there fully and completely in mind, body and soul. I truly believe it was because I stepped out of the way, out of resistance and into flow, letting myself be guided by my intuition and the magic of Hawaii.

On my return home to Scotland I looked at the letter again and checked the date. It was November 21st, 1992. I signed off on the layout of my book November 21st, 2019.

I completed my own journey coming full circle, returning to the island that I’d first dreamed of writing a book 27 years earlier and here I am with my book in hand. I will be returning to Hawaii in 2020 with 20 books, allowing the journey to unfold into the magic that is Hawaii.

I would like to share with you the old Hawaiian sayings known as ‘Kimo’s Hawaiian Rules’ and invite you to dive into the heart-expanding wisdom that can be found within each one.


Never judge a day by the weather

You get to decide upon the tone of your day, no matter how things may appear at any given moment. Be your own sunshine! Yes, it’s that simple: the choice is yours. Even better, you’re leading from the front by showing others how easy it is.


The best things in life aren’t things

Have you ever stopped to wonder why, as a society, we are so obsessed with attaining material ‘stuff’ and end up pegging our happiness on it? Happiness is actually an inside job, a feeling rather than a material accomplishment. Within that realisation, you can decide to be happy right now. Anything else you get on top is a bonus.


Tell the truth – there’s less to remember

Telling the truth starts with being truthful and honest with yourself. Lying to ourselves can often become our default position, for example: “Tomorrow, I will join the gym and go at least four times a week without fail”. Switching to speaking to ourselves with truth doesn’t mean we can’t show ourselves kindness and compassion in doing so, however. Speak to yourself as you would your best friend. What are you waiting for? Start today.


Speak softly and wear a loud shirt

Remember that old saying, “actions speak louder than words”? Well, it’s true. The key here is to come from a place of integrity in your interactions with others. Watch your thoughts and treat others how you’d like to be treated, because that will say more than a thousand words ever could.


Goals are deceptive – the unaimed arrow never misses

As bizarre as that seems upon first glance, bear with me! I firmly believe it’s vital to feel into your intentions behind a goal, instead of fixating on only being happy when it’s accomplished. Think about what happens if you do achieve what you set out for: will the satisfaction be enough to sustain you? Here’s some food for thought: flip your mind to thinking about the why and how you want to be, feel, do and have.


He who dies with the most toys – still dies

This line pretty much does what is says on the tin. Stark, hey? Think about what’s important to you, and consciously choose to make the best of your time on this planet we call home. Remember, no matter how much we have, none of us can take anything with us.


Age is relative – when you’re over the hill, you pick up speed

Growing older isn’t all doom AND gloom. Just think about the accompanying growth in wisdom and knowledge! I’ll let you into a secret: we get to choose how we age. Stay thirsty and committed in your quest to keep on learning for as long as you physically can. It’s in the space slowing down creates that you might just discover a few nuggets of gold about yourself and your life.


There are two ways to be rich – make more or desire less.

Happiness brings success, not vice versa. Here’s a thought: what if you desired less money and “stuff”, and became truly grateful for all that you have RIGHT NOW? Remember, being rich doesn’t just mean being financially wealthy. Being abundant in riches also relates to – amongst other things – how you feel on the inside, the people in your life and your health (something so many take for granted until there’s a problem).


Beauty is internal – looks mean nothing

Do you think people remember you more for your physical appearance, or for how your actions made them feel? An interesting point to ponder on. Beauty comes from deeds and treating folk with compassion and love. Strive to be remembered for the shining of your beautifully radiant and loving light in the world.


No rain – no rainbows

It’s seldom easy to look beyond our current circumstances to the joy of the upcoming rainbow when you’re in the thick of a metaphorical storm, but life is all about balance and contrast between the two. A life with nothing but rain or conversely, nothing but sunshine and rainbows, is out of balance. We need one in order to appreciate the other. Give yourself credit for the storms you’ve emerged from stronger and wiser, then bask in the sunshine and rainbows of the ensuing knowledge you’ve gained.


I invite you to check in with these rules daily, and feel the Spirit of the Hawaiian Island every day. Aloha!



About the author

Iona Russell’s core philosophy is that no matter who you are, where you’re from or what your personal circumstances, it is possible to reinvent yourself from the inside out and live your best life. Iona has proven her own philosophy having overcome personal struggles with depression, stress and confidence, and truly believes everyone can get out of their funk and get to a place of purpose, passion and joy.
Iona is a Life Fulfilment Coach who is also certified in Clinical Hypnotherapy (Dip.C.Hyp), Past Life Regression (PLR), Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), Kinetic Chain Release (KCR Masters), Advanced Ho’oponopono and Postural Energetics. She is the creator of the program Frazzled to Fabulous and is experienced in meditation and mindfulness practices, having been raised by Buddhist parents with a hippie philosophy. Iona is the author of Making Waves (That Guy’s House, £11.11)



Posted by: Leah Russell


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