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You’re Not Hawaiian

Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage is not just for Hawaiians. It's for everyone!

Q:  “While reading about and watching lomilomi videos I have come across comments from native Hawaiians saying that “White people are just taking native healing and making it their own.” Or, “Who is your kumu? You’re not Hawaiian.” So, the question is … I don’t want to offend anyone, should I not learn lomi lomi?

A:  Unfortunately, this really is the position of some Hawaiians, and there’s a reason why…

My teachers always taught me to share from a certain place on our historical timeline. Before the earlier migrations and before western contact…more than 3,000 years ago, there were people living in the island in isolation.

They lived in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles away from the nearest lands mass. I call this the Time of Harmony. Every person mattered. Each was a part of the Lei of the family.  Each contributing to the whole and no one necessarily above anyone else. From the elders to the child, all held value.

Over our Hawaiian history, different migrations that came that brought a warring culture to our islands. From Western contact, to Captain Cook, to the missionary time period, and eventually, all the way to the US occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

These migrations led to a breaking down of the spirit of the people here. Colonization brought a disconnect from the land.  Industrial modernization brought people away from their communities and into the cities.  Other Spiritual belief systems were enforced here and we weren’t allowed to practice our traditions in the way that we always had.

Hawaiians who have gone through these time periods are grasping for their identity.  In an attempt to survive, some were taught an idea of separation that is not our true cultural nature.

Sadly, this commentary points to the stifling of our culture and that disconnect that still remains here.

But that’s just a few Hawaiians.

There are many Hawaiians, including my teachers and many others, who are involved in the healing arts across the island. We were told and given the responsibility to share.

Aunty Mahilani Poepoe, my primary kumu, teacher, was all about unconditional love and compassion.

Comments about there being separation, white versus brown, is not in alignment with the teachings that I was given.

Her vision was to see the arms of Aloha spread around the world.  She knew that it would take more than just the Hawaiians to share this message, because we are very few on the planet as a race.

Aunty Mahilani knew that it would take many people to carry the message of Aloha around the globe. 

She called them the children of the rainbow.

Follow the rainbow colors. White, yellow, red, black …

In the process of activating the Children of the Rainbow, it was Aunty’s dream for Hawaiians to be inspired.  We can take up the torch and begin to heal our own lineages and the stories we have of pain and suffering.

My answer to this question, “Should I learn Lomi Lomi, even if I’m not Hawaiian?” is:

If you are coming to learn this work with honor and respect.  With the intention of sharing Aloha, you are the EXACT person that our kupuna, elders, has called. Come and support their vision of sending Aloha around the world.

Even Aunty Margaret Machado said that she was willing to teach anyone with a Hawaiian heart.

In the 1970’s when she began sharing her work, teaching anyone outside your own family was controversial.  At that time, I wouldn’t have been able to go to Hawaii and ask to learn Lomi Lomi.  I would have been told, “Who’s your family?  Go back to your family and learn there.” 

That was only forty years ago.  Clearly, there are still remnants of that energetic today. I have even experienced it in my own family, where I’ve been questioned about whether or not it is appropriate to share spiritual things to non-Hawaiians.

I can see that even within my family, we still have a lot of healing to do.

When Aunty Margaret was ready to share with other Hawaiians, there weren’t that many coming to learn. So, she began to share the teaching openly with anyone who was willing to carry this work with honor and respect.

This is the protocol that I’ve been given…

Share. Especially the spiritual teaching of Lomi Lomi, Ho’oponopono, healing chants and prayer. Because that’s what the world needs. 

Our timeline and our history is the same history as every culture throughout the globe. What I am sharing is a model of healing with our Hawaiian teachings.

We can inspire others to also look back into their own indigenous practices and ignite the flame of remembering.  Each can heal their own family line and also be inspired to learn some of their own plant medicine.

That’s what cross-cultural sharing is. That’s what our classes at Ho’omana are all about. We have a World Canoe.  Every class of people from all colors of the rainbow.

Aunty Mahi’s vision is coming true.  There was a type of secrecy in the past, to protect our culture, but now, the world is ready as a collective consciousness to receive Lomi Lomi and the Spiritual teachings of Aloha.  People are asking and searching because they are ready.

Have you ever felt a calling to learn Lomi Lomi?  Is there something holding you back?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

With aloha,

Jeana Iwalani Naluai

PS: I have a few more spots in our upcoming Lomi Lomi training.  See the full schedule here!

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28 thoughts on “You’re Not Hawaiian”

  1. Dear Kumu Jeana – I am so grateful for this writing of Acceptance of the Rainbow Family. When I first came to Hawaii Maui, I was fortunate to meet AUNTY PUA – She shared so much Spirit with me.My heart was bursting with love for Hawaii. I felt I had returned home after a LONG LONG time away. Later I was introduced to a Lomi Lomi teacher who was in lineage of Abraham Kawaii. – year 2000— I have been practicing and loving this sacred art since that time. – More recently my study has been with Harry Uhane Jim…..Often I have felt the wave of uncomfortable ness on being a white woman, blonde hair….etc. Harry absolutely offers BIG ALOHA
    with every smile AND its good and important that you have written out the history and a good understanding of the roots of that cultural sense of separation. I do feel it and resolve to Forgive, expand and Embrace the past into a new place.
    YES I am here to fuse that Rainbow into the Greatest Happiness, Wholeness and reverence. I feel eternally blessed to have been called to offer such a Sacred Touch, such a multi layered teaching in all ways. BLESSINGS for Ho’o mana Spa – I WILL VISIT one day.

  2. “Time of harmony”…? The various communities all over the islands used to make war and kill each other on a regular basis.

    1. This unfortunately was also a point on our timeline that we can all heal the things that have happened in our timeline. Prior to this period of fear and war which came around 1300 is what I refer to as the time of harmony. Prior too that was was a time of recorded migrations 300AD to approx 1400AD, explorations. Thee time of harmony dates back greater than 3000 years ago where there was a sustainability of resources through non-off season practices, spiritual connection to the land, respectful relations with one another in the family/village setting.

  3. I don’t know if these comments are still monitored, this being over a year old, but I want to say thank you for posting this…
    I haven’t had the opportunity yet to make it out to Maui for any of your classes, financial issues getting in the way, but I can’t wait to get to learn out in the islands. ///for now I make do with what I’ve learned of lomi from my teachers here in the south, which according to the stories my teacher tells is sort of an offshoot of Auntie Margaret’s lineage, and a Kahuna I’ve had the good fortune to get to know a little has said that our elbow is similar to what he learned from Auntie years ago… we just don’t get much of the spiritual side where I am.

    Mahalo again for the post, much aloha.

  4. EVRYWHERE please let it shine everywhere i go I’m gona let I shin! Let it shin let it shine let it shine?????❤️ALOHA?SHALOM

  5. Aloha kakou,
    Mahalo for your sending out this crucial post that I have been struggling with so much. I moved away from the islands a little over a year ago. Because of this transition, I have fallen onto my face, hit rock bottom and was in a very dark place, all due to being out of my comfort zone. I did have a few mentors back home in Hawai’i and before I left, one told me that I would need to learn how to do “SELF-CARE” and seek out a Reiki Master, that is affiliated with our islands but, lives where I will be in the U.S, continent. Since I’ve attend my Reiki Master workshop – my journey began that I am to go into Massage Program and all the doors started opening, I started LISTENING to my Na’au! I love the school that I am attending, I love the instructors that is teaching me but, I struggle with the instructor that teaches “Lomi” here at the school. I’m not bias because he’s white or that he teaches “TEMPLE Style Lomi”, I am struggling really badly when I had my first intro conversation with him and I was so excited to me him and I said “Ohh who is your Kumu that you learned it from?” and he replied – I self taught myself – watching you tube videos and purchasing videos online. So, I said “Ohh, that is so awesome! are you ever planning to go to the islands or get connected with any Kumu’s up here to learn our history of Lomi?” and he said “I know what ALOHA is and what it stands for but, I don’t think a WHITE man should go and learn the culture or the reasoning behind LOMI” as soon as he said that I felt my whole body on FIRE, my mouth wanted to lash back so badly at him. But, I had to refrain myself from what he had just told me, sit down, and SHUT my mouth until it was time to open. Which, I am glad that I did because I needed time to process, I needed to come back home to the islands and decompress, and then upon my return I was able to share with my school counselor. He asked if I wanted to file a report and said “NO, my responsibility right now is to let you know what was said and I leave it into the school hands” from there I have been quiet but, struggling. But, because I waited and being that I would love to one day attend your workshops which I know it will take place in the future or sooner who knows what Spirit has for me. I have met a Kumu who teaches all over the continent and will be in my area, right after I graduate in January 2018 and will have a few Native Hawaiian Lomi Lomi/La’au Lapaau/Ho’oponopono worksops near me – Dr. Maka’ala Yates, which I know was one of your Kumu’s as well. I cried when I found this out, I cried being in contacts with him to learn our Native Hawaiian LomiLomi/Culture practices – I cried because I finally understood my purpose even more and I cannot wait to continue to learn so that I may be able to share with all around me as well. It took me this long Jeana- this long to be out of my comfort zone, away from my lahui, and no where else to run away from the what I am supposed to do – Healers! I watch all your videos, I’m blessed to have this opportunity to learn from you as well and to seek within my own and start my own process – now of my genealogy, dig deeper by reading more – Kahuna and No Na Mamo (Dr. Malcom Chun), Change we Must (Nana Veary), The Bowl of Light (Hank Wesselman), and I also want to get your books of recommendation and continue to read and pule . For the instructor that teaches TEMPLE lomi at my current school – I am very blessed he had told me that because it’s making me dig deeper, reading a whole lot more, he woke up something inside of me and I get to share with other LMT of our culture and books of what our LOMI is. I appreciate you sharing this very topic and how ironic that you are sharing…Mahalo Piha

  6. I have found one of the many gifts of Lomi Lomi is that it sparks the curiosity to start looking and listening in new places. I listen not only to what the recipient brings and what the muscles say, but now open to listening to what their ancestors say. I start to feel the love that has spanned generations for this person, and that changes things.They have been loved for a long time, and so many souls care deeply for their life experience. They are precious. I am trusting more that allowing and holding loving, nurturing space including this ancestry encourages a healing balance rather than my forcing or even needing to know an exact diagnosis, solution or answer…. All of that is quite foreign to the culture I was raised in. But this is such natural thinking to the Hawaiian way, and what is being shared by teaching everyone regardless of where they come from. I am not native Hawaiian, but through practice, aloha is becoming more of my nature. And hopefully in this way, I can join my little bit of color to the many world-wide individuals creating that rainbow bridge. Thanks Jeana.

  7. Maholo for all the “Aloha” from these post. Mahalo for the peace the words bring to us who are native born Hawaiian’s but Hawaiian in our hearts. I too sometimes have felt inadequate to share Lomilomi and that it may not be proper. But my heart soars when I think about it, practice its teachings and share it’s love with others. It hasd made me a better person. I will forever be a student. Mahalo Nui Loa.

    1. Mahalo for this Joan. There are many who have felt just like you do and I wanted to be sure to encourage people to follow their heart and share lomilomi as all my teachers encouraged. Mahalo for giving the ancestors a voice through your sharing of our healing teachings.

  8. Even after more then 8 years of studying with you and having received the privilege and the blessing of teaching, under the umbrella of Ho’omana, the very basic level of this sacred work of 6 lineages you are holding, it still humbles me to step into this place, every single time, for all the reasons you are talking about in your writing. But what I have learned from you and from my Kumu Hula is that once we are initiated to this work we have the kuleana, the responsibility, to keep spreading the message of true Aloha in whichever way it has been passed on to us, to the level it has been passed on to us, may it be through the work of Lomi Lomi, through the telling of a story of long ago by dancing a mele.
    I was fortunate enough to also have taught the basic level of our Lomi work to students of Hawaiian decent and was always treated with much respect and Aloha towards the teachings and towards me as a person.
    This proves to me that I have received a very solid education that I can rely on and call upon, not only on how to technically go through a massage sequence, but more though on cultural etiquette, the history of these islands that I love so much and the honoring of a tradition that is so rich and colorful and can bring so much healing to the world.
    And of course, the more I learn, the more I am aware of what I don’t know (yet). I am looking forward to continuing the journey.
    Mahalo to you Kumu, and those that came before you and blessed this work!

    1. Mahalo for this Meggie, I have read the incredibly touching feedback you have received from Hawaiians that you have shared these teachings with. It is so great that they have acknowledged how much you have helped them be connected to their roots, even those who have lived their whole lives in the islands, even those who have practiced hula and other cultural practices. There is something about activating the spirit and the heart that this work offers. You share with a purity and humility that is felt and acknowledged. Mahalo for being the light bearer of our teachings.

  9. I am a native Hawaiian that has been lost my whole life. I was taken from the islands as a child and could not draw on my courage to come back until I was 55 years old. I have been back 3 times. I wish I could go back now, but financialy I can’t. I have always wondered what my life’s purpose is supposed to be. I pray that God will provide the way for me to come home for good. I have a very large spirit and feel like my coming is to help people less fortunate. Please pray for me my brothers and sisters that I will find the way. Mahalo

    1. Brother, I am sending prayers that you will return home. There is always an open invitation for you to come learn when the time is right for you. We have kanaka scholarships and it would be my honor to share with you.

      1. Dear Jeana,

        Can you please tell me about the kanaka scholarships? I am a native Hawaiian living on the mainland. I am 62 and considering returning to Maui when I retire in a few years, God willing.

        Mahalo nui loa,
        Ailina Haunani

  10. I am so grateful to see these words here. You have helped to put my mind at rest. As I practice here, on the east coast, I too, have been apprehensive about sharing Lomi Lomi. With no proof of Hawaiian lineage and yet so deeply rooted in my heart. Thank you Jeanna.

  11. I think there’s a call from Aloha to the world.
    If Aloha is pure love ¿What better thing to heal no matter where you live?
    I have asked myself many times Is it okay for me to learn how to heal? If it is not in my current culture, if it is very far from where I live … but then I listen to my heart when I do lomi and wow … I have the answer.
    The connection is much more than I can understand, I simply follow the call
    I believe that if you do it with all the love and respect of your being is correct.
    Mahalo nui loa kumu Jeana to share

  12. When I read “Children of the Rainbow,” it touched my heart with a feeling of truth that made me cry. I feel a calling and spiritual connection with the sacred teachings and have experienced fear in learning as well as just the general fear of following my heart because I dont want to get hurt. This is inspiring to me, because it reminds me that the world needs aloha, and my heart needs aloha. Thank you for sharing this.

  13. I love to be a child of the rainbow so much! To be a part of a bigger community. Guess that*s why I had to come to learn Lomi with you, Kumu Jeana, and your beautiful team. And this blog is coming to the right time for me as well. Back in Europe there are doubts about being able to bring Aloha to my community here, about my way of doing Lomi is just good. Am I worth to do it? Will I be doing good for the clients? I love to do it. My hands are getting more information every time. I get the resonance and now I am learning to believe and and to trust the passway which is opening beyond. And it is a complex journey. By sharing the Lomi to the world my own wounds are getting touched and wanting to be healed – just in holding space for my clients. Learning by the day.

  14. This blog post couldn’t have come at a better time. I am working with a Hawaiian healer/psychic business coach, and we just did a meditation this morning and the message I received was to bring Hawai’i more into my business, the Spiritual teachings of Aloha. My first thought was that I’m not Hawaiian and will I be judged by the people of Hawai’i? It is my intention to to learn, listen, respect and share the knowledge that is being passed down to me through my kumu and ancestors (which according to my akashic records are from Hawai’i). Mahalo for this article!!

    1. I love this, Sky! Mahalo for sharing this with me…I, myself, have had the same thoughts. This shows me that it doesn’t matter what your ancestral blood-line is, we all must take hold of our thoughts and release the ones that do not serve us on our healing journey. If you continue with the intention to learn, listen, respect and share, Kupuna, the ancestors, will lead you to the teachings.

  15. I love that you provided us with this information so we could go forward. I got reinforcement more than once during my time studying with you as an apprentice on Maui. The first time was when some missionary ladies came to my apartment. I told them what I was doing and they said casually, “If you don’t stay on Maui, just spread Aloha.” It was my burning question, whether I would stay or not and they made it so easy to think about. Later, we did an outreach to Molokai, and I was afraid to work on native Hawaiians because maybe they would think I didn’t know what I was doing and the first Auntie I worked on said, “I remember, you make me feel so light.” I melted into my new profession forever. Thank you, Jeana.

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