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12 Jul

Cycles of Completion- Full Circle of Healing, Part I: Releasing Pain

Michelle Shine / Be Empowered


It was a no-brainer…I booked myself a ticket to Hawaii for the summer in response to a temporary job offer.

My dear friend and coauthor, Keti, had it all set up:

  • a place to stay in exchange for weeding the garden,
  • a car to drive,
  • opportunities to sell our book at a popular hotel,
  • and much more.

The details confirming the  job still weren’t completely settled before my flight took off. I found myself in my inner garden asking about this trip and if I should still go. I heard, “Yes.” So I put myself in a place of trusting that this job would work out and my expenses for airfare, food, and such while in Hawaii would be recouped and I would come home with extra cash. I went to Hawaii on faith from inner garden wisdom.

When I arrived, I was informed the job offer had vaporized.

No job.

Not to worry though, I still had faith that I was in Hawaii for a good reason even though I didn’t know what that was. My faith was strong. I am a believer in creating my own reality and I’ve been practicing this idea of not minding what happens (written by Jiddu Krishnamurti), strengthening my resolve to keep the faith and to trust what is (and not resist what is).

I had lived in Hawaii for eight years, started my family there, was married and divorced there. It is the place where Mana Gardening was born. This trip was the first time back after the divorce was finalized six years ago.

Interestingly, even though I felt grateful for the accommodations and car and opportunities, I was not super excited about this trip. In fact, I felt neutral to slightly off, which is odd because Hawaii is so incredibly beautiful and normally I would be thrilled to go to Hawaii!

Then I found out why I had not felt excited like I thought I should

The night of my arrival in Hawaii, I found myself in the same room where I stayed when my husband and I were separated, at Keti’s house.  As soon as I stepped foot into that room, I felt uneasy about it. I decided to focus on being grateful, rather than acknowledging the uneasiness.

The next morning while sitting on her porch looking out over the gorgeous jagged peaks of the  Ko’olau mountain range, there was no denying the feelings that came up. I remembered all the pain I had experienced, all the tears, the rejection, the disappointment I had experienced several years prior. Tears started flowing and I allowed them to do just that, not resisting them in any way.

After a few minutes of crying, the emotions suddenly subsided. A light rain fell and shortly afterwards a rainbow appeared to welcome me back to the island. My emotions quickly shifted from sadness back to gratefulness as I witnessed the beauty surrounding me.


This place, this island in Hawaii is where much began for me. My marriage began here overlooking the gorgeous Kaneohe Bay, both my kids were made and born here. This is also the place where I experienced the deepest pain of my life as I went through the divorce. This is where I opened up to Kirtan as a melodic, devotional and prayerful way to let go of the darkness and focus on the light.

This is where the priceless makana (gift in Hawaiian) of Mana Gardening came to me. This is where I was introduced, by Master Shen, to the native Hawaiian method of using the inner garden as a place of respite, relaxation, creation and as a way to access my inner guidance for the first time ever. Now I am back in Hawaii at the same exact places where all my pain was felt so deeply.

The next day, I had an interview at a temp agency. Ironically enough, the temp agency was in the same building as the biotech company I had worked for when I lived here 6 years ago. Just seeing that place brought up a whole slew of emotions as I remembered all the times I went down the elevator holding back tears until I got in my car and could let them flow in private. I don’t know how many times I went into that parking garage and locked myself in my car and just cried about losing my idea of family. Those emotions came pouring forth once again as tears welled up and flowed down  my face.

The next morning at 6 AM, while driving towards the north shore to go surfing I had to ask myself Why on Earth am I not happy?

I felt there were plenty of reasons to be incredibly happy, yet there was sadness in the background.  I could not find my joy.

Suddenly I remembered all the times I drove to the north shore to go surfing by myself when in actuality all I had wanted was a family beach day where we all ride to the north shore together, parents take turns surfing, we have a picnic and everyone gets to enjoy their day and be together playing in the waves and digging holes in the sand and such. That was something I very rarely got to experience.

I stopped on the side of the road and felt those emotions for little while. Then I closed my eyes for a moment and entered my inner garden to give myself some peace. I asked myself, What do I need to know from this?

The answer that was provided to me was so beautiful, and so valuable, as always.

My inner wisdom said, Notice all the love.

I realized I had been feeling the pain, the sadness and the the weight of all of the things I dreamed about that never happened. Yet if I take the time to notice all the love, I can start to change my vibration and come to a place that feels happier and more in alignment with my true nature (which is love).

Because pain and love stand side-by-side, if we experience emotional pain, it is because we love so deeply.

I then focused on how much I loved my family and how I didn’t take my pain out on them during those years. I would never have experienced so much pain if I had not love so much.

I focused on how Mana Gardening was the answer to my prayers for tapping into inner wisdom and receiving guidance for my life. I could never have navigated divorce and all those decisions without Mana Gardening. I would have allowed others’ ideas to influence my decisions, not knowing what it was I truly wanted. I was able to make those important decisions in the best interest of myself and my family. I was able to give myself love and nurturing through the divorce with Mana Gardening. I felt deeply thankful for this gift in my life and for the opportunity to share it far and wide (through our book, workshops, trainings, etc).

I was grateful for Kirtan and my Fire Tribe Hawaii friends who I experienced deep connections with time after time. Grateful for friends, for Master Shen, for the ‘Aina of Hawaii and the mana I get to experience daily in my life. Grateful for the lifestyle I now have where I get to be full-on parent, then a parent with free time! (50/50 custody is what the inner garden revealed was my happiest option when navigating the divorce proceedings, and that is what I have and enjoy to the hilt!)  Appreciative of the stunning beauty that surrounded me. This land, this ‘Aina is my friend, my very dear friend.

With this I felt I had come full circle. As if the cycle had come to its completion. From deep grief, sadness and pain back to LOVE, VALUE and APPRECIATION.

Time and time again, and without fail, the inner garden guides us all to focus on positivity, offering us a way to love ourselves continuously, and see our value and worth.

I am incredibly blessed to have been given this gift of Mana Gardening.  Get the book and try it for yourself. It is an easy, fast and fun way to connect to the infinite wisdom that lies within. You’ll feel yourself as empowered to live and love. If books aren’t your thing, try a class or set up a series of sessions with me or Keti. We will be doing podcasts shortly and hope to have an audio book out soon as well. Our mission is to serve our fellow Earthlings, so reach out if you are called.

Many Blessings and Warm Aloha on your Journey!

…To be continued in Parts II and III


4 Feb

What is Letting Go? And How Do You Do It?

Michelle Shine / Be Empowered



“Just let it go…”  People say to those who are experiencing a tough time or situation.

And there’s the phrase that we have all heard, “Let go and let God…”

I actually heard a suffering man shout profanities at someone who said, “Just let it go, man!”

Perhaps this man didn’t know how to let go, or perhaps he had tried to let it go a million times and the incident still haunted him.




But What Does “Letting Go” Really Mean?
How Do You Do It?  How Do You Actually LET GO?

When someone pushes your buttons, or a situation presents itself that is not what you had expected or someone’s behavior seriously disappoints you, what are you to do?

The main questions are:

  • Do you want to be happy?
  • Do you truly want to NOT focus on this person or situation in order to be happy NOW?

Tough ones.

People say, “Of course I want to be happy.”

Maybe you have to give the situation some attention to get to the place where you can let it go.  You might need to consider this person or situation until you get a perspective that allows you to let go.  Sometimes it takes a bit of time before you can truly let something go.


An Example

Recently, someone totally surprised me with behavior I didn’t expect.

We had an important agreement that had been in place for years (in writing I must add) and I had religiously cooperated with my end of the agreement.  I just felt it was the right thing to do.

Because of this, many people, including myself benefited.

Now it was his turn to uphold our agreement and here he was backing out of it.   Hmmm.

It really disappointed me.

I fumed a bit and without explaining the situation, I texted a friend for advice on how to handle it when you are seriously disappointed with someone’s ‘out of integrity’ behavior?


The Answer from the Garden

She didn’t get back to me until the morning, so in the meantime, I used mana gardening and relaxed next to a beautiful waterfall.  I then asked the wisdom of my garden, “How do I handle this?”

Interestingly, the garden showed me that I needed to focus on my OWN integrity!

  • To be PLEASED with MYSELF for upholding the agreement.
  • For being integral.
  • For following what I believed was right, with my action.

I got a good sense of self.  A good sense of who I truly am.
Actually what I received from mind gardening was a healthy dose of SELF-LOVE.  I felt love for myself and basked in that feeling for quite some time.

Then, from within my mana garden, I imagined this man’s energy leaving my garden and being absolutely unable to affect me from now on.   My inner garden went completely white for a moment and then came back to its brilliant scenic colors.


With that I gave gratitude and went to bed. And I slept well.


My Friend’s Reply

Early the next morning, my friend replied via text.

Her answer on how to handle such a situation:  COMPASSION.

What a beautiful answer.

She added:

“Trust that everyone is doing their best with what they have,
and right now, this is his best.
If he is acting out of integrity, he must be suffering at some level.
Have empathy.”

Hmmm.  Great words.

I let them sink in for a minute.


It All Comes Down to a Decision

With those words, I decided to let it go.  The situation, his behavior, the lack of integrity, ALL of IT. I even had to let go of the fact that I felt I had a right to be angry with him.

I decided that the best perspective to take for me to be truly happy and be able to let go of this was one of compassion for him and a celebration of me.

It all came down to a simple decision.

And it was as if it all just left me right then.  I felt lighter!


So, How Do You Let Go?  Truly.  And be happy?

It takes a little trial and error to find what methods work for YOU and definitely some practice.  And it takes a perspective shift.

Perspective is everything.  It can change everything!

It takes a serious desire to be happy over anything else.  It takes a conscious choice to be happy over holding on to the pain, the drama, the disappointment, or being right.

It takes FOCUS!  A dedication to focusing on things that make you happy.

It takes a DECISION to let it go.


Mana Gardening is a great way to experience your own happiness, a higher wisdom, a higher perspective, and the truest version of YOU!

Next time you want to let something go and not be bothered by it continuously, begin mana gardening and relax, and when you are ready, ask some questions.

Such as:

  • “How do I handle this?”
  • “What is the highest thought I can think about this situation?”
  • “What perspective would allow me to let go of all this now?”
  • “What is truly going on here?”
  • “What do I need to know about this?”

You might be shown a new, brighter perspective that helps you let go. One that allows you to be happy with whatever the heck is going on!

You might be shown how amazing YOU ARE!

Your friend may say something the next day in direct relation to the question you asked and you might just KNOW or FEEL that that was the answer you were seeking.

The garden is brilliant!

Brilliant at maintaining your happiness and providing perspectives that are the best for all concerned (especially YOU!)

Your invitation is to become familiar with your mind gardening space, know it well, and allow that space to work with you to help you let go of all the worries, the drama, guilt, situations that don’t please you, the behavior of others.… and more.

When mana gardening, you can see your true self, your truest nature, a version of you that you LOVE!

I hope this information is helpful!  As always, keep what resonates with you and discard the rest.

Coaching on this helpful, fun and easy technique, called Mana Gardening is available. Click here to sign up.

Big Love to you,
-Dr. Shine