Tag Archive: Family


Variable winds are blowing today which is a change from the consistent trade winds that are typically prevalent out here in the middle of the Pacific.

I watch with quiet amusement as my wife battles a fly in the living room area. It was an epic battle as both sides traded sparing moves: The fly, an expert in aerial flight was cunning but it was my wife’s expertise in acrobatic swatting with the “Paco’s Tacos” menu that was truly a sight to see. The battle ended in a tie which is probably the best karmic outcome for a lazy Monday afternoon in Kauai.

Earlier today my son bought a fluffy rooster stuff animal at the outdoor shops near what he described as the “spitting rock thinga-ma-gig” – otherwise known as the “Spouting Horn” on the Poipu side of Kauai. He named his rooster Kahu which is short for “Kahu Moa Nui” which means The Great Guardian. I think nuisance may be a better word for the infamous Kauai rooster, but love it or leave it, the coveted Rooster owns the Garden Isle. I hear one cawing right now outside the cottage.

I am intrigued how here in paradise; a place where the concept of simplicity is born, humans can bring complexity. I see the drama unfold around me on a daily basis as neighbors here in this sleepy Hawaiian village drag all their emotional baggage around (wearing their passion on their sleeves) with children it seems seeing the brunt of the dysfunction. I guess it is the dark underbelly of Hawaiian social immersion. I saw it on Oahu years ago when I used to live on the main island. Still, there is a kind vein that runs through the local people here. I especially saw it on New Years – even people in the store were coming up to each other, hugging and kissing to wish luck and prosperity in for the New Year. It seems we all have flaws; no matter what race or creed – yet the local people of Hawaii exude a beauty and harmony that is as unique as the island chain itself.

As for myself – I create my own problems – though most are aesthetic and sit right on the surface of suffering. Of course, there is my severely sprained shoulder that reminds me that I am not 20 years old anymore. Overdosing on a bowel cleaning elixir has made the last couple days interesting as well – sorry to be so graphic. But arising from the physical maladies comes a refreshing relaxation.  I would love to live this life style but who would support me? I have a home, a dog and a career that waits for me back in Chicagoland. Someday perhaps?

Today, we hike into Koke’e which is located in up-country Kauai – this is considered the spiritual center of Kauai and harnesses unseen energies in its headlands, canyons and trees. I look forward to the hike today and any mindfulness that arises from the experience.

(a special note: due to a poor internet connection, I am unable to post images. I will post an image finale once I return to the mainland as sharing the beauty through images is a necessity). Aloha

John C. Bader


Foolishness can sometimes look you straight in the eye – the ironic thing is I am looking at my own reflection. I will try to explain. Hard wired behaviors and control patterns can be unseen governing forces as we carry ourselves in life. Sure I am a product of my own upbringing and sometimes being a parent and Father has its challenges. Sometimes I do not even know what I am doing in regard to child rearing. The whole process of life can be a blur of work, paying bills and raising children. Yet, somehow, we all move on with smiles on our faces –most of the time.

Sometimes I am tough on my 10-year-old son. Tough in ways that I think are proactive to his wellbeing and development. Am I a professional at this thing called parenting? I guess so; I have been at it for 10+ years. Still, today, I realized when I look into my son’s eyes; I am looking at myself 31 year ago – a mirror image of a child and existence that seems so far gone. Maybe that is why I do not relate to my sons frustrations and challenges as well as I could or should. Well, not anymore… Today, while on the beach in Kauai, I had an epiphany. In the reflection of my son’s eyes, I saw myself as a child: meek, soft-spoken and awkward in many ways. Though most of my thoughts do not turn to actions, I still feel bad and remorseful. Could I be a better parent? Actions speak louder than words, right?

Enough of the negativity… I turned and praised my kid for all his good attributes and gave him a big hug and a kiss. And then I gave him another big hug and kiss. No one is perfect, but we can improve – even as parents of wonderful children.

Ohana means family in Hawaiian. As New Years looms, I am very thankful for my family. We all make mistakes time to time, but the important thing is to learn from our errors and makes sure our kids know they are loved.

Tomorrow is New Years Eve in the Hawaiian Islands – more to come!

John C. Bader


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Today might be a morning of philosophical tirades….

It was one of those crisp autumn mornings here in Chicagoland: Sure the sun was out at 6:15am, but it was a chilly September dawn and it was terribly difficult to roll out of bed and hop into the shower. Even worse are my son’s neurotic issues with socks. Getting him ready for school is in itself a challenge: Not only does he have to wear his socks inside out; they need to be a specific brand (the ones with the gold arrows on them!). There is a pile of other socks in his drawer (some new and ready for service) that do not meet approval and soon I am late to work because I am on a sock crusade looking for a match so he can move on to chocolate chip Eggo waffle mode. I will not even get into detail of how long it actually takes for him to put on a pair of socks – excruciating is the only word that comes to mind.

Today is picture day in the 4th grade and last night I was clearly instructed by the wife (the better half) to take my son for a haircut. Well, actually she requested this last week and I squandered the entire Labor Day weekend enjoying the last scraps of summer. So, last night after work we stopped into Great Clips to get the deed done. Of course, being that it is picture day the following day, other parents were scrambling to make their children somewhat presentable for the big photo shoot. I do not know about you, but I have a real problem waiting in Great Clips. There are unruly, snot sniffling kids running amuck in the waiting area, the stench of hair products and there is something about watching other people get groomed that does not resonate well with me.  Now I know where my son gets his sock issues from. After being told there was a 45 minute wait, I made an about-face and aborted mission. Fast forward about an hour and the bathroom floor in my house is blanketed with my son’s buzzed hair. Talk about taking matters into your own hands! That is about the time my wife walked in with her mouth agape. Shock and awe best describes that scene.

Back to this morning… Once we settled the sock issue, next was the pants debacle. My son will not wear jeans unless he is threatened. Being that I am not one to inflict more emotional damage in one day, I let the jeans issue pass – but, there is a caveat to the morning dressing dilemma: there are no clean pants other than jeans! At this point I am ready to pop a Xanax and throw back a martini. Then I paused because clearly I am well outside the radius of my center.  Writing blogs about Energy Vortexes, the beauty of nature, enlightenment and being mindful is one thing, practicing what you preach is a whole other deal. After a couple deep breaths, I found my center and then laughed out loud. Instead of feeling stressed out, I was amused by the comedy of the moment – shaved heads, socks and insanity before school. Nothing makes things better than hugging your kid and laughing about a completely neurotic morning before picture day. I just hope he smiles when the flash goes off.

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own journey in Self-Discovery.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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