Poi, Rumi and Gateway Drugs

Poi boyeeee!

Poi boyeeee!

Last night I was watching Anthony Bourdain do his thing on No Reservations.

He was in Hawaii.

Mmmmm. Hawaii.

He was also knee deep in poi and mai tais.

And, between the noshing and the boozing, he dipped into some little dive to hang out with the locals.

There was this guy there they called a soul surfer.

A wise looking dude who’d been riding a board forevah.

Tony asked him what it meant to be a soul surfer.

And the guy gave the best answer ever.

He said that a soul surfer is someone who surfs because they love the water. Because they want to know the ocean. They surf because surfing is in their heart.

They don’t give a shit about the hype and the media and the scene.

They’re just there for the water.

Instincts, baby

It was late. And I was mush brained tired.

But my mind totally got all churn-o-rama on me.

I started thinking about this sound thing I do.

About why I got into it in the first place.

About why I’ve done it for almost twenty years.

About why I still do it.

About why I’ll always do it.

I do it because I love it.

I do it because I don’t know how not to do it.

Reaching for a drum is totally instinctual at this point.

When things are awesome, I drum.

When things suck, I drum.

When I don’t know which end is up, I drum.

When I hurt, I drum.

When someone else hurts, I drum.

When I’m scared or ecstatic or bummed out or inspired, I drum.

It’s just what I do.

Crazy in love

In the last couple years my business has grown. A lot.

It’s gotten big enough that I need to build some new structures to support it.

Which is awesome. And exciting. And a little scary.

You know what else is awesome and exciting and not-even-a-little scary?

Getting to do a metric megaton of sound sessions with completely amazing people from all over this hawt chunk of earth.

Getting to drum drums and gong gongs and thwack singing bowls every single day.

Getting to teach and coach and write and record.

Seeing more and more people get it and love it and plug in to it and benefit like crazy from it.

And watching these people shift insane amounts of suck into huge piles of gorgeousness in their lives and their relationships and their businesses.

I love that. All of it. Like crazy.

And I love that people stop by my little corner of the interwebs to see what I’m up to.

And to share their stories and their struggles and their smartness.

And to ask for help getting unstuck and making life more fabulous.

(Psst. I’m talking to you.)

I’m out-of-my-skull grateful to every single person who’s helped me in some way.

And I’m crazy thankful that my business is growing.

Flip flop, ya don’t stop

But can I tell you something?

If things went wonky tomorrow and the script flipped and my business flopped, I’d still do what I’m doing.

I’d still reach for a drum without even thinking.

When things were awesome, I’d drum.

When things sucked, I’d drum.

When I didn’t know which end was up, I’d drum.

When I was hurting, I’d drum.

When someone else was hurting, I’d drum.

When I was scared or ecstatic or bummed out or inspired, I’d drum.

I’d keep drumming.

It’s just what I do. I don’t know how not to do it.

Intoxicated (the Rumi remix)

I started drumming because I really wanted to grok sound.

I wanted to unravel it and taste it and know it.

And I’ve kept drumming because I love it. So so so much.

The drum was my gateway drug.

It introduced me to a million other things that make noise. And it taught me about listening. And it initiated me into a world way awesomer than I could have ever imagined.

Sound has given me a way to understand myself. And other people. And my business. And the world.

It’s how I process stuff and shift stuff and feed stuff and help stuff.

Sound is in my heart. It’s in my blood and my bones and my brain.

I’ve immersed myself in it for so long that I’m obsessed intoxicated saturated with it.

I can’t separate myself or my life or my world from sound.

And I’m ok with that.

Some things run deep.

Please pass the poi.

What do you love so much that you do it because you seriously can’t help it?

What’s the instinctual go-to gorgeousness in your world?

What’s nestled so deep in your bones that you don’t know where you end and it begins?

Flickr credit – bsktcase

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23 Responses to Poi, Rumi and Gateway Drugs
  1. Shannon
    October 28, 2010 | 11:21 am

    You said “grok”. I love you.

    Yes yes.
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..The Transit Laboratory =-.

  2. Fabeku
    October 28, 2010 | 11:29 am

    @Shannon – You make me smile. Thanks you.

  3. Michelle Russell
    October 28, 2010 | 11:35 am

    Yay for grokking! (And points to anyone here who can name the origin of the word–heh.)

    My instinctive “go-to” isn’t very exotic, but it is encoded into my very DNA, I’m sure. Reading. It’s always been a way of temporary escape and relaxation, a window on this world and others, and the best way I absorb and retain most knowledge.

    I don’t remember NOT knowing how to read. The story goes (I don’t have a conscious memory of this) that when I was 4 years old, my dad was reading me a book. It wasn’t one that had been read countless times so that I knew it by heart, either–it was a new one. My dad looked over and saw my lips moving as I followed along. He handed me the book out of curiosity and said, “Here, you finish it.” I did.

    I have, however, never tasted poi. I must remedy that. 🙂

  4. Patty K
    October 28, 2010 | 11:39 am


    What a great question. What an inspiring example.

    My first (and second and third) thought is that I don’t have anything like that. Or maybe I do but I’m not aware of it. I will give this some serious consideration…because what you describe…is exactly what I’m looking for.

    Thank you so much for this.
    .-= Patty K´s last blog ..The secret to becoming fearless =-.

  5. Wulfie
    October 28, 2010 | 11:43 am

    This is an awesome post and something that’s been on my mind a lot lately too.

    Writing is something I can’t NOT do. Happy, sad, angry, effed up, you name it, I have to write something. I don’t even care what I’m writing on – tho paper and pen work better than toilet tissue and markers, go figure. But as long as I write things down I can, eventually, get what’s IN there OUT, then things get better…or at least don’t drive me insane.

    Thanks for the post as always. I’m with Michelle on the POI? I’ll have to check into that.
    .-= Wulfie´s last blog ..How to Survive a Monster =-.

  6. tara
    October 28, 2010 | 11:47 am

    For me, the gorgeousness is a pen and paper (if I’m alone and quiet) or something fibery (if I have to be around others). Doesn’t matter if it’s fiber + my wheel or yarn + needles, it all brings me a calm clarity. Like meditation for my hands!
    .-= tara´s last blog ..Planning for nonplanners =-.

  7. Jenn
    October 28, 2010 | 12:38 pm

    Ooooo I love this… I’ve never quite thought of my *thing* in this way before… but my thing is moving. I. Must. Move. Whether it’s walking, dancing, yoga-ing, fitness-ing… however.

    I move so that I can know myself… so that I can connect with me, remember me, and tune in to me. And I teach others to move so they can know themselves, connect with themselves, remember themselves and tune into themselves.

    When I was in the height of my depression, I wasn’t moving regularly at all… and lo and behold, I lost myself.

    I’m right there with ya – I can no longer separate myself and movement… it’s just who I am, and how I am.
    .-= Jenn @ Blended Yoga´s last blog ..Upper Body Strength =-.

  8. Mary
    October 28, 2010 | 1:08 pm


    I love the way they sound,
    the way they echo in my mouth
    the way saying the letter zzzzzzz makes my lips go numb.

    I love new words that I am just now meeting
    I love old words that are like buttery jeans for my heart.
    I love exotic words that of taste far away places and times.

    And I love to play with those words like little wooden blocks, stringing them together in ways that make me twirl and clap my hands from sheer joy.

    Today’s word is GROK ::twirls happily::

  9. Rupa
    October 28, 2010 | 1:25 pm

    Hey! Poi!
    Many Hawaiians would tell you that they grok with POI, as the Taro plant is considered their elder brother. A perfect metaphor.

    Sorry to say, I’m uncool enough to have had to google “grok,” which I discovered originated in Heinlein’s 1961 book, “Stranger in a Strange Land.” Its etymology? Martian. Love it.

    My *thing* would be bhakti yoga. I just. can’t. live. without it.

    Thank you for this, Fabeku. I really enjoy your voice.
    .-= Rupa´s last blog ..The Social Network Movie- How Sexual Energy Fueled the Erection of Facebook =-.

  10. Amy Crook
    October 28, 2010 | 2:02 pm

    My thing is definitely drawing, doodling, noodling around with pencil and paper. Even when I’m doing other things, I noodle and doodle. Even when I’m having a stuck with my painting, I have ideas for new ones that I itch to get started on.

    But the other one is reading, which I do all day long online, do in books, do wherever I go. If there’s text in front of me I can’t not read it, which occasionally causes me to read things I can’t ever un-know. But even more than creating, reading is my one true love (and the reason why I have 11 full bookshelves in my little apartment!)
    .-= Amy Crook´s last blog ..Weeble Wednesday: Cthulhu has a Coloring Book =-.

  11. Sue
    October 28, 2010 | 3:53 pm

    Grok. Stranger in a Strange Land. Robert Heinlein. I read it in 1970. Sister, lover, water brother, and in time maybe others (Jefferson Airplane). Oh boy, does that take me back.
    But I digress. Making mandalas, being in nature, photography, playing with color. Those are the biggies. Movement, dance, laughter, singing are a good back up plan. And recently I’ve learned that when all else fails, reaching for my drum is really a comfort. Thank you, Fabeku, and thank you my teacher, Brenda, for that. For showing me/us about that. Ah, for inspiring me…
    .-= Sue´s last blog ..WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Holding the Heart Mandala =-.

  12. Lisa Baldwin
    October 28, 2010 | 4:13 pm

    You know, I was surprised to find that there wasn’t an activity that jumped out as I read. Nothing visible or audible, at least.

    There’s wandering, of course. Of course. And I’ll always find ways to do that.

    But if my business went kaput and I had no audience, I’d be looking for ways to encourage.

    Kindness is my drum, it seems. And I’d miss that more than the wandering if I had to choose.

    Love you, Mister Faboo. xo
    .-= Lisa Baldwin´s last blog ..Minimalist self-loathing in three easy steps =-.

  13. Elizabeth
    October 28, 2010 | 5:08 pm

    That’s why I take photos. It’s never felt like a thing I do, but like something that’s so much a part of me I can’t imagine not doing it.

    Come to think of it, that’s also how I feel about reading, but it would never have occurred to me to think about it in that same way. And I learned to read before I started school, so I’ve been reading even longer than I’ve had a camera.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..guilty pleasures =-.

  14. Liz
    October 28, 2010 | 5:33 pm

    The thing I do no matter what is teach. As a kid, I used to rope my younger cousins into playing ‘school’ with me. Most of my jobs have been teaching in some form or fashion and it’s how I think of all parts of the work I do now whether it’s writing, coaching or doing workshops/classes.
    In a moment of epiphany I came upon what has become my mantra: I don’t practice what I preach, I practice what I teach.
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..The Philosopher and the Engineer =-.

  15. Michelle Russell
    October 28, 2010 | 5:34 pm

    Sue–props to you for not only knowing, but so obviously GROKKING the literary reference! :o)
    .-= Michelle Russell´s last blog ..Notes for My Next Life =-.

  16. Susan T. Blake
    October 28, 2010 | 5:45 pm

    Sing. And be curious. 🙂
    .-= Susan T. Blake´s last blog ..A Modern-Day Barn Raising =-.

  17. Sue
    October 28, 2010 | 6:11 pm

    Michelle – that’s what comes from being a boomer 🙂 Thank you
    .-= Sue´s last blog ..WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Holding the Heart Mandala =-.

  18. David Cohen
    October 28, 2010 | 7:35 pm

    Secret confession time – I’m a bit of a daydreamer. A chronic conceptualizer. Maybe that’s why I’ve journeyed through so much reinvention in my life. I think that’s also why this art keeps frothing up. And it’s not just the doodles – I know I’m not myself when my creativity gets stagnant. I need that mental stretch and flow and surprise that comes from creating. Silly or cerebral it never stays below the surface for very long.
    .-= David Cohen´s last blog ..Welcome! So glad you’re here! =-.

  19. Victoria Brouhard
    October 28, 2010 | 11:11 pm

    Wow. It feels weird to say for some reason, but I think that helping people get clear is what I can’t not do.

    It’s how my brain is wired…untangling, analyzing, turning things over to see them from another angle.

    I guess it’s weird to say that because where does the gorgeousness fit in to that? But maybe the gorgeousness comes from exploring, or the clarity that comes from connecting to yourself.

    So much goodness to ponder.
    .-= Victoria Brouhard´s last blog ..Sticking It to the Man- One Year Later =-.

  20. ShimmerGeek
    October 29, 2010 | 7:56 am

    Reading / Books

    I don’t really know how to untwine them from eachother, or untwine them from me.

    They fill up my day, and my world so completely, I can’t imagine how life would be without them 🙂

  21. chris zydel
    October 29, 2010 | 10:19 am

    Yes, yes, yes….

    When I first started my intuitive painting classes business many moons ago there was a period early on when I was putting out a lot of energy marketing and not getting a whole heck of lot of response back.

    And it was disappointing. And disheartening. And part of me wanted to throw in the towel.

    So I had a little chat with myself and realized that getting the response wasn’t the most important thing. I needed and WANTED to bring this into the world. Even if only two people showed up. Ever. Because I loved it so very much.

    So I just kept doing it… because I couldn’t NOT do it. And I still feel the same way about it today.

    And I’m REALLY happy that more people eventually did show up (-:
    .-= chris zydel´s last blog ..The Fine Art Of Wanting What You Want =-.

  22. Joan Bright
    October 29, 2010 | 8:50 pm

    Grok…Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein, one of my favorite books ever and I’ve read a lot of sci fi (and horror and stuff) and thank you for asking us to identify the source…I reread Stranger In A Strange Land periodically and recommend it to others as a must-read.
    Thank you, Fabeku, for being here and helping me get to that place – the place where I admit that I don’t drum as much, as often as it occurs to me to, and I don’t know what I’m waiting for, already. It has made total sense out of my crazed life for me for the past two years and I need to drum alone, for myself, way more often and get busy figuring out how to do more of it for and with others, because I’m convinced it’s the answer to all the questions I’ve ever had…oh, and gongs, bowls, sound-y things in general…and because you talk about the why? and the why not? sound, you’ve helped me understand myself. thank you thank you thank you. I can’t wait until I can rawk a sound session from you, too. Financially I hope to be able to but there’s some rebuilding I’m in right now as I get back to a “day job” (hahaha, with my schedule, hardly!) and I will get there.

  23. Fabeku
    November 1, 2010 | 8:01 pm

    @Michelle – Reading. Yes! I get that. Deep down, I get that. I have piles (and piles and piles and piles) of books everywhere. (p.s. I’ve tried poi once. I didn’t love it. I hear it’s an acquired taste.)

    @Patty – It took me awhile to figure out my thing too. I didn’t really give it a ton of thought. But when I looked back, it was always there. And the always there part is what made it tricksy for me to spot it. Maybe there’s something like that in your world?

    @Wulfie – I’m always kind of awed by people like you who have this organic relationship to writing. I can drum myself silly. Writing takes a little (read: a LOT) more work. So even hearing you talk about it is cool.

    @Tara – Meditation for my hands. I love that. Clarity FTW!

    @Jenn – I love how you talk about the mojo of moving. And how it helps you to plug into you. Very, very cool.

    @Mary – I loved what you wrote. All of it. But the buttery jeans part? Especially deelish.

    @Rupa – Bhakti yoga is a beautiful thing. A deep-down-to-the-soul kind of gorgeousness.

    @Amy – Noodling + doodling! Suhweet! And the 11 bookshelves thing made me smile. Pretty much everyone I know has refused to ever help me move again. Because of the endless boxes of books. (grin)

    @Sue – Oooh. I love that you have a bunch of go-to gorgeousness in your world. How awesome is that?! Yay!

    @Lisa – Kindness is my drum. This is pure goodness here. It stopped me in my tracks. And made me smile. I can’t even tell you how much I love this. You just exude kindness.

    @Elizabeth – Yeah, that’s the perfect way to describe these things-that-are-less-than-obvious-but-also-always-there. p.s. You manage capture things with your camera that blow my mind. Not just the images. But the heart too.

    @Liz – Isn’t it funny how these things are always there in our landscape? And – at least for me – even when you try to veer away for a second, you always end up right back there. I dig your mantra muches.

    @Susan – Beautifulness! And yay for curiousity.

    @David – Frothing up. Right on. Your doodles are all kinds of magical and fun and fabulous. And stretch + flow + surprise? Yesyesyes.

    @Victoria – That’s the awesome! Clarity. And connection. And helping other people to find that. Rawk!

    @ShimmerGeek – Me neither. I’d like to give whoever invented books a great big giant hug. And some chocolate.

    @Chris – How awesome to have something burning inside that just has to come out. Even if the initial response wasn’t what you expected. But look at you now! And look at all the awesome you’ve brought to a bazillion people. Go you!

    @Joan – I love listening to you talk about sound. You just get it. You’ve experienced the mojo and the awesome and the wow of the drum. And how – as impossible as it might seem – it can help all the pieces to fall into place. Inside and out. So so cool. And I’m totally looking forward to doing a session for you. For sure!

    Big thanks to all of you always for the smartness + goodness + awesome that you spin in these comments. I totally appreciate you all x 1000.

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