Janet Meinke-Lau

Art and Surf Blog

Conversations around the process of creating and being an artist and surfer.

Where the path turned

Where you live geographically can and does impact your internal heart and mind space. The external environment impacts the internal. When you are stuck in a place that conflicts with your true values or spirit, it's harder to put your mind and heart at peace.

I'm thinking of this in response to a conversation I had with two friends a while back. One suggested that they try living abroad to find out a different or a new "them", a different or new identity. I responded with.. you don't need to live abroad to do that. The true way is to discover that is from within, which is much harder. Thinking about it now… I sort of feel like a jerk. I, who have lived abroad in several places and have become different versions, or extensions of myself, know firsthand how impactful a different environment and especially a different culture is. It is true that the Art of Stillness (Pico Iyer) is invaluable - to find peace and acceptance from within. But it is also very true that finding harmony, love, inspiration, etc. from the physical place that you inhabit everyday makes a big difference too.

A marker where the path turned.  Photo taken in Molokai (January 2019)

A marker where the path turned. Photo taken in Molokai (January 2019)

I am fortunate and privileged enough to currently live a 7 min moped/car ride away from the ocean and a 7 min walk from my office, which allows me to surf in the mornings before work. I feel really alive when I’m in the water, watching the sun rise. But it was also a decision I made. To leave the path which did not have a heart. To apply to jobs in Hawaii and move somewhere where I knew no one. To accept a modest salary with good benefits.

My interest in art grew organically after I moved to Hawaii. It’s not a surprise. I am inspired by the awesome nature present here - the colors of the sunrise, water drops upon the ocean, the unique bark of the palm trees, our sea life friends that we get to see up close when we’re lucky. My move to Hawaii was the marker where the path turned. Because of Hawaii, because of art, and because of surf, I began to see differently. What I appreciated and the connection I felt to the Universe was different. Why do I create art? Because I was meant to. And I choose to. I became an artist on this path.

Big mahalo to this land that continues to inspire me. Thank you for helping me become more me.

Janet Meinke-Lau