Belief and Philosophy Blog Hawai'i Health Self-help

Hawai’i: Meals

Mom made this before The Kid left for the Mainland. Ribs, potato salad, cornbread, and salad. Mom makes good ribs. Koreans do ribs well–kalbi, but these were Memphis style ribs. It is hard to fathom that my parents lived in Memphis for over 30 years! They were pioneering Korean Americans integrating the US. It is often a challenge being Asian in the South where life is constructed under a polarity of Black and White. I have relatives who live there.

Some things I loved about Memphis: Kang Rhee’s Pa Sa Ryu studio, deep fried turkey, cornbread, black-eyed peas, OK, gotta watch or I’ll just rattle off the food! Where my parents lived it was quiet. The madness of heat and the green. The steam and the slowness. I never felt fully comfortable there. But thinking about this more deeply, I am unlikely to return to the Mainland. Some people experience island fever, think they have to get off the Rock. I never feel this. I am aware this is a function of age and where I am. But I am never bored looking at the water. Listening. Looking at the flowers or mountains. Hawai’i nei.

Belief and Philosophy Blog Divorce Poetry Reading & Writing Self-help


Cut the Cord

I cut the cord of connection

of belief

of desire

of obligation

of responsibility

of care.

I cut the cord knowing that

indifference casts myself into an unknown.

I cut the cord knowing

it no longer matters.

I cut the cord understanding intimacy

is not violent, it is knowing.

I cut the cord knowing to be seen

I need to see myself.

I cut the cord.

I cut this cord to move into

the world as my full self.

Everything I need to navigate life—

I have.

Every symbol I have

Comes from a reflection of my


I cut a cord and know that

on my own I am full

on my own I am free.

I cut the cord without fear.

I cut the cord.

© drstephaniehan #cutthecord

Educators Hawai'i Poetry Reading & Writing Teachers THROB

The Poetry and Song of Ishle Yi Park

I interviewed Ishle Yi Park, the first woman to become Poet Laureate of Queens for the Council of Korean Americans and for  THROB aka The Hawai’i Review of Books!

Park was a Na Hoku Nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year in Hawai’i.

Belief and Philosophy Hawai'i Health Reading & Writing Self-help

Hawai’i: How We See

There are times when my eyes are flooded with color. As I’ve mentioned before since being diagnosed with osteoperosis in December 2020, I have shifted my ideas of health. I’m trying now to think about making my body healthy from the inside out. This is also probably due to the rewiring of my body and brain after divorce. There is a keen awareness of mortality. I must drink this in and what is it? Laughing at the absurdity of accumulation to stave off death, the efforts that people go through to do what exactly? I have an awareness of death that rumbles under my daily habits. How will I spend this day and how many more do I have? Will I see the water today? Decisions become more clear.

I have chosen images of paths. The two in Makiki are in marked contrast to the row of flowers in Kahala at the edge of the sidewalk. In the Kahala image, Nature is what is observed from the path, in contrast to the two other paths which suggest our walking and participation is part of nature, we as human beings, inseparable from the path.

We must attempt to understand that we are never separate from the physical path. We can try to act as if we master and shape the path, but we are the path, just as the path is who we are.

Divorce Educators Reading & Writing Self-help

Write Your Divorce Story: Four Steps

There are four steps you need to take or at least strongly consider doing as you ready for divorce. Everyone is different, so understand that I am giving advice based on my personal experience and circumstances. I found there wasn’t much out there for women who were divorcing–unlike the wedding industry.

So here are my four steps:

  1. Legal representation: You need a lawyer, so interview them.
  2. Shared business, financial, and legal documents: Assess what you have shared together–everything from bank accounts to airlines miles and get handle on all joint holdings/assets.
  3. Counseling: Get counseling for yourself and/or your dependents and you may want to seek a counselor for both you and your soon-to-be-ex too about exiting.
  4. Start Writing: Journal and write your divorce story for your legal file. Remember to consult your lawyer about the submission of this document.
Hawai'i Health Self-help

Hawai’i: Health and Life

Every week I hike the Kokohead Trail. This trail provides a beautiful view once you hit the top, but you are climbing steps up the entire way.

Steep steps. I do it faster or slower, but mostly, I just get up there and speed is not a priority which is good because if it was, I’d never bother with anything. I’m fast small picture, but big picture, I’m kind of slow and do things at my own pace. This means, my goal is overall health, and that takes time.

In December 2020 I was diagnosed with osteoperosis, so I am working now to keep it in check. I’ve also become acutely aware of all aspects of emotional and physical health and prioritize this. This, along with the big D for Death serve to remind me that life is temporal and it is how we move through it that counts.

The other week I was dismayed to find someone was being rescued and with helicoptors overhead, rescue workers trudging up, I thought what happened? Turns out someone is rescued from this trail 3 times a week!


If you don’t regularly ascend stairs and keep a cardio rhythm going for about 25-40 minutes, do not try this on your once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Hawai’i! Do not attempt this climb! Every time someone is rescued this costs the average citizen of the state tens of thousands of dollars. We have the highest cost of living here and some of the lowest wages. It makes no sense.

Just for good measure, I will add, if you cannot SWIM, do not go out and rent a surfboard and decide you want to try this!

I feel like sometimes people come here and all logic goes out the window! This is basic common sense. I know you are excited to be here, but be pragmatic so that you can enjoy and avoid rescues and the hospital. $$$