“Aloha,” he said as he gave me a hug. “I don’t have time in life to sit”, said Tommy as we headed down the stairs into the basement. I remembered I had other intentions in mind coming through the door, but I was willing to see where this might go as I followed him down. Tommy pointed me to some nails in the ceiling, handed me a piece of wood, and asked me to get the nails out of the rafters. Not knowing what the small piece of wood was for, I threw it down and began to pull with all my might at the first nail I spotted. Because of the angle in the rafter I could only bend it, but could not budge it. Noticing my struggles Tommy came to help, and the first thing he did was to pick up the small piece of scrap wood he originally gave me. “You see this scrap wood can be placed between the rafter and the hammer”, he demonstrated. “It’s called a fulcrum and it helps with leverage, to lift the nail out of its place,” and he smiled as he easily removed the nail. The lesson did not end there for me but continued for the rest of the day and into the evening.
“Most people’s lives are like the hammer, and their problems are like the nail. As a Health Consultant & Lifestyle Coach I am that fulcrum that comes between the problem and the solution. People just need to be shown a different perspective and then to be inspired to try it out. It usually works out great for them”, said Tommy. What I came to understand is that I could have pulled on that nail all day and got no progress. By receiving Tommy’s consulting it took a matter of seconds to accomplish my task. Tommy doesn’t have to be a Doctor of Carpentry to have the knowledge to immediately impact my life. Tommy continued, “You see the hammer always has the ability to lift the nail but sometimes it just needs a little uplifting and support from the fulcrum. Just like I give people a little uplifting and support in my ‘LIVING THE LIVET LIFESTYLE’ seminars. I’m not having you pull nails just because I need the help you see.There is a lesson in everything I do,” as he looked me right in the face with his blue eyes. I tried to summarize Tommy’s theory, “So you are telling me that everyone already posses the tools needed to live an optimum lifestyle?” “You got it,” he finished, “I just give them the advantage of showing them when to bring them out and how to properly use them.” As we finished removing the last of the nails I could not get this theory out of my mind. Did this analogy come natural to Tommy or did he set me up. Exhausted from all the work, I was willing to put off my own motives and committed myself to finding out.
Tommy was helping to replace a drop ceiling in the basement to its natural look and with the nails and support boards all gone it was obvious we needed to get paint to cover the old wood. “Why don’t you join me on a trip to the bank and then Home Depot”, Tommy suggested as he grabbed his keys.
Shortly after his story we arrived just down the block at his bank. Pulling up to the drive-through-teller window a nice voice came over the speaker immediately, “Well Aloha Tommy, we haven’t seen you in over a week. How did your trip to Florida go?” Grinning, because I think Tommy could sense that I was shocked by this personal welcome, “Aloha, it went outstanding. Thank you for taking the time to ask.” The teller asked what she could do for him and he replied, “I could use two-hundred in cash. Thank You”. Without filling out any paper work, or handing her anything the next thing I knew he was counting his money and we were on our way. I told Tommy that I didn’t think that sort of stuff happened anymore these days. “Oh, I’ve been coming here for years. I’m sure they do that for everyone,” he modestly responded. I’m pretty sure they only do that for you Tommy, I said to myself. Does everyone Tommy meet give him this respect? I was going to find out, I thought, as we turned the corner.
It didn’t take us long to find the paint and get to the checkout counter. “How are you doing today,” asked the nice young girl behind the register. I mumbled fine, but Tommy bellowed for all to hear, “Aloha, I’m Outstanding! Thank you for taking the time to ask.” Well she just lit up with a smile. “So are you two painters,” she asked? Tommy quickly replied, “Nope, I am a Health Consultant & Lifestyle Coach.” “I could tell there was something different about you as soon as you walked up,” she told him. I grabbed the paint while Tommy said good-by, “ALOHA”, and we headed back towards the exit. “Aloha,” I heard again, but this time it was coming from a small little girl’s voice. I quickly connected that a mother and her small child were behind us in line. She must have heard Tommy say Aloha, and now she was bellowing it out to engage the other customers around her. Putting the paint buckets in the truck I commented to Tommy that it is just amazing to see people’s reaction to just the way he lives his life. People just seem to light up when he says Aloha and I asked him to tell me more. Tommy began to enlighten me finally with his words and not his actions, “You see, everyday that you wake up and you don’t see your name in the obituaries, you know it’s going to be a good day. If it is a good day, why not go ahead and make it an Outstanding Day”?
It was at this point that I had to ask about the ALOHA. “Aloha does not mean hello or good bye. It is actually a spiritual blessing that the Hawaiian people say when they first see people or as they leave their company. It has simply been mistranslated through time and culture. It actually means, the intelligence in which we meet life.” That is very beautiful I told him. He quoted Carl Yung, “When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. Now that you change the way you look at the word aloha, it will change the way you look at it as we go through the day will now change.” I picked that up doing a semester of college in Hawaii and it just seemed to stick. Now when I don’t say Aloha people ask me what’s wrong. I guess it is my tag line and I love it. Aloha!
“Since you’re having such a good time now, you probably won’t mind if we stop at the Health Food Store then will you,” asked Tommy? We were cutting down the second aisle towards the back and I was just following behind him wondering what it was he was doing. I noticed him reaching up to the very top of the shelf and he pulled down a box of baking soda and handed it to a nice elderly gentleman standing with an empty cart. “No problem. Have an outstanding day,” he replied to the man and his eyes went back to scanning the shelf. Not too much time after he turned, “Got it. My friend Redbeard makes the Raw Livet Wraps and I always like a little bit of this with them”. I was still curious and asked him how he happened to come to helping out that man. It was like he knew him. He began, “When you go shopping during the day like this you find a lot of retired people. I find I spend a lot of time helping them get products off the high shelves. I assume everyone does that for old people though.”
We were through the check out and I was making a strait line for the truck until I realized I couldn’t find Tommy I scanned the parking lot and observed him collecting all other random shopping carts in the parking lot, and driving the herd back towards the door. Feeling compelled to join him I grabbed two carts myself, and met him up at the front cart rack. I had to ask him if he was only doing this because I was here and he was showing off. “No,” Tommy began, “I do it every time I come to a place like this. You see we all have grandparents who go to stores everyday. Like that old man in there you saw. What would be the point for him to walk all the way into the store to find that there are no carts? He would have to walk through traffic back into the parking lot, between two cars, in someone’s blind spot, to try to get a cart just to do some shopping.” I nodded with agreement and Tommy began again, “I like to think that every time I come out of a store, that the next person pulling into the parking lot will be my grandma. I would like to think I was watching out for her, plus I know she would be proud of me knowing I was able to get her a cart.” We got back to the vehicle and without a cart in the lot we headed back towards the basement.
I had spent most of the day with Tommy and we hadn’t talked one bit about Health. Here I am spending all this time with one of the top health consultants in the country and he never mentions calories, reading labels or corn syrup. It hit me right then that health is about lifestyle and really about living a positive life that inspires other people everyday and in every way.
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