Moments of Fear to Awe: A Personal Journey of Escaping Maui's Wildfires

It's been quite a while since we last connected, and during that time my life has gone in so many unpredictable directions that have been scary and enlightening. 

As planned, I took the month of August as my sabbatical to recharge and get some extra time to create. The month started with an amazing trip to one of my favorite places on Earth – Maui. The warm sun, breathtaking landscapes, kind people, delicious food & drinks, and serene beaches are always the perfect recipe for play and relaxation.

But then, things took an unexpected turn. It started with a windstorm and the power going out. We were in Lahaina and in the late afternoon decided to head to a part of the island for dinner and shave ice, but quickly realized that the winds and roads were dangerous, the “brush fire” in Lahaina was an out-of-control wildfire, and that we were not making it back to our hotel. 

Attempting to escape, we faced barricaded roads, broken trees, and downed power lines obstructing our path. What would’ve normally taken about 45-mins to reach another part of the island, took us about five hours. 

It was undeniably one of the most terrifying journeys of my life.

That night, we found ourselves seeking refuge in the most unexpected of places – the Safeway parking lot in Kihei. The girls slept in the back of the SUV, Steve passed out in the passenger seat for a while. I was wide awake. My eyes were fixed on my phone, tracing the path of local fires in Kihei. 

At one point, I thought we needed to move to distance ourselves from a nearby Kihei fire. I woke the family around 2am to fill the car with gas and drive to a shelter on a different part of the island. My oldest, Olivia, needed to pee (thank God that Safeway was open 24-hours). 

That’s when things took another unexpected turn. A stranger whose compassion and generosity knows no bounds, crossed our path.

In the women’s bathroom, at 2am, I met Malika, a local of Kihei who had been evacuated from her home. After talking for a few minutes she told us that if her house was still standing and she could return, our family could return with her and stay at her house. Around 6am, she was able to return to her home. 

The island was on fire, and amidst the chaos and fear, we were reminded of the incredible capacity for kindness that exists in this world. Malika opened her heart and home to us, offering food, shelter, comfort and love for three nights. 

While resting at Malika’s, I listened to my 10-year-old share her experience,“I thought we were going out to get dinner and shave ice, and then everything changed. We didn't go back,” she said. 

Her words summed up so much of life. In an instant, our expectations can shift, and we find ourselves on an entirely different path.

During our time at Malika's house, we engaged in profound conversations about God and the presence of the divine. Malika is a widow and told us that she evacuated her home alone but came home with a family. We marveled at the intricate synchronicities that orchestrated our meeting at the precise time and location, leaving us in awe of life's mysterious ways. 

On one occasion, we went to the beach and my little one, Hannah, looked at the ocean and said that she could hear the ocean whispering affirmations of beauty. We all found ourselves, again, in awe. 

Attuned to the spirit of nature and the interconnectedness of all things, reinforced the idea that there is wisdom and harmony to be found when we lend our ears to the natural world.  

As I reflect on these events, I'm reminded of the fragility and beauty of life. It's the moments that catch us off guard, the encounters that challenge us, and the connections that uplift us that truly shape our journey.

It's undeniable that these experiences have left an indelible mark on us, shaping our lives in ways we could have never imagined that I’m sure I’ll be unpacking for a while.

For now, here are a few of the profound insights this experience taught me:

  1. Embracing the Unpredictable: Life's twists and turns can be daunting, but they also hold the potential for greater peace, growth and transformation. Embracing the unpredictable can be terrifying, but it can also allow us to find strength within and with others.
  2. The Kindness of Strangers: Our encounter with Malika’s boundless kindness reminded me of the incredible impact we can have on each other. Humanity is good and we need each other. 
  3. Gratitude for Each Moment: Amidst the chaos, I found myself appreciating the simple joys of life – a breath of fresh air, a comforting conversation, and the warmth of human connection. I didn’t have clean clothes or makeup, but I had what I really needed. 
  4. The Beauty of Resilience: When faced with challenges, we often discover untapped wells of strength within us. Resilience isn't about staying strong through it all or bouncing back; it's about breaking open and learning more about ourselves and life through difficulties.
  5. You Are Always Guided: This experience highlighted to me that guidance is ever-present, even amidst challenges. Just as stars shine brightest in the darkest nights, trust that you are guided through adversity. In moments of difficulty, remember that the Universe's hand is guiding you, leading you toward growth and unforeseen blessings.

I'm excited to share more insights and stories in the upcoming newsletters. Stay tuned for more stories of challenge, adventure, growth, and discovery.

With love and warmth,


PS: Unlock a new level of unstoppable ease with me this Wednesday, Sept 6th, as I lead The Art of Ease in Abigail Morgan's exclusive Summer Slack Challenge! Discover the secrets to cultivating ease, even in the face of life's challenges. Don't miss out on this opportunity to feel less stressed and overwhelmed and to embrace calm and resilience. Reserve your spot now. 




50% Complete


Enter your details below and you'll be sent right over to the Ease Workshop!

Oh! You'll also be emailed a link so you can come back to the Workshop any ol' time you want!