Under A Full Moon: A Journey of Transformation and Wellness

Explore the power of transformation and change with Lani’s inspiring journey
Discover how Lani’s guiding star can help you find balance and joy in your life.

Explore Lani’s tools and resources for daily wellness practices and self-discovery
Connect with Lani’s inspiring journey and let her guide you on your own path to wellness.

Book Description:

Under A Full Moon and A Guiding Star

In Under A Full Moon and A Guiding Star, author Lani shares her personal journey of transformation and caregiving, which led her to develop a daily practice of wellness. Drawing on her experience as a teacher, trainer, and facilitator in educational, business, and non-profit environments, Lani provides readers with a framework for balancing the Doing and Being mindsets – or Yin and Yang – and living a healthier, happier life.

Throughout the book, Lani shares images, tools, and resources, such as meditations and visualizations, to help readers achieve wellness and balance. She also explores the true meaning of ALOHA and invites readers to join her on the journey as an alaka’i – or guide – offering the wisdom of having walked the path before.

With a wealth of personal and professional experience, Lani’s journey from caregiver to alaka’i is an inspiring story of transformation and wisdom. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to find balance, joy, and wellness in their life.


Author Bio

Lani Almanza

Lani was born and raised on the Windward side of Oahu in Hawai’i. She has experience as a wife, mother, and grandmother, as well as a teacher, trainer, and facilitator in education, business, and non-profit environments. Throughout her professional career, Lani has been committed to creating healthier lives and communities.

Lani holds a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and worked with the American Cancer Society for 15 years in various leadership roles related to health communication and community engagement. After retiring from ACS, she founded her own wellness business, Alaka’i Associates, which focuses on guiding others towards more activated lives in health and wellness.

In addition to her work with Alaka’i Associates, Lani is a contributing editor for the online magazine, Givers Guides, which supports the nonprofit organization Gimme A Break, for which she also volunteers as COO. Lani has been sharing her expertise and insights on her Alaka’i blog since 2015. She also facilitates wellness retreats and provides wellness workshops to community groups.

In Under a Full Moon and a Guiding Star, Lani Almanza has written a book to return to again and again as life unfolds its challenges. I worked as a colleague of Lani’s for over ten years and witnessed some of the transitions and growth of her life journey that she shares with readers in this memoir and guidebook. Rather than telling her story in strict chronological order, she presents it episodically and coherently through her influences and insights. She engages her readers with relevant questions and concepts to apply in our own lives. She challenges us through her example to deal with grief and doubt in a spirit of learning and, ultimately, with a grateful heart. Like a traveling companion with a good map, Lani navigates the terrain she invites us to explore with her. She extends her caregiving experiences to each of us. Her zest for learning and sharing creates a book that will become a favorite reference for me to return to over the years to come. In this lovely offering, I am both reminded and uplifted.

Erin Moncada

poet, colleague and friend

Lani Almanza’s UNDER A MOON AND A GUIDING STAR is a personal story of growing up in Hawaii and finding empowerment and wellness through the Hawaiian culture. Lani’s truthful and inspiring account of her grief and search for a higher understanding after the loss of her son is truly moving. She offers a practical guide for finding spirituality and wellness in everyday life, drawing on Hawaiian concepts and her own experiences. I highly recommend this unique and authentic book.

Lani Almanza has written about her life of many years in Hawaii. She has described being surrounded by and embraced by the Hawaiian culture which embraces concepts like aloha and ohana. Lani goes further to describe how various aspects of the Hawaiian culture are available to be lived every day. Her book is more than her memoirs of growing up in such a special place. It is also a helpful guide to find empowerment and wellness based upon her experiences. In many ways her book UNDER A MOON AND A GUIDING STAR is a very personal story. Lani tells us about growing up in Kailua, Oahu with creative parents. She also met her husband and had four children by the time she was 29. Lani also tells us about her spiritual journey as she searched for a higher understanding of her loss and her family’s loss when her son Jacob
passed away in his early 20’s from cancer.

Lani has written truthfully about her grief and her emotions as she sought to make sense of this tragedy. She tells us how the Hawaiian community helped her son during his illness and also how she found her way to continue to connect with her son by being in contact with turtles (honu) and whales (kohola) who were so significant to him during his life. As her children grew older Lani found herself working in a variety of positions for various companies. She describes the difficulty she had as a woman to navigate such workplaces in terms of finding her own sense of power and direction.

Drawing on Hawaiian words and living concepts and her own life experiences Lani has shared with her readers a practical guide to help find a sense of wellness and spirituality in everyday life. I highly recommend this unique and authentic book which may open the reader to look at their own experiences in a different way.

Kirk D’Amico

life-long friend and President of Myriad Pictures

This compact book is packed with gems, from logistical tips to heart-opening memories to exercises which can spark spiritual insights and growth. Thoughtful questions and meaningful quotes are embedded throughout the chapters. One question which really caught my full attention was, “Have you ever felt like your life was broken?” And I answered out loud, emphatically, “YES!” The writing style and topic is engaging. While it’s written with caregivers top of mind, it’s also very informative for anyone who is journeying with a loved one who is receiving or giving care. Lani’s writing provides many windows into what might be happening behind the scenes or inside the heart and mind in a caregiving situation. Compassion and acceptance are evident throughout the book. I loved the personal stories, which touched my heart and kept reminding me that everyone deserves such compassion and acceptance as they move through pain and loss. The reflections in the Alaka’i Life Lessons invite the reader to pause and go deeper, or to see the past or future through a different lens. One lesson which felt especially relevant to me was the exercise on creating “white space.” I’m very familiar with this concept in graphic design and sections of text, and I enjoyed the unique way Lani invites us to apply it to daily life, as a vital element of self-care. I can see this book being used as an enduring reference, a valued guidebook and an inspirational journal. For anyone navigating a care experience, this book can offer hope, understanding and a sense of connection, knowing that they are not alone.

Anne Moriarty


Under a Full Moon and a Guiding Star is a pheromonal book that inspires us to expect, acknowledge and honor the beautiful challenging guides who have been with us as we move through our spiritual lives in this physical form on this blue bowl, we call home. Those guides come and go when we need them, teaching us how to be ancestors for the next generation.

In this book, Lani Almaza offers us a powerful memoir of her son’s cancer and transition; reminding us always how those we have lost are never really far away. And if we are able to welcome in all the emotions, and choose being over doing, we might breathe through the grief-grace that the Universe offers us each day. As a result, our own well-being will be transformed. A text full of meditations, lessons and wisdom that you need to read right now. Make sure you bring the tissues- because this book will make the veil between laughter and weeping thin.Quote for the back of the book:
In Under a Full Moon and a Guiding Star, Lani Almaza offers us a powerful memoir of her son’s cancer and transition; reminding us always how those we have lost are never really far away. And if we are able to welcome in all the emotions, and choose being over doing, we might breathe through the grief-grace that the Universe offers us each day. As a result, our own well-being will be transformed.

Dr. Sarah Jefferis

Author. Editor. Speaker. Writing Coach.

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