Our Love Story

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Pat Hastings-Burns & Larry Burns: A Spiritual Match Made in Heaven (Hawai’i)  

Love all you see, including yourself,” said a wise kahuna many years ago, an extraordinary statement empowered by its simple beauty. Unbeknownst to them at the time, it was learning this all-encompassing kind of love that eventually led Pat and Larry to Maui and to each other. 

Larry says the journey of his spirituality introduced him to a concept he calls love consciousness. “It’s knowing, accepting, and trusting that love is the most powerful energy known to humankind—stronger than fear, hatred, or suffering. Love is much stronger than any weapons that man has ever developed. Love is available to everyone as a gift, just like the sun that shines and the rain that falls. Love is the answer to all difficulties. When we choose love over fear, the world becomes the heaven on Earth it is meant to be.”

Many different and even surprising milestones led Larry to his future wife “I love horses, they were an important part of my life when I was younger,” he shares. “I was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut with 2 brothers and a sister. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” he chuckles, “as I’ve had quite a few job experiences! I was a U.S. Marine recruit, a policeman, and a mailman. I owned a snack distributor business and a catering business for 16 years and designed and managed an industrial cafeteria for 15 years. I often say, “If I find myself in the kitchen when I die… I’ll know I went to hell,” he jokes. “It was not something I enjoyed and it was not a labor of love. If that’s what it took to get me to Maui, then it was well worth it,” he adds. 

An upbringing in an alcoholic household in Long Island, New York, filled Pat with fear, doubt, and low self-esteem, but therapy in her 40s helped her confront and transcend much of her pain. Most importantly, she learned to love herself, and her experiences led her to publish her highly successful book in 2007, Simply a Woman of Faith: How to Live in Spiritual Power and Transform Your Life. “Throughout my life, people kept telling me, ‘Wow, you should write a book—you have such powerful faith stories!” she remembers. “So I knew that one day I would write a book about how unwavering faith can get you through the most difficult life situations.” 

She wrote the book over several years, finishing it at the same time she retired from her 20-year career as a Licensed Addiction Psychotherapist in Rhode Island. In 2011, her book created a connection that would change her life forever. “After one of my weekly presentations, a woman thanked me for my talk and said she lived on Maui, to which I replied, ‘It’s always been my dream to visit Maui.’ She then offered me the opportunity to stay with her for as long as I wanted and use her car—an offer I couldn’t pass up! In 2012, I stayed with her for a month and fell in love with the island. I felt the spirit of Maui calling me to live there,” she says blissfully. 

After much deliberation and prayer, Pat decided to rent her Rhode Island condo so she could move to Maui. “As you can imagine, my family was concerned and thought I was nuts,” she laughs. “At age 62, I left my family, friends, community, and business to follow my heart and move 5,000 miles away. What’s more, I knew I was going to meet my soulmate there. I didn’t know how or when, but I knew in my heart that he was there waiting for me.”

Larry and Pat met at a senior center ballroom dance and discovered they were both from the East Coast and loved to dance. “We became fast friends and spent many days together. We shared our spiritual values and what was deeply important to us.” They were inseparable, Pat recalls. “We talked every night and I called him ‘Mr. Magnificent’,” she laughs. “My daughter knew I wanted to find my soulmate and asked, ‘What’s wrong with Larry? You spend so much time together.’” Pat admits that in the beginning of their friendship, she couldn’t see or feel a romantic future with Larry, but after 2 years of being best friends, her feelings for him deepened and she was terrified to tell him. 

“The truth is that love was right there before me, but I didn’t see it until I was ready and allowed my heart to open to receive love,” she admits. “We were both ready to be together. In the beginning, Larry had no desire to remarry. Two years later, at Christmas, he surprised me and asked me to marry him at a party at our house with our friends. He got on his knees and said, “You are my Queen and I am your King, would you like to marry me?” The couple celebrated their 5th anniversary this May. 

Pat was married for 30 years before getting a divorce in 1998. She was single for 15 years before meeting Larry. During that time of being alone, she learned how to love, appreciate, trust and forgive herself. She became her own best friend. It is her passion and joy to encourage women to love themselves and never give up on finding true love. Contrary to popular belief, she smiles and says, “There are “good men” out there no matter how old you are. I was 65 and Larry was 72 when we met.”

Larry deeply enjoys practicing being in the moment and not allowing anything in the past or future to spoil it.  He says that when he focuses on the present moment, life becomes more vibrant and richer as nature pulsates with renewed vigor. “The ocean is more beautiful and the flowers are more vibrant and breathtaking. Sunrises and sunsets are more spectacular, and I am filled with gratitude for being able to live in this magnificent paradise that is Maui Island,” he says dreamily. 

“But one of my favorite things to do is to share time with my wife,” he adds with a gentle smile. “Her nickname is ‘Sparkle’. I love her vibrant personality, smile, wisdom, and sense of humor. People lovingly call her Pat with the hat because she always wears a purple hat with a flower on her walks. We thoroughly enjoy each other’s company, whether it be watching the sunset on our lanai, taking a walk together, going to a restaurant, or watching a movie. Pat and I share and discuss our spiritual journey often, and respect and encourage each other’s growth.”

Their combined love and wisdom naturally sought an outlet, and in 2020, Pat and Larry co-authored It’s Never Too Late for Love: Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire. In their inspiring book, they share their experiences as a couple along the path of awakening and striving every day to practice living a conscious partnership. Elements of this include “not beingjoined at the hip, but at the heart; welcoming triggers and wounds from the past that need to be healed and released; actively looking for what’s right rather than trying to fix what’s wrong.  

He smiles and says, “We strive to be role models for other couples and to share what a conscious partnership looks and feels like by sending love out to the world and keeping our vibration high in Love and gratitude. As we look for opportunities to be vessels of Love, we are finding a life full of gratitude, peace, and joy.”

Larry’s sons Lawrence (56) and Gerard (55), his twin granddaughters (19), and grandson (23), all live on the East Coast. Pat has 4 children (ranging in ages from 44 to 51), 6 grandchildren (ranging in ages from 4 to 30), and a younger brother in New Jersey. A year ago, Pat and Larry added a brown-and-black Dachshund/Rat Terrier mix named Kobe to their Maui family. 

“I have never been healthier, happier, joyful, contented, and more at home in my own skin than I am today. I’m so grateful that I had the courage and faith to follow my heart,” Pat says, beaming. “‘Mother Maui’ is magical, mystical, and beautiful; not only with her flowers, mountains, and oceans, but with a presence of spirit and love that pulsates through our being.” 

During this tumultuous time, Pat strives to cultivate a calm, inner state no matter what’s happening in the world by remembering to come home to herself and to know we are all a spark of the Divine. Her motto is to live life to the fullest because we are not promised tomorrow. She believes that life just keeps getting better and better and the best is yet to come.

In closing, Pat smiles and shares, “Many people are trying to find their purpose in life. I have found my purpose and that is to “show up” every day to BE a light in this world and to keep my vibration high in love, peace, and gratitude. Happiness is an inside job! The world is awakening to the truth that we are all ONE and not separate from Source/God/Universe.” 

Larry’s parting words are similarly uplifting. “It is my belief that Love is all there is, it is all around us, within and without, and available to us right now. Each person has within them their own great love story. Whether single or married, rich or poor, when you look at life through loving eyes, you are happy and have the only real wealth there is, and that is LOVE.”

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

Simply A Woman of Faith
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