Today’s post is the second in a series about the deeper meaning of the word “aloha.” If you didn’t get the chance to read that post, please click here and read it first so that today’s post makes more sense to you!
I’m excited to discuss aloha because knowing this deeper teaching allows you to be more empowered in your life. Many of my Huna teachers thought it was the most profound teaching you could have.
For anyone that has been to and experienced Hawai`i, you know that there is something truly unique about it. I am fortunate to be able to travel the world and meet people from every place you can imagine. For example, in our last NLP training in Newport Beach, we had a lady who had flown in from Egypt to attend. When I talked about Hawai`i, she told me that she’d had never been there but she’d love to go. And as she said this, she had a wonderful smile and glow just thinking about it!
Even people who have not been to Hawai’i seem to love the place! There is an energy and a feel here that can only be described as wonderful and love. In the islands, we call that energy “aloha.” Aloha means hello and goodbye. It also means love. But it has deeper meaning as well that the ancient Hawaiians incorporated into their lives.
When I was taught this deeper meaning by my kumu (teachers), they used the letters of the word ALOHA to explain it. I discussed the letter A last week. This week, we’ll cover the “l” in ALOHA which can represent “lokahi.”
Lokahi means unity or to unite. It is a very important concept in Huna and was to be applied to two major areas of your life. First, let’s look at the word.
Where have you heard the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall”? I live in the United States and honestly, I think most of us would agree that the U.S. could use a little more unity now. When our country – from our political leaders to our citizens – operates in unity, we can create incredible results, like the space program in the 1960’s. But when we’re divided, we become stagnant and ineffective.
How about in your own home? When you and your family are united and on the “same page,” don’t things just flow? I know that when my wife and I are united in parenting, the kids benefit and we definitely have less stress!
What about the office? Or other organizations like your church or hobby club or sports team? In all of these areas, we’ve all seen that the opposite of unity results in dysfunctional behavior, stress and unproductiveness.
There is a commercial in Hawai’i about unity. It uses the very old analogy of a stick. If you pick up a stick, you can easily break it. However, if you pick up 30 sticks that are bound together, you have trouble even bending them!
So how do we practice unity?
The first place is to partner with those around you. Begin to include your friends, family and anyone relevant in your goals and actions. For example, when I decided to go back to school and pursue my PhD, I sat my then five year old son Ethan down and talked to him about it.
I am very clear about that the decision was mine; I was not asking for his permission. However, rather than just telling Ethan that it was a done deal, I sat him down and discussed it with him so that he could become united with me.
If Ethan had not supported my decision to get my PhD, it could have been a long and bumpy road. Kids, in a very innocent way, can make things really difficult! I say that from my heart.
At that time, Ethan was used to playing with me whenever we had the time. Going for a PhD takes about 10 to 20 hours a week. Those 10 to 20 hours had to come from somewhere, and I knew play time was going to take a hit. (No matter how much NLP or Huna I practice, I can assure you that there are only 24 hours in the day!)
To the best of my ability, I explained to Ethan in a way that a five-year old could understand why I wanted to go back to school. That my father and my grandfather were both PhD’s and that I wanted to become better at teaching and sharing the information I know.
He looked at me and said, “Well, Dad, you tell people to always learn more, so you should go back to school! Can we still play every week?”
I said, “SURE!! What would you like to do so that you know that we are still having fun?” And he responded with, “I want to go to Dave & Buster’s!” He got on board with my going back to school, and I knew what he wanted on a regular basis to feel connected and have fun with me.
Creating lokahi at home, with your family and friends, gives you foundation and support.
We need to focus on two places with lokahi. The first is external with others. The other is internal with yourself. For example, have you ever gone against your own gut reaction? How did that work out for you? LOL (That’s the only Dr. Phil line I like!)
According to John Ka`imikaua, one of my teachers, in ancient Hawai`i, the person who could trust his or her gut was considered to be the more intelligent person.
To have lokahi internally means that you trust your gut and your mind. Don’t let one override the other, and make sure that you bring them both together before doing anything. If you have one shouting out against the other, then take the time to figure out why this is happening and reconcile it.
So, overall, bring unity to the internal and the external. Lokahi builds strength and will make you stronger for your journey on your path!
Photo by VinothChandar