Tag Archives: culture

Hart Quill Blog | Hawaiians and the Sacred Aloha | HartQuill.com

Hawaiians & the Sacred Aloha

Hawaii is one of the major tourist spots in the world, and if you spend all of your time in Honolulu and Waikiki, a tourist experience is exactly what you will have. However, when I ventured outside of the blatantly tourist areas, Hawaii began to really show herself to me. I discovered islands of breathtaking tropical beauty, a slower speed of living, a quiet grace, and inevitably I found the spirit of “aloha”.

It’s not just a word, but a way of living

Aloha. From the native Hawaiian language, this word is rooted in “alo”, meaning presence or face, and “ha”, meaning breath. Aloha is most commonly used for both hello and goodbye, however, this word runs much deeper than these superficial meanings. In the Hawaiian culture, words have “mana” (pronounced: mah’nah, meaning spiritual or divine power), and aloha is among the most sacred. Aloha is a greeting of love when expressed with sincerity.

Aloha is embraced by Hawaiians and haoles alike. (Haole is the Hawaiian term for anyone not native Hawaiian or Polynesian.) The culture as a collective practices the spirit of aloha in daily life and human interaction. The essence of Hawaii has this subtle way of pulling one back to the basics of life – the beauty of nature, and what is important between human beings.

Your words have great power

Aloha. This one word typifies the power of our language, and how we affect other people with it. Words are potent, therefore it behooves us to choose and use them wisely. In this muddled up, confused and too-often-angry world, sometimes we feel powerless to change it in any significant, positive way. However our words, over which we have sole control and responsibility, are one way we can do that.

Aloha. Change the world.

AlohaPower

Photo courtesy Pixabay, Pexels

susanlhart

Hawaiians & the Sacred Aloha © Susan L Hart

Winding Roads to Wisdom | "Black & White & Rainbows" | HartQuill.com

Black & White & Rainbows

Right, wrong,
North, south,
Black, white.
Which way do I go?

I have walked the flat
grey plain of existence
that this third dimension
can often be.
Wandering and exploring
the monotones of a
sometimes desolate place,
where the next small
blade of grass stands
out starkly in the landscape,
as it cries out to the sky.

And I have wondered –
If white is all color,
and black its absence,
what of all the colors in between?

So I’ve left that dull plain
and I’m climbing
a magnificent mountain.
I will not rest until
I discover all my colors.
The trek is exhilarating,
the views are breathtaking,
and I’m heading for that
brilliant peak yonder.
It’s the place of my dreams,
where rainbows gleam
and eagles soar,
and my soul can be free.

susanlhart

Black & White & Rainbows © Susan L Hart

Hummingbird dances

Hummingbird Dances for Me

I must confess, I have a split personality. I love the energy of both cities and countryside. I’m torn between two worlds…

Exciting big cities

Big cities are high energy and fast-paced. Sometimes nothing can beat that energetic high from exploring around a new one. I’ve been fortunate to visit some of the great cities of the world – San Francisco, Sydney, Auckland, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Quito, Vancouver, Toronto, … So many cities, so little time. There are many I’d still love to experience. Paris and Rome are two big ones on my list!

But, then comes the drain

However, as exciting as big cities can be when we have leisure time to discover the best of them, it can be extremely draining to live in one full-time. The subway system in Hong Kong is one of the best in the world, and fun to ride as a tourist. But I observed the residents carefully in the time I was there. People constantly sandwiched into crowded places, faces planted in their cell phones. There was little connecting with other people, smiling or even making eye contact. Everyone just seemed to be enduring their own personal grind, surrounded by soulless cement.

Be in tune with body messages

It is very important to be cognizant of the drain on our energy in cities. Sometimes it can be difficult or even impossible for city dwellers to escape to green space for a reprieve from the pollution, noise, and crowds. I realized about a year ago that the traffic noise near my house was constantly making me feel on edge. It was a low grade, incessant drain that at first was easy to block out. But there came a time when I realized it was slowly sucking the life energy out of me.

Find your piece of green, today

So as much as I hate moving (who doesn’t?), I bit the bullet and did it for my physical and mental health. My partner and I are now installed in a new neighborhood, which is a short 5-minute walk to green space with a large park and river. I head there frequently for my “nature medicine”, walks and bicycle rides to calm and feed my soul. I’m feeling in better balance these days. And never underestimate the power of even a little patch of nature to energize. There is also a luxuriant garden around the house. When I feel tired or discouraged, a quick step out the door brings me back to my calm center. And unfailingly, the little dance of our resident hummingbird brings joy to my soul.

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Such simple medicine, but so potent. There’s a great Time article about embracing nature as a mood booster. What Green Spaces Can Do to Your Mood is well worth the short read.

Will you fit in at least a small nature fix today? I urge you to do so…

susanlhart

Hummingbird Dances for Me © Susan L Hart 2019

Photo of Hong Kong courtesy Andrew Haimerl, Pexels

Your today

Your Today and its Value

There are three powerful little messages embodied in this haiku: time, thought, and your worth.

Time: As much as you are living and learning in other soul experiences in infinite time (yes, you are!), you are right here, right now, focusing on this life. Will you make the choice to embrace today? Within the past few years, I have lost both of my parents. This was truly a wake up call to my own mortality. Logically we know we are mortal (and our ego fears it), but, we still tend to live life as though we have an endless supply of days. Make the most of today. One of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen that drives this idea home is About Time”. If you haven’t seen it, try to.

Thought: Is your mind consumed with your “to-do list” the second you wake up? Is there any time today reserved for contemplation, introspection, gratitude for the good things you already have in your life? (Gratitude expands abundance.) If not, I strongly urge you to make space for those.

Your worth: Do you even believe that you deserve to have good things come your way today? You do. But if you don’t believe it, then I’ll bet you have at least one champion in your life – you know, a person who believes in you, when you can’t or won’t believe in yourself – that loves you enough to talk you through this. Connect with that person, somehow or some way, even if it can be only for a quick “Hi”. Today, surround yourself with your champions.

Today is all we’ve got. Today I made time to write to you, because I think you’re worth it. Please, pick up the ball and run with it. Today.

susanlhart

Your Today and its Value © Susan L Hart 2019

Photo courtesy Travis Rupert, Pexels