Living Aloha

Community is such an important part of our health. The more friends, family, and loving support around us the healthier we are, the safer we are, and the better we handle stressful situations — meaning the stress can help us develop resilience instead of breaking us down — this is due to having connection and support in our lives. Living in Maui, I have been fortunate to see the Aloha Spirit in action ~ being the educator that I am I want to share it with the world … here a little blip about what it means to live aloha … “spread a little aloha around the world”.

The spirit of aloha, which is seeing and respecting the life force within each of us (similar to what namaste means to India) is a way of living with community for the Hawaiians for hundreds of years.

At one time the word aloha was a greeting reserved for loved ones by first rubbing noses and then inhaling each other’s breath (alo = in the presence of, ha = breath of life).

But Aloha is much more than a greeting; we want to live with aloha. To live with aloha is the secret to well-being for the people of Hawai’i. It is an inner knowledge, by birth, to be loving and genuine in all interactions with people and nature, for all life is connected. It is how you say hello, it is sharing food, caring for strangers, a nod of the head, understanding one another, a smile, kindness, honesty, touch, empathy in times of grief and a free willingness to love, as naturally as children love . . . as naturally as mother nature loves earth.

The “aloha spirit” of the Hawaiian culture is so important to them and ingrained in their culture it’s even included in the Hawaii State Law which states from Chapter 5 of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes:

§ 5-7.5 “Aloha Spirit”. (a) “Aloha Spirit” is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, “Aloha”, the following unuhi laulā loa may be used:          

           “Akahai”, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
           “Lōkahi”, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
           “ʻOluʻolu” meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
           “Haʻahaʻa”, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
           “Ahonui”, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.   

These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii’s people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaiʻi. ”Aloha” is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. ”Aloha” means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. “Aloha” is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. ”Aloha” means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.

    (b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the “Aloha Spirit”. [L 1986, c 202, § 1]

The spirit if aloha is being aware and loving in every interaction with the world around you, other people, and yourself.

Choose only thoughts of aloha to have aloha experiences and if in the moment you cannot think aloha, then no think at all!

“Aloha kakou” means “Greetings between you and I”.
“Aloha nui loa” means “With much love” or “Warm greetings”.

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