Our July Ho‘ohana: Lokomaika‘i

Giving and Generosity; both are worthy investments of our time, our energy, and our spirit.

“Wealth, thought the people of old, is found not so much in your possessions, but in the ability to give generously of what you possess.”

” Dr. George Kanahele, KÅ« Kanaka, Stand Tall

Managing with Aloha
has brought incredible enrichment to my life. Seldom does a day go by that I am not counting my blessings with a deep sense of mahalo (thankfulness, appreciation, and gratitude) for what has become ‘normal’ day to day living for me.

One of those frequently counted blessings, is that I have newly learned to give again. Because Managing with Aloha is being recognized as the gift it is, in sharing the MWA philosophy for worthwhile work, I have wonderful opportunities to give much of the coaching of it away. I give much of me away. As a result, I am able to live with aloha because I am living with the value of generosity.

Giving, and being able to give of your talent, skill and knowledge freely, is absolutely wonderful, for it serves as a kind of acknowledgement of your worth. It’s like beautiful music playing in your head and sung as “yes, this is my life, and I’m supposed to be here living it as I am.” When thought of this way, giving becomes a kind of self-discovery.

Further, giving of what you have and who you are simply feels good and right, and afterwards you can experience such warm-hearted contentment. There is this magical kind of creation which happens within acts of unselfish giving. You actually seem to collect greater abundance in life because you’ve given a good part of yourself away. You’ve made room for more capacity.

In Hawai‘i, we call the value of generosity lokomaika‘i (lo-ko-my-ka-ee), a word which literally means ‘of good heart.’ When we give of ourselves to others, our hearts open up and connect to our aloha spirit within, and as a result, the goodness of heart we may possess is renewed and fortified. Our hearts beat stronger, and the spirit coursing through us is enlivened.

It took me a while to get here, to this place in my life where I’m successful enough to handle all my responsibilities, and still have the ability to give. I suppose that is why I am enjoying it as much as I am; it has felt like a pretty long journey in getting this far.

As satisfying as it can be to do so, giving can be tough for us as we get tugged at by the different forces in our lives. And often, money and our financial freedom actually has quite little to do with it. The big culprits are time and energy, that is, our perceived lack of having both in greater availability. This is why our self care (mālama) becomes so important, for no matter how much we might want to, we can’t give if we ourselves find we are running low and dry.

So there will be a two-stepper for us this month as we adopt lokomaika‘i, the value of generosity into our lives and into our much-more-often practice:

we will commit to taking better care of ourselves. Self-care is not selfish; it is necessary nourishment, and the fuel which enables us to give.

Second, we will give of ourselves, exploring all the different ways we can thrill and thrive in generosity, and thus be lokomaika‘i, of good heart.

Tell you what: There are thirty-one glorious summer days in the month of July. Consider joining me in a one-a-day habit, where lokomaika‘i, you give of yourself in ways that will serve to boost your own spirit. It doesn’t take that much; close behind the lack of time and lack of energy, the third culprit which prevents us from giving more than we do, is the lack of inspiration and creativity.

When you pause to think about all of this, Lokomaika‘i can definitely give you a new view of success, can’t it. Success becomes having an abundance of time, energy, creativity, and the inspiration to fully put all three things into your best possible use of them.

So this month, my very generous Ho‘ohana Community, I call on all of you to help me by giving your inspiration and creativity to this lokomaika‘i connection of living with aloha. What are your ideas with giving? What suggestions do you have for a one-a-day new habit of lokomaika‘i? I’ll get us started with a few of mine:

—On Day 1, we can Give our undivided attention to those who engage with us – ignore that blackberry and cellphone!

—On Day 2, we can Give our willingness to try a new idea at work we’ve been resistant to up to now.

—On Day 3, we can Give a Daily Five Minutes.

—On Day 4, we can Give an encouraging comment to a brand new blogger, or a book review to a new author.
—On Day 5, we can Give a compliment to someone in our family we’ve absent-mindedly taken for granted lately.

—On Day 6, we can Give of our network, and introduce one of our friends to another who can benefit from knowing them.

—On Day 7, we can Give some encouragement to someone we know is struggling with a challenge.

—On Day 8, we can Give more hugs to our children, no matter how old they are.

—On Day 9, we can Give our understanding, resisting the urge to speak the quick judgment that may have come to mind first.

—On Day 10, we can Give our appreciation, sincerely and genuinely saying thank you to those who positively impact us.
—On Day 11, we can Give our knowledge, and share some coaching with someone new to a job we have experience with.
—On Day 12, we can Give our aloha, by doing whatever it takes to bring the joy of unconditional love to another.

Add to the list!

with me, and lokomaika‘i this month; learn of your own joy within the generosity of your spirit.

Let’s talk story:
The comments are open for your one-a-day suggestions!

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  1. says

    You are so right about needing to take care of ourselves before we can be fully present and give to others. In The Clearing Space Sanctuary for June, we discussed Me Time as a way of recharging batteries so we have energy and enthusiasm to give all we want (and need) to give to others. Without that constant topping up of our reserves, our batteries can run dry and we can find ourselves with nothing to give anyone.
    Your list of giving ideas is very inspiring. It took me a while to absorb these 12 suggestions, before I could think about adding to the list.
    There are two I’d like to suggest, if I may?
    The first would be we can Give the gift of our presence. I agree with your Day 1 – only I’d like to go a little deeper. Being there in the moment with our loved ones, co-workers or clients and focusing 100% of our attention on them (rather than thinking about what to prepare for dinner, or what we have to do next, etc.)
    The second is similar – we can Give the gift of intense listening, really listening when another person talks, hearing and getting what they are saying without our own agenda or reactions butting in.

  2. says

    May I add Day 13? We can say ‘Aloha’ to a new friend.
    When I blogtipped Dewayne I wasn’t planning on it leading me to the Islands. I’m so happy to have found your blog. Thanks for the link, Rosa!

  3. says

    How beautiful!
    May this month be filled with purpose and joy, living aloha through simple acts of giving in the spirit of lokomaika‘i.
    In contemplating the daily ‘habits’, the words of Peace Pilgrim came to mind: ‘Live in the present. Do the things that need to be done. Do all the good you can each day. Allow the future to unfold.’

  4. says

    Wonderful additions Karen and Dale, mahalo nui :-)
    And Tom, a warm welcome to our Ho’ohana Community. Thank you so much for clicking in and reading. Your Day 13 is perfect – and an everyday wish for me too!

  5. says

    I like Tom’s Day 13 Rosa, and I will add a day 14 if I may – to share our eternal optimism with all who need the inspiration to make positive changes in their lives. Happy 4th!

  6. says

    Excellent Starbucker, and so wonderfully fitting coming from you, the eternal optimist that you are! You mentor us all so very, very well, and we are ever so grateful. Happy 4th to you too.

  7. says

    What a great post Rosa. I know that when I am out of center, there are two things that will bring me back — generosity and gratitude.
    I believe that there is another reason that people don’t give of themselves (besides time and energy): they simply don’t recognize the gift that the have to give.

  8. says

    Dick you are so right; everyone’s self-esteem and self-confidence can get an automatic boost when they recognize their own gifts. Generosity and gratitude can serve us well in grooming an attitude of abundance versus one of scarcity. Mahalo for chiming in on this!

  9. says

    The Generosity of Delegation

    On Talking Story this month we are learning a new Hawaiian value, one that I do speak of quite a bit in Managing with Aloha, but in the way it compliments the other values and fortifies them; it was not