Aloha; a Celebration of Who We Are

You may have noticed that I’ve become a fan of Flickr lately for the great photos to be found there. Finding terrific shots of Hawai‘i is pretty easy; whenever I photo-surf, I count my blessings yet again for the beauty which surrounds me in these islands I call home sweet home.

There is fun and playfulness in the images of Hawai‘i which people capture too:


This one in particular caught my eye, for our value for the month of February, 2007 is Aloha. With February as the month known for friendship and love, Aloha suits it so perfectly.

I am calling this month’s Ho‘ohana Aloha, the celebration of who we are. Everything we will learn this year, everything we will accomplish, every sweet victory and satisfying job well done, will start and end with us, the people of feisty, bountiful spirit that we are.

All the kindness and love we share, all the unconditional acceptance, understanding, and forgiveness we give, will come from our Aloha.

Our ALO – our demeanor and presence shared with those we are with

Our HA – the very breath of our life, and our spirit

Our ALOHA – the authentic, transparent, vulnerable, real us

“Aloha is pretty simple; to have aloha is keeping it real.”

—The definition of Aloha shared with Rosa by a very wise 17-year old gentleman at Kamehameha School’s Kea‘au campus on the Big Island of Hawai‘i

This is the gift of aloha: At the core, we are good enough, just the way we are.

Do we choose to express it? Or do we allow others to ask us for something that is different?

Sure, we want to get better, to learn and continually improve. And yes, we want to fill our capacity, so that we are thoroughly used up when we die. I’ve written of those things too.

However, I felt the need for Aloha as our value this month to somewhat temper the unreasonable expectations we can place on ourselves at times, to help us strike more of a balance in being okay with who we already are.

Further, have we fully explored the all of us?

In the past week, I had issued a Rapid Fire Learning challenge for Joyful Jubilant Learning, and I was absolutely thrilled with the results. What people had overwhelmingly learned, didn’t have to do with new technologies or advanced academics even though I tempted these choices with my own first examples. Talk even died down about the “new social media” and virtual communities.

What we mostly learned, was about the consequences of the choices we make with our own behavior. We learned about the values we want to remain true to. We learned about the glory of us;

Don’t let anyone, ever, steal your dreams.  Hold them close.  Guard them well.

learned about ‘Imi ola, and creating one’s best possible life.

I’ve learned I’m less focused on financial security (i.e. a secure job) that I thought I was.

learned about what is important to him, and about his Ho‘ohana.

Do not over think it, just do it.

learned about Nānā i ke kumu, and trusting in your own truth.

I like to think outside the box and do things differently than what others have done… but, sometimes the tried and true "rules" have merit. It seems that I am learning a better balance between my "rebel-think-outside-the-box" self and my "stay-inside-the-lines-follow-the-rules" self.

learned about Pono, the value of rightness and balance and how it can bring us contentment.

Time away from work, off-line, with family and friends and occasionally alone, is refreshing, liberating, and renewing.

”“Blaine learned about Mālama, the self-care which nourishes him, and about ‘Ohana, his family.

I love Creativity. I hate Tediousness.

”“John learned about his Ho‘ohana, and how it can move us in the right direction.

Learning question I considered: If you know how the story is going to end, do you still do the right thing?

”“Tim learned about ‘Ike loa, and about how knowledge can be instinctive for us, if we ask the right questions.

That all the endless networking I have done over the last 3 years or so of my business may be starting to pay dividends.

”“Chris learned about ‘Ohana, the human circle of Aloha, and about Lōkahi, the harmony and unity of community.

I can be involved in too much. Saying no is the right answer. – I am fortunate that I get many opportunities to do some really GREAT stuff. I often pile more and more on, and do things pretty good. I can do things GREAT…If I’m willing to commit to less things, NOT more.

”“Phil learned about KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u, and how excellence is a result of the right actions being taken.

I determined (with lots of help from my blogging friends) that optimists can be born AND made.

”“Terry learned about the promise of Aloha, innate and born-in, yet made ever stronger by our choices.

These are all lessons of our own values.

So with this month’s Ho‘ohana, tell me, how will you celebrate the real, authentic, glorious you? No book, no class, no tutorial will ever have the unique DNA of you and your Aloha. You are more than good enough; you are exquisite and priceless. You are fresh and revitalizing, like the crystal clear waters of an artesian well.

Let’s Ho‘ohana:
Let’s explore, and delight in discovering the all of you. The full complement of your Aloha Spirit.

We’re here to share our aloha, as we ho‘ohana together, kākou.
Sometimes, we do need help in seeing the good in ourselves. Sometimes, we can use the aloha of another in understanding what our strengths are, because they miraculously sense them in us before we do, no matter how comfortable we are in our own skins.

I have a new challenge for you in February; if you see strength and goodness in someone else, tell them you do. Describe it to them, and tell them how great they are. Hold up the mirror of your admiration for them, and get them celebrate with us in full acceptance of who they are.

Take another look at that plumeria script of Aloha in the Flickr picture above. Sharing Aloha is just too good to resist.

Let’s Talk Story, shall we?


I refer you to the pages of Managing with Aloha, or to the archives for my “classic Aloha” definitions, and I hope you will take some time to revisit them:

  • The Chapter One, Aloha pdf download will be available in the right column of until February 28, 2007


  1. says

    Wow. Aloha. Indeed. Intesity. I love it. What an awesome theme for February. The short month. Perfect. Valentine’s Day. Passion in the air. Red everywhere. It makes sense. Particularly for me. January wasn’t the wham bam hot damn success slam I had planned. No ticket tape parades. No prestigious invites. No red carpet affairs. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’ll spare you the sour grapes. Suffice it to say that some very important people who apparently love me very much have slapped some sense into me and now I’ve awoken to find myself fast approaching the midpoint of Q1 2007 with not one NYR in hand. Aloha. Indeed. Or oh shit. Or get real. I should say. Then sustain. Keep it real. Channel the energy. Unchanneled energy results in anxiety. Focused, channeled energy, equates to intensity. Good luck.

  2. says

    I don’t think you’re alone in some of these feelings Troy, far from it. January does create these huge expectations for us. That’s part of the reason why I like to have the value of Ka lā hiki ola for January; it IS the dawning of a new day, and we can just be present in it, and enjoy it for the wonder it is, all by itself. I call it the value of creativity too, but it is a creativity with the balance of presence. Then in February, Aloha takes us back inside the good we have within us, for the starting of OUR new day, one of celebrating the wonder WE are. The intensity seems to come with the whole deal ”“ the world seems to conspire ”“ but Aloha can help us harness it instead of battling with it. January is over, and now we can relax again with better focus.
    Thank you so much Troy, for being who you are. You add richness to our community in so many ways, this comment is but one more example!

  3. says

    As a child ‘coming home’ to Hawaii was so energizing! And as if keikis need more energy – at my half a century, I could sure use some!! (hee,hee!) Daily, I observe the mini-est Monte: Teri Ki’ilani, age 6 – who in an instant can ‘go for broke’, no matter what time it is. She’ll go play all day…then after dinner, she’ll start slow down…but then, that shiny brightness in the eyes will gleem, and she gets a ‘second wind’…and wow! She’s off and running! That’s ALOHA.
    I started my comment with the long, drawn out: Aaaa-Looooooooooo-Haaaaaaaaaaaaa! Which takes me back to the many trips home during childhood; my Father was right hand man to Red Skelton, the comedian – so we lived in Los Angeles, Ca. But, one of the events I would always see and hear while strolling around Waikiki(my dad always put us up in hotels…he said if we stay with ohana, we’ll never get out of there from all the other ohana visits!)was the Hawaii Calls show with Webley Edwards. He would always open his show with that long, drawn out A-LOOOOO-HAAAAA…and I would marvel at the audience response of returning the greeting, loud and proud and all the big smiles on their faces…then a couple of years ago, while doing my emcee duties opening up a Keola Beamer concert here…during intermission, a local came up to me and commented that the long, drawn out Aaa-Loooo-Haaaaa – is not the proper way to say it – that it was commercialized by Hauoles that way. My response: it’s all good, because it’s ALL ALOHA! White, Brown, Purple, Yellow or Blue – it’s ALOHA; and funny how, by the way, that delivery style started by Webley Edwards before I was born, still gets response to this day! That’s ALOHA. Like Hawaiians…goes on forever!
    There was also my 9 months of unemployment period…no matter how much I tried – at times sending out 300 resumes a week thru various search engines…nothing! After nearly exhausting da savings…I started to stress. Then this wonderful wahine, named Rosa wrote in her book about ALOHA…about letting go and trusting yourself…and know that what is best will surface…just ‘hold the vision’ and pay attention, so as not to miss the opportunity when it shows up. The moment I let go and followed this wise one’s advice – everything started to flow and things got mo better! That’s ALOHA.
    And since each one of us has that ‘little keiki’ inside – while very young, I was taught a concept handed down from my beloved Hawaiian Ancestors: ALOHA involves all that we have been – all that we are – and all that we will be; it involves our very breath – that very breath is given to us the exact moment that we are born…the Creator gives us breath – because breath IS LIFE…it is our connection to the Creator which is eternal and cannot be broken, it is a gift from our source…and if you don’t believe me, try hold your breath – see who wins! That’s ALOHA!
    Lastly, ‘remembering Aloha’ moment to moment is key. Last year, I decided after some 20 years to write a book about my Father’s work ing life with Red Skelton – a first of it’s kind photo book/journal that is completed by the buyer, making it a family heirloom. So once I decided, I aimed for funding to sustain me, so I could devote 40 hours a week to writing and having the book ready for the Holidays. Well I could not find anyone who was wanted to fund somebody to not work, but sit at home and write. One person, came forward, but countered my proposal with funding released over time and proving up of work done toward finishing the book. At first, I resisted…I whined a bit…kicked my feet (my inner keiki, yeah?) and then struggled for 3 months balancing out working for reals, and scheduling in writing times. Ahhhhhhhhhh…’balance’ that was the key…in fact, that is always the key to Life…BALANCE! Me and Book, are coming along just fine…and that’s ALOHA!
    And all of the above is my ALOHA – to All of YOU! With special ALOHA and BIG HUGS to Rosa, for encouraging us – enlightening us – and enabling us to cross that bridge of ALOHA every day…keeping it real!
    John Keoni Monte

  4. says

    When we completely accept and celebrate who we are, there is such energy and joy that bubbles forth from us. Your February message illustrates that so beautifully John; there is a radiance of beauty in the way your words and stories have tumbled out of you to swirl here like a fresh breeze of aloha-filled hope and encouragement for the rest of us. Mahalo.

  5. says

    You need Aloha to learn on the job

    Over the last month or so, I’ve had a few conversations with a manager struggling to keep her head above water in her role. Technically she knows her job inside and out, the problem as she first described it to

  6. says

    Ho‘ohana! Everything you need, you have.

    Today, as I reached into my mailbox with great happiness over the March delivery of O The Oprah Magazine, it occurred to me how my life’s timeline has looked like a changing evolution of magazine covers ” for instance, there