Weekend Warrior (Mine was a Wiliwili tree)

How are you doing (or did you do”) with your Reach into the Weekend?

Yesterday morning I indulged in an Artist Date, the exercise Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way recommends”


“Now to the second tool, the sticky one. [The first tool is her morning pages.] The second primary tool of a creative recovery involves play. Oh this tool is hard to master. Dubbed an ‘Artist Date,’ this second, essential tool involves a once-weekly, solitary, festive expedition targeted at enticing our inner artist into exploring new realms.”

My chosen “realm” to explore yesterday was my passion for, and fascination with, the endangered Hawaiian Wiliwili tree. This view is of a tree I have driven by for the past eighteen years, but had to hike into the scrub to see — and to appreciate up close.

12. Warrior’s Canopy View 2

We are surrounded by dryland ‘lava land scrub’ where we live on the west side of the Big Island, on the slopes of the saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two of the five shield volcanoes the Big Island is made of.  One visitor to my Flickr photostream had commented, “it looks so remote” and it is and isn’t” it could more accurately be described as in adolescence with land development that may unfortunately be inevitable.

6. Warrior’s Outpost View 1

Meanwhile, it is an easy thing for me to set off on foot, and be within wilderness (that truthfully, someone somewhere may consider to be trespassing) within two walking miles. It would also be very easy to get hopelessly lost in the scrub, and you must be careful that you keep the roadway in some relative direction by sight or sound as you hike; the terrain takes you on 180’s in shift constantly, and the rolling hilliness obstructs your view with every few steps (and you do venture in because these old 4-wheel roads are not where it is most interesting):

2008_0628yellowili0095

Yesterday’s morning hike was more ambitious than usual, for it took me a good four hours (very sunny, hot hours) but it was so rewarding. My goal was to populate my Flickr photo set for the endangered Hawaiian Wiliwili tree, and there was one in particular I think of as the Warrior Sentinel. It grows in its natural habitat and is one which has been pruned of its lower branches by the land developer, but has never been transplanted, in fact, the road was rerouted to be built around it.

One look at the trunk near its base, and you can understand why transplanting it would be a monumental endeavor”

10. Anchored

Plus the wiliwili is now considered an endangered tree, so it may be that the developer had little choice” law or no law, it is likely that messing with this one would have created an uproar. I wasn’t here at the time the road was built, but if they ever try to mess with it now, I’ll be one of those making the most noise.

If you would like to learn more about the Hawaiian Wiliwili you can start with my Flickr photo set, now 62 photos full as of this writing, and then do some Google searches.

The wiliwili is starting to be a more frequent illustration for me now that I have a digital camera, and I have had a few people ask me (and I paraphrase to sum them all up succinctly) “Rosa, what is it with you and this tree?” for to many it is interesting yes, but it is gnarled and less than totally beautiful when compared to some others; in the late summer and early fall it loses its leaves completely, and the older ones I most reverently take my photos of barely leaf at all when they do.

‘Imi ola

The answer is that the Hawaiian Wiliwili represents significant kaona (hidden storied meaning) for me, so much so that if I ever had to pick one image for all of Managing with Aloha it would not be my book jacket; it would be one of the wiliwili. I will tell the full story one day soon (there is some of it within the Flickr photo set descriptions). For now, I hope you enjoy more pictures.

24. Blossom Macro Filament/Anther View

One of my rewards yesterday was to find another tree with yellow blossoms I had not seen before. Its blooming was farther along than the Warrior Sentinel, and so I could get photos of the wiliwili seed pods:

41. Yellow’s Blossom and Seed Pods

42. Fallen Seed and Pod (Yellow)


So tell me, how did you Reach into your weekend?


What are your current triggers with what is interesting to you?
My timing for this particular Artist Date had to do with a couple of different things, like having my camera now, and learning to love Flickr photo-journaling, but mostly because the Warrior Sentinel is in full summer bloom right now (there are other ‘before’ pictures from May in the same set). The wiliwili blooming was my reason for a hike into the scrub versus taking another kind of Artist Date, and there are a bunch of other things you can do that are not solo propositions.

17. Warrior’s Blossom View 1

I am interested in your stories: There is nothing like the weekend for talking story where we all get to know each other better. Especially for humans, but trees can count too… then there is the very worthwhile goal of learning to be interesting too.

Did you get rewarded with any surprises, as I did with the yellow wiliwili tree I found?

Reach into the Weekend

and KÄ“ia Manawa, or as may be more familiar to many, “Carpe, Diem, seize the day.”

Greens help me reach higher

It is 5:40am as I write this – just had to wake up early and get the weekend started, for there is so much to do, so much to feel, so much to be, with joy in the living of it all.

How will it be KÄ“ia Manawa for you this weekend?

It’s RFL Time: Rapid Fire Learning for June

Today is the 25th of the month: You shouldn’t be here…

You should be at Joyful Jubilant Learning for RFL!

Wow, this was a great month. And Talking Story readers, I love the JJL RFL exercise as one that you kinda sorta talk story through in both the doing and sharing.

  • The doing is like self-talking story, where the story is the month that just was some kind of milestone in your life, but it is one waiting for you to articulate it.
  • The sharing is the magic of what happens over within the JJL community: All you have to do is read today’s RFL posting and comment conversation to feel the goodness of it, and see exactly what I mean. For me to try and explain that a bit more here will not do it justice.

Adding in my own RFL sharing there took me all of 5 minutes tops because RFL is intended to be a stream-of-consciousness exercise. You must do this for yourself. It allows your own personal learning to feed your spirit.

Dwayne Melancon is hosting this month, and Joanna Young of Confident Writing already chimed in —- I’m waiting to see you and your name pop up in the comments or trackbacks there next!

Yes, a lot of bold in this because I feel RFL is that important (learners make the world go round, plain and simple) and that good for you, and I care about you.

So click over there: Rapid Fire Learning for June.

Then you can come back and tell me that you weren’t just "ing-ing" around with it… come back later and See me when the “ing” stuff is over.

Joyful Jubilant Learning

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See me when the “ing” stuff is over

I ask myself ‘do I want permission so I can have someone on my side when it fails, or so they know it was my idea when it works?’ —Ken Smith


If it’s done the right way, no apology is necessary – you are right, it is irrelevant. —Terry Starbucker


Love description of approval. Have starred this one – it’s a keeper! —Jen Parke

Those are snippets from the conversation continued on Twitter about permission (or approval) versus forgiveness (or fessing up with an apology!) after I told my Twitter Village about the posting here yesterday: Get permission or ask for forgiveness?

The words we choose can indeed give us some immediate context.

I also got some private push-back in regard to the caveat about “great bosses” versus “run-of-the-mill managers” with one gentleman writing me that,

“my boss’s favorite line is, ‘don’t come to me when you are doing it, just after it’s done.’ Problem is, it’s a crap-shoot for me on if he’ll like the done or not. I just never know.”


Which goes back to the second caveat:
“If you are the manager, make your expectations clear in regard to how people should best work with you”” If you are the boss, you should expect your people to do well, I agree with that, however you also have to set them up to succeed with you and not wait for them to hang themselves! (That is true jerk-dom). Talk story with them, and get more clarity to happen between you.

If like my emailer you also have a boss stuck in jerk-dom, you will have to get brave and talk to him (or her) about it being a challenge for you to meet their expectations. Not easy, I know, but something you will just have to do. It is either that, or risk getting hung.

I once had a boss that was a bit similar, but he did go the distance making sure we completely understood what was expected. His line for us was, “see me when the ing stuff is over.” It was a way he made his expectation clarity pretty easy for us to remember. What he meant, was that we needed to think twice about coming to him when our work could still be described with “ing” ending words, like:

  • Planning
  • Reviewing
  • Analyzing
  • Budgeting
  • Organizing
  • Strategizing
  • Brainstorming
  • Scheduling

As far as he was concerned, all those kinds of words were still stuck in the doing and not in the “done” of accomplishment.

In contrast, he loved “ed” ending words (and certain ones):

  • Executed (was way better than planned)
  • Decided (was way better than analyzed)
  • Financed (was way better than budgeted)
  • Collaborated (was way better than strategized)
  • Prototyped (was way better than brainstormed)
  • Reinvented (was way better than reviewed)

You get the idea. This gentleman was my boss well over a decade ago, but his expectations were so crystal clear, they stayed with me long after he was out of my work picture.

He had a related phrase that always stayed with me too, which was, “Wishing and hoping is not a strategy.” This one pretty dramatically affected the way that I view Ka lā hiki ola, our value for the month of June, which you’ll recall is the value of hope and promise. I still have a lot of cautions about wishing and hoping (frankly, I feel pretty wimpy whenever I catch myself using those words), but drop that “ing” and HOPE is pure gold.

I talk about hope today in my last MWAC Tuesday essay about Ka lā hiki ola: Hope, thy name is Optimism. The article also shares the Legend of the Wiliwili Trees. Check it out. 

(How was that for a segue between the two blogs, hmm? Yeah, kinda pleased with myself… classic example of what writing morning pages can do for you :)

Hope is the Color Orange


“I once heard it said that “hope has nothing to do with what is going on in the world.”

More at MWAC today” it’s the wrap up for Ka lā hiki ola.

A new month begins next Tuesday.

Hope, thy Name is Optimism


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