The writing of Managing with Aloha was a defining moment in my life. At face value, it celebrated a very long career in management and leadership, succinctly creating this “Hawaiian sensibility for worthwhile work” that has become my mission and has built a very successful business for me. Beneath that face value however, Managing with Aloha exposed me to see the all of me; it has been a crucible part of my own Nānā i ke kumu process, that process in which we “look to our source” and become more self-aware of the whole of who we are.
In other words, the writing of Managing with Aloha caused me to reckon with my own inner spirit.
The “who we are,” can be the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. It’s called being imperfectly human, which is okay in a self-forgiving kind of way, for you have to aloha yourself, accepting the fullness of who you are unconditionally. Then, you have to love yourself enough to make better all that is in your capability and capacity to make better.
The “good” is our innate aloha spirit. Think about aloha in the shorthand, very literal way:
- Your HA is the breath of the life spirit coming from within you
- Your ALO is your demeanor, the outside face you present to the world
- Put together, ALOHA is living life in the combination of ALO and HA, where our outside ALO matches the goodness of our inside HA. We are transparently authentic. We are REAL.
The “bad and the ugly” happens when we allow other forces to overpower our good nature for some reason.
There have been many times, still raw and recent times, that I have struggled with my own “bad and downright ugly.” I call them my visitor demons, and I am NOT okay with the fact that they still reside somewhere inside my brain at times. I accept that their occasional timeshare in my brain is fact. Thing is, I also believe that any present “fact” of their existence can be temporary. I hold hope for the day I can close that timeshare forever.
Why my brain?
Visitor demons come from the more brutal survival tactics we can employ when our trust and our faith get shaken. We think logically, pragmatically, and intellectually on the side of a reality which may exist in the seeming absence of aloha, and we deal with the more ugly side of life by trying to reason our way through it.
When bad things happen to us — we sense we are going to get fired, we get badly hurt in a random accident or at the hands of another’s vicious gossip, or we lose a loved one who was most certainly “a good one who deserved to live” — we can instinctively struggle to survive and emerge by letting our visitor demons move in again.
Think of your intuitive self as your na‘auao, the “wisdom of your gut” and not your brain. Then, when bad things may happen, you can choose your responses with more confidence, a confidence which comes from being more self-attuned to the good which resides permanently inside you, head, heart, and gut instinct.
Know that Aloha is never absent. Call upon your inner sense of trust, faith, and hope.
Bright White floral courtesy of Flickr, taken by L.o.TL
Related posts and articles:
- Our December Ho‘ohana; Nānā i ke kumu, Look to your Source
- Aloha on ManagingwithAloha.com
- Nānā i ke kumu on ManagingwithAloha.com