Glorious November. Generous too. What I love about the changing of the season, is how liberally it can drop goodness in our laps unapologetically. November doesn’t bother to ask our permission; it just arrives with a flourish, like the cherry on top of a classic banana split.
It’s gonna happen for you, if it hasn’t already, so will you be a willing receiver when it does? Will you nalu it?
Nalu is the Hawaiian word for wave or surging surf, and the hapa-Hawaiian saying, to “Nalu it” means “go with the flow.” As every person who learns to swim in the ocean knows, you don’t fight the waves, you ride them.
I grew up thinking “Nalu it” was street slang, and so there was a very cool affirmation of sorts which washed over me the day I first looked up nalu in the Pukui Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary. They do define nalu as, “wave, surf; full of waves; to form waves; wavy, as wood grain” and then, as meaning number 2., “to ponder, meditate, mull over, speculate.”
That’s even better! The kaona (hidden meaning) of nalu becomes so much richer, for that definition means thoughtful intention to me. “Nalu it” begins to mean go with the flow, and be mindful at the same time; be present. Take notice, but also, leave some room.
When you stop and think about it, all flow needs that room — that space to flow well, to surge without inhibition, just as the best surf will.
So, we “ponder”…
As we ho‘ohana, and work with purpose, passion, and full intention have we freed up enough capacity in our lives so that we can “nalu it” when a golden opportunity drops in our laps unexpectedly? It doesn’t even have to be an opportunity… can we be open enough, and freed up enough, to enjoy whatever good shows up?
Or, are we normally running on fumes? Is there enough fuel in our reserves, so that we can take enticing detours without worrying that we’ll run dry, and will have taken too great a risk?
As we’ve said before, Be unencumbered. Especially now, when there is so much seasonal goodness to take advantage of, and to be in the flow with.
Park. Walk instead. Nalu it everywhere, and in all of your places.
Thoughts like these predictably recur in November. The year is drawing to a close, and holiday celebrations get our attention, seeming to say, “Hey you, pay attention to me, it’s time!” Can we do so, or are we still scrambling, reacting with, “No! I’m not ready for you” please hold off a bit more, and wait.”
Good try, for there’s no stopping the calendar, is there.
There’s little sense in resisting. No sense scrambling either. As David Allen says, “There’s no catching up; there’s only catching on.”
So nalu it; go with the flow this month and enjoy November. To park, and walk instead, is to take notice of your Sense of Place (our Key 8) and get grounded in that elemental, earthy way.
If you feel you must dig in with one last valiant effort, work on your sweetest closure and let stuff go: It will get you to Nānā i ke kumu (return to your source, value/chapter 17 in Managing with Aloha).
Say Aloha to November in your most welcoming way, and dwell there, within your spirit for the season, and your self-leadership. It’s a good place to be.
Lead the way
Do this for yourself and you’ll feel better: Going with the flow relaxes you.
Then, in the spirit of Managing with Aloha, give this same holiday permission to everyone who works with you. Share the Language of Intention of “Nalu it” with them — let them know their sweet closure is okay with you, and that you’ll support their enjoyment of the season too, where the goodness of nalu-ing it is completely possible.
One to review on this final thought… Dear Manager, who do you want to be?
Aloha! Just joining us?
Talking Story is the blog home of those who are learning to be Alaka‘i Managers — those committed to managing and leading with Aloha. Read a preview of the book which inspired this movement, and visit our About Page. Purchase Managing with Aloha at Amazon.com in hardcover, or in the Kindle Store.