Updated: May 11, 2020
What does Aloha mean?
The wonderful world of Aloha.
Aloha means no one gets left behind...
Aloha has a special meaning and spirit as shared by Pono Shim in this video:
Learning and practicing Aloha
I value the spirit of Aloha as written by Hawaii's treasured kupuna, Auntie Pilahi Paki. I strive to remember, practice, and be Aloha no matter what the circumstances may appear to be.
For example, I watch the news on rising unemployment and traffic jams as people in their cars line up for 3 to 4 hours before the free food distribution opens.
I feel heartbreak to see and hear about deaths from COVID, infected food processing plants; people who are losing their jobs, needing food, worrying about how to pay for basic needs, and fear of the unknown.
I feel heart warmth to see and hear about the many first-line responders, volunteers, establishments, and donors who care and generously give their time, food, hard work, and money to help our community.
And it concerns me to see posts on social media by people complaining or criticizing other people who may be taking advantage of the free masks and food. Granted, social media posts are ways that we can share our personal news, thoughts, and opinions. Readers can choose to look at a post, determine if it's true, and how to react.
I recently saw a shared post about a person who knows someone who knows people who got boxes of free food. It went on to say that the recipients are professionals who are currently working. Is this true? I don't know. But I admit my first reaction to the post was "OMG, how selfish and rude!"
On the news, I saw a clip showing hundreds of people, some in luxury cars, receiving free food. My first thought, "Why isn't there any verification system? How can people who really need help get the food?"
"Stop over-reacting, pause, and breathe," said my inner voice. Am I practicing the deeper, esoteric meaning of Aloha? How can I connect with compassion and be Aloha? What is my Aloha Response?
I watched Pono Shim's video for more insights on the deeper, esoteric meaning of Aloha. I take it to heart to practice Aloha in life's every moment, internally and externally, to emulate Aloha.
I grabbed my journal and coffee, sat in a quiet space to reflect and look deeper within. It's important to acknowledge feelings as they arise. If I don't take time to process and release irritation and frustration, these feelings compound and can lead to unhealthy stress.
In journaling, I found that underneath my initial irritation was the feeling of gloom. The fear of the unknown threatened to overtake courage. I sat with gloom, acknowledged that it was okay to feel this way, and wrote a gratitude list of blessings and possibilities.
Through the process, I felt compassion for strangers in the news and social media posts. It's possible that the person driving the luxury car to pick free food really needs help. That person may have been a doctor with fewer patients and lost revenue. That person may have a lot of debt or had to take a lower salary in order to pay staff. Or it's possible that the person is picking up food for elderly neighbors. Who am I to judge and I don't know the real, full story. No matter what, I send them Aloha.
Learning and practicing the deeper meaning of Aloha helps me keep an open mind, focus on what matters most, and be resilient. I have faith that our collective Aloha Responses will strengthen relationships and community as we navigate and implement innovative solutions together.
Let's BE ALOHA together
COVID19 is the biggest challenge that the WHOLE WORLD is going through. It's completely different from what many of us can phantom, digest, grieve, prepare, recover, and rebound.
Strengthen understanding within and beyond ourselves. I invite you to watch Pono's video links in this post, be aware of your feelings, and keep journaling.
Let's BE ALOHA now and every moment in our lives.
Mahalo for reading and leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!