Sense of Place and Time:
It’s the last Sunday of April 2019, the 2nd month of a value immersion we devoted to Nānā i ke kumu. This is a Sunday Mālama edit of the wrap-up I offered in our Ho‘ohana Community newsletter;
Nānā i ke kumu Layers
Let’s start by revisiting our basic refresher on the value of Nānā i ke kumu from Managing with Aloha:
This is the value of personal well being.
Literally translated, Nānā i ke kumu means “look to your source.”
Seek authenticity, and be true to who you are. Get grounded within your sense of self. Keep your Aloha at the surface of what you do daily, and celebrate those things that define your personal truths.
To value Nānā i ke kumu is to practice Mahalo for your sense of self: Do you really know how extraordinary and naturally wise you are? Find out. Become more self-aware. It’s the best discovery you’ll ever make.
When you immerse your thoughts into Nānā i ke kumu, you will often experience a kind of reckoning. This is a value which gets you to take inventory of ‘your source’—what’s in there, exactly?
Many of us have Nānā i ke kumu layers, which categorically, tend to be something like this; I’ll describe these possibilities from the deeper layers up to the just-below-the-surface ones.
—a layer of our core convictions, beliefs and values. Our baseline mana‘o—the ways we repeat ourselves to make this our cushy, soft and supple layer of self-supporting constants and non-negotiables. This is the source which tends to put us on a kind of automatic pilot, for these are convictions we feel are innate for us and ingrained in us. Some call this our ‘backbone’ or how we ‘get grounded.’ I like to think of this layer as our tangible spirit, and our mana of divine energy.
Values represent the good in your life (April 2018).
—a layer of stuff we learned on our own through “I lived this” experiences. Kūpuna I have learned from, have referred to this source as A‘o na‘au—the gut level intuition and wisdom we learned on our own, as opposed to wisdom handed down to us from our ancestors. This experiential learning causes us to make certain promises to ourselves as a source of reliability we tap into, so we never forget what we learned. We do this mostly because those experiences weren’t lived in any vacuum; other people were involved, and they helped define those experiences in a relational way.
On Ho‘ohiki: Keeping your promises (August 2012).
—a layer of crucibles. A crucible is “a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.” Crucibles are both physical and emotional in ways which tested us. They may be downright painful, but they’re also enlightening. When we emerge from a crucible we feel changed for the better despite what we may have endured. Though not unscathed, we feel victorious. Crucibles also have a way of getting us to look back into our deeper layers: We’ll question those other layers, and we’ll update them or add to them by making new choices, choices we feel we have grown into.
—a layer of our self-efficacy. From Wikipedia: “Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in their innate ability to achieve goals. Psychologist Albert Bandura defines it as a personal judgment of ‘how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations’—this layer determines how well you approach your goals, tasks, and challenges. It feeds into your confidence and certainty that you can have initiative and be a self-starter.
Accept your Small Wisdoms with Grace (October 2012).
—a layer of what others taught us through years, stuff we took to heart as valuable advice we can rely on. We wove those sources into what we think about and believe, but we haven’t self-expressed all of them: We haven’t actually put much of this layer into definitive action yet. By ‘definitive,’ I mean actions that aren’t just copies—they have our signature on them
“Whatever it is you want to do, find the person who does it best.
Then see if they will teach you.”
—When the disciple is ready, the master will appear
—a layer of your own bright thoughts and ideas, still untested. Still unscheduled and pending. This is our layer of “someday, maybe…” wishing and hoping. Nonetheless, this layer can be immensely inspiring and motivating, for we don’t think of it as unreachable, far in the future, or as a bucket list; we think of this layer as our source of inspiration; we think of it as our battery charger, and how we don’t allow ourselves to settle. This is a layer of inspiration we want made real as soon as we can manage it.
Backpacks and pencil boxes (January 2018).
If any of this occurred to you during our March-April 2019 value immersion with Nānā i ke kumu, well done!
“But Rosa,” you might be saying, “this looking within myself has been gut-wrenching: There’s so much more I want to do!”
My 65 years (more on that here) have taught me that there’s just one tonic and one antidote for that feeling:
—The tonic is commitment to your signature works—your Ho‘ohana.
—The antidote is your sense of urgency, when you redefine ‘urgent’ as those activities which align with your values.
Put them together, and you move from whatever is ‘Pending’ in your heart’s desire, to ‘Done’—or at least in that happy happy joy joy existence of being which we call ‘doing it!’
When you think of your own sources, those held within the richness of Nānā i ke kumu as your value of well being, is there any other layer you think of, which I may not have considered here? The comments are open for you—I would truly love to hear about it!
Nānā i ke kumu— Look to your source.
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Preview of Managing with Aloha, Second Edition, released Summer 2016
Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business