I am not a morning person.
I’m not really a night person either.
But I am ever attuned to the voices of my children.
Despite how I feel –
Though I may be tired to my bones,
I rise. I respond.
Out of love –
And in that act of love
I am met with supernatural grace.
Each of us is called to a
And fulfilling that purpose out of love
Is not so difficult.
I am not a monk.
I am a mother.
And so I rise.
12 Steps of Organizational Life
Accept people and situations for whom and what they are.
Look to God first and give your full attention to God’s direction.
Respect leadership and live with joy and passion for the work.
Every individual and every contribution in the organization is important; listen more than you speak.
Be authentic and own up to your shortcomings.
Acknowledge your humanity and fallibility; be satisfied with the gifts you are given.
Allow others to be themselves. Ask for help when needed.
Accept criticism, listen and be in the community.
Live your integrity.
Respect the dignity of every individual. Humor at the expense of another is not funny.
Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Be mindful of the impact your actions or inaction may have on others.
Ka 'Ai Me Ka I'a
Paʻakai – Hawaiian sea salt is a staple to the Hawaiian diet. Without any means of refrigeration, paʻakai was most commonly used to season or preserve fish. The word paʻakai is made up of two words – paʻa to be firm or steadfast, and kai, the ocean.
The Hawaiian people were incredible sea voyagers, navigating across the Pacific guided by the stars. Kai was not merely viewed as a means of transportation, but a pathway to create and maintain relationships. Paʻakai therefore, refers to our intentional actions to solidify relationships and strengthen the pathways that allow relationships to flourish.
Paʻakai continues to be highly valued and utilized as a spiritual cleanser, a medicine, and a regular part of any Hawaiian meal. Its presence in our daily practice of gathering to share a meal reminds us of the importance of relationships.
Leadership and Imagination
The morning began in the dance studio. With fun, funky music playing in the background, we were guided through a series of movements – float, punch, slash, glide – and with each motion we were asked, “How does that feel? Do you like it?”. After some time, we were led to an art studio where large canvases of butcher paper and tempra paint was set out for each of us. We were only instructed to not talk.
I have never considered myself an artist, much less a painter, and I felt very afraid to mess up, do something wrong, or make something ugly. I started off very slowly, just mixing colors on the styrafoam plate – green, white, and more white – until it produced a distinct, yet soft shade of green. I carefully dipped the brush into the paint, unsure of what to do next and unable to ask for help or opinions of anyone else. I hesitantly placed the brush at the top of the paper and dragged it down. The absence of external noise allowed for my internal voice to be heard. “How does that feel? Do you like it?”. The answer was, “No, I don’t like it”.
I then placed the brush at the bottom of the paper and ran it up – this time it felt good. I liked it. Painting, that morning, became a series of movements that felt good to me. That painting is now framed in very exquisite koa wood, behind museum quality glass to ensure the tempra colors will never fade. It hangs above the fireplace and reminds me to honor my inner voice that empowers me to live authentically.
I think the key word to our experience is, together.
Together we left the security and safety of our family and community, and bravely showed up with hope and curiosity and vulnerability in spite of our insecurities.
Together we dreamed of growing as incredible team building leaders, and together we felt moments of disappointment in ourselves and others.
Together we extended and received grace.
Together we lost ourselves in moments of celebration, and together we witnessed, contributed to, and held tension.
Together we move on and move forward to lead, mentor, consult, and witness the forming, storming, norming, performing and transforming of others.
We The People
“We, the people of Hawaii, pledge our resolute commitment to guard and protect the rights of our Mother Earth. We pledge to consider the consequences our actions and decisions will have on the next generation, and generations to come, even to the sixth and seventh generation. We pledge to be good ancestors and stewards of the resources that are our kuleana.
We, the people of Hawaii, pledge to connect – in meaningful, authentic, and vulnerable ways by disconnecting from the technology that has distracted and devalued our cultural practice of talk story. We pledge to honor the sacredness of darkness as a time when work ceases, and families gather around a single source of fire and light to share stories of the past and dreams of the future.
We, the people of Hawaii, pledge to return to our traditional ways of living and place well-being over being well-off. We pledge to celebrate, and marvel at, and find expressions of worship in the gifts given to us. The sunrise in the east that turns the sky from deep purple to brilliant orange before finally giving way to light blue. The sound of the streams flowing from the mountainside through forests of fern and moss, and on to greet the playful breaks of ocean tide pools. The simple, yet incomparable beauty in the eyes of a child whose voice is heard and acknowledged above the business and responsibilities of adult life.
With sincerity and hope,