Listening to Ancient Wisdom
Positive psychology is the relatively new area of social science that investigates factors which contribute to thriving people, organizations and communities. However modern science sometimes neglects to examine existing cultures in order to understand whether their traditions can provide authentic lessons about what wellbeing means to us.
In this newsletter, the last of 2009, we share with you some New Zealand Māori proverbs and their English translations drawn from an inspirational book called Earth, Sea, Sky written by Patricia and Waiariki Grace and (Craig Potton Publishers) . These sayings developed through people being in tune with their surroundings over millennia. They reflect a respect for the environment that many traditional cultures share. They speak of what it means to be human. Their beautiful interpretations have been assorted by us into “Positive Psychology” categories.
We hope you enjoy these and use the wisdom in the proverbs to navigate and rejoice in life.
1. Appreciate life’s beauty and magnificence
Korihi ake ngā manu
Tākiri mai te ata
Ka ao, ka ao. Ka awatea
Tīhei mauri ora
The birds call
The day begins
I am alive
2. Be resilient
He taru kahika
Walk on, as it is only summer rain falling
3. Be optimistic about the future
He iti hau marangai e tū te pāhokahoka
First comes the light wind carrying the rain,
Then comes the rainbow
4. Be confident in yourself
Kimihia te kahurangi;
ki te piko tōu matenga, ki te maunga teitei.
If you bow your head,
Let it be only
To a great mountain
5. Everything is interdependent
Tangi kau ana te hau
Ki runga o marae nui
The wind sails across the vast ocean plaza of Hinemoana
(Hinemoana is the ocean spirit that carries the messages of the universe)
6. Play to your strengths
He toka tū moana, arā he toa rongonui
Your strength is like a rock that stands in raging waters
7. Make plans for the future – a cautionary tale
I hea koe i te ao o te kōwhai
Where were you when the kowhai was in bud?
(The Kowhai tree flowers in the Spring and this is a warning that you need to work hard and sow in the Spring to reap the benefits before the Winter comes)
8. Strive to be the best you can
Te tāpaepae o te rangi
See there, to the place where the sky reaches down
9. Connect to your traditions
Piki atu au ki te taumata o tōku maunga,
Ka kite au i te mana, it e ihi o te whenua nei nō ōku tipuna
I climb to the summit of my mountain to see the land of my ancestors
10. Use your difficulties
He ua ki te pō, he paewai ki te ao
When it rains at night, eels may be caught in the morning
11. Listen to your emotions and act
Tangi ana ngā tai
Rū ana te whenua
Listen to the raw of the sea
Feel the land tremble
12. Be prepared for change – life is uncertain
Ka whaimata te tapuae o Tangoroa.
Tangaroa. Ka haruru
He strides to and fro, Tangaroa
Hear him roar
(Tangaroa is the god of the sea)
13. Be vigilant for ignorance and intolerance
Ka parangia nei te aotūroa
I te pō kerekere
Intense night envelopes the world
14. Learn from those with experience and be respectful
Tirohia ki a Aorangi
Ka kākahutia e te huka rere
Look at Aorangi clothed in snow
(Aorangi is New Zealand’s highest mountain. This refers to appreciation of the achievements of others and of the time and tenacity it takes to achieve our highest goals)
15. Be aware of your limitations
He manga wai koia
Kia kore e whitikia
It is a big river indeed that cannot be crossed
16. Important changes happen suddenly
Tīhore ana te rangi
i te uira
Lightening splits the heavens
17. We leave you with our favourite!
Whakataka te hau ki te uru
Whakataka te hau ki te tonga
Kia mākinakina i uta
Kia mātaratara i tai
Kia hī ake ana te atakura
He tio, he huka, he hauhunga
Tīhei mauri ora!
Let the cold winds from the west and from the south, that assail the lands and the seas, desist.
Let the red tipped dawn come with a touch of frost, a sharpened air, the promise of a glorious day.
Behold we are alive!
If you are interested in learning more about Positive Psychology, visit our website: www.breathe-london.com/positive-psychology.
We also offer a 30 day Wellbeing plan available to download now in which you will gain awareness of habits and routines that may nourish or drain your energy, and practice using new tools that enable you to build a more positive life. www.breathe-london.com/positive-connections.
For last minute Christmas presents, how about a Massage Gift Voucher – www.breathe-london.com/massage-gift-vouchers
Wishing you a Happy Christmas and New Year!
The team at Breathe London.
Breathe is a London based wellbeing business specialising in the fusion of ideas from Positive Psychology, Yoga and Massage Therapies. Our physical therapy centre is based on the London’s South Bank and we run Business Psychology and Personal Development courses throughout the UK and online.
Other lifestyle benefits at www.bprlondon.com
Posted on December 17, 2009, in Coaching, Meditation etc. and tagged Blackfriars, Breathe News, Central London, Emotional Intelligence, Life Coaching, London, Meditation, Mindfulness Coaching, Positive Psychology, SE1, Stress Management, Waterloo, Wellbeing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.