Positive Psychology, religion and ancient traditions – Maori sayings

Positive psychology is the relatively new area of social science that investigates factors which contribute to thriving people, organizations and communities.  This is the first of a series of blogs examining the link between Positive Psychology and ancient traditions and religions.  In the weeks to come we will look at Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Polynesian traditions .  We are keen to get here your ideas so let us know what you think.

In this newsletter 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

O Hinemoana

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.


Posted on August 27, 2011, in Coaching, Meditation etc. and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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