Posted in Community, hospitality, Joyfulness, kindness

The Legacy of the Lei: A Symbol of Aloha

image collage of lei history

Aloha is Hospitality, Kindness, Forgiveness, Beauty, and Love. It benefits everyone! The Hawaiian lei is a lovely symbol of Aloha… it provides a loving and unconditional “welcome”

Image of King Kamehameha adorned in leis
Royal Leis for King Kamehameha

Lei Résumé:

Its objective

A gesture to welcome visitors, be lovely, be fragrant, bring joy, represent hospitality, show kindness, and encourage community.

image of shell lei
Ni’ihau Shells

Its origin

Leis were once made of hair, feathers, shells, bone, leaves, vines, flowers and even teeth. Materials used were associated to certain cultural beliefs and superstitions. Maile (leafy fragrant vine), associated with a spiritual connection to the forest, was and still is a highly favored lei material, dating back to 750 A.D. when the Hawaiian Islands were first settled.

Its growth

 Seeds, leaves , vines, kukui, feathers ,and flowers like Ilima and Pikake, are still used to create magnificent garlands. The flowers from the hala fruit are connected to love and desire. In addition to the traditional style, many leis are now comprised of candy, money and various textiles like fur and specialized yarns. A symphony of techniques from the past and mixed with current design, make up the crafting of a lei. There still exists an etiquette in receiving a lei: do not refuse the gesture (unless you are highly allergic to the material).

Its impact 

The lei has never lost its symbolic character. It has however, grown in its attributes and skill set to bring cheer to the giver and receiver. Each year on May 1st, Hawaii celebrates Lei Day to commemorate the culture, history and symbolic nature of the lei. It is globally recognized as a tangible symbol of the versatile and comprehensive qualities of Aloha

close-up image of orchid lei
Orchid lei

Lei Legacy

The lei, as a symbol and gift of Aloha, is used in countless capacities, from welcoming new arrivals, to celebrating a wedding, graduation, promotion, birthday, reunions, or even paying respect to a passing loved one. Here are the attributes that will never go out of style:

  • Welcoming and Encouraging
  • Soothing and Gentle
  • Beautiful and Fragrant
  • Delightful and Positive
  • Globally recognized
  • Doesn’t discriminate

image collage of leis

Author’s personal note:

In 2005 I launched a journey of encouragement, love, kindness, and hospitality…sharing the “Gifts of Aloha” is still my tagline. I began designing and creating permanent leis, each labeled with a message of encouragement. In 2017 I will return to that quest. All in God’s timing! Check back or follow so you are notified when I post pictures of them and perhaps I will be inspired to post some how-to videos!

 Be sure and check out this great YouTube Video entitled, “Making a Maile Lei”, by user harley anna. The tutorial well done and music is wonderful:

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Posted in Community, encouragement, idea motivation, kindness, opportunity

3 Mashable Reviews!

#1 Sewing Hope

Written for Mashable by JOHNNY LIEU on November 6, 2016

This article is sure to inspire…

This article will appeal to all ages, genders, and ethnicity, because it deals with kindness, giving, caring. It’s a true story of a 12 year old boy, named Campbell that sews bears for sick children.

What is so inspiring?

Campbell learned that stress makes cancer stronger, so he wanted to make a bear that could help relieve stress and bring a smile to sick children. When his dad contracted cancer, Campbell gave his dad a “magic” bear. His dad is still cancer free.

I can’t help but wonder…

  • Could Campbell inspire children and adults to do the same?
  • Would children and adults find joy in helping others?
  • Could kindness like this, become a trend?
  • Could kindness, collaboration, and love beat cancer?

My Response

I’m inspired by this young man and am very pleased that Mashable featured his story of giving and caring!


#2 A Circle of Gratitude

image showing the title This story promoted by American Greetings #ThankList Campaign and featured on Mashable

This article is sure to inspire…

The video and article is more than just sharing, caring, and connections. It speaks to anyone and everyone that longs to be noticed, or has a loved one that has talents and gifts to share with the world.

It is a short story about growing through connecting with compassionate people that delight in the success of others.

What is so inspiring?

A gifted young man named Andrew, through loving and caring friends and family, helped birth a specialized school named Exceptional Minds.  The school was created by an animation director whose life was changed and enriched by Andrew. Young adults with autism learn about visual effects, animation, and employment in the entertainment industry. Caring and sharing produces a domino effect.

I can’t help but wonder…

  • How to offer this program on every campus?
  • What other fields of interest might be offered?
  • How I might help to impact others?

 My Response

Technically speaking, autism in itself is not addressed, however, recognizing that everyone has a talent worth nurturing and sharing, is!


#3 Here’s what happens when grandparents learn to use Snapchat

A Mashable Lifestyle article written by ARILYN LA JEUNESSE December 7, 2015

This article is sure to inspire…

This lighthearted article will likely entertain a majority of grandparents, parents, and grandkids old enough to use Snapchat. It might inspire others to give it a try.

What is so inspiring?

The article explains that DoSomething.org joined forces with Mentor Up for a campaign called Grandparents Get Wired which taught seniors how to use smart phones to prevent isolation by staying connected with their families. Their younger family members were coached on how to teach and encourage grandparents to use social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and even how to take selfies.

I can’t help but wonder know…

  • Some grandparents use Snapchat likely do it at the request of their grandkids
  • Grandkids that talked their grandparents into using Snapchat regret it after they get endless filtered snaps

My Response

Connecting with younger family members using unlikely media can be fun or awkward. But for sure, there is never a dull moment!

image of gramma using snapchat filter
yup I went there
Posted in Community, encouragement, Hope, hospitality, Inspiration, Joyfulness, kindness, opportunity, Potential, purpose, Service

365 wonderful words like: puppies and ice cream

Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is. -Anne Frank

A collage of puppies and ice cream
Who doesn’t love puppies and ice cream?

We all have amazing potential

Can anyone say puppy or ice cream without smiling? How about stringing those together such as, the adorable puppy loves sharing my ice cream. Those are the kind of words, and word strings, that easily create a pleasant atmosphere in one’s mind. Words are very powerful and depending on the words we choose, can either encourage or discourage.

Why should I encourage?

Encourage is described as a verb to stimulate spiritually. Its many synonyms include: applaud, brighten, cheer, comfort, console, embolden, energize, enliven, excite, exhilarate, fortify, gladden, praise, reassure, refresh, restore, revitalize, and strengthen. Our vocabulary is rich with words that can trigger a smile or joyful thought. Imagine what an immediate change there could be if everyone spoke kindness. Here are simple and very basic ways to incorporate encouragement in your daily routine (remember to smile):

  • Say thank you, to the grocery clerk
  • Say good morning, to your co-workers
  • Greet as you hold open someone’s door

But I am often discouraged!

Discourage is defined:to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit. Words of discouragement break down both parties in an exchange. Whether it is texted, published, sung, or spoken; discouragement destroys. It is like a cancer to the giver and receiver. Encouraging others lifts your spirits. My personal go-to is the bible, and I read the promises that belong to all His Creation.

Here is a very interesting 94 second video that briefly explains a fascinating scientific discovery about how words affect a water molecule!

Try it, you’ll like it!

Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason a water molecule responds positively. We each possess the power to encourage rather than discourage. When given a choice to build up or tear down, it is beneficial to both the speaker and the hearer, to speak in a way that is encouraging. Look for ways to speak words of encouragement every day of the year, everywhere you go, because so many in this world are hurting. Who knows, you might end up with a puppy or an ice cream!

an image collage of pleasing florals and kind words
Everyone has the potential to be be encouraging!
Posted in Collaboration, Community, Dedication, Determination, encouragement, food security, idea motivation, Inspiration, kindness, opportunity, Podcast, Potential, Service

Hero Podcast 1

Greetings!

There’s a new page in the main menu. It is named “Podcasts“,   icon for podcast link   because well,  that’s where I will post new podcasts as they are available   🙂

You can access the podcast directly by clicking the caption in photo link below:

image of a bowl of cherries
Click this caption to hear the podcast about a very young hero
Posted in Collaboration, Community, encouragement, Hope, hospitality, idea motivation, Inspiration, Joyfulness, kindness, opportunity, Potential, Preparedness, purpose, Resourcefulness, Service

Welcome, please make yourself at home!

image of a cup of coffee, a magazine and a potted plantThank you for stopping by.  Do you know how important you are? You have the potential to change the world! You are creative, imaginative, and engaging. Yes, YOU! Envision the exponential of your potential with two of you, ten of you, hundreds of you, and thousands of you! Sowing good seed into one another is powerful.

This little corner of the blog universe will provide the inspiration, information, and collaboration we all need to grow purposefully. Articles, references, links, short stories, and videos will support one or more of the following categories:

  • Purpose
  • Useful
  • Resourceful
  • Preparedness
  • Opportunity
  • Service
  • Encouragement

Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or a smoothie…there is much to share. In the coming weeks and beyond, you will be able to peruse solutions, information, innovations, remedies recipes, helpful how-to’s, and inspirational stories of encouragement, collaboration, compassion and victory. There are gardens of goodness in this world and they are growing! Together we can turn adversity into opportunity! Please visit often, we’ll keep the light on.

rubber ducks swimming down a channel
Turning adversity into opportunity!

Passion that begins with purpose and cultivates encouragement will bear fruit and grow.  -CKaeha

View Carmela Kaeha's profile on LinkedIn