Mānawatia a Matariki!

We’re certainly not alone in celebrating this year – from Bluff northwards, lights are being paraded in the darkness of winter while connections are made with fellow Kiwis and with the concept of Matariki itself. Hope you have been part of something awesome, or plan to be. There’ll be no excuse for any of us next year!
Matariki has always been an important time for me, and I feel naturally attuned to Maramataka (the Maori lunar calendar), right down to what to plant when. It’s great to think that something so natural and common sense has been given the seal of mainstream approval. 
As well as attunement, Matariki for me is also about nourishment and growth.  A new year always inspires us to reflect on the past year and get excited about the next.  It’s a time to plant, not just in our physical gardens but also seeds of goodness in our mind and wairua to serve us in being intentional about the future.
Matariki encourages us to reflect, to go inwards, re-evaluating, and then setting our direction afresh. It is an opportunity to look differently at any negative patterns we might have, to see them as a chance to learn and make positive changes. Our stories are never finished. We are still writing them. 

In this season of winter with its shorter days but fewer outdoor distractions, Matariki gives us a great opportunity to rest, strive to find a balance, and to reset. We know the only thing to do when the laptop goes AWOL is to switch it off and start it up again. 
This reminds me of a fantastic address by John Kirwan I was lucky enough to attend last month. He combined down-to-earth wisdom with humour and practical suggestions. One of them was to disconnect from devices six times a day. (I call it a plug-out rather than a plug-in…) We’re losing touch with each other and with ourselves and it can only lead to problems. JK challenged us to literally reset. I’m working on it… The other invitation he gave us was to dance like a ten-year-old. Which is a pretty cool way of putting it. He even got us to practice…
The other really thought-provoking comment JK made was that the challenge that we all face is to manage our imbalance. By that, I think he means the ways in which we get out of kilter with too much work or not enough laughter. That balance/imbalance will be different for each of us, of course, but it too is about resetting. Living in a constant state of overwhelm is not good for any of us. What are you going to do this Matariki to address your imbalance?
I wonder what you are reflecting on this Matariki. 
Part of my own reflection is awe and a sense of honour to be able to work with so many entrepreneurs and SMEs. I am so fortunate to be able to do my bit to power up our national economy by supporting businesses in ways that help them thrive and grow. What’s even more amazing is that I am doing what I love!
Sometimes it can be helpful to ask ourselves some questions (and do some active listening to find the answers which can be the harder bit). I thought I’d leave you with three that I’ve found helpful in terms of resetting:

  • Set a date for taking time out to think about your purpose/your “why” for doing what you do. Repeat every six months!
  • How are you going to innovate in the next six months?
  • Identify as specifically as you can what is unique about what you do.

Whatever the questions and whatever your answers, stay aligned with what sets your soul on fire, what lights up your sky, what gets you out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm.
Let’s hope this Matariki inspires us all in Aotearoa to move into the remainder of the year with new resolve and enthusiasm, feeling lighter and brighter.