When we were choosing names for the two rooms at the Ekahi Center for Yoga and Mindfulness, we wanted names that reflected the philosophy of waves. Our small room is named Nalu and the larger room is called Makai. Makai is the Hawaiian word for “to the sea” and Nalu is the Hawaiian word for “waves or surf”.
We came across a saying in Hawaiian called “Nalu it”. Nalu it means to go with the flow but be mindful. I love the phrase and I love the definition. Those two words perfectly define my philosophy for living.
Going with the flow means to allow yourself to be guided by your own intuition. In order to really be in touch with your intuitive abilities you have to be mindful. The word “mindful” is one those words that gets bandied about regularly and it I have met people who are very passionate about the definition.
I think by getting bogged down in semantics, you lose the essence of being mindful. A Google search for the definition produces this definition, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
So being mindful is simply being consciously aware of something for a period of time. An example might be: pay attention to your breathing for a few minutes. You don’t have to close your eyes or sit like a yogi – just focus on that one thing – breathing, for a minute or two.
You might be asking yourself “what can that really do?” Since so much of our neural activity is running on autopilot, it is likely that your autopilot is running some negative scripts that lead to elevated heart rate, elevate blood pressure, elevated cortisol, etc. As a result, our body is like an engine running too hot. By simply taking a few minutes and being mindful, you force the autopilot to temporarily throttle down.
When the mind shifts to conscious focus, heart rate drops, blood pressure drops, and cortisol levels stabilize. The more you do it, the autopilot starts to reset and stop running the negative scripts. Back to “Nalu it”, my philosophy of living effectively is to be mindful and when the intuitive messages tell you to move or make a choice – don’t fight it.
Nalu it – go with the flow and be mindful!