About a month ago, a friend of mine had posted on Facebook that he was doing a “30 Day Aloha Challenge.” Part of my friend’s long post explained the challenge, “I decided to create the ALOHA ACTION CHALLENGE. I am challenging myself to be more aware of how I put aloha into action each day for 30 days. If anyone else wishes to participate, please feel free to join me and share/post your experiences of Aloha or ways in which you or someone you know has put Aloha into Action! Feel free to tag me in your post, because I would love to read about the many ways that Aloha can be expressed and shared everyday! Aloha is a practice and a way of life, much like yoga, hula, meditation, tai chi, etc.”
So there it was, I didn’t think much of it at first. I checked his posts the first few days, and soon I began to think about the Facebook challenges that I had participated in. First, there was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and then, the 22 Push-ups for 22 days to bring awareness to those who committed suicide as a result of having PTSD. While these challenges were great because they brought awareness to the need to find a cure, it didn’t involve any action on my part. THEN, I thought, there really isn’t a good reason NOT to do it. In the end, I decided to blog about this because it was easier than I thought it would be, AND the results were absolutely eye-opening. Here are some highlights and insights that I gained from this challenge.
- In just the first few days, I decided to focus on family. I surprised my Grandma at the care home with a smoothie and surprised my son with an Icee. Just to see the smiles on their faces from a small gesture felt great, it already made me want to do more.
- Observing people who provide a service, cashiers, tellers, and waiters, made me realize that we take for granted that, most of these people, no matter what is going on in their lives, put on a smile and perform acts of Aloha everyday, all day long.
- It makes a great difference when you smile and say, “hi” or “thank you” to someone who appears to be having a rough day. They immediately seem lighter and a little happier.
- When we have so many material things that clutter our home, a wonderful Action of Aloha is to share your superfluous abundance with others. I cleaned out our bathroom with my kids and gave extra unused toiletries to the YMCA because they were collecting to make goody bags for the homeless. Through this act, we uncluttered our space and helped another person out.
- I started to realize that this challenge was helping me to look for the positive in the world around me and look for more ways to create positivity as well.
- I often avoid homeless people, but one day, my husband and I ended up helping a very educated and polite homeless man while we were waiting to cross the street. He was in a wheelchair and my husband gave him a push to the nearby library and I shared the breakfast we had just bought to take home. He changed my views and showed me that there are as many nice and scary homeless people as there are nice and scary people who have homes to live in.
- A very important Action of Aloha is to live joyfully.
- In a situation where someone is annoying you or being rude, the best thing to do is to make the most generous assumption about the person and the situation. For example, if you’re driving and someone cuts you off, you can assume they have to pee really badly.
- Forgiveness is a valuable Action of Aloha.
- Receiving the unconditional love of a dog is one of my favorite kinds of Aloha.
- Taking care of a healing family member reminds us that we need Aloha from one another from time to time.
- My kids have started to think of their own Actions of Aloha
- When you are REALLY MAD &. FRUSTRATED, sing the intro to The Lion King at the top of your lungs!”NAANTS IGONYAMA BKTHIBABAAAAAA!!!”🦁
- When Actions of Aloha becomes a habit, bad days don’t get you down because you know you have enjoyed so many days filled with ALOHA!
When I heard, “30 Day Aloha Action Challenge,” I thought it was going to make me tired sharing all this Aloha with everyone. However, that’s not what it’s about. It’s taking whatever you do everyday and making a conscious choice to just do it with a different intention in mind, an intention of Aloha. I also learned that it’s not about trying to get attention for what you do, but thinking about what you are giving your attention to. When you are trying to get attention for what you do, you are trying to figure out what others expect from you. Conversely, I found it much more joyful to give my attention to Aloha from the inside out, simply sharing my own joy with others, independent of their reaction. I found that most times, it makes them happy, at worst, you haven’t made anything worse than it already was. I encourage you to try the challenge for any amount of days and see how it transforms your perception of yourself and the world around you.