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Huna is the way to go Article

Family
by Jim Brinkley

During the holiday season it is natural for our thoughts to turn to family celebrations. Holiday time is family time. Whether you celebrate the holidays in a religious or a secular sense, it is hard to ignore all the festivities. Christmas, Hanukah, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, and even Makahiki all occur as autumn turns into winter. The work of summer is done, the harvest is in, and the cold weather has begun, except in the islands, of course! It is time for celebrating another successful year with feasting, gift giving, and warm reunions with loved ones. Many, if not most of us, are planning to travel to be with family or to have them travel to be with us. Those fortunate enough to have their families close by are planning quality time together, without the pressures of job, school, and community responsibilities.

What is family? Webster's unabridged dictionary lists twelve definitions! The word family is from the Latin familia, which is the plural of famulus, meaning servant or slave. The familia originally referred to all the servants and slaves of a Roman household. Later it came to include to all the people living under one roof. Eventually it came to mean people related by blood or marriage.

In Hawaii family is very important. As defined by Pukui and Elbert's Hawaiian Dictionary, 'ohana is family and 'ohana nui is extended family or clan. In daily usage however, 'ohana is often used to describe one's extended or chosen family.

What if there is anger or ill will in your family at this special time? In most families there are occasional disagreements or misunderstandings and sometimes these may lead to chronic resentments or even total estrangement. Hawaiian Huna wisdom has a wonderful technique that can be used to restore harmony and love to a family. It is called ho'oponopono and it involves group resolution and reconciliation led by an experienced counselor. Serge has modified this process somewhat for the twenty-first century. He calls his modified technique the Kupono Process. There is a wonderful instructional videotape available on this web site that can help you to resolve unpleasant issues and restore family harmony at any time of the year.

There are many kinds of family and each has its own Aumakua, or guiding spirit. People who work together form a family, as do people who worship together, volunteer together, or play together. Sports teams, choirs, bands, and service clubs are all types of families.

Although I have no siblings, spouse, or children and my parents have passed on, I have a "little sister" and a "brother-in-law" because we have chosen to be family. We are closer than many true siblings. Even though we are a continent apart, there will be gifts exchanged and phone calls with warm greetings and wishes during this holiday season.

At my work, there are twenty-seven of us. We recently had our holiday party in the beautiful tropical garden of a local restaurant. There was a great meal, there were games and raffles, and there was general merry-making. I believe that we all felt a sense of family during our celebration.

Where I do my voluntary teaching, I have yet another "family" of people with whom I share common interests and values. Then there is the group that meets each morning for coffee at a local cafe. There are my close friends on Oahu and Kauai. As far as I am concerned, these people are all part of my 'ohana, my extended family.

What about those who are truly alone? How can they escape the loneliness that is natural when everyone around them is celebrating the holidays with loved ones? Huna teaches us that we each create our own reality and that we can alter that reality at will. While you may not have a traditional family, you probably have an extended one but if you do not, you can create one. It will take some effort but it can be done.

There is much talk these days about virtual reality. The kupua shaman has known about this for centuries! If you cannot be with your family during the holidays, or if you do not have a family to be with, use your imagination to create your ideal family and your ideal holiday family celebration.

Experience everything as vividly as you can, using all of your senses. See the decorations, taste the food, smell the fresh cut Christmas tree, feel the gifts as you open them, listen to the music and the voices of the celebrants. Feel their love. Focus your entire energy on this family holiday dream and hold onto it for as long as you are comfortable. Come back to it frequently during the holiday season. Since we attract into our lives that on which we focus our thinking, by using this technique you will not only take the edge off your loneliness but you will take the first steps toward creating a family here in this other dream that we call physical reality.

I hope your holidays were happy, and I wish you a Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

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