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Unplug the TV and Plug Into Aloha!

Increase your connection with nature and with each other.

Aloha! That Hawaiian word means so much more than just a greeting. We are exploring the deeper meaning of Aloha at, a new site we recently launched that includes links to my written, audio and video blogs. So what is the connection between Aloha and ho‘oponopono, the Hawaiian process of forgiveness?

As I have explained, ho‘oponopono is a two-way street, emphasizing the need to make things right, at peace, with you and the person you need to forgive, or the person whose forgiveness you need to seek. The starting point to being able to forgive someone else is to be pono – that sense of being right with yourself and congruent with the world around you. Yet many people today feel disconnected with others and discontent with themselves and their lives. One of the ways people can become pono is by increasing their connection with nature and with each other.

Spring is a great time to get outdoors to enjoy and experience the rebirth and renewal of nature. Yet many of us don't take the time. We are so busy working indoors that we think looking out a window or having a screen saver on our computer that show the outdoors is good enough. And unfortunately a lot of parents are passing on indoor, sedentary lifestyles to their kids.

There have been a bunch of recent news articles citing statistics that nearly half of 3 to 5 year olds are not being taken outdoors to play by their parents – despite the fact that playing outdoors can help kids avoid obesity and benefits kids in many other ways. A lot of parents work all day and then come home and work some more, paying bills, cooking dinner, helping kids with homework. But everyone has some free time and we all make choices about how we spend that time. A lot of people are spending it surfing the web or watching TV.

According to recent Nielsen survey, on average Americans watch 150 hours of television each month. That equals 6 1/4 days per month or almost 75 days per year! Combine that with the amount of time people spend on Facebook or watching movies or playing video games and it's easy to see why people aren't spending much time outdoors.

I have had people ask me how I get so much done. Well for one thing I don’t watch TV! So I have 75 more days per year to spend with my wife, kids, and students in comparison to the average American! Think about what you could do with all the time you are spending watching TV or surfing online.

So, what are you choosing to do? How much time is yours, and how much is owned by your TV? What could you have done last year with another 11 weeks? Could you have gotten a book written, or gone on vacation? Is TV an excuse, or not? Think about it.

Coming next: Aloha Awareness

Got questions? Please respond here or contact me through my Facebook fan page, Twitter, or my blog.


Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of Kona University and its training and seminar division The Empowerment Partnership, where he serves as a master trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a practical behavioral technology for helping people achieve their desired results in life. His new book, The Foundation of Huna: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times, details forgiveness and meditation techniques used in Hawaii for hundreds of years. He carries on the lineage of one of the last practicing kahuna of mental health and wellbeing. To reach Dr. James, please e-mail him at

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