Makia and Love

Reignite the spark this spring and keep it burning year-round.

Posted Mar 12, 2012

The spring equinox will soon be upon us. This is a time when the weather is changing, the flowers are blooming, and we all get excited about planning our summer vacations. This is when farmers are also planning for summer, planting seeds, and preparing for future harvests.

Makia and Love

In the same way that the New Year reminds us to make new goals for ourselves, perhaps the spring equinox is an annual reminder to examine our relationships, for the seeds we plant now will be the harvest we reap. Are we as happy in our relationships as we can be? Or have we neglected our partners? Is there forgiveness work we need to do? Have we taken the time to seek and grant forgiveness?

It's easy to say our relationships are important to us, but how much time do we really spend on them? Of course, if you're in that first blush of love, you probably spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the other person. There's a reason people are so happy at this stage of a relationship - it's literally about being showered with attention. But that level of energy is difficult to sustain.

As our relationships mature our energy tends to get pulled in different directions. Work, family, and children all place demands on our thoughts and our energy.  But it's important to set an intention to live love a little more in our lives. If we want to have a healthy, happy, relationship then we have to activate energy in that direction.

Hawaiians believe in the concept of makia, meaning "energy flows where attention goes." Here are some tips for re-centering your relationship:

  • Change the subject. If you feel that the only conversations you have with your spouse are about kids, homework, chores, or work schedules, change the subject. Bring up an item from the news that interests you. Set aside some time for the two of you to talk - and during that time make those subjects that frustrate you taboo.
  • Debate. You and your spouse don't have to agree on everything. In fact, a healthy discourse can keep the spark of interest ignited. If you keep challenging each other you won't get bored! Just remember to keep it friendly. It's healthy to have differences of opinion, but letting those differences turn into an argument is not.
  • Focus on the Future. If you don't see yourselves together in a year, or five years, or ten, you run the risk of not BEING together in a year, or five years, or ten. Talk about your ideas, your hopes for the future and make plans together. The family that plans together stays together! So plan a vacation, set goals together, and visualize the future - together.
  • Cultivate the Hawaiian sense of hakalau, which means to have an awareness of your surroundings. Take walks together outdoors, or go biking or hiking together. Not only will the physical activity keep your bodies healthy, but spending the time together actively appreciating the environment around you will help you actively appreciate one another too.

Whatever you do this spring, try to make it a time when your deeds exemplify your intentions. Perhaps the most important tip of all is to remember to say I love you. When was the last time you said it to your spouse and meant it? It might be your best bet for reigniting the spark this spring and keeping it burning year-round.

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Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of 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.