We have entered a new quarter here at Aro Digital, and with a new quarter comes a new value!
Our chosen value for this quarter is Mana Tiaki which encompasses the responsibility of safeguarding and nurturing the well-being of ourselves, our whānau (family), and our community. By embracing Mana Tiaki and incorporating traditional wisdom, we can create an environment that fosters holistic health, both physically and spiritually.
As winter settles in, Mana Tiaki can provide us with valuable guidance on how to keep well during the colder months – and you may find some wisdom for your own life and mahi!
Mana Tiaki is deeply rooted in Te Ao Māori (the Māori worldview) and embodies the interconnectedness of all living things. It emphasises the importance of caring for ourselves, our relationships, and our environment. This principle invites us to honour and protect the mauri (life force) within ourselves and extend this nurturing energy to others.
To keep well in the winter while embodying Mana Tiaki, we can draw inspiration from Māori traditions and practices that have sustained generations throughout the seasons.
Here are some key aspects we’re considering as a tari (office):
Whakapapa (Genealogy) and Whānau (Family):
During winter, connecting with whānau becomes especially important. Strengthening familial bonds and fostering a sense of belonging enhances well-being. Gather in the warmth of the whare (home) and share stories, experiences, and traditional knowledge. Embrace whakapapa by acknowledging your ancestral roots and the wisdom they impart.
As kaitiaki (guardians), we are responsible for caring for Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) and all her creations. In winter, practice sustainable habits such as conserving energy, reducing waste, and supporting local food sources. Engage in activities that care for Papatūānuku in your own community, such as planting native trees or participating in community clean-up initiatives.
Maintaining strong social connections is crucial for mental and emotional well-being. During winter, when days are shorter and colder, make an effort to connect with friends, whānau, and community. Gather for hui (meetings), wānanga (learning sessions), or simply spend time together, sharing warmth, laughter, and support.
Hauora (Health and Well-being):
Winter can be a time when illness and lethargy may affect us. To support our hauora (health), embrace practices like hīkoi (walks), tai chi, or yoga to keep physically active. Nourish your body with warm and nutritious kai (food) that includes seasonal ingredients.
Traditional Māori foods like kumara, puha, and rewena bread can provide sustenance and comfort.
Winter offers an opportunity for introspection and connecting with our wairua (spirit). Embrace moments of solitude and reflection, engage in meditation or mindfulness practices, or participate in spiritual ceremonies. Seek guidance from kaumātua (elders) or spiritual leaders to deepen your understanding of your own wairua.
Here are a few easy ways you can embrace Mana Tiaki just like us:
- Invite family, friends, colleagues or neighbours to your home for some cosy kai, and warm drinks and to share stories. There are some great questions to start meaningful conversations right here.
- Practice sustainable habits: Extend your manaakitanga (care) to the environment by implementing sustainable practices. Encourage recycling, energy conservation, and reducing waste both at home and in the workplace. Seek opportunities to engage in eco-friendly initiatives. Check out Kai Cycle for volunteering opportunities, veggie boxes, and composting services.
- Incorporate self-care into your routine. Treat yourself to some skincare from Aotea, or buy some honey from Kai Ora for your daily lemon, honey and ginger.
- Try your hand at making some rewena bread with this recipe here. Share it with friends or colleagues.
- Take a walk in nature with a friend. Talk about what you see as you go, and admire Papatūānuku as you walk together. Bring some kai to share along the way.
Here is how some of our team are embracing Mana Tiaki this winter:
Galena - Creative Specialist
During the shorter days, it’s easier to get into tricky headspaces and harder to find the motivation to move my body. I try to find comfort in routines - putting in the effort of preparing warm kai for myself to eat for lunch the next day or packing my gym clothes into my bag each morning (even if I don’t know what gym class I’m going to yet).
But most of all accepting that my routines are going to look a little bit different during winter. It can be exhausting to expect yourself to keep the same pace throughout every season - I’ll do what I can do, and that’s enough!
Kasey - Creative Team Lead
“Winter is my favourite season. It’s a wonderful time to find creative ways to be with loved ones. I’ve found joy in sharing kai with my friends, playing games, and catching up on a lot of movies (like Paddington!) with my partner. Most importantly, the chill in the air calls for cosy moments to reflect on the year past and look forward to the light of summer. Plus, the overcast skies make for wonderful photos in nature!”
Nick - Performance Specialist
“I’m going to make sure I’m taking care of my body and not pushing too hard post some sporting injuries. I also plan on taking the time to get in touch with some friends in different cities to keep those relationships strong.”
Connor - Performance Team Lead
“I will be spending lots of warm nights at home with my wife & daughter, spending as much time with both of them and utilising my Wednesday half days to go into nature with my daughter.”
By embracing the principles of Mana Tiaki and integrating these practices into our mahi here at Aro Digital, we can create a winter season that is not only physically healthy but also nourishes our spirit and strengthens our connections.
Pay attention to Mana Tiaki with us as we navigate the colder months, caring for ourselves, our whānau, and the world around us.