May 18, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Nga mihi nui mo te tau hou! | Happy New Year!

6 min read

Nga mihi nui mo te tau hou!

Happy New Year!

There. Done it.

I just said the automatic-greeting-that-just-slips-out when you first check in with someone at the beginning of each and every year. Like an unwritten rule that states, if I havent seen you since 11.59pm on December 31st then I have to smile broadly and send you good wishes for the year that is unfolding. And you, well you have to say, Yeah, you too, with an equally cheery grin.

Its not that I dont mean it, cos I really do wish everyone a happy time for the year ahead.

But Im guessing most of you are familiar with automatic-greetings. Like Hi! How are you? and the automatic response, Yeah, good thanks! They are the ones that we tend to utter without much thought, whether meeting someone face to face or on the telephone. It becomes an unspoken contract between not so intimate individuals, Lets just keep it light.

If we did get real the conversation might start like this: Hi! It is nice to see you, but please dont tell me how you really feel today cos I dont really want to know especially if it is too deep or emotional cos I havent got a clue how to respond. Have you ever wanted to say, Gee I feel like crap today, I dont know how Im going to get through the day and Im really upset with my partner who doesnt seem to give a toss, but thought better of it?

Picture walking into an elevator with a handful of people in it, meeting an acquaintance or work mate who greets you with, Hi! How are you? Are you going to say how you really feel? Yeah right!

And so what would we REALLY say at the beginning of each year? That would probably depend on how we feel at the time and we tend not to expose ourselves for a whole variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are influenced by who we are, the context or environment we are in, how much time we have, our desire for privacy and self-protection.

So, getting back to Happy New Year and putting some thought into those words. Im thinking that the new year bit is obvious although it is not unheard of to hear this exchange in February when the year is already 1/12th over.

However the happy bit requires a bit of consideration and reflection. What does saying Happy New Year do for you? What does hearing Happy New Year do for you? Does it somehow transform you into a happy state? Or make your life any happier? And what the heck does happy mean anyway? Do you have any idea? Do you ever take time to think about it? Or, do you just say, I just want to BE happy.

So does it help you in any way if I offer you happy wishes? It doesnt sound overly inspiring or original to me at all even though I do it all the time without giving it a thought.

Well now I have completed my obligatory offerings, my truly heartfelt offering for 2011 is to inspire you with this with question:

If your life was about to become all that youve ever dreamed of,

what would you need to do right now to prepare yourself?

As usual one question leads to another, and if you are prepared to do some hard work this year then read on because this is probably where your focus needs to be.

So, Ill put it out there again (actually I would highly recommend that you print it out and pin in on your fridge, mirror, next to your bed, anywhere where you will be reminded of it).

If your life was about to become all that youve ever dreamed of,

what would you need to do right now to prepare yourself?

What does this mean to you? Would it mean that you would have to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write a list of all the things that you need to get in order? Do you need more structure, discipline and organization in your life? (Most people do so you wouldnt be alone.)

Or would you have to find a quiet place to sit down and ask yourself, What is the life I dream about?

Do you need to examine your beliefs about what is possible for you; are you worthy of being, doing or having anything you desire? (Yes, you are but you may not believe it or know it).

Have you ever been discouraged, judged or criticized for dreaming? Most kids know how to dream and feel the spirit within themselves. Over time, depending on our circumstances that skill and all the potential that goes with it gets buried over layers of other clutter. And if this is so, then you may need to deal to those negative messages.

Now I mentioned before about being prepared for hard work. Before we go on, I invite you to consider this rhyme written around 1390.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the battle was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. (John Gower, Confesio Amantis.)

This rhyme encouraged children to apply logical progression to the consequences of their actions. Obviously even way back in the late 1300s our ancestors needed a prompt to reflect on and take action to prevent things getting worse and worse.

A lot of us dont want to think at all and end up with our head in the sand. The question above invites you to move from the darkness and into the light. I am warning you that it can be hard work; much harder than moving from the darkness of a movie theatre into the light of a sunny afternoon. But I can tell you that it is worthy work; for anything that improves, transforms or changes your life in positive ways is very cool. Although it may take some discipline in the early stages of changes, things do improve in time.

But you do have to make the time . . . .

So where to from here? My wish for you, for this year, 2011, is for you to rediscover your ability to dream, to imagine and get inspired, to believe, again.

And if you have that already, then my wish would be that you get focused on your dream. For example, removing the clutter of your life, getting sorted and tidy, getting a plan on paper and sharing it with someone.

And if you have that, then my wish would be that you focus on what you need to do right now to prepare yourself to live the life that you have dreamed of.

Cos anything left undone will get in the way of your ability to fly.

And you cant hitch a ride like this cheeky bird.

Most of us actually create the path in front of us when we plan, expect, or create something. The trick is to be able to blend past, present and future. We tend to focus on one space in time over the others. However it is not that black and white. You cant choose or focus on only one; you have to make it a blend or union of all three.

So again I ask,

If your life was about to become all that youve ever dreamed of,

what would you need to do right now to prepare yourself?

This is where your focus needs to be.

Oh and Happy New Year.

Mihiteria King, of Te Rarawa and Ngati Pikiao descent is a psychotherapist based on the North Shore in Auckland and is currently engaged professionally in private practice, as a research clinician for a University of Auckland study, and Chair of the Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa.

Mihiterias focus in life is to motivate, educate and inspire others to transform their lives in profound and meaningful ways.

You can find out more about Mihiteria and her work from or contact her directly on (027) 220 8389.

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