Become Like The Forest


If you leave any forest alone to do its thing, that forest will continue an endless process of growth and creation. Now, there might be infighting among species: Animals may eat other animals, diseases might infect some of the plant life, seasons will come and go, and there may be a brush fire or drought. But, left to its own devices, the overall direction of that forest will always be moving toward growth and creation. This is the energy of Nature. That which moves the tides, spins the Earth, grows the trees, shines the sun and beats your heart is made of this same energy, and it pervades everything that exists.

To align with the indigenous wisdom of the shamans is to revere Nature. The reason anyone would revere something is because they are inspired by it and they want to align with it and emulate it, because it has something to teach them. Nature’s immeasurable interconnectivity, holism and its constant expression of growth show us who we are. In Nature, there is no separation; everything is connected and working together, and if it is a cooperative and connected universe, then that means that we are each an inextricable part of that interdependence.

The underlying intention of Nature is love. Why would the forest always move in the direction of growth and creation other than its loving and joyful intention to experience more of itself?

So, in order for us to emulate the forest, we must allow ourselves to want with abandon, to say “yes” to our own growth, and to organize the choices we make and the actions we take in such a way that we always include love’s perspective. After all, the forest always reaches toward the sun, opens to the rain, extends itself downward into the soil, and grasps toward life however it can; it never turns on itself or denies itself what it yearns for or what is good for it, and if we want to be like the forest (as any shaman would), then neither should we.

According to Huna, the spiritual philosophy of the Hawaiian shamans, there are seven principles — seven Hawaiian words — that are the seeds of an ancient philosophy that we can each follow to help us to create lives that are in alignment with the power of Nature.

Bring to mind something that you would like to manifest or create. Then, meditate on the Huna principles. The questions provided will help you use the principles to receive guidance on the subject that you have chosen:

IKE — Your thoughts create your world. This principle is not just saying that the way you think about the world will reflect your personal experience of the world, it is also stating that reality itself will energetically and physically shift, based on how you think about it.

If your thoughts co-create your reality, what are your habitual thoughts and beliefs about what you want to manifest?

KALA — Limitlessness is the true nature of reality. This principle teaches that you are connecting to everything in existence, and that absolutely anything is possible if you can figure out how to do it.

If there are no limits, then what impedes your freedom to create what you want—fear, doubt, cynicism, stress, financial concerns, rules, or social constructs?

MAKIA — Our attention and focus attract creative energy. This principle explains that our focus and attention elicit the creative energies that manifest physical reality.

If creative energy responds to what you focus on, are you giving enough of focus and attention to what you want to create?

MANAWA — The only place to access power is in the Now. This principle reminds us that because the past is gone, and the future is not yet born, we can only actually do anything right now.

If the now is only place to access power, what behaviors, thoughts and habits take you away from the present moment?

ALOHA — Love is the creation of happiness. This principle tells us that when we include love’s perspective in our choices, the result is always joy.

How can you increase love and happiness in your creative process?

MANA — Your personal power is divine power. This principle teaches that we exist in an infinitely powerful universe, and that powerful infinitude converges at the point called “yourself.”

If all the power of the universe is within you, do you have the self-esteem, the personal will and the faith that will support what you want to create?

PONO — If it works, then it’s true. This principle says that effectiveness is the measure of what is considered truth.

If what is true is measured only by results, then do you need to adjust your process or be more creative or flexible in order to create what you want?

When passing on esoteric wisdom, a Hawaiian might say, He mau makana nâu kêia na kô mâkou kûpuna, which means “These are the gifts for you from our elders.” The seven principles are, indeed, a special offering from the ancient ones. With awareness (Ike), freedom (Kala), focus (Makia), presence (Manawa), love (Aloha), confidence (Mana), and flexibility (Pono), there is nothing under the sun that you can’t reach and accomplish, and no height of imagination beyond which you cannot explore.

To be like the forest is to yearn to grow and to claim your deep belongingness on this planet. Give yourself the gift of following your heart’s longings. Tend to your wants and dreams with love and watch them blossom into being.

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Jonathan Hammond
Jonathan is a Maui-based Author, Spiritual Teacher, Energy Healer, Shamanic Practioner, and Spiritual Counselor. His first book about contemporary shamanism and the spiritual traditions of Hawaii called The Shaman’s Mind – Huna Wisdom to Change your Life is available where books are sold. Jonathan lives on Maui and maintains his private practice in Kihei, Hawaii. Visit


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