Grounding ourselves in times of uncertainty.

Kuru opening. link to blog Grounding ourselves in times of uncertainty

I haven’t been getting much sleep lately. It’s not because I’m stressed. It’s because I’ve been time-travelling. I’ve been travelling back in time… to reconnect. In light of this week’s Covid announcements, this has also given me huge strength and a sense of groundedness.

My journey began in a cafe in Otorohanga where I met with my best friend (also a teacher) and a kaumātua to discuss mahi.

Our conversation soon shifted to a more personal space, when he asked me “Where are you from and how has this shaped who you are today?”

Immediately I was transported back to one place where I spent most of my childhood and teenage years. Exploring this further, we discussed the meaning of the name of the place and how that is reflected in my being and mahi today. Immediately I could see a deep connectedness and a deep why around who I am and what I stand for.

After the hui, my exploration continued. I time-travelled back to places I had lived and sought the significance of them in shaping what makes me, ME.

So picking three of the main places of significance, this week I am sharing a deeper sense of who I am, what I stand for and how I do my mahi.

Furthermore, in light of the Covid19 announcements this week, I will be drawing upon the learnings from my kainga to provide me with extra groundedness and inner strength.

So, if these times have you feeling a little lost, disconnected, or overwhelmed, I encourage you to reconnect with your kainga and ground yourself in the learnings it provides.

We’ve got this!

MA xo

Kō Mary-Anne Murphy ahau

Throughout my life, there have been places of significance that have shaped who I am and the mahi I dedicate myself to today.

Turakina is where I spent the first two years of my life. A settlement situated southeast of Whanganui city on the North Island of New Zealand, it’s name relates to the overland journey of the ancestor Haunui-a-Nanaia. Turakina River is the river he “felled a tree to cross”. Turaki – means to fell or to throw down.

The metaphor of creating a bridge is one I live in my own mahi. I support people to create their own crossings towards new knowledge, skills or ways of being. Sometimes this means helping them find the right ‘crossing’, whilst other times it means helping them to create a bridge, or holding their hand and supporting them as they cross it. It can even include waiting for them on the other side, offering words of support.

Another place of significance for me is Kōpaki. In the heart of the King Country, in the central North Island of New Zealand, it is a place I spent my formative and teenage years. A mere blip on the map, it does, however, hold a significant community wairua.

Kōpaki means to envelop or to wrap around. The cloak of aroha is what I experienced growing up within the Kōpaki community.

The concept of Kōpaki is a significant part of my mahi today. There are times when people need to be enveloped in aroha or even tough love. My role is to notice what is needed and support them until they are strong in their knowledge, skills or being able to stand and lead with confidence. I do not smother or allow people to hide from the journey they are taking, but instead, envelop them in support to help them reach their destination. 

Whāingaroa, (Raglan) is also a place of significance for me, and now my new kainga. Meaning ‘the long pursuit’, it refers to the lengthy search of the Tainui waka (canoe) for a final destination. In my mahi, I support people to journey towards understanding themselves and others, and to learn new techniques or strategies that help them discover and develop their leadership. I believe in the unlimited potential of every human, and support the pursuit of continual growth and development to uncover our unique gifts. Learning is a journey that I myself embrace, and support those I work alongside to do so for themselves.

My mahi today.

I am passionate about growing greatness in others. I do this through my work with leaders, teams, and youth.

I truely believe that in order to become leaders, we need to develop from the inside-out. That is, we need to do the mahi within. This requires us to explore our own turangawaewae, whakapapa, values and beliefs to better understand who we are, and how we wish to lead. When we are grounded in these, we are able to lead from a place of inner strength and purpose. It is during the challenges of leadership that we are then able to draw-upon this deep knowing and lineage of strength.

Furthermore, when we lead from this place, all decisions and conversations are grounded from our core values and the whakapapa of our learnings. This is the birthplace of integrity and courage required of any leader.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

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