Fiction Writing: Find the Spirit of Aloha

Aloha: it means hello, good-bye, and I love you.

Aloha is more than a word, though. In the Hawaiian culture, aloha embodies the spirit of the islands and its people. It is a mindset and a way of life called “the Aloha Spirit”. Within this Aloha Spirit is a form of spirituality the Hawaiians call Huna.

What Is Huna?

The word huna means “secret”. The Hawaiians believe that the principles of huna contain the secrets to a happy and successful life.

Some people believe that, at one time, the whole world followed one set of teachings and everyone in the world lived by these lessons. They claim that people deviated and branched out into other belief systems.

Because the Hawaiian Islands were isolated from the rest of the world, these teachings stayed pure. Missionaries tried to wipe the beliefs out, but the Hawaiian people kept them alive. There’s even an Aloha Spirit Law.

That’s Nice, Harry, But How Does It Relate To Fiction Writing?

Serge Kahili King wrote about using huna as part of modern-day spirituality in his book, The Urban Shaman. I first picked up this book in the late 80s, and once I started applying these principles to my own life, I saw a drastic change.

Huna helped me see the positive side of life, and it helped me see how to reach my goals.

I’ve been looking through my books for inspiration. I recently came across my copy of The Urban Shaman and found what I was looking for:

Ike (EE-kay)

The first principle of Huna practically leapt off the page and grabbed me by the throat: Ike. The world is what you think it is.

This principle teaches that we are responsible for creating our own realities. If we want to change ourselves, all we have to do is change our perspective and start living the way we desire.

Can our dreams change the world we live in? You betcha. How many novels changed the course of human events? Where else do we create our own worlds but in fiction writing? We take the ordinary and make it something bigger than life.

Through fiction writing, we put our hopes and dreams on paper and share them with the world in the form of a story. These stories are our realities. These ideas spill over to the minds of our readers. They become inspired in turn and before you know it, you’ve changing the world.


Simply put, Kala means there are no limits.

Kala is the essence of oneness. None of us is truly alone; we are not separate. This lack of connection we live with on a daily basis is nothing more than an illusion.

Through fiction writing, you build a connection with your reader. You bring them into your dreams and into your world, if only for a short time. You help people escape their lives for a moment and bring them some enjoyment.

Kala teaches people to accept life for what it is with no expectations. When you begin to do so, you relax and the rest seems easier.


Energy flows where our attention goes. The nature of your thoughts directs the energy of your life. If you become mired down in self-pity, constantly thinking nothing but bad will ever come your way, that’s what you’ll get.

If you want abundance, create abundance. If you want happiness, create happiness.

The only way you’re going to be happy and get those good things is to get your novel written. Giving into your fears won’t get you anywhere, and you’ll end up spending your whole life thinking, “One day I will…”

One day never comes. Do it. Do it now.


Manawa: Now is the moment of power. Can you see how all the principles begin to flow together in a course of action? By acting now and doing a little bit each day, you begin to reach your goal.

Every thought and every action of every day creates your future. As Dr. Phil says, “If it’s happening now, we’re going to deal with it now.”

Stop saying, “I want to…” or “I will…” Now is the moment of power. Grasp it and use that power for something you can enjoy. Create your happiness and make your world what you want it to be.


To love is to be happy. You say that you love writing, but are you truly in love? Does writing really make you happy? The only way you can express your love of writing is by writing and being in love with it.

Even when you write for work, find the love. A sales letter is no different from your fiction. When you write without heart, it shows clearly in what you do.

Love is happiness and joy. Find the joy in each project and you’ve found Aloha.


Mana is divine power. This is the high you feel when you’re in The Zone. It’s that near out-of-body experience you have when you’re on a roll with your words, a chapter or a scene. It’s the kind of writing that makes you sit back and say, “Did I really write that?”

Every person has the power and the potential of the universe within. There is no outside power that controls you or your life.

What happens when you think someone or something has power over you? You choke or you become bitter or resentful.

So don’t diminish your own power by giving it away. Don’t let the thought of critics or nay-sayers stop you from what you want to do. What do they know, anyway?


Pono’s meaning is “effectiveness is the measure of truth”.

Many times, I’ve said to James that there was only one way to do something, and that was that. Each time, James has proved me wrong. Another way always exists; you just have to look for it.

One person’s truth may not be yours, and you shouldn’t follow the truth of others blindly. Go ahead, try their way first, but if it doesn’t work for you, find a way that does.

And rules? Sticking to the rules is fine – but who made those rules to begin with? Can’t you make your own rules that work best for you?

Outlining and detailed plots may be cumbersome, so try free-form writing. If none of the standard genres fit your particular style or story, then write what you want to write. Who knows? Maybe you’ll create a brand new genre.

The principles of Huna apply to more than just writing. They apply to life itself. Start with your fiction work and see how easy it is to let Huna leak into the rest of your life.

Before long, you’ll be living the Aloha Spirit every day.

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