Nō hea koe? Finding the missing pieces.

Kia ora e hoa,

As I sat in my bed while my kids played and my coffee went cold I opened a notebook and started to draft the first of my writings for this blog series I like to call 'Sowing Seeds'. Seeds are small and if you nurture them well enough they can sometimes grow into big, beautiful things. Each person I reach with my works, each relationship I nurture is like a seed I want to grow. My vision is that Puāwai Creative can be somewhere for people to grow and inspire them to find creativity, connection and fulfilment.

With that said, here is the first of my seeds I'm sowing this year. And it's about finding the missing pieces so you can realise the bigger picture...

One of the main questions I get asked as Māori by other Māori is 'Nō hea koe?' Where are you from? And for so long, I'm talking 20 years, I didn't know the answer or even the true meaning behind that question.

I grew up in Australia from age 12 till I was 17 and in that time I felt disconnected from my culture and home. It could have just been the teenage hormones but this girl wanted to leave so bad! Now this is not saying anything about my parents because they were all good, it was me that felt like I was missing something and it wasn't until I chose to leave Australia that I found it. 

Even though it was a major change and pushed the boundaries of my parents unconditional love, looking back I was so glad I moved home because I finally found what I was looking for, the missing piece of my puzzle; connection. I made friends, I started learning Te Reo Māori, I went on Noho Marae and learnt my pepeha along with many other moments that I wouldn't trade for anything. Combined, these choices I made to find out where I came from helped me get to where I am today and who I am today.

I know it's not easy to learn your pepeha let alone step out of your comfort zone, but I do urge you to look inside yourself. Look inside at who you are and where you are from. Because if there is something in your life that is not feeling quite right, you may just find that the answers for your next step forward are actually in your first steps or even in the steps of your tīpuna. 

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