For the month of July I will be dedicating my blog reading and discussing the book, The Blue Zones Lessons For Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner. We are now reading Chapter 3: The Blue Zone in Okinawa Sunshine, Spirituality, and Sweet Potatoes.
I know I talked about this chapter on Tuesday, but I loved so many things about the Okinawans that I wanted to talk about the maoi. When I first heard of the “maoi” I thought of women in community all over the world. On page 90, Buettner explained the definition of “maoi,” which means meeting for a common purpose. Maoi started as a financial support system for the village. The meaning has evolved into a social support network where women come together for companionship and support. This is a wonderful daily community activity. The women look forward to spending time together with one another. They miss the maoi on the days they don’t meet. It is a safe place to laugh, cry, gain strength and give support. It creates a sense of purpose to each member of the group. It is one of the best parts of a women’s community. When I look at traditional communities around the world there is always a women’s maoi of some sort. I would love to be able to create a maoi within my own community.
I also have an interest in the bond the Okinawans have with their ancestors. Both Kamada and Gozei spend time within each day recognizing their ancestors. They believe that the ancestors look out for them in this world. The researcher believes this connection helps to lower their stress because they turn over the worries to the ancestors. This acts a stress reliever which increases longevity and quality of life. When someone lives without stress they can be more present moment by moment and enjoy whatever is happening in front of them. This is truly a blessing.
Share your stories. What did you learn?
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