The New Year – Start Your “Moais”

Moais are social groups that form in order to provide varying support for each other. In Japan “Moais” means “meeting for a common purpose” and originated from the social support groups in Okinawa.   The concept of Moais have gained contemporary attention due to the Blue Zone research popularized by Dan Buettner. According to research, Moais are considered one of the leading factors of the longevity of the Okinawan people, making the region among the highest concentration of centenarians in the world.

These groups commit for life and meet to promote and support healthy behaviour for body, mind and soul.  I am a firm believer in having a “Moias” and my group of amazing people have loved and supported me in a way that no one else can.  Without speaking the words “committed to each other for life” , we have lived those words.  Thank you to my fellow “Moaisians”!

Darren Steeves, owner of VenturaWellness wrote an article in the Chronicle Herald on December 19th, 2017  listing good choices to promote longevity and health based on Dan Buettner’s work on the “Blue Zones” where people tend to live to 100.  I have taken his list and put it in my own words.

Here are the “Power 9” – reflecting my experience for a long and passionate life.
1.  No need to be a “jock” ——- small things every day eg. gardening, yard work, housework, walking to events; (I am not giving up my cleaning lady so if I only make it to 98, it would still be worth it)
2.  Purpose –  Having  a  “plan de vida” –  when you wake up in the morning?”  What  are you passionate about?  If you don’t know,  volunteering and giving service can be a very rewarding passion.
3.  Stop eating at 80%!
4.  Focus on beans and legumes.   Reduce meat to five times per month.
5. Everyday “wake up grateful”;  remember your ancestors,  pray (meditate) and rest or nap
6.  “Wine o’clock”every day with friends and family (moderate – two drinks  🍷) – this routine brings you together to catch up on the day, to let your body know your work is done, time to relax and be sociable.  The ambiance of music in the background, a few nibbles and the sound of ice in a glass announce “Happy Hour”
7.  Faith-based community – whatever faith you choose – attend four times a month and pray for peace and love in our world.
8.  Family relationships – invest love and your time (your greatest gift is your presence).
9.  Create your own circle “Moais”-   five friends committed to each other for life to support one another in body, mind and spirit.
Deep down in my heart, I have lived the importance of having a “Moais”.  I give thanks for them every day.

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