Today, we're gonna take it back to when the world changed forever, to when our most important family, te ira atua/the gods, demonstrated one of the most extreme ways of dealing with their anger and frustration.
When Ranginui (heavens) and Papatuanuku (earth) were separated, Tāwhirimātea wasn't too happy about it.* He waged war on his brothers and in his fury, Tāwhirimātea plucked out his eyes, crushed and then cast them up to Ranginui.°
I'd like to assume there could have been some steps before straight up plucking your eyes out, Tāwhiri..
Just to go off track real quick, could you imagine what that moment would have been like?
Tāne - oh bro, I said sorry.. it's just, none of us could move... wait.. what are you doing with your eyes... stop that
Tangaroa - I don't feel that's... whoaaaa... hey.. is that necessary... bro??!
Tūmatauenga - adopted, definitely adopted.
It's a joke ok kaupapa police. Back to the seriousness of the blog; if we bring it on home to you in your own life, think of moments you've expressed your frustration, acted out or said something in the heat of the moment. Can you remember what your breathing was like in that instant? Was it laboured, intense, heavy, heated and/or loud? Highly likely.
Tāwhiri is represented as the respiratory systems in our tinana˘, so it's whakapapa in action when our breathing is impacted if/when we feel angry or upset.
I mentioned in this post how, when I'd get myself into uncomfortable situations, I'd feel Tangaroa thrash about inside me like waves during a storm, crashing down and more often than not, I'd cry.
I'd feel Tāwhiri in those times too.
When I get upset, it's like there isn't enough oxygen to inhale and my breathing gets quite difficult to control. I feel my body temperature rise because I can't breathe fast or deep enough to regulate it. Tāwhiri would consume me, all set to battle it out for round two.
After a while, I recognised that this didn't help my cause because I needed to share what was on my mind - which is hard to do if you can't breathe properly. As I focused more on this area, I thought it was pretty ironic when I learned that one of the most effective ways to calm and settle ourselves, is to become mindful of our breathing.. to learn how to control Tāwhirimātea and his presence within us.
Then I realised... that's also whakapapa in action! Because Tūmatauenga (atua of war and mankind) was the only one of his brothers to stand up to Tāwhiri when he went to town (unleashed his fury). While Tāne retreated to the forest, Tangaroa to the sea, Rongomātāne underground.. Tū battled against Tāwhiri and that battle still continues within us today - this is a perfect example.
When you feel Tāwhiri gathering his forces inside you, when you're feeling frustrated and hōhā and your breath begins to get agitated and laboured.. Remember that Tūmātauenga fought back and defeated Tāwhiri before, so there's no reason why you can't learn to regulate your breathing when you feel the frustrations coming on and keep Tāwhirimātea at bay once more.
Control Tāwhirimātea, regulate your breathing, master your emotions, - kia rangatira ai koe, become self-determining.
*Various iwi (tribes) have different accounts for whom of the brothers agreed or disagreed with separating their parents.
°Tāwhirimātea's eyes are known today as Matariki, (Mata-ariki, the rising of which signifies the beginning of the Māori lunar calendar, this year 6-9th July). His blindness is also attributed to how the wind blows from every direction
˘The respiratory system is what Tāwhirimātea gave to Hineahuone, the first woman and therefore the physical representation of Tāwhiri inside us.
Disclaimer: don't pull your eyes out. Tāwhiri is awesome but don't do that. Please.