Julia Wikeepa, Maori, wahine, Ha, New Zealand, Aotearoa, Bush, Hā tool, anxiety necklace

Resilience using Aroha (Love) & Hā (Breath): A Māori Wāhine Overcoming Obstacles

Below are 7 things that most people don't know about me. 
Each of these experiences have helped me to become more resilient. I had to make a decision to either succumb to my experiences or learn and grow from them. I chose the later.
If you are Māori, a wāhine, or part of any marginalised group, sometimes we can unconsciously take on labels or stereotypes that society may project onto us. As I reflect on my life, I could see that I had very much become one of those negative statistics that many of our people have fallen into.  One of my missions is to empower our people to wake up, become conscious, and know that we can take the healing path if we choose. It takes courage, vulnerability, and it's scary, however, it's worth it.
We have the power to create our own narratives. 
I made a decision to become someone that aligns myself with values that are tika (right) and pono (honest).  While I continually make mistakes, I always get back on the band wagon and try again. No matter what we've done in the past, or where we are right now, we can make a decision to change the trajectory of our lives.
Even if you don't know how to, I promise you, there is a way. It just takes a willingness to be open to change.
My life changed significantly when I decided to build my capacity to step into discomfort. I understand what it's like to feel shame, overwhelm, detachment, loneliness, frustration, guilt, rejection, sadness and all the other uncomfortable emotions that come with life. They're here to teach us, not stop us.
When I learnt how to regulate my nervous system, it was a game changer. I was able to continue moving forward as I made mistakes and grew, and then made more mistakes.
I've been feeling resistance to showing up in my business lately. So I'm practicing what I preach. Leaning into the discomfort, connecting to Hā, feeling my emotions, not judging them, and practicing tapping into wairua (spirit/intelligence). This helps to shift from a place of fear to Aroha (love).
And this is where the magic happens.
In a couple of weeks (1st June), I'm launching a limited Introductory Hā Coaching Package.
It's a gateway to massive transformation through simple techniques that myself and thousands of others have used to create life-changing habits.




For years, I've faced ongoing mental health challenges, but battling eating disorders has been one of the most difficult. It feels like torment. I kept it a secret for 8 years because I was so deep in shame. This experience consumed my everyday thoughts & life. It impacted how I showed up and didn't show up. I had feelings of low self-worth, inadequacy, self-loathing and helplessness. I thought no one would ever understand what I was going through. I was able to overcome bulimia, however, still to this day I have to do the work to navigate faulty programming. It's all about being present, remembering who I am, and focusing on my purpose.



During my youth and young adult years, I ticked up a number of criminal records associated with violence, dishonesty, and driving under the influence. This impacted negatively on the way I viewed myself and hindered my ability to see a brighter future. I'm so fortunate that I was able to have an awakening, a spark of hope to work towards a better future. Even though my criminals records prevented me from getting jobs in the social sector, it has pushed me to get creative and develop a business that is unique, meaningful and is underpinned by my life experiences.



I was a statistic. I spent a good 17+ years on and off the benefit for a big chunk of my life. In my younger years, I was in and out of mahi, and didn't hold down a job for too long. While I'm grateful for the benefit, I did feel a dependency on it. It took a massive leap of faith to go full-time into my own business. I had to create a new mindset and integrate it into my nervous system. I went from averaging 30k anually to a double 6 figure turnover in my first year of business. I intentionally created new beliefs to embody this new reality. It's been such a blessing to see the fruits of my consistent mahi and I continue to work on building a bigger and brighter future.



I've never enjoyed having attention placed on me. My mum used to worry about me as a child because I was so shy. When I was at school and highschool I'd do whatever I could to avoid having to speak publicly, perform in front of people, or read things out in a group setting. My fight and flight symptoms would kick in so strong that I literally felt like I was going to die. I would tremble, couldn't breathe properly, I often could not speak because my voice would be so shaky and I'd get choked up. In my older years, when I got brave enough, I attended Toast Masters (public speaking classes) for 18 months. One of the scariest, yet most rewarding things I could've done for my confidence.



I dropped out of highschool at 16. I didn't like the anxiety that I experienced being in a school setting -I felt like I couldn't handle it. I moved away from home and didn't have much ambition from there. I always felt like I was dumb. I did alot of dissociating at school and my focus was not there when it came to learning. In my later years, when I decided to go and get a degree at university, I battled with this idea of being dumb and that I would fail. Luckily I pushed past it and was able to get my degree double majoring in Psychology and Human Resource Management. We never know what we're capable of until we try it.



For a big chunk of my life, I was really scared to feel uncomfortable emotions. At a young age, I learnt that substances helped me to numb out. They took me to another place and I didn't have to feel anything. I would sniff petrol, take mushrooms, weed, trips, meth, alcohol, pretty much anything that would take me to another place. I used substances for years. Even when I I was pregnant with my son, I still used substances to help get me through the day. I didn't realise I was creating a precious soul until the day he was born. He was a catalyst for change. When I first saw him, I decided I wanted to pave a new way. And I did.



I've been a solo māmā for my whole mum life. Sometimes it can be extremely lonely and hard to know what to do when things aren't working out. For me, half the battle has been asking for help. For a few years, starting at the young age of 8, my son struggled with suicidal ideation and self-harming. It was an extremely stressful and devastating time of my life. I felt a lot of guilt and blamed it on myself for a while. It wasn't until I got vulnerable and reached out for help, that things started changing. We learnt alot about nervous system regulation and the Hā during this phase, little did we know it would be an opportunity to help others get through their struggles too.


If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch at info@hahabitnz.com.


Hā Habit Founder  | Julia Wikeepa






Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.