How To: Create Your Moai
Most of the research on health and relationships is focused on romantic partners. We get it... finding (and keeping!) "The One" is super important and one of life's greatest treasures! But researchers have found that our friendships actually have a bigger impact on our health.
The Power of a Moai
In Okinawa, Japan, the average life expectancy for women is around 90 years old (the oldest in the world). Researchers were curious why. It turns out that one of the things they discovered is a unique tradition called “moai” (pronounced mo-eye)—a group of four to five friends who offer social, logistic, emotional and even financial support for a lifetime. Ummm sign. me. up!
Today, members of these networks serve many different purposes, from meeting practical needs such as problem-solving (think parenting dilemmas and career crises) to serving as extended family members, meeting social and emotional needs. Sweet sweet so what does that mean?
Essentially a moai is a group of friends who always “have your back” and commit to your total well-being and happiness.
How to Create Your Moai
A group of people that always have your back and are 100% committed to every facet of your well-being? This is the holy grail of relationships, folks, so buckle up, because it's time start your journey in creating your own badass moai.
- Start with your current peeps. The key to building a successful moai is to start with people who have similar interests, passions and values. Hopefully as you've read through this blog, one or two friends have popped into your head. Reach out. Invite them to lunch or on a coffee date. It’s never easy to make the first move, and they will likely be like "Moai-whaaat?" but we are talking about taking "BFF" status up 10 notches. It's going to take some TLC to get there.
If you're like, "Well poop, I ain't got no moai prospects, I'm screwed!" Easy cowgirl. Assuming you are over the age of 10 reading this, making friends is freaking hard. Consider signing up for our newsletter where every Friday we share Friendship tips and tricks (yes, sometimes the most successful friendships are the ones built on trickery).
- Be vulnerable. Being vulnerable builds trust and deepens our relationship beyond a simple acquaintance.
This step is H-A-R-D and fortunately there are some true experts that have built their entire career on this very topic (Hey girl hey, Brené Brown!). Remember, you're asking for friends to be fully committed to being your ride-or-die. Find that courage to go deep and share what you need and why you need it.
- Be available. Free time is a very limited resource (especially as a parent) but it’s important that you show up for your people. Would you rather stay home and enjoy a glass of wine while binging Squid Game after an exhausting day instead of suiting up for a long night of emotional support? Obvi. But you’re going to do it anyway. Because that’s what it means to commit to your moai.
If you're still with us, you're likely thinking to yourself, "umm, this is NOT an overnight activity, huh?" Like all good things in life, it’s going to take time to build these intense, lifelong relationships. And heck, maybe 5 is just crazy talk and you only need a 3 moai wolfpack.
However, if we’ve learned anything from some of the oldest and happiest people in the world, finding your moai is well worth the effort. Do your 90-year-old self a real solid and have the courage to put yourself out there today for your future happiness and well-being.