New Polynesian meditation app for a ‘home’ within
‘Within our ancestral voices are some true answers to healing’
– Rob Williams
A Moana movie style meditation series is set to launch through the newly developed ‘Feel App’. Home and Away actor and founder of the app Rob Williams speaks of his collaboration with Opetaia Foa’i – the musician behind the popular Moana movie, along with others that have inspired him along the way.
The FEEL App is an emotional awareness platform that shows you how to safely share your feelings, bring about balance, understand more about yourself and then connect with others to create a community of care and trust.
Le Va had the opportunity to connect with Rob to ask him a few questions about his fearless steps during the app’s development.
What fueled your interest in this field of work?
I was inspired by a meditation methodology developed by my mentor Bert McCarthy. It helped me form a more positive relationship with my negative talking self. It helped establish equilibrium and balance within and I felt a strong desire to help others find this same balance.
Share with us the collaborations you have made to bring this dream to life?
This has been the most amazing journey of collaboration. The meditation has been translated and recorded into six different Polynesian languages: Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island, Tahitian, Hawaiian and Māori. It has also been recorded in French as well as English. So that means at least six to eight translators and 12 to 14 voice artists.
I collaborated with Bert McCarthy, my Mentor, who was influential in helping me on my mindfulness journey. Bert and I worked to form ideas around the meditation methodology and delivery.
Finally, I collaborated with Opetaia Foa’i who is recognised for his music in the Moana movie. Opetaia is one of the South Pacific’s most influential cultural and musical ambassadors.
I will say, just quietly, that each meditation track is like listening to part 2 of the Moana movie so you’re in for a truly special experience.
Why do you feel this work is important?
Creating a Polynesian meditation series with uniquely Polynesian sounds, voices and instruments opens the door to meditation for our Pasifika and Māori communities. To journey back to a true sense of home and to experience the resonance through the notes, music, voices, and words.
With this project, how might you say you have journeyed from being fearful, to fear less, to being fearless?
Applying for the Le Va Pasifika Suicide Prevention Fund was relatively straight forward and like all applications your project must fit the funding criteria. It took a little bit of time to complete but all worthwhile when you receive the call that your application was successful. The fund allowed me to bring the concept to life through creating the music and recording the narrators. I say, look at the funding criteria and if your project fits inside the criteria, then GO FOR IT!
I remember being asked once, why you are doing this? The answer is quite simple. Many years ago, I had an experience in the Cook Islands as I was standing at the base of Te Rua Manga by a rock outcrop. As I turned toward the rocks, I instantly had a moment of déjà vu . It was as though I had been there long before.
It is undeniable that we as Māori whakapapa to the islands. Therefore, I feel a calling to this work, to collaborate with our beautiful Polynesian cultures in this meditation series, with the intention of developing positivity, stability, and a balanced sense of ‘home’ within.
I think when you find a project or a ‘why’ that inspires you, that carries the weight of your ancestors, and brings about positive change then you have a responsibility to become fearless.
The Feel app meditation series is set to launch very soon! Register now to get early access at: https://thefeel.app/register-your-interest
Left to right: Opetaia Foa’i and Rob Williams