Modern Ho’oponopono

A few years ago, I read a wonderful book about the ancient Hawaiian teaching called Ho’oponopono, co-written by Dr. Joe Vitale and Dr. Hew Len, called Zero Limits.

It described the work of Dr. Hew Len and his application of this ancient teaching of reconciliation and forgiveness in his work as a psychologist.

It involves getting to what he terms as “zero state.”  This means the state where we are perfect, whole, and complete.  The state that is our inheritance as human beings.

You are whole.  You are always enough.  You need nothing.  Our conditioning and our memories of our experiences block that knowledge.

Everything that is perfect for you is already in you – the Inspiration, your spark or potential, is within.  In order to understand this as your truth, you must release what is blocking you, what you would consider an enemy- the memories that stand between you and Inspiration.

Dr. Hew Len talks about “cleaning” the memory.  This means acknowledging that what we know is not all there is to know and that we have a lot of arrogance to overcome so we can experience reality.  This takes a humble spirit!

It also takes a courageous spirit, because, in this manner, we have the responsibility to set everyone and everything free…

I came to life…I don’t know how.
I am here to live.  I am invited to express Inspiration in my unique way.
I will leave here the same way I came to life.  I don’t know how.
Not knowing is freedom…

Come to Inspiration like a little child – curious, enthusiastic, playful, and always enough.

Children are always listening, watching, and learning.  They don’t know what anything means.  In this same manner, I must admit that I don’t understand much of anything.  As clear a filter as I can be, I am still a filter.

Children trust because they love.  It is always wise to choose to access the deepest source of wisdom you can at this point in time.  Love opens the door.  Fear blocks the door.

The four statements in the Ho’oponopono Prayer are an acknowledgment of our need for greater humility and fore-giveness.  I call it fore-giving, because first, we must give ourselves that which we wish to give to others.  We must live it so we know how it looks, sounds, tastes, and feels for ourselves.

Overnight, it seems, our world has been catapulted into a new frontier.  A New Earth, as Eckhart Tolle describes it, has the potential to emerge from the ashes of the old.

In the next weeks…months…years…what doors will you open?  Will you emerge from the dark womb of Mother Earth, this dark night of the spirit, as a new being?

Now is the perfect time to begin the journey towards the sun.  You were meant to walk in the sunshine…

Here are some thoughts regarding the process of Ho’oponopono that I apply to my own life.  It is the only prayer that I say, and has brought many blessings to my life.  My personal mantra, Kiss not Curse (offering a psychic blessing to others instead of a judgment) has its genesis in this ancient Hawaiian teaching.

I offer them to you with love:

I’m sorry (acknowledging responsibility, my personal role)

For not demonstrating the best of me.
For not offering you a fresh new slate on which to write.
For not being a welcoming human being.
For not being an elegant example.
For believing more in my memories of you than in you.
For loving my own opinion more than you.
For protecting myself and hardening myself against you – your thoughts, your reality, your wisdom.
For condemning and imprisoning us both.
For not cleaning up my own home while criticizing your housekeeping abilities.

Please forgive me (offering humility, acceptance, willingness to let go)

For not listening and understanding.
For not taking responsibility for my healing on myself.
For indulging in selfishness.
For loving my limitations more than our freedom.
For condemning and criticizing you.
For not offering you the space to embrace your possibilities.
For taking the responsibility for your life onto myself.
For knowing what is right for you.
For believing you are attacking me.
For seeking revenge.
For attacking you.
For attacking myself.
For thinking so small.
For separating myself from you.

 I love you (inviting Inspiration from within as well as through others)

I see you.
I hear you.
I love your life.
I love your Spirit.
I love your creativity.
I love your ideas.
I love your perspective.
I love your freedom.
I love your wisdom.
I love your truth.
I love your eyes, your hands, your ears, your voice, your heart.
I love your sadness, your suffering, and your pain.
I love your mess.
I love your quirks, and wrinkles, and scars.
I love your disrespect and hissy fits.
I love your hate.
I love your potential.
I love your creativity.
I love your best.

 Thank You (an acknowledgment of perfection aka innocence)

For blessing me awake.
For opening my eyes and my heart.
For showing me your pain.
For revealing your heart.
For reminding me of life.
For celebrating life through me.
For opening me to potential.
For showing me exactly what I deserve.
For opening me to understanding.
For teaching me patience.
For relaxing me into the time that I need to process forgiveness.
For restoring me to love.
For bringing me home.
For helping me write another version of my story.

The Japanese process called Naikan is a lovely compliment to Ho’oponopono.  It is an examination of our life from the perspective of what we have received and what we have given.

This is all about me.  This is all about you. I am you and you are me.

Namaste…

Walk This Way?

Practice gratitude to feel gratitude. There is no other way.

You cannot give it service with your lips and expect to feel it in your heart.

Let’s ask a few interesting What if questions:

What if what you are talking about is what the Universe is giving you in return? Empty words devoid of feeling?

It is easy to read the wisdom books and memorize the correct terms. I have learned from experience that it is much easier to talk the talk than it is to walk the walk. Many times, when we say we know something it means that we understand it intellectually, but knowing something intellectually and actually living that way are two different things.

What if you substituted the word know as in I know what gratitude is, with the word live as in I live that way in everyday life…would the statement still be true for you?

This is what I mean – most people say they know what gratitude is, but do they really?

Intellectually I may know that gratitude means living with a grateful heart, but do I live my life with a grateful heart?

What if I am I pretending to be something I’m not?

People who live with a heart filled with gratitude practice gratitude every day, in every way they can. They know its true value.

They practice it so they can feel it. They share it so they can continue feeling it.

What if, in the words of Aerosmith, we were to Walk this way?

The Gifts of A Writer

We read to confirm.  We read to learn.  We read to gain entry into sacred space. Sometimes we are truly blessed by the writer who blends these into a breathtaking kaleidoscope of support, discovery, and inspiration.

When we find ourselves searching for confirmation of something we believe in our hearts is true, we find our truth in the writing of others.

When we are searching for meaning and a reason to get up in the morning, others teach us, through their words, how to survive and thrive.

Their words offer us Something Colored Beautiful in a day cloaked in wrathful shades of gray.  We feel their hope, their confidence, and their competence so deeply that we make it ours.

Writing is a solo act.  Sometimes, when we feel most alone, the words of a fellow writer offers us encouragement, support, and company.

Writers know.  As artists, writers, dreamers, and creatives…we know that the spirit of reciprocity is life itself.  We share the best and most brilliant part of ourselves because when others feel it, we keep feeling it too.  

These are the gifts of a writer.

What is a story without a Shakespeare?
A novel without an Atwood?
A song without a Lennon?
A philosophy without a Socrates, or Watts, or Krishnamurti or Buddha?

So many times we are so blinded by our faults that we cannot see our own beauty.

When I read your words we share sacred space.  A glimpse of your beauty reveals my own.

Thank you.

Write On!

Thank you.

You are the reason that I am writing this post.  If you read on, Thank you twice.

I was watching a superb interview with a man that I have only come to know in the past month, Seth Godin.  Where have I been, right?  🙂  In this interview, he said to ask yourself the question – If you didn’t post, or blog, or show up on social media today, who would care?  Who would inquire as to where you have gone?

Seth says, if nobody does, then you don’t have their attention.  They are merely tolerating you – another blip on the screen – another tidbit of white noise in the vast white noise landscape.

The internet is vast.  It is easy to get lost.  He asked if readers can choose to read anyone, why would they choose to read your work?

Seth makes a person think.  I asked myself, What would a warrior do?  Myself responded, She would be grateful.

To those who have taken the time to read and respond to my blog, I appreciate your time and attention more than you may ever know.

At this point in my writing life, I don’t have a lot of people who have read my posts.  I don’t have a lot of people who have read my 1st book.  I understand the task ahead of me with my second book, An Elegant Mind’s Handbook, that will be ready to pitch to publishers within the month.

January was an interesting month.  I had more technical issues with internet access and with my elderly computer than I had in the previous 12 months.

It is what it is.

What did I learn from this exercise?  That I write for the sheer, deep love of writing.  I write for the wonders I uncover as I dip into the wellspring of inspiration.  I truly love sharing what I uncover.  That is what sustains me.

I am an artist, as are you.  Artists are the coolest kids I know.

Seth also offered an interesting take on fear – instead of finding a way to “deal with” fear, dance with it!  That is what I call being fearless – when you do something you fear, you fear it less and less.

In this way, we can all be unstoppable!  We can all dance like nobody is watching!

Write on, my friend!

GREETINGS FROM KESWICK RIDGE

It’s a silvery wintery morning here on the Ridge. The trees are cloaked in icy lace and snowflakes, and a soft frost hovers gently over the St. John river. Flocks of sparrows, chickadees and doves have just begun to enjoy a break of dawn Christmas feast at our feeders. Dogs are contentedly snoring beside me . . . and the coffee tastes really good this morning.

As I sit here surveying all that my husband and I have built in the past few years and thinking about the richness of my life as it is now, I am awash with gratitude. I feel appreciation not only for what is, but also for what was. Without what was there could be no appreciation of what is.

A few years ago my husband Mark and I went to the Dominican Republic on vacation. We have a lawn care business and work really sweaty hard during the summer months. We look forward to a warm tropical vacation in the winter . . . we love just relaxing on the beach . . . sunning our buns, reading books with little or no literary substance, and chillin’ with a tall glass of fresh juice spiked generously with rum.

And we love to kayak. For those of you who haven’t tried it, grab a paddle and shove off! It is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable experiences you will ever have . . . unless, that is, you decide to take on the ocean waves in a kayak that you sit on and not in.

There are two types, and one is like a canoe (sit in) and the other is more like a molded plastic surfboard (sit on). Our resort had the sit on types. We weren’t used to those, but being experienced kayakers we thought what the heck? We grabbed our paddles with enthusiasm.

We were used to river kayaking . . . traversing the waves and currents you would find on the Little Sou’ West Miramichi and the St. John rivers . . . and we had kayaked in the harbor around Grand Manan and Whitehead Island, but had never boated on the open ocean.

Sometimes the waves of the Carribean caress the beach in a soft rhythm that can lull sunbathers to sleep . . . other times they crash with their own feral enthusiasm . . . and this was one of those latter days.

Once we were out past the breaking waves we thought we had a “feel” for this new kind of boat, as well as for the ocean waves, and so we began paddling out farther, to where the most intrepid swimmers ventured and the speed boats cruised. The swells there were much gentler.

As we went out farther and farther I began feeling a bit uneasy . . . man, the water was deep . . . and it took me back to Newcastle, New Brunswick . . . to a dark Uptown Theatre in 1976 with the opening notes from Jaws still ringing in my ears . . .

Yeah. I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to deep water, and even though tropical water is way too warm for Great Whites, there are lots of other kinds of sharks, right?

What if one wanted to take a sun and fun vacation and decided to go all Megaladon on Paula’s ass . . .???? And gobble me up, plastic surfboard and all?

Sooooooo we went in closer to shore . . . where I could see the nice white sandy bottom.

Safer, eh? Well, that depends a lot on a person’s perspective. The waves are stronger in there and so, of course, we got sideways a few times and upended. Our slippery little boats ALMOST got away from us more than once . . . which would not have been cool . . . but nobody was looking, at least nobody we could see laughing when we got back on the boats, dug the salt water out of our eyes and scanned the beach.

After an hour we decided we were done. It was getting close to our second dinner anyway (Yep. On vacation you can have as many dinners in a row as you like and nobody even looks at you funny! And with an all-inclusive vacation it is already paid for . . . Bonus!) so we headed back to shore.

The guys that give you the boats don’t generally tell you what it can be like coming back in from your tropical kayak adventure . . . they just flash their super white teeth and tell you to have a great time.

They don’t say how the waves can all at once get super strong and take the feet out from underneath you and wash you wayyyy up onto the beach like pieces of driftwood, and when you struggle to get to your feet . . . hit you again and again . . . rolling you over and over and over, filling every crack and crevice with lovely powdery white sand . . . stealing all of your coolness and what you salvaged of your dignity after going “arse over kettle” as you fell off the kayaks out on the water . . . and how these rogue waves can wash you up at the feet of other much cooler sunbathers as they lay, dry and dignified, on their beach chairs observing your plight with extreme amusement . . .

Mark and I laid there in the middle of the sand and seaweed and laughed till we were too weak to get up. Eventually we did, and retrieved the boats (or someone corralled them for us, I don’t remember) and once we dried off and desanded . . . we did enjoy a really nice second dinner.

Okay for my point . . . even as I remember that time with fondness (and maybe a pinch of embarrassment) and am chuckling here as I recount this silly story . . . I know it is now just a memory.

I would have preferred to stay cool and be the one in control of my boat. I would have preferred to stay dry and look like an athlete pulling up out of the waves, lithely jumping off the boat and sauntering with ease by the amazed onlookers who I just knew would be thinking, “What a cool chick! I wanna be just like her!”

Life is not like that, is it? Sometimes it is great and we can maintain the level of coolness and control that we feel we deserve.

The problem is that when we feel we deserve something, anything that is not “it” sucks in comparison to it. And unlike this silly story, sometimes that suckiness can be brutal and can last for what seems like a long, long time.

Circumstances sometimes have a way, like a rogue wave, of taking the feet out from underneath you. Sometimes the only thing that is worthwhile learning from an experience is that it will eventually be over.

I, like most folks, love Christmastime . . . I love the food, the soft lights, the old tyme Christmas music and love sharing feelings of peace on earth and good will to all women and men with everyone I meet! I love snow on the trees and a fire in the hearth.

However, with some Christmas’ past it was not as easy to feel that love . . .

For some folks the holidays come around all too soon . . . they dread them because it is when they desperately miss loved ones who have passed away or are far away . . . and they feel the most alone. They feel the pressure to spend money they don’t have and as a result, feel the most financially insecure. Some feel lonely due to relationship conflicts and feel the most stressed . . . and more hopeless during these particular holidays than at any other time of the year.

They certainly don’t feel the peace and joy of the season that others wish for them. Sometimes those words just feels like words.

Been there, done that. And the most important thing that I have learned in the past few years, and possibly in my life so far . . . is that this day is just another day. It only has the power to bring you misery if you decide it is more valuable than any other. Realistically, it bears no more pain that the day before or the day after.

What do you think? It is all a matter of choice.

Eventually everything changes, and this day, like all the rest of them, for better or for worse, will become simply another memory.

As long as you are still kickin’ there is life in the ole chassis and there will be another day . . . and a new year is emerging, ripe with promise and opportunity.

Perhaps next year you will be, like me, thinking that the not so good times are now the servants of the really great ones, as they serve to highlight them.

And you may not laugh at the memory, but you may be able to generate a wry smile of triumph, ‘cause you made it!

You know, probably nobody on the beach that day Mark and I were rolling around in such an undignified manner even remembers the incident. And even if I were to find them and mention it, they may not remember. It would merely be a funny story told by a stranger. It was what it was, and it does not matter, except what I chose to learn from it.

Rogue waves come and rogue waves go. I hope I gave the cool kids on the beach that day, and maybe even you on this Christmas Day, a reason to smile.

Sending you all the love that is in my heart this Christmas Day 🙂