Ho’oponopono – Making it right.

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DISCLAIMER: This posting is about an aspect of spirituality that resonates with me personally. I am not promoting any belief per se, not encouraging subscription to what is shared. This is not representing any organized religion either, so if you are looking for something that speaks to your religion, I don’t know that this will resonate with you. If however, you are spirit and are aware that you are, then maybe you’ll find resonance with this. I did and this is simply an account of my own experience.

I stumbled on Ho’oponopono at a time that my heart was so broken I thought I’d die, literally. The ache I carried with me daily was so intense, I have no recollection of ever feeling this broken before, and nothing I did eased it. There were days where tears would freely rolled down my face and it’ll take me a moment to realize what was happening, I couldn’t stop it, it was embarrassing.

I intensified the variety of therapeutic practices I have been observing – meditation, vibrational energy therapy, positive thoughts, and forgiveness as I understood it, prayer, you name it, I did it. NOTHING WORKED and the frustration mounted, worse still, I couldn’t remove myself from the daily trigger.

Countless nights, I would cry myself to sleep and pray that if there was source energy out there, that they send me the right tools to work through this or allow me out of this realm because nothing I have tried was working and I was getting tired by the day. Waking up every morning was a disappointment because it meant living through it all, again. I was not going to harm myself in anyway but I was not opposed to the thought of going to sleep and simply transitioning, because it felt like ANYTHING was better than that level of brokenness, disappointment and pain. I felt lost.

I was also in the middle a career re-evaluation/redirection. I was considering taking a few courses that would enrich my work experience and help with the redirection. Then an offer came into my inbox one morning; hugely discounted certification training for Ho’oponopono. One of the career paths I was looking into pursuing was as a motivational story telling. So somehow, the idea of certification in Ho’oponopono sounded like it might be useful, so I signed up. Plus I figured, having one extra thing to keep me busy would occupy my mind and reduce time spent on my misery.

Now, the interesting thing about it was that I had actually read about Ho’oponopono before, while researching for something totally unrelated. And the account of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len’s work with the mental hospital in Hawaii was something that intrigued me at the time even though I must admit I thought it did sound a wee bit weird and unreal; I did acknowledge that it probably did because I didn’t know the details of that story. I left it at that.

The course was advertised as possible to complete in 3 months minimum or 6 months maximum so I signed up. In a Covid 19 lock in and with time on my hands, I worked at it every free waking hour, and because I suffer from insomnia, I worked right through the night as well, and I was done in just three weeks. It was too soon, so I was not sure I would be allowed to sign for and take the test but I tried anyway and I was let in. I took the test. AND PASSED.

It wasn’t until I was looking at my certificate while cleaning (cleaning is a resolution technique I learn from the course) that it occurred to me that the foreboding pain and brokenness I had been carrying with me for the past 5 months was totally gone. I didn’t notice at what point it left but it was gone. The situation that created that feeling of hopelessness has not been resolved; in fact it is still very much on top of my resolution list today. It was IMPOSSIBLE to fix it in that short a time anyway. So, nothing else had changed except the pain and brokenness was no longer there. Better still, I found myself working with better clarity and a sense of direction towards the finding a resolution without having to carry that feeling of brokenness and loss, and my only explanation to why, is Ho’oponopono.

So what is Ho’oponopono? As I understand it, Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, but unlike what we understand forgiveness to be (involving the forgiver and the forgiven), the focus is on the self alone. The practice takes focus completely away from anyone but the one practicing the Ho’oponopono; the one initiating the act of forgiveness. What that simply means is that you step in the gab and take ALL responsibility of the situation requiring forgiveness and reconciliation even if YOU ARE NOT the offender in said situation. It requires a cleaning technique that is aimed at healing the pyche, bringing about restoration for all involved.

None of it made sense to me initially; every case of offense should involve a defence and a verdict, which is how it works. Whoever heard of a hearing and a resolution without a case? It just didn’t add up…but it does…in my core, I get it now, I have not yet found the right words to explain it the way it registers in my spirit, but I’m working on it and maybe someday, I will have the words to explain it in a very basic way that won’t come across as woo woo, because it really isn’t, once you get it.

That said, the only thing that came close to explaining it for me, is in my own understanding of the human story as I have experienced it; that there really is no such thing as opposites attract. There is always a self-reflection of ourselves that we find in others that brings us together, but that is not opposite.

We, humans, are a complex mass of individuality. However, we possess the insatiable need to connect with each other. For the most part, we look at a reflection of ourselves in others and when we find one that is a strong enough mirror of us, we connect.  We normally look for the positive aspects of ourselves in others, initially. We are however complex enough, that only with time will we expose the complexity of traits we hold, as we see them revealed in who we interact with.

When we find a trait in others that we find particularly offensive, we need to look within and chances are it is mirrored from our subconscious, which is the reason why we have an emotional reaction to it, because it is familiar to our psyche. That was how I was able to explain Ho’oponopono to myself. Taking responsibility of someone else’s offense towards you is done by recognizing that you see in him, that which you hate in yourself and you look within and heal that part of you so that his offense ceases to bother you any longer.

And so as Ho’oponopono requires, that you fix stuff – hurt, pain, brokenness, disappointment, forgiveness, grudge, revenge, retribution, payback – all of it, FROM WITHIN, by cleaning and returning to zero. And that fixing it; the cleaning and returning to zero that I practiced while taking the course is the only explanation to how I rid myself of the brokenness that was becoming me.

©Naan Pocen 2020

If you are curious about Ho’oponopono, I’ll recommend the book, Zero Limit co-written by Dr. Joe Vitale and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. I have a copy of it and it explains Ho’oponopono with better clarity than anything else I have found thus far.

(Neither Dr. Joe Vitale nor Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len are endorsing this writing, nor are they even aware that I am recommending their book).

P.S. I found a book that does a great job of explaining Ho’oponopono in a way I think most people will understand. I only found it two days ago and have read it. It is a book by Paul Jackson and it is called HO’OPONOPONO SECRETS: Four Phrases to Change the World One Love to Bind Them

Please note that this is not an endorsement. The author has no knowledge of this blog.

 

 

Connection

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Hello folks,

I’m talking about connection today. I think the dictionary will probably describe it as the act of linking one thing or a person to another….or something along that line. If you see it that way, then our situation as is with Covid 19 isolation, is not totally bad and we are not totally isolated.

It’s very lonely though.

This is the first time in my life that I am in a prolonged situation with no adult to talk to face to face. I am not talking about pleasantries and polite salutations. We live in shared spaces and so there is always the mailman, the grocer, the neighbours passing by, and the occasional face here and there. These are faces you see once a week (or as often as you venture out for your necessities).

I am talking about that ear wanting to hear a joke, that mouth cackling in mirth or bellowing with (not at) you as the mood dictates it, those eyes gazing into yours and knowing or simply saying silently “We’re in this together and we’ll tough it out and come out of it in one piece”.

The kid has been having a hard time of it but unlike holding it all in as she is so wont to do, she is letting it out and so I let her cry often and whine, and I listen to her on repeat like a broken record, knowing that the record is on repeat but the player feels better afterwards and that makes me better.
It’s hard.

My Italian family has called on a daily basis, face-timing for the most part. We have shared meals from our tables across the globe in real-time. There is 6 hours’ time difference so waking hours are limited but we manage to make the most of it.

My local friends live far away enough, that it is simply not safe to visit but we check up on each other and I work with an amazing team that do check in often as well, so yes, we are isolated physically and getting used to connecting with barriers in the form of gadgets, but it is still hard.

Every day is a surreal experience, it is a constant reminder of what being human really means to me. I doubt that the divine designer put all my senses in place for me to use it at this level of isolation. I find myself listening to a lot of recorded music that I otherwise enjoy but wanting to hear that in real-time, with the energy transferred directly from mouth to eat without the filter of technology. I want to see every member of my tribe in 3 dimensions, I want to reach out and register the warmth of living flesh. I want to smell their scents, even the putrid ones if only to register the realness of all that they are.

At the start of all this, my therapist asked me what I was most afraid of. I thought about it. The nagging thought for me at first was that I’d die and my kid would be an orphan, but the reality is, that is part of life. At some point, I’d be gone and she will indeed be an orphan, just like my folks are gone and I am one. Life and death, to a certain extend, is not in our control, so regrets about when it happens is a waste of time.

So with that thought in place, my focus was on what WAS in my control. And the only thing that came to mind was that it’ll be regretful to come out of this pandemic, or exiting from this realm (whichever comes first) with the knowledge that I didn’t attempt mending broken bridges.

‘And how do you do that?’ I was asked.

‘By taking responsibility for my part in it and reaching out? That would be a first step I think’, I said. It felt like the right answer at the time.

‘Do that then,’ I was told.

When I gave it much thought, later on, I found it most unpleasant. In my experience, broken bridges are never a solo act, just like building bridges aren’t. And on top of that, I didn’t like being wrong, I don’t take easily to being on the wrong side of broken bridges, being a spectator while the bridge got broken was more welcoming, but as Ihaleakala Hew Len points out often “Have you noticed that when something is wrong, you are there?” So yes, I did that which I hated the most (being responsible for my part in the damage) has been entrusted to me to fix.

For the most part, I have lived with integrity. I have come through life releasing offences and moving forward. That is not to say that no one is holding a grudge with me still; it simply means I have offered resolution and restitution as best as I can and let it go never to revisit. I couldn’t think of any situation but one that had an inkling of grudges on my part involved…one.

My gut reaction to that was to look away, quickly. It was still very raw and my ego said it was not deserving of resolution or restitution just yet.
But at what point and at what cost do I hold onto this unhealthy choice though? How does one extra discomfort make living through this pandemic easier? My therapist’s homework for me was to do something about it, and THAT was the whole point of therapy for me in the first place; to learn tools to aid me in healing and letting go and moving forward. There was never a promise that it’ll be agreeable or enjoyable.

So I self-talked myself into letting go of the ego because that was the one thing that stood in the way with the REAL reason why I wanted to hold on. Letting go of the ego was not easy, but with ego out of the way, clarity became a healing balm and it simply made no sense at all not to forge on this way. So I mustered up the courage, was as honest as I could be, and I reached out.

It was very awkward and embarrassingly clumsy, and most likely not elegantly presented but the apology was sincere and it was real. This one attempt at resolution and restitution has been a very unique experience for me. I have NEVER attempted resolution and restitution from a vulnerable place before, so doing it this time when I felt the rawest and at a disadvantage was weird, but weirder still was the swiftness at the release I felt in my soul.

No, the sentiment was not returned and no further discussion was held on the matter so there is still no process of rebuilding bridges, nor is there any attempt at removing the debris from that broken bridge. But I am surprisingly OK. Life is not always tidy and that is OK.

Brene Brown said (not verbatim) that relationships thrive when we seek to create balance. And balance is not necessarily about giving 50/50, but about being able to pony up the 80 when your other has only 20 to offer, knowing that when 10 is all you have, they’d pony up the 90 to meet yours. Communication though is key here. Because if all I have is 30 and I don’t tell you but assume you should know, and all you have is a 40 and you don’t tell me but assume I should know, then on that given time we will only be working with 70.

When there is better communication, not only do we know to pony up and meet the lesser on those less ideal days, in order to achieve the balance, but we’ll also most like have a plan in place knowing there will be days when we both are low, and have that plan ready to help us navigate those days in order to still find that balance.

Today, albeit the surreal feeling the day brings, I can sincerely say I am at peace. All willing and reciprocal connections are on clear paths and communication is thriving. Bridges that are broken and not wanting to repair or clean debris are left alone because that is how life happens sometimes and untidiness is not always a bad thing.

I continue to do my part in what needs doing to fight this pandemic. I keep away from people in shared spaces that find my presence an imposition (familiar and strangers alike). I live in hope that this will end and we’ll come out of it either in this realm or another. And yes, there is a morbid part of me that knows there is that very unwelcomed chance that we may not all come out of it in this realm. Heck, maybe I will be one of those exiting.

Whichever end I come out of this, I am at peace.

Peace begins with me.

©Naan Pocen 2020

P.S. If you are interested in listening to the interview with Brene Brown, follow this LINK

Being in the NOW

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Hello folks,

I have not blogged in years, and it is just as well. I am in a very different place today, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and it is only befitting that I’d be resuming writing from my new perspective on life, spirit and art. I have had a few blogs over the years that still have postings on them but I’ll leave them be and take this one as my new direction on blogging and forge forward.

I also received my Ho’oponopono practitioner certification today and I am so happy about that. I feel encouraged on so many levels just knowing that I am heading towards my future with the right sort of armour for me to tackle and handle life, spirit and art as I rediscover it.

A week ago, I heard something from a broadcast by Eckhart Tolle about experiences, and the narratives we attach to them, and he challenged us to take note of the experience as well as the narrative we apply to them, notice where one ends and where the other begins, and then he further challenged that we should attempt focusing only on the experience without the narrative. In a nutshell to learn to be in the now. And that is what I have been practising since, and hope to carry on doing that.

Peace begins with me

©Naan Pocen 2020

Follow this LINK if you’d want a listen on that broadcast