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Ho’Oponopono – Because Life is Messy

Ho’Oponopono

Because Life is Messy

Ho’Oponopono, is a Hawaiian saying used in healing practices of Kahuna. An expression of love that is designed to help with the self healing process, these words have been coming out of my mouth a lot lately.

What does it mean?

After a quick search you will find there a few varying perspectives on the what the exact translation is but I believe it to be somewhere along the lines of “I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You”. You gotta love the Hawaiian dialect with its unique combination of simplicity and depth, because as you look at the word itself it almost appears to be the same word over and over. When you reflect on its translation you see the incredible beauty of this mantra, in one fell swoop these words can communicate one of the most powerful messages the human spirit could ever hear. The trans-formative nature of this expression is beyond my own comprehension but I would love to share my simple perspective and hopefully illuminate how you can use it in your life.

Why I Care.

As a child I was always raised to treat others as I would want to be treated and I assume this was fundamental in helping develop my empathetic nature. This characteristic has helped me form powerful connections with the people I meet, most people are willing to say the trait is a blessing, I would say that learning to feel others pain without taking it on is possibly one of the most challenging aspects of my own personal evolution. The world we live in can be very heavy almost suffocating at times especially as we become more aware of the pain of others. I’m not sure the exact the time but somewhere in my teens I became conscious of the deep rooted corruption of this world, not surprisingly, I did not know how to cope with this new awareness. Once you can start to see the interconnectivity of life then you start to feel the pain and suffering of the general human consciousness, not because it is the most powerful or dominant but more because it is like a wounded child screaming for attention. Most of my late teens were spent in a blur of substance abuse designed to help dull the undisciplined empathy that was gnawing at my heart,  then in my early to mid twenties I started looking at ways to “fix” the planet…… both of these failed. For someone like me that failure was an essential part of my learning process, as with most humans I learn from mistakes. At first this failure was discouraging, I took it personal, now when looking at it I can see the flaw in my logic, I thought I was apart from this world.

Heal Yourself, Heal the World

“In deep and lasting ways, when we heal ourselves we heal the world.” Mark Nepo

I understand that not everyone wants to heal the world that can be pretty intimidating but I want to start here as I believe it will help us better understand the relationship between our inner and outer worlds. The truth is to think you can fix the planet is incredibly immature, I mean who am I to say I know how things should be, I would like to think I know how good they could be but that doesn’t mean I am right. On a deeper level I can see this was just a more elaborate way of running from my emotional pain, yes that is right some times becoming so busy trying to help others is just easier than stopping to look at ourselves. Occasionally we are fortunate enough to observe our ridiculous habits, and when you are able to look at those habits without judgement is when you start to recognize the true motivation behind them. Revealing the root of your emotional pain is like finding a small child crying in the corner of your mind, hiding in fear from a violent world it doesn’t understand. Then it hits you, that wounded little human is you, not you as you are today but the you born for this world to know, before you let the opinions and actions of other make you believe that you were undeserving of acceptance. Once you see that then you just want to pick the child up hold it and say “I love you just as you are, I’m sorry I tried to change you, please forgive me for ignoring you, and thank you for not giving up on me” and as you say that to your inner child you slowly feel the pain of the world around you lessen and peace start to grow. The theory being that the pain you feel around you is really just a reflection of the pain you are feeling inside, like an open wound your past emotional trauma is hypersensitive to things that mirror your pain. As you continue to heal and comfort your inner child, you notice the world around you changing, no corruption doesn’t magically end and people still make a ton of mistakes, instead you just start to see the child inside of others and can relate to their actions better without judgement which makes it easier to live in harmony with them.

Finding Closure

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Closure has been a foreign concept for me most of my life, as far as I knew life was a culmination of loose ends and mishaps that we were doomed to repeat. Now the value of closure is starting to reveal itself to me and I can see that my previous assumption was only partially correct, closure is designed to help us grow from our mistakes so we can finally move on and make new ones. Whereas without closure we are inevitably thrown into a never ending of loop of repeated errors until we decide to sit down and digest the lesson that life is trying to teach us. We all know that finding closure is normally easier said than done, because most of the closure we are seeking involves our relationships with others, people who we might not be able to communicate directly with either because they are no longer in this realm of existence or because that person does not want know you. So finding closure in these situations becomes a little more complex, you can’t force someone to have a relationship and as far as I know nobody has successfully revived the dead in these modern times. In situations like this, the power of Ho’Oponopono shines through clearly, these words have a unique ability to help you deal with feelings of guilt that are commonly associated with relationships that meet an abrupt end. No this is not a silver bullet that will instantly help you release your pent up emotions, these words are meant to attune your inner emotional state to that of love so the emotions can exist within you without you feeling the need to judge or repress them, a necessary part of processing and growing. This is equally as valuable if you were the one that was wronged because believe it or not your unspoken resentment towards that person is just as destructive as guilt and learning to love those people as you would love your inner child makes their transgressions much less about you and more about them.

Sharing My Practice

So if you feel like this practice would benefit you I encourage you to try it, my approach is fairly unrefined but for now it meets my needs. Find a picture or a simple possession that brings up a strong emotion for the person you have the unresolved feelings towards, sit and hold it, look at it if you can, then just say Ho’Oponopono and then I even repeat it in English  a few times if necessary. Yes you are likely to cry and if you are anything like me it will be big salty tears with your snotty nose running all over the place, but if you can just bear your ugly crying face and just allow it to flow out, this expression will help you feel loved while you do, so that the emotion can pass through you and stop wreaking havoc on your internal peace. There are definitely more refined approaches to this practice honed by spiritual leaders far more experienced than I, regardless if you are not able to see those people or do not desire to wade through all the fluff of internet search results then I invite you to at least start with my rudimentary practice.

 

Let me wrap this up with some of my more recent thoughts on this subject. The world around us is suffering from intense emotional pain, centuries of war, slavery, extreme addiction, poverty, spiritual suppression the list goes on, but when we look at it all holistically we can obviously say those are mainly symptoms of a society that has been tricked into believing our emotions and feelings have the right to dictate our lives. So now more than ever is the right time for humans to start healing our emotional wounds, that way we can comfort our inner children and better understand the hurt of those around us. Together we can begin the process of making the human spirit whole again instead of fragmented in opposition, if not for future generations, at least so we can better enjoy this amazing time that we are so lucky to witness.

Thanks for tuning in and as always you are worth More Than Gold.

Love,

Sam

 

Easter – One Man’s Revelation

Easter

One Man’s Revelation

Spring Has Sprung!

The birds are singing and wildflowers magically paint the landscape with a lush array of vibrant colors, well at least here in central Texas. It’s pretty much my favorite time of year in this state, a time when a fair skinned fellow such as myself can comfortably soak up the sun without having to slather on toxic chemicals in order to interact with normal sun tolerant people. Honestly most springs fly by unnoticed other than the vast seas of color that envelope the hillsides, commonly caught up in childlike exuberance of “doing cool shit”, I never took the time to reflect on the significance of this time of year. Growing up a preachers kid I was exposed to the religious importance of this holiday from a very young age, due to the physical and emotional abuse of my childhood my ability to clearly see the beauty of this time of year was blinded by anger and resentment. Gratefully I have had the opportunity to reflect on a lot of things lately one them including Easter.

The Winter of my Soul

The last couple of years in my life have been crazy to say the least, I found myself trapped in an emotional blizzard of depression, one that left my soul with cabin fever clawing at my heart. The details can be spared for the sake of my sanity and your time but lets just say being an idealistic romantic can cause someone like me to invest way too much time and energy into people who don’t share the same definition of love. After it was all said and done, I found myself alone again in what is currently one of the most challenging experiences of my adulthood, with nothing but bittersweet memories and broken hopes. In the last month of 2015 I decided to quit a “comfortable” job in order to complete my education in massage therapy, mainly because I knew the psychological importance of showing myself I can complete something. When I started that journey it was with the illusion of support and love from someone very dear to me, someone I thought I could share my imperfection with and someone I hoped would see that this as an integral part of getting myself prepared for our future together.  Needless to say that person did not share the same feelings nor desires. I soon found myself in the midst of an emotional whirlwind, buried under a schedule of trying to balance two part time jobs, full time school and the occasional band practice frantically running from the feelings of rejection and failure that all too often accompany the loss of a romantic attachment.

Spring Break! Spring Cleaning?

For most musicians in Austin spring break really just means SXSW is going to make your life crazy for the next week or so, though this one was very unique for me as I had not been in school to appreciate this time of year for over a decade. With my week nights freed up in for the first time in months I finally had the chance to let my feelings catch up with me, something I was literally terrified of, fearing those feeling might halt my momentum. I knew I was in need of a serious emotional catharsis, one that might help me better navigate the turbulent waters of my mind. A trip perhaps? Not necessarily focusing on the destination but more on the chance to get a new perspective, a journey that would help me remember a part of myself I forgot. My internal house was in need of some serious spring cleaning, a chance to knock down the cobwebs of old thought patterns and wipe the dust away from my long neglected inner child. The radiant sun illuminating the state of my life, I was starting to see the emotional importance of this commonly dreaded  responsibility.

Resurrection… Metaphorically Speaking

Of course the religious cornerstone of Easter revolves around the death and resurrection of one the most incredible physical manifestations this realm of existence has ever seen, the act itself shrouded in wonder and awe as it appeals to a part of our soul we know to be absolutely true yet we have no way to comprehend.  Mysticism aside most people can see that this story is a great metaphor for the end of something, bringing along with it a new hopeful beginning. The truth is we must sometimes go through intense emotional or physical pain in order to be motivated enough to make certain changes that our lives need. Occasionally we need to kill our current self so we can become the person we were meant to be, so I did, I made my peace and began to lay my ego based thought process to rest with gratitude and respect. That being said the ego does not go down quietly, investigating the root cause of your “suffering” is a messy business one that can leave you exhausted and quite emotional. It may sound strange, but I can say I feel a new version of myself slowly breaking through, like blades of grass growing through the cracks of a sidewalk. Even more strange than that is the fact that this new version of myself comes with a feeling of familiarity like when you reconnect with an old friend.

Equinox

A time of year that marks when the nights of winter are slowly giving way to the days of summer, leaving us in a brief window of solar and lunar balance. Then it clicked, our ancestors recognized this time of year as having incredible trans formative potential which is why so many different cultures have a spring celebration. With nature providing the perfect backdrop, its completely organic to feel that this time of year is a great opportunity for us to shed our less desirable aspects in order to allow new growth. This concept is illustrated through the story of the crucifixion and resurrection, the first part symbolizing the blood exchange meant to pay for our mistakes and the second part showing that we are born anew unbound by the limitations of our past. Relinquishing our attachment to the sins of  our past enables us to continue growing in order to reach our highest possible potential. Various ancient cultures honored this with sacred rituals in order to acknowledge the lessons learned while encouraging the desire to continue learning. The equinox is a time of high energy that can be useful in purging our emotional trauma and propelling our spirits into the next chapter of our karmic journey.

So regardless of your spiritual beliefs this time of year is a unique culmination of spiritual sanctity, celestial alignment and seasonal transition that can be an incredible catalyst for change in your life. Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual or all of them combined I hope you take this chance to achieve the evolution you desire.

Thanks for joining me on my journey and  as always you are worth More Than Gold.

Love,

Sam

 

Negligence – A Beast Run Rampant

Negligence

A Beast Run Rampant

Negligence, a fitting theme for my first blog post in a long time.

Looking at some of my previous posts I must warn that this one may not be quite so inspiring or motivational, but perhaps through my process of personal admittance you can find some solace in knowing that all humans have room to grow.

As of late my life has been swept up in the constant stimulation and sensory overload that is known for it’s vice like grip on modern society. With brief windows of clarity that seem to be serving as a way for my soul to take a breath while I unconsciously try to drown out my feelings. Truth be told those feelings are not the real problem, and I know this, they are just a symptom.

Why I am running from them?

The short answer is fear, we all have feelings in our life that occasionally bring out parts of our character we would like to believe don’t exist. Once we encounter these feelings we come to question our own integrity, sadly looking at our feelings as they were to be perceived by others around us and then reacting in shame. This faulty logic leads us to ignore the emotional road signs our true self is trying to provide in hopes of helping us correct the root cause of the feeling. Thus we continuously neglect our emotional well being, slowly numbing it out through acts of sensory stimulation that provide a short term feel good in place of a long term remedy we need.

Through this process we slowly sever our ties with our eternal source of joy and peace, and gradually transform into the walking dead, nothing more than zombies stumbling through life attempting to find sustenance from hollow corpses of temporary stimulation. This negligence creates an unquenchable thirst within us one that can only be slaked with a drink from direct connection with self, but the bitter taste of emotion hides the sweet water of understanding.

I would like to believe this is something most people experience in life, although I do also acknowledge that not every does. If you are like me and happen to be reading this at one of those breathing moments in life please know you are not alone, this thing called life is a shared experience. For this fact I am grateful, because being alone with your problems is possibly the worst thing that could happen, it never fails that when I sit alone with my “problems” my brain is not nearly as interested in resolving the cause of my feelings as it is in creating nifty tricks on how to avoid that feeling altogether. I guess I am fortunate enough to have a strong body mind and soul connection that eventually what I try to avoid in my head will slowly manifest itself in my body and of course physical pain can be a strong motivator.

I’m not sure I have a happy ending for this post, to be honest some times you have to face the ugly truth and allow those unpleasant feelings to exist, yes it can be scary but once you have the courage to feel those emotions you’ll find that your heart is trying to tell you something it considers very important for your overall well being in life. One bit of advice is don’t face those feelings alone reach out to family, friends or appropriate support groups/professionals. Just because you want to face those feelings doesn’t mean you have to let them beat you down, the people in your life are there for reason, not because they think you are some amazing super hero but because they appreciate you for the human you are and love you all the same.

Remember you are not alone and of course your are worth More Than Gold.

Thank you and I Love You,

Sam

Boredom – A State Undefined

Boredom

A State Undefined

“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”
Henry David Thoreau

I’m bored.

We have all said it and if you have kids you have probably heard it, a lot.

But what is boredom?

You are not really angry and technically you are not sad though some would say that depression is quite boring. A simple observation would say that boredom is not having fun but honestly speaking that does not define the state, it only describes what it is not.

So what does it mean to be bored?

Well my dad always had a great saying,”Boredom is lack of purpose or direction”. As a teenager that really meant very little to me and even in my early to mid 20’s it only sounded like words. I have definitely wrestled with this concept quite a bit in my life, but I know I am not the only person on this planet that has felt this way. After some self observation and reflection I made a revision to the definition of boredom; the state of not appreciating the present due to not being able to clearly perceive the significance of your current actions or inaction and how they relate to your existence. A bit of a mouthful I’ll see if I can work a simplified version of that out some time.

Boredom=Ungrateful

You’re ungrateful…….. It sounds harsh but it’s not meant as a judgement, more of an objective observation. We all have our moments don’t worry it’s not just you.

The great thing about being human is that within the very essence of our existence survive innate instructions for evolution. With a little self appreciation you can find yourself sitting on the floor of your empty one bedroom apartment……..smiling.  My thought being that if you can be in a situation such as that and be grateful then the possibilities should be damn near limitless.

Sometimes I get trapped inside my mind and let it tell me things like I should be achieving all the things of my dreams, or engage in the foolish endeavor of trying to compare my life’s accomplishments to another’s in an attempt at self validation. No matter who plays that game no one ever wins, for in the eyes the ego, contentment is dangerous.

I can say personally that most of the time when I’m bored it is because I feel helpless towards the “circumstance” of my life, probably because I am allowing myself to believe that I should be doing things other than what I currently am. Quite the ridiculous thought when you see it written, though that may be the nature of writing your thoughts, nonetheless a reflection worth considering. The funny thing about thinking you should be doing something different is that you are tricking yourself into believing that an external force has control over you a mostly autonomous being.

Shackled

Perhaps you have legitimate reasons for your dissatisfaction with life maybe even a few that were actually beyond your realm of control. Are you willing to let those moments dictate your ability to the enjoy the present? Will you shackle your state of mind to the mechanisms of a false sense of self?

We all do it occasionally just some more often or for longer periods of time.

It’s actually a very justifiable course of action in life as we are bombarded with images of people “living” or catchy expressions telling you that you are not trying hard enough. These tools of mass distraction are designed to pull on our inability to define our existence within this world, they are created to resonate as true with your lower thought patterns as a way of causing psychological clutter and making you feel disconnected from the part of you that is linked to all other things in this life.

Simplicity vs Omniscience

It’s really not much of a contest,  true omniscience does not exist within our plane of reality. The comparison is really just meant to illustrate a point would you prefer to have the ability to say you don’t know the future and the complete impact of all of your decisions or would you like to painstakingly doubt all of your choices for fear of their consequences.

The answer seems obvious to me.

I guess what  I am trying to say is that we don’t really know if we were “supposed” to be professional athletes or homeless junkies, any more than if deciding to order delivery for dinner saved us from being hit by a drunk driver. So who are we to say that we shouldn’t be staying at home with our family on a Friday night or working overtime to get a loved one a gift?

Occasionally I am lucky enough to catch myself when I am in one of those moments with a brief glimpse a clarity, and realize there about just as many things I would prefer to be doing than not doing at this time. So I congratulate myself and resume doing what ever disgusting, menial, or monotonous thing I was just complaining about doing.

Acknowledging Your Freedom

Sometimes I forget that I have the choice to do something other than what I am doing or more importantly forget that I have the power to choose how I feel about it. One funny trend from my life is that I love helping people when they ask, but when they tell me to do it I instantly rebel, even when it is the exact same task. The premise of this concept is that as a person I don’t like doing something when I feel I have no choice about it, but when given a choice I will gladly comply.

Why?

I’m not really sure but it is a very consistent observation I have made in my life. Perhaps it is because I appreciate being able to exercise the freedom I have been fortunate enough to be granted. Maybe I’m just childish.

Regardless boredom is like making yourself into a victim and at that point you are surrendering your power or ability to the world around you instead of leveraging towards your peace of mind.

Let me wrap this is up with question.

Would you complain about being bored if you definitively knew it was leading to something amazing?

Thanks for tuning in and as always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.

Love,

Sam

 

Francis Bacon – Silence

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.

Rumi – Soul

That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful.

Anais Nin – Dreams

Dreams are necessary to life.

Anais Nin – Perception

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Anais Nin – Humanity

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.

Theodore Roosevelt – Balance

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.