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Ho' oponopono

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This story is the inspiration behind this month's project. Is it an "urban legend" or does it really work? For the next 30 days, we're going to be applying the principles and the practice, testing to see... will it work for us?

Here's the story (as told by Joe Vitale):

Two years ago, I heard about a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients--without ever seeing any of them. The psychologist would study an inmate's chart and then look within himself to see how he created that person's illness. As he improved himself, the patient improved.

When I first heard this story, I thought it was an urban legend. How could anyone heal anyone else by healing himself? How could even the best self-improvement master cure the criminally insane? It didn't make any sense. It wasn't logical, so I dismissed the story.

However, I heard it again a year later. I heard that the therapist had used a Hawaiian healing process called ho 'oponopono. I had never heard of it, yet I couldn't let it leave my mind. If the story was at all true, I had to know more. I had always understood "total responsibility" to mean that I am responsible for what I think and do. Beyond that, it's out of my hands. I think that most people think of total responsibility that way. We're responsible for what we do, not what anyone else does - but that's wrong.

The Hawaiian therapist who healed those mentally ill people would teach me an advanced new perspective about total responsibility. His name is Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. We probably spent an hour talking on our first phone call. I asked him to tell me the complete story of his work as a therapist. He explained that he worked at Hawaii State Hospital for four years. That ward where they kept the criminally insane was dangerous. Psychologists quit on a monthly basis. The staff called in sick alot or simply quit. People would walk through that ward with their backs against the wall, afraid of being attacked by patients. It was not a pleasant place to live, work, or visit.

Dr. Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.

"After a few months, patients that had to be shackled were being allowed to walk freely," he told me. "Others who had to be heavily medicated were getting off their medications. And those who had no chance of ever being released were being freed.' I was in awe.'Not only that," he went on, "but the staff began to enjoy coming to work. Absenteeism and turn over disappeared. We ended up with more staff than we needed because patients were being released, and all the staff was showing up to work. Today, that ward is closed."

This is where I had to ask the million dollar question: "What were you doing within yourself that caused those people to change?"

"I was simply healing the part of me that created them," he said. I didn't understand. Dr. Len explained that total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life- simply because it is in your life - is your responsibility. In a literal sense the entire world is your creation.

Whew. This is tough to swallow. Being responsible for what I say or do is one thing. Being responsible for what everyone in my life says or does is quite another. Yet, the truth is this: if you take complete responsibility for your life, then everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or in any way experience is your responsibility because it is in your life. This means that terrorist activity, the president, the economy or anything you experience and don't like - is up for you to heal. They don't exist, in a manner of speaking, except as projections from inside you. The problem isn't with them, it's with you, and to change them, you have to change you.

I know this is tough to grasp, let alone accept or actually live. Blame is far easier than total responsibility, but as I spoke with Dr. Len, I began to realize that healing for him and in ho 'oponopono means loving yourself.

If you want to improve your life, you have to heal your life. If you want to cure anyone, even a mentally ill criminal you do it by healing you. I asked Dr. Len how he went about healing himself. What was he doing, exactly, when he looked at those patients' files?

"I just kept saying, 'I'm sorry' and 'I love you' over and over again," he explained.

"That's it?"
"That's it."

Turns out that loving yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself, and as you improve yourself, you improve your world.

Let me give you a quick example of how this works: one day, someone sent me an email that upset me. In the past I would have handled it by working on my emotional hot buttons or by trying to reason with the person who sent the nasty message.

This time, I decided to try Dr. Len's method. I kept silently saying, I'm sorry' and 'I love you,' I didn't say it to anyone in particular. I was simply evoking the spirit of love to heal within me what was creating the outer circumstance.

Within an hour I got an e-mail from the same person. He apologized for his previous message. Keep in mind that I didn't take any outward action to get that apology. I didn't even write him back. Yet, by saying 'I love you,' I somehow healed within me what was creating him.

I later attended an ho 'oponopono workshop run by Dr. Len. He's now 70 years old, considered a grandfatherly shaman, and is somewhat reclusive. He praised my book, The Attractor Factor. He told me that as I improve myself, my book's vibration will raise, and everyone will feel it when they read it. In short, as I improve, my readers will improve.

"What about the books that are already sold and out there?" I asked.

"They aren't out there," he explained, once again blowing my mind with his mystic wisdom. "They are still in you." In short, there is no out there. It would take a whole book to explain this advanced technique with the depth it deserves.

Suffice it to say that whenever you want to improve anything in your life, there's only one place to look: inside you. When you look, do it with love. ~Joe Vitale


Cindy H said...

This sounds exciting and I'm looking forward to learning more! And I'm going to TRY to log on every day this month! :)

Anonymous said...

This is a very exciting project. I experienced this in action in Hawaii, not just for prosperity but healing relationships within families, and friends. It is also used to settle disputes without going to court or an intervention before things get out of hand. What I loved is how things were really settled before anyone can walk away. eizsa

the gay bookworm said...

This does sound really, exciting and interesting. I can not wait to get started. I LOVE YOU!!!!

Shirley Twofeathers said...

Hi Eizsa. Great to see you here! And Daniel... I love you too, and I'm sorry for not loving myself enough to ensure that you are healthy and rich!

And Cindy... I love you too. And I'm glad to see you.

badthing1 said...

Hi Beautiful Shirley,

I love you and wish everything good for you. This is exceptionally fascinating and thank you for sending it to me especially when I'm not feeling well and need it most.

Peace, Love, Understanding and Respect,

Shirley Twofeathers said...

Hi Marilyn. I'd love it if you'd join us on this small journey. We would dearly love to have you! Blessings!

Unknown said...

This idea, that everything that affects our live, and are effected by our lives, can be "cured" by simply apologising and showing unconditional love is very sweet and a rather unique approach to changing the world

It reminds me of the concept that if one wants to make the world a better place, they should start with their own. Their own family, friends, communities, etc...and that this would begin to create a ripple effect that will eventually touch everyone.

Very cool. it goes....I'm sorry, and I love you all.

Shirley Twofeathers said...

Hello J, Thank you so much for visiting. And you're right this is a very sweet approach to living... I hadn't really thought of it quite that way. Sweet.... I like it. I am sorry for anything in your life that isn't filled with joy!

Unknown said...

Thank you Two Feathers.

It is so easy to get caught up in life. To focus on the sorrow rather than the Joy. I know I have been guilty of this lately myself. So much pain and suffering. So much despair at life's slings and arrows.
Admitting ones faults, taking personal responsibility for one's own mistakes is hard. It is in our nature to deflect blame. To apologize is to admit guilt. To ask to be forgiven also starts at with oneself. To expect forgiveness, one must give it in return. Please forgive me, and know that I forgive all!

With unconditional love!


Anonymous said...

smiles and hugs!

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