Friday, September 25, 2009

Live from Ho'oponopono-land: Talking with Money

As Mabel Katz often remarks, there are a lot of "weird" things we do in Ho'oponopono. For instance, we say "thank you" when a problem shows up. Is that counter-intuitive or what?

We also talk to things: cars, computers, kitchen appliances, houses, sculpting tools, chairs, and more. This sounds extremely odd until you learn that in Ho'oponopono, so- called inanimate objects have three-part identities (subconscious, conscious, and superconscious, all linked to Divinity) just like people do.

In fact, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len says there's no such thing as an "inanimate" object. All things have spirit; they can respond to us and how we treat them. Since some of us routinely curse the machines we work with, this talking to things may not really be so alien after all.

But what if these "things" can feel when we're disgusted with them, or worse? What if they can also respond when we show them gratitude? Can they learn to do Ho'oponopono cleaning along with us?

In Ho'oponopono, one of the things we can talk to is money. The conversations many of us are having are fearful ones, though! I've been no different, lately.

In fact there were several nights last week when I couldn't sleep, and was waking up at 3 am. Self-employed people often stew this way. But on one of the awakenings, I remembered that I could clean with and speak to money -- maybe even hear it talk back to me.

So, deep in that restless night, I talked to the money in my business and personal accounts. "If I, my family, relatives, or ancestors have offended you in thought, word, deed or action, I am sorry. Please forgive me for whatever is going on in me that makes me worry about you so much." I also asked my inner child to help us let go of these fears. Saying "I love you," I fell back asleep.

The next morning I felt inspired to take a $20 bill out of my wallet and place it underneath a 3/4-full glass of water in my kitchen. "I want to take better care of you," I told the bill. "Ahhhhhh, thank you!" it said. "I needed that. If you let me rest here today, I'll go back in your wallet and clean the others. More will want to come."

My intellect found all of this a little goofy, but at the same time it seemed the right thing to do. As a child I had often talked to "things", before adults told me it was stupid to do so. It felt like something important coming alive in me again. So I got ready and went on to work, leaving the $20 at home to enjoy its "spa" day.

Greeting my office, I thanked it for holding my patients and me. I said the "I am the I" prayer with my "Self-Identity through Ho'oponopono" manual over my heart. It really felt like comfort and warmth were seeping into me. "Dear Creator," I prayed, "please help me keep you first in all that I do; please guide me as I work with my patients. I love you. Thank you. Help me let go of these worries about money; I'm sorry I have them. Thank you for taking care of me."

The day sped by, and the next.

But on the third day the bill for my malpractice insurance came. Fear rose as I looked at my business account; would there be enough? I asked the money what it needed from me. "We need you to love us!" it said. "We don't know if you want us or not." "I'm sorry," I told it. "I sometimes feel guilty accepting anything for myself." "Well, we want to be with you if you can make up your mind," it said.

Indeed! This comment completely shocked me. "Oh, yes!" I replied, "I DO want you with me." "Then love yourself too, and we'll come around." it said.

By now, I thought I must be completely looney. Money telling me I need to love myself? Sure, sure. But then my office-mate brought in more mail. It seems there was another envelope.

It was a check -- a nice-sized one, for teaching I'd forgotten I'd done.

I'd been deep into fear and self-criticism, thinking I wasn't producing "enough". Guilt about receiving was the other pole -- and this constant cycle, found in many physicians and other healers, felt horrible. This money out of the blue felt like a gift from Divinity, a reminder of being cared for. It was enough to help cover the insurance premium for that month. "Thank you!" I said. "I love you!"

Some will say this is all coincidence, but you'll never convince me of that. I gazed at that check with wonder and awe, deeply pondering the layers of meaning it held for me. With Ho'oponopono, my entire being is coming alive again -- including my inner child who got squashed so many years ago.

Only in Ho'oponopono-land can a psychiatrist talk to "things" and not get carted away. :-)

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is Ho'oponopono a "Therapy"?

Someone wrote me recently asking whether Ho'oponopono could be helpful in depression. I've been cleaning with this for several weeks.

While keeping the writer's confidentiality, I'm moved to share the [slightly abbreviated] note. Perhaps we can all clean with it while reading:

"Dear Dr. Pappas,

I see you are a psychiatrist who has also learned the art of ho'oponopono . . . I just wondered if you thought that ho'oponopono is able to help people recover from endogenous depression ?

As you are the only person I have found who is both a psychiatrist and aware of this hawaiian technique, I just wondered if you practiced ho'oponopono on your clients, or do you mainly practice it on yourself ? If you do not practice it on clients, have you heard (on the ho'oponopono grapevine) so to speak if ho'oponopono is curing people of depression and other serious illnesses.

It requires quite a lot of effort to practice this therapy every day and do the cleaning, and I get the impression it is important to clean for months maybe even years before the therapy really works, and so in order to help me stick it out, it would be really helpful to know that this technique really does work !

I wish there were more testimonials on the internet from people who are cleaning, and finding their illnesses and symptoms are clearing up. So far, I can only find websites that tells us why we need to clean.

I would be most grateful for any information you can share."

Thank you, dear writer, for this letter which raises so many important questions for us all. Your earnestness comes clearly through your words.

First, I do not consider Ho'oponopono to be a "therapy" to be practiced on anyone else. It's a way of life to practice with one's self only; it helps me feel peaceful in each moment. So I don't do it "on" my patients or others. I do work with my own reactions to patients all the time -- before, during, and after their visits. But unless they've heard elsewhere about my doing this, they never know it's going on.

Only Divinity really knows what happens as I clean, but sometimes people around me notice that they feel better. Perhaps as I let go of my own memories [and Divinity transmutes them], my patients can receive their own inspiration from Divinity too. That's got to be better than anything I could ever say!

I'm able to clean while with others because of my relationship with my inner child (subconscious, Unihipili). She cleans all the time, no matter what else I'm doing -- listening to someone, feeling fearful, getting mad, or even sleeping! I've had to regain contact with her, show her I appreciate and love her, and teach her about Ho'oponopono. We're a firm unit together now, and without her I'd be in dire straits.

Can Ho'oponopono help people recover from endogenous (or "major") depression? That's pretty complex! In my experience, practicing Ho'oponopono can temporarily increase feelings of sadness, guilt, shame, and depression as one begins the process -- especially if one is prone to these responses already. I found this in myself, and have also heard others comment about it as well.

One reason is that Ho'oponopono means taking 100% responsibility for all that comes into our awareness -- even if it seems distant from us. There truly is "no out there", and we share in all that occurs. This can feel overwhelming at first.

Also, for me there are some languaging problems in Ho'oponopono (please help me clean with this). I have heard some teachers say, "You're the problem, and you're responsible." This could certainly escalate feelings of depression in susceptible people. In contrast, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len often says, "Let's be very clear. You're perfect -- just as Divinity created you. We're all perfect. It's the [imperfect] memories and data running us that are the problem. And those can be erased."

This latter view provides a whole different scenario for me -- MUCH less depressing, even energizing. With this I can DO something, even if my conscious mind doesn't know what's going on. I'm no longer a victim, or a hopelessly awful person wallowing in perpetual guilt. For me, that's a natural antidepressant. :-)

Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz also teach that when we "clean" these memories that block Divinity's light in us, what comes off of us comes off of everyone else too. It's like a light switch: even if only one person in the room uses it, the lights come on for everyone. It's no accident that "light switch" is also a Ho'oponopono cleaning tool.

Others have also described lightening of depression through the use of other cleaning tools such as drinking Blue Solar Water, and keeping a 3/4-full glass of water that's emptied at least twice a day. I've used both of these myself, with positive results.

There have been some people who were suicidal and ready to be hospitalized before they started cleaning -- but who (sometimes through the glass of water method above) got well. You might ask Mabel about this in one of her teleseminars; she's shared that story and more.

Still, I would not recommend that anyone expect a full cure of major depression from Ho'oponopono alone. Why not? Because we can't know what we're really dealing with when cleaning. Our conscious minds are only aware of a very small part of the information that's active at any time. So how can we possibly expect to control the outcomes of our cleaning?

This doesn't mean that cure CAN'T happen though!! Dr. Hew Len comments on physical problems, and offers suggestions for responding to them:

“The physical is the expression of memories and inspirations taking place in the soul of self identity. Change the state of self identity and the state of the physical world changes.

When your soul experiences memories (replaying as problems), say to them mentally or silently: ‘I love you dear memories. I am grateful for the opportunity to free all of you and me.’ ‘I love you’ can be repeated quietly again and again. Memories never go on vacation or retire unless you retire them. ‘I love you’ can be used even if you are not conscious of problems.”

Dr. Kikikipa Kretzer at University of Colorado (Colorado Springs) is now conducting research with Ho'oponopono and various health conditions such as depression. Participants fill out questionnaires about their health, take the Health Ho'oponopono classes, and follow their progress over several months. She's already published a pilot study showing positive results with hypertensive patients.

In my own life and in the lives of my patients, I've seen that processes like Ho'oponopono help us experience a loving connection with something larger than ourselves. This connection helps us feel whole, attuned, and hopeful -- an antidote to depressive feelings such as brokenness, abandonment, guilt, and even apathy. For me, the idea that any pain I experience is an opportunity to let go is very hopeful.

It doesn't have to be Ho'oponopono for everyone, but we all need connection to something larger than us in our lives. Maybe for you it will be something else, whatever is exactly perfect for you. Thank you again for the opportunity to clean with depression, frustration, and all other pain -- which memories I of course share with you. But (thank heavens!) we can all be free.

Peace begins with me,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's Too Big For Me, God -- Ho'oponopono to the Rescue

"It's important to know that the subconscious -- whether yours or mine or anybody's -- holds all the collective memories of all of creation. So whatever's going on in the cosmos is really going on in you. There is no such thing as outside of you. We have come into this lifetime with all the collective memories of all of creation."
~Ihaleakala Hew Len, PhD

I was re-listening to a recorded call with Dr. Hew Len and Mabel Katz today; a caller asked about difficulties with certain others in her life. Dr. Hew Len responded as above.

Though I've been working with this concept for many years now (even before meeting Dr. Hew Len), it's still hard for me sometimes. The implications are enormous. So I simply allowed the words to pour over me, reach inside me. And as they did, I felt a deep quiet.

The way of Ho'oponopono is to recognize that we truly do share unconscious memories with all of creation, and that these manifest in our lives. People come to us as customers, real estate agents, patients, spouses -- all kinds of relationships and situations. We may think we're there to "help" them, or that they're there to "help" us in some unidimensional way. But life is not so simple.

As Mabel commented, it's more like the spider web above.

It means that we are not only connected, but we are 100% responsible for whatever we experience in this lifetime. Usually we all have questions about this, and want to make exceptions. What about starving children, or people who've been murdered, tortured, and raped? What about floods, earthquakes, and wars? How can those have any relation to us?

In my office, I see a lot of suffering people. When I first met Dr. Hew Len in 2007, he told me they were there not for me to "help" them, but so I could make amends. Huh? What had I done to make amends for? I had studied Jung's "collective unconscious", but still I had no room in my mind for the extent of what Dr. Hew Len was saying.

I asked questions galore. I got mad, felt guilty, ashamed, and depressed. There's SO much pain in the world -- I thought I would never be able to handle it all if I took 100% responsibility for it. My shoulders felt too small, my heart too shallow.

I was completely forgetting about Divinity, or that this had any connection with me. I thought I had been left behind long ago.

I thought "I" was all alone in my 100% responsibility, with no support or care. I thought if I really reached out to God, He would leave me stranded, just as important humans in my life had done. So you can imagine my journey with this has not been easy.

But Divinity is much larger than our conscious human selves, and we are much more than we think too.

Ho'oponopono is also about our Self-Identity -- which includes our conscious and unconscious mind, our superconscious, AND our Divinity within. As we come to know all these aspects of ourselves, we realize that although we know nothing about anything or anyone we meet in life, we do have resources. We can do the cleaning -- simple and direct -- no matter what shows up.

Dr. Hew Len reminds us that when we do the cleaning, Divinity automatically does Its part by transmuting (erasing) whatever is ready to be erased from us. Once we're at "zero" (painful data erased) Divinity can give us exactly what we need. This might be information, ideas, people we meet, money, or anything else at all. Mostly, our tiny minds can't imagine what all Divinity can do.

We can prepare for events by cleaning in advance -- such as on client lists, their addresses, and family connections too. We can recognize and appreciate our inner child (subconscious) which for eons has been carrying all these memories for us. Although it's the part of us that suffers, it's still willing to help us clean if we simply love and treat him/her with kindness.

On the call, Mabel also said something else that touched me deeply:

"When we go into the fear and the worry, we are telling God, 'I can handle it. I don't need your help.'"
Egad! I don't mean to do that! I need all the help I can get, even if I sometimes don't think I deserve it.

How many others of us might be in this same boat? I bet I've got company with the worry and the fear -- and with my sometimes non-trust of Divinity too. After all, down here on earth we have REAL problems, not something Spirit can make any headway with. :-) Or, how can our stuff possibly be of interest to Divinity -- S/He's so big, and we're so small???

What say we look into these feelings more deeply -- perhaps tell them, "I love you"? I am sorry, dear Divinity. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you, always, for being patient with me.

Peace begins with me,