Sunday, July 10, 2011

You Can Lead a Horse to Blue Solar Water, But Can You Make Him Drink?

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."
-English idiom

Sometimes cartoonists say the darndest things.

Patrick McDonnell, creator of the comic strip "Mutts" above, really hits home for me . . . and maybe all of us at some level.

But as a case in point, let's take doctors.

We work with patients -- educating, helping, treating, prescribing, sometimes operating on, and doing all kinds of other procedures too.  

Sometimes the patient accepts the prescription, suggestion, recommendation, or diagnostic test.  Many times -- at least 50% or more in some sources -- they don't. 

We wonder, why would a patient spend time and money to see us, and then not follow through with suggestions they receive?  There are papers galore examining this question . . . but that's not the miracle in the comic above.

The miracle is that the "horse" drinks at all -- even if it's Blue Solar Water.  And that in the cartoon, Mooch (the tuxedo cat with attitude) attributes this result to his own ministrations.  What would Mooch say if the horse continued to balk?

So many times we run into this paradigm, in both medicine and Ho'oponopono.  We do our cleaning, and sometimes "it works":  we get the raise, the romantic partner, the contract, the car, the house, whatever.   Of course this has to be because "we" are brilliant, are doing it "right", or have our you-know-what together, etc.

We forget that more is going on than meets the eye.

As patients, we have millions of reasons why we won't fully "drink" the medicinal water -- whatever it may be (allopathy, homeopathy, surgery, meditation, St. John's Wort, you name it.)  We also have many reasons why we do, but I think they have more to do with US than with our doctors.

I can recall plenty of times I've patted myself on the back just like Mooch above, when actually my "horse" was thirsty and simply ready to do the work.  This doesn't mean my participation wasn't useful or timely -- just that the seeming "success" isn't because of ME.  I apply my science and my art (my "tools") as best I can, and I am as present with my patient as I can be.  S/he then does what s/he does with these things.  It may be to "drink", or not.

The bottom line is, I am not in charge.  This is a very hard truth for most of us, physicians included. 

It can be especially painful when someone is suffering, and we think we know how to heal them.  We forget that all healing is ultimately self-healing -- and that the patient's own inner resources (which are part of Divinity) do that miraculous work.  We doctors try to best leverage these things in the patient's favor, but it's true nevertheless. 

Likewise in Ho'oponopono, we clean with moment-to-moment situations, using whatever tools or processes we know.  Amazingly then, the right and perfect next step shows up -- and the next, and the next, and the next.  We are not "in charge," and the best thing we can do is our cleaning.  Sometimes we're inspired to speak up, to do, or to act.  We are clear, and we do.  If not, we clean.

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len has often said, "If you wonder whether you're inspired, you're not. Keep cleaning."   :-)  

Thank you dear Mooch.  I love you.  You're helping me let go of my hero complex, and simply do what's in front of me to do.  As a dear friend of mine in North Carolina (fellow psychiatrist Dr. Julia Lunsford) would say, "That's a gracious plenty." 

Peace begins with me,

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ho'oponopono and Business: "Just Get on the Bike"

Do you remember learning to ride a bike?  Who taught you?  Did it come easy, or was it hard to get the hang of it?

For me, it was tough. 
My parents had given me a Huffy 2-wheel bicycle for Christmas, and I was so excited.  I could just imagine flying down the street, the wind in my hair -- it was the call of freedom for me.  But every time I tried, I kept falling down.  I just could not get the balance right;  I would try to pedal briefly, and then, boom!   The driveway would rise up to meet me.

My father and mother both got exasperated with their clumsy child.  Looking back on it, I can't imagine how a parent would go about teaching teach such a skill, though.  It seems like one of those things you just have to get into your own body -- and once you have it, it stays.

Still, I was afraid I would never have the kind of fun I saw other kids having, riding their bikes to school.  It was also a matter of pride, even though school was only a few blocks from my house.  :-)

I wouldn't give up, no matter how many skinned knees I got (and there were plenty).

One day, I begged my dad to try again.  So he ran along behind me as usual, holding the bike up. I pedaled as fast as I could, determined that THIS time, I would make it.  There were a few wobbles, but I kept going -- it seemed a lot longer than usual this time.

Suddenly I looked behind me, and Dad wasn't there.  He was standing WAY behind me -- and I was still upright, on my own!   I kept going a little farther, and then hit the brakes.  I put my feet on the ground, one on either side of the bike, and laughed.   Dad was laughing too.  "You little dickens," he said.

Then I got back on, and found I could ride all by myself!  It was as if my body had always known how to do this.

One minute I couldn't, and the next minute, I could.  It felt like breaking through a fierce barrier -- "I can't" is often this way, for so many of us.  I will never forget that feeling of freedom and joy.   After this I remember many wonderful excursions up and down my street: a nice, not-too-steep hill providing all the adventure a 7-year-old could want.

Now, what could this possibly have to do with Ho'oponopono, you wonder?

A couple of weeks ago I was part of a conference call with Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Kamaile Rafaelovich  about money and building your business.  

Like everything else in creation, businesses have 3-part self-identities that can be talked with, engaged with, and cleaned with.   Kamaile shared that the business is a person, and has its own purpose -- regardless of our expectations of it.   We can say "I love you" to the company, and be its caretaker.  (Or, we can whine and complain, but that doesn't help the situation any -- meaning, no cleaning gets done while we're doing that.)

The whole idea of Ho'oponopono with businesses, explained Dr. Hew Len, is to let go of blocks within ourselves -- and apply our Ho'oponopono tools to whatever our experience of that business might be.   Through this cleaning, the right people and situations show up -- in order to "bug" us in the most perfect way.  These, in turn, offer us countless choices to let go of data or memories that are replaying.

However, we never know what is "really" happening in any one moment, or exactly what we're cleaning.  The only thing we do know is that it's something within us, since we're there.   :-)   Just like us, our businesses have subconscious aspects that are full of memories coming up for release.  

Specifically with our businesses, we can clean with the office space we're using, the bank accounts, checks, receipts,  and all customers (or patients) who come.  So, when entering invoices, payments, and bills (yes! even the bills!) into Quickbooks, I clean with each submission, saying "Thank you."  I do the same when taking checks to the bank. 

I asked Kamaile and Dr. Hew Len if they could please suggest a special cleaning tool to use with my business, which helps people heal themselves.  After a brief pause, Dr. Hew Len said he saw "Just get on the bike."   Kamaile saw a vision of a bike hanging in mid air, with its wheels whirring. :-)  They shared that simply saying, "Get on the bike," is like telepathy between the conscious and subconscious, starting the cleaning process.   Once you "get on the bike," all is initiated and moves on its own.  

They had no idea of the story I told you above, or what it would mean to me.  It's a perfect cleaning tool for me though, and I use it every day before going into the office.   This tool starts things I can't possibly understand -- but with my previous history with my father and bike riding, it touches my heart also.

Other Ho'oponopono conversations like this will be scheduled in the future, covering all kinds of subjects.  Other long-time Ho'oponopono practitioners were also on the line, offering their own experiences.  I found the whole conversation very helpful, and full of laughter too.  If interested, you can check out for more information -- I'll enjoy being on more of them myself.

Peace begins with me,