Showing posts from December, 2022

When Mindful Self-Compassion Turns Painful: How to Work With "Backdraft"

Physicians and other healthcare professionals naturally extend compassion to others; they want to ease suffering. This deep urge calls many into Medicine as their vocation, despite realizing that the path will be difficult. Compassion for others is part of our very nature.  We're often uncomfortable or unfamiliar with extending this same compassion towards ourselves, though. We may have grown up in families who valued outer achievements over inner experience. We know how to work hard, and push through pain. We've few (or no) real-world models for approaching life in any other way, or even imagining that we deserve love and compassion ourselves. While serving these up generously for others, we don't even include ourselves at the table.  Enter an onslaught of online information about self-compassion, as if it's the answer for every ailment. Since our whole world seems to be starving for compassion, the topic's popularity makes sense. Naturally, my physician clients st

What is Mana -- and Do You Have to Be Special to Merit Some?

  "Mana, my young friend, is a power that holds the secret to your very existence. Mana on its own has neither definite shape nor form, yet it is in everything that exists. Mana is the power that holds this world of ours together. Mana is pure energy. It is virtually impossible for anyone to explain what Mana really is because it is of spirit essence. Mana cannot be seen by the naked eye. It must be absorbed by a positive feeling. It is Mana that helps wash away the illusionary values you place on life. It is the sustenance of the wise." -- from "Second Chance," by Sydney Banks. (pg 68-69) The above quote comes from the author's character, Mamma Lila, a Hawaiian elder who some considered "plain crazy." Nonetheless, she had the gift of 'ike papalua, or being able to see multiple realities at the same time. She had been guided in this understanding from childhood by her grandfather, who was a wise and well-known kahuna.  Such capabilities exist in al

Beyond Ho'oponopono Alone -- and into the Intelligent Energy (Mana) Within Us All

From the formless, into form I am expanding the subject area of this blog beyond Ho'oponopono alone, although Ho'oponopono remains a beautiful part of my life. For all the peace Ho'oponopono brings in this world, it is still a formed practice. By their very nature, all formed practices can become niduses of argument. People react, judge, examine and shred with fine-toothed combs, quibbling over each point. They debate what various aspects "mean," especially in the case of religions. They draw lines between themselves and others -- with self (of course) being "right," and others being "wrong." Ho'oponopono has certainly been an inflammatory subject like that. For my support of teachers like Morrnah Simeona and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, I have been criticized by native Hawaiians who feel these teachings and practices disrespect or even attempt to steal their culture. Or they describe it as a watered-down, fake approximation of the "real&qu