ALOHA Summer Series
Live your Purpose and share ALOHA (Part 1)
This week, summer solstice (or winter solstice for those in the Southern hemisphere) was celebrated a few days ago. The cycle of the sun reflects the natural flow of energy moving inward and outward and represents the cycle of all lifeforms on earth.
To life a balanced and healthy life, it is beneficial to look at and being led by these natural cycles. There are times to let go, times to pause, times to learn, and times to grow.
The Summer solstice is a reminder that we can share light and love with others in our lives. By doing so, together we can create a ripple effect spreading all around the world to nourish others.
As you are now being nurtured by longer days and the sun, you perhaps have a greater capacity to compassionately support others. Even when things may seem uncertain, you can shine your light and find meaning in your life’s journey.
Summer is the time to fully embrace darkness with light and develop faith and trust that just like the sun, you will rise each day no matter what life circumstances bring you.
By embracing and honoring this time of light, you can energetically and spiritually connect with a period of awakening both in your individual consciousness and the collective field which will last for the next 3 months until the Fall Equinox.
My last blog was about the topic of What does it mean to be Hawaiian? After I published the blog, I received encouraging feedback from some of you. Mahalo Nui Loa, meaning ‘Thank you very much’ in Hawaiian.
During this summer, I am inspired to share a series of 10 videos with you I recorded at beautiful places on Kaua’i on how you can share ALOHA no matter where you are in the world.
Through this video series, together we will look closer at each of the ALOHA principles, and I will share a variety of practices and exercises so that you enrich and nourish your life and the lives of those around you by following these ALOHA principles.
Starting from today until September 4, you will receive weekly messages from me every Saturday. Here are the 12 topics covered through my ALOHA summer series:
- You will learn how sharing the ALOHA spirit is a remedy in this world.
- The deeper meaning of ALOHA and how to practice the ALOHA spirit in your life.
- The secret to truly living and expressing the ALOHA spirit.
- 7 effective ways to make kindness your habit.
- 8 practices that will help you become a better listener.
- 3 ways to feel more confident and secure in your relationships with yourself, others and the world.
- 5 effective ways of developing more humility in a balanced way.
- 7 ways of boosting your perseverance.
- 7 strategies for developing your patience.
- A well-known Hawaiian practice for reconciliation and forgiveness.
An alternative treatment for physical pain and mental and emotional distress.
And 10 short breathing exercises you can use anytime you feel stressed or losing your energy.
6 years ago, during the summer of 2015, I presented a series of blogs about finding your life’s purpose in greater depths. It turned out to be the starting point of writing my book ‘Hawaiian Rebirth’ based on the blogs and comments and questions I had received afterwards.
This time again, I encourage you to send me any questions or comments related to this new Aloha blog series to help you find clarity, peace and wellbeing during these times of many changes. Each week I will pick one of these feedbacks or questions and provide my response to all of you.
I look forward to uplifting dialogues, questions, and answers and interacting with you during this summer. You can watch my first video of the ALOHA summer series here.
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa, Yves
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Sharing the happiness of the breath of life (Part 2)
I hope my last week’s blog, the first of my ALOHA summer series ‘Living your purpose and sharing Aloha’ got you started with connecting with your heart energy more. Starting from this week, I will introduce a short mindful breathing technique at the end of every video as breath is the essence of life and a foundational aspect of ALOHA.
There is one thing that stays with us from the moment we are born until the moment you die. It’s always there for us, and yet most of the time we are not aware of it: our breath. Every emotion is connected to breath. For example, when you are stressed, relaxed, excited, or scared, your breath changes. If you learn how to navigate your breath, you can navigate any situation in your life more present, centered, and aware.
Meditation and Yoga practitioners are aware that befriending one’s breath keeps the mind and body healthy. Although breathwork in itself can be a topic for an entire program or course, practicing simple conscious breathing exercises everyday for a few minutes can still bring you amazing benefits in your life such as:
• Reduce stress and anxiety through increased oxygen intake.
• Improve sleep quality by calming down the mind.
• Enhance cognitive functions through improved concentration and focus.
• Boost immunity by improving defense mechanism of the body.
• Restore balance and calm while restoring general feeling of wellbeing.
Aloha comes from the word ALO meaning ‘sharing face-to-face’, and HA means ‘breath of life’. I learned that Aloha is more than just a word or greeting; Aloha is a way of life and attitude of welcoming someone into your space by sharing the breath of life, which is sacred to the Hawaiian culture.
Ancient Hawaiians recognized that their breath and clean air were keys to good health as breath and air possess MANA, or spiritual power. Those of you who read my book ‘Hawaiian Rebirth’ might remember Pilipo Solatorio.
Pilipo is a Hawaiian cultural practitioner and wisdom keeper I met a decade ago on the island of Moloka’i during my vision quest over Hawaiian Islands in July 2011. On the second day after my arrival and through a series of synchronicities I was guided to the Halawa Valley, located at the eastern end of this beautiful island.
When I asked Pilipo about the meaning of ALOHA, he told me that Aloha is in essence ‘sharing the happiness of the breath of life’ and that Hawaiians often greet each other by sharing HA (their breath). In the Hawaiian tradition, this exchange of breath is done when two people press together the upper bridge of their noses while inhaling at the same time.
Practicing and expressing ALOHA means being connected to the presence of life. It is about being present, open, honest, and sharing your inner-most essence with humility and dignity. By sharing ALOHA, you fully accept yourself for who you are, and others for who they are because ultimately, we all share the same breath, the essence of life, on this planet but expressed uniquely different ways.
That is why what Auntie Pilahi Paki said, ALOHA would be a remedy in this world rings so true especially these days when we see so much division and conflicts around us. What is important is to practice what we espouse in our action.
When we find others having different opinions, instead of being close-hearted and trying to convert them to have the same view as ours, we can allow diversity in point of views and try to find common grounds. We can also learn to express different opinions with respect, kindness and dignity.
When we can truly live according to what ALOHA represents, the breath of life, the presence of life and share ALOHA in our daily life, I believe our true essence, our inner voice will emerge from the background and take a center stage in our life and guide us to live more authentically following our true purpose.
So starting from next week, we will delve deeper into each one of the 5 key principles contained in ALOHA. In addition to a new breathing awareness exercise, each week you will learn a variety of techniques, practices, and tools for each principle to help you effectively start practicing and integrating each ALOHA principle in your daily life. This will help you share the spirit of ALOHA no matter where in the world you are.
Please send me any questions or share insights about this new ALOHA blog series. I love to be here for you and helping you experience more clarity, peace, and wellbeing during these times of many changes. I will respond to your questions or feedback. I look forward to uplifting dialogues and interacting with you actively during this summer.
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa, Yves
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Develop loving kindness as your habit (Part 3)
I hope you had an enjoyable week full of healing breaths and practicing the pursed lips breathing technique that I shared last week was helpful.
A friend from Japan wrote me: ‘Wow, I need to tell you that I am so excited and thrilled by the second leg of the ALOHA summer series. It’s perfectly what I need, right here and now. The fascinating thing about breath and it’s life force. There must be some secrets from the ‘unseen’ that will be revealed during this series which I am very much looking forward to.’
Pursed lips breathing can help improve and control your breaths, including keeping the airways open longer. In addition to the lung benefits, it also leads to overall relaxation and reduction of stress and anxiety.
If you had not tried it yet, you can find it in my last week’s video blog ‘Sharing the happiness of the breath of life’. I share another breathing exercise at the end of my video blog this week.
Although these breathing exercises may look quite simple and straight forward, they do offer amazing healing, transformative benefits when done regularly, and with right intention and awareness.
This week we will now look closer at the first key ALOHA principle known as AKAHAI, and how you can incorporate what this principle entails in your life in a meaningful way.
AKAHAI means kindness (grace), and it is expressed with tenderness. Developing loving kindness as a daily habit will have profound positive effects not only on the lives of others you show kindness to but also on your own life.
In the quest to create a more loving world, kindness is probably the easiest we can use. Being loving and kind will open your heart and increase your level of happiness and wellbeing in general.
It is probably one of the most simple but profound healing practices at this time when many are suffering from the on-going pandemic, the resulting social shifts and disagreements, and financial, physical, emotional, mental challenges. By developing loving kindness, you engage with others in a positive way without asking whether they deserve to be treated kindly and loving.
Though it may be sometimes easy to overlook opportunities to be kind, your life is filled with situations in which you can be helpful, considerate, and friendly to your friends, family members, associates at your workplace, as well as strangers you never met before.
Here are 7 suggestions how to make kindness a habit:
- Find a cause: Find something positive you genuinely believe in and offer help. It will make your life more meaningful, and enjoyable. This could be helping clean up a beach or offering help in an animal shelter.
- Set a goal of kindness: In the morning, decide on one specific action you will do to be kind that day, such as checking up on a friend you have not talked to in a while, or making a complement to someone you meet.
- Mean everything you do: The easiest way to make something a habit is to find a reason why you initially do it. Be truthful and mean what you write or say.
- Realize it is easy to do: Being kind does not have to involve a big action. It can be a simple act of kindness such as opening the door for people behind you and giving someone a compliment.
- Show appreciation: Regularly saying ‘Please and thank you!’ takes less than 5 seconds, but it can have long lasting effects. I remember telling a Starbucks employee on the Big Island how much I appreciated his cheerful greetings and his whole face was lighting up.
- Smile more: Smiling to someone is an act of kindness that can make another person’s day brighter or even make a lasting healing impact on another’s life and make yourself happier. Once you begin, it’s easy to do.
- Be kind to yourself: Find what will support and enhance your life quality and start by making small changes such as in terms of your eating habits or exercises. Your mind, heart and body will thank you.
Jack Canfield, a well-known American author, wrote that it takes at least thirty days to create new habits. So please be patient with yourself and others and keep up with whatever works best for you to develop kindness as your habit for at least a month.
If you’d like to go deeper, I invite you to regularly work with the following 5-steps practice for developing more loving kindness towards yourself, others, and all lifeforms on earth:
- Begin with yourself.
To begin, find a comfortable position. Begin by sitting or lying down comfortably. Close your eyes, gently touch your heart with one hand and use the pursed lips or deep breathing. Once your mind becomes calmer, you feel more in touch with your heart, and your body feels more relaxed.
Then affirm qualities either silently or loudly that you’d like to have most within yourself such as ‘I am loving and kind’ or ‘I am at peace’. Repeat these affirmations very gently and notice how your body feels.
- Remember someone who has been kind to you.
This can be someone who has been helping or supporting you in some way, or someone for whom you feel gratitude and appreciation, a good friend or an animal companion you deeply care about.
Repeat his or her name in your mind and direct loving-kindness towards them by wishing well for their health, happiness, and well-being while you further deepen your relaxation.
- Focus on someone you feel neutral with.
Focus on someone who you don’t have a strong sense of either liking or disliking. Ideally it is someone you meet regularly for example a family member, a colleague from work, or someone you regularly interact with online, so you can become aware how a feeling of loving-kindness develops towards that person over time. If you can’t find a person you feel neutral with, just stay with a good friend. Remember that everyone wishes to be happy, so this person wants to be happy too and extend the feeling of loving-kindness towards him or her.
- Recall someone with whom you have trouble.
Now bring someone in your awareness with whom there’s conflict, tension, unease, or dislike. Notice first how your breath changes and what sensations arise in your body.
Out of misunderstanding, we all make mistakes that create suffering. To send loving-kindness does not mean that you fully approve all actions; it means that you can see more clearly actions that are inappropriate or incorrect, and yet remain connected through your heart.
Now place both of your hands gently on your heart space and recall someone with whom you had or still have difficulty with. Then repeat the affirmations you worked in Step 1 towards him or her such as ‘We are loving and kind to each other’ and ‘We are at peace with each other’.
Breathe gently and try to find one or two positive qualities about this person and keep reflecting on it for a moment. You’ll find that there’s a feeling of letting go, opening up, and feeling calmer and more neutral.
- Expand your awareness to all beings.
Finally, expand your awareness to every being, all places, everywhere, without distinction and without exclusion. Repeat the following affirmations (or similar) for all life forms on earth:
‘May all beings be free from disease and danger. May all beings be healthy and well physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. May all beings be at peace.’
When you offer these affirmations, include all creatures, known or unknown, near or far, those you like, those you dislike and those you are neutral towards.
I encourage you to send me any questions or comments to help you develop clarity, peace, and wellbeing. Each week I will pick one of these feedbacks or questions and provide my response to all of you. Next week, we will look more deeply at the second key principle contained in ALOHA and how we can express and experience unity with harmony.
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa, Yves
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Overcome resistance to change and become a better listener (Part 4)
Last week, I shared about developing kindness as a habit in the third part of the ALOHA Summer Series. Someone from England wrote to me that even if he does his best to make changes in his life, it is often a struggle to break out of certain habitual thought patterns, such as negative self-talk and he asked how I would go about it.
I believe many of us will sympathize with him about the difficulties of breaking from ingrained behaviors and patterns within us. As individuals we all have routines that became automatic. When you want to change certain habits, what was once unconscious now becomes conscious to you, sometimes in an uncomfortable manner.
But there is more to this resistance to change, or difficulties of creating new positive and lasting habits than just one individual’s limitations. Richard Rohr, an American author, wrote: ‘Pain that is not transformed gets transmitted.’ According to a wealth of studies, trauma is indeed passed from one generation to the next within families.
What was discovered is that trauma can leave a chemical mark on someone’s genes, which then is passed down to future generations. I believe most of us, if not all, are burdened by unresolved patterns from our lineages to a certain degree. And there is also our connection to the humanity’s collective energy field.
When one part of the world suffers trauma through, for example, a war, a pandemic, or a natural disaster such as the flooding happening in many countries in Europe right now, that traumatic energy can be felt and transmitted to other parts of the world.
This week, I’d like to share with you 5 steps to overcome resistance you can start implementing right away. Then in my next week’s blog, I will share another powerful tool to help you relieve from generational and collective trauma or energetic burdens.
5 steps how to overcome resistance:
- Get a sense of where you are going.
Know what you want and why you want it. The less clear you are on what you are working towards, the more challenging it will be to persist the temptations to go back your old habits.
Once you get started, for example, on creating a positive self-image, or boosting self-confidence, especially in those moments you are confronted with challenges, the temptations to return to, such as negative self-talk will show up in full force. So, it is important to remind yourself why you set this goal in the first place.
- Identify your potential resistances.
Instead of worrying about resistances to changes, it’s helpful to identify the things, situations or people that distract you from fostering your new habits or behaviors.
Whenever you feel resistance, remove yourself from the situation or people that triggers it if you can. For example, if you have a friend or family member who tend to talk negatively, try to minimize contact with them while you are actively working on creating a new habit of self-love.
Take a few deep breaths, embrace yourself and repeat ‘I love and appreciate myself.’ You will feel your resistance to fall away at least until next challenges arrive. However, do your best to prolong that sense of self-love and acceptance as long as you can. Each time, that feeling will stay longer with you.
- Develop internal and external resources.
Find allies who are on your side and encourage you to commit to your new habit, and whom you can count on when facing setbacks – friends, mentors, groups etc. For example, you can make a pact with a friend to identify and talk about positive things about a given situation or complement each other for 10 minutes a day for a month.
Such a practice will help you remain focused on creating a new pattern. Additionally, it is also important to identify qualities and strengths you already possess to help you stay on track. Find areas you have succeeded in changing habits or behaviors in the past.
If you look back on the past 5 to 10 years, I am sure you will find at least one positive change or development, whether big or small, that occurred in your life. Reflect on what helped you shift and use that insight to help you succeed in this new change you are committing to.
- Set clear boundaries.
Define what kinds of behaviors you will no longer tolerate. Write down a list of long-term rewards you will derive from avoiding potential temptations and not indulging in your former habits.
It’s easy to fall back to old patterns without setting clear boundaries. Be clear on what you allow yourself and what’s absolutely off your limits. For example, don’t bring up a controversial topic with someone you know to be very opinionated.
- Create a reward system.
Many reward themselves for what they achieved. Instead, you can reward yourself for staying away from possible distractions.
For example, if you committed yourself to being kind to yourself and others and were able to divert your urge to get involved in a confrontational or negative discussion on social media, recognize that and reward yourself with something you enjoy.
The key is not to make this reward another distraction, but instead a reward for your continuous efforts throughout the week.
So far we delved more into AKAHAI– developing loving kindness (the first A for ALOHA) from last week. Thanks for keep reading.
Let’s now look at the second main principle contained in ALOHA. The L in ALOHA is LOKAHI. LO means to obtain, and KAHI is a shorter version of the word ‘EKAHI, meaning the number 1 in Hawaiian.
Once you developed daily kindness as your habit, you may notice that it becomes much easier to recognize unity in all things. On the other hand, when there is lack of harmony and unity, it will become more noticeable to you with polarizing views and conflicts abundantly found on many topics these days.
What is the opposite of polarity? That is unity. LOKAHI is all about how you can obtain and express unity in a harmonious way. One thing you notice when people argue is that they tend to raise their voice, or even scream (in social media, it is often expressed in all capital letters).
The remedy for this is found in another Hawaiian value: PA’A KA WAHA, which means ‘to close the mouth’, which can be interpreted as ‘Listen with Love’.
8 practices to help you become a better listener to promote unity and harmony:
- Stop talking: Listen to your inner voice and become aware of your body sensations and your breathing patterns while you focus on what is being said. Don’t open your mouth, keep breathing, and smile.
- Focus on the conversation: Be genuinely interested in what the other person communicates to you and express your interest silently through your body language. Have an open body posture and nod with your head.
- Listen closely: Listen ‘between the lines’. How is the tone and vibration of his or her voice? What words and sentences does he or she emphasize? How is the pacing: are certain sentences faster or slower?
- Observe non-verbal communication of others: In addition to what is being said verbally, attentively recognize non-verbal signals and if there are any emotions expressed by the person you are listening to.
- Imagine the other perspective: A well-known Native American proverb says: ‘Never judge another man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins’. Imagine yourself in the other person’s position or situation.
- Repeat back your interpretation: Listen closely and patiently. Then rephrase and interpret of what the other person has told you. Begin with something like: ‘What I heard you saying is …’ (fill in the blank).
- Use only positive words: Be affirmative and use positive language. Resist the urge to jump in with critical or disparaging remarks. In your own life, repeat some of the most uplifting and positive words such as Yes, Love, and Open.
- Listen longer without interrupting: Simply listen and observe, even if past your usual tolerance level. Start with someone who you feel neutral about, someone you just met so you don’t know much about. This is because this practice can be challenging with someone you have a long history with or care about such as your colleague or a family member.
Again, I encourage you to send me any questions or comments about this new ALOHA blog series to help you find clarity, peace, and wellbeing during these times of many changes. I will pick one of these feedbacks or questions and expound on it next week. And then I can go into the next Letter O in ALOHA and discuss how we can embrace the qualities of being agreeable and gentle, and express it with pleasantness.
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa, Yves
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How to bring peace and confidence to your relationships (Part 5)
I hope you had a good week and enjoyed working with what I share through this ALOHA summer series.
If we recap what we covered last three weeks, we looked at how to be more present and centered through your breath (Part 2), developing more loving kindness (Part 3) and overcoming resistance along with becoming a better listener (Part 4).
This week, I will discuss the third principle contained in ALOHA. The O in ALOHA stands for ‘OLU‘OLU which relates to how we can be more agreeable (gentle) and express it with pleasantness.
A Hawaiian word or concept to help us practice ‘OLU‘OLU is HO’OMALUHIA. It means ‘to be peaceful or to have peace’. HO’O means ‘to do or to be’ and MALUHIA translates as ‘calm, peace, tranquility, and safety’.
HO’OMALUHIA is about bringing peace in your relationships and where you are in life. The question is how you can cultivate and maintain inner peace, stay present and calm in your daily life even with challenges.
Earlier this week, I read an upsetting news about sea turtles being harassed by many tourists on Oahu. This made me really sad and upset and it made me wonder why some people are so disconnected from nature and treat wildlife without any respect.
Reflecting on the principal of ‘OLU‘OLU and the concept of HO’OMALUHIA, a well-known quote, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ came to my mind. While this quote does not originate from Mahatma Ghandi the way many erroneously believe, this maxim helps people understand their role or relationship with the world.
I found the closest remark from Mahatma Gandhi in this quote: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
His words are a powerful reminder to renew my focus on what I can change instead of what I cannot. One of the things I can do in my personal capacity is to continue what I practice, being respectful to nature and wildlife and loving to animals and all beings.
This week let’s look at three ways that will help us live according to the principle of ‘OLU‘OLU which is to be agreeable (gentle) and express it with pleasantness: Setting boundaries, visualizing a positive outcome, and praying regularly.
- Set healthy boundaries.
To practice ‘OLU‘OLU (being agreeable with pleasantness), we first need to be at peace and centered within ourselves. And being agreeable does not mean you are to constantly please others no matter what.
Earlier I mentioned HO’OMALUHIA refers to remaining calm and being at peace. When you are stressed, it’s difficult to maintain peace and calm. In other to have less stress in your life, honestly look at your relationships, especially with those people who tend to keep you away from feeling peace and ease.
By setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, you avoid feelings of resentment, disappointment, sadness, and anger that build up when your limits have been pushed for too long. There are different types of boundaries, such as physical boundaries, time boundaries, conversational boundaries, personal boundaries, and relationship boundaries.
Here I’d like to focus on the relationship boundaries as this is the one most people find challenging. Setting boundaries with those who have been in our lives for a long time such as partners, family, coworkers, and friends can be tricky.
Out of our desire to avoid confrontation, please others or not to hurt their feelings, some of us find it difficult to speak up despite feeling uncomfortable or even when we are treated unfairly.
Lacking boundaries leads to emotional, mental, and physical fatigue, and weakens your immune system. For me, staying in a challenging working environment in Switzerland and not speaking up for too long led to a severe burn out experience 11 years ago.
One of the ways of setting up boundaries is saying no politely to what you no longer tolerate. For example, if a friend wants to talk about a topic you don’t wish to discuss, you can simply say you prefer to not talk about that topic.
You can also get support from those who genuinely appreciate and value you. And remember you always have the option to leave from a toxic person or situation, and you don’t have to apologize or explain yourself when you do.
- Visualize peace and positivity.
When you feel stuck in negativity and unable to change the external or internal state, use the power of visualization to return to balance and peace. Scientific research proves that your brain can’t distinguish what is real from what is imagined.
If one person does something and someone else just visualizes doing the same, the same brain regions are activated in both. For example, whether someone lifts his arms or just visualizes doing the arm movements, the same brain regions undergo actual physical change (referred as neuroplasticity) to a similar degree.
In essence, visualization is creating mental pictures and emotions of the positive outcome that you really desire. These images are created by including your five senses to mentally rehearse the situation in your mind so that you can refocus your actions, emotions, and thought patterns.
Visualization helps with removing negative emotions and refocusing your attention on actions towards what you’d like to experience instead. Once you begin working towards feeling more confident and at peace, the energy you put into visualization will help shift your life in a more positive direction and share that positivity and peace with others.
For example, think back to a major milestone in your life, a moment in time when you felt happy and content. What did you see, hear, touch, smell and taste? Recreate these sensations and connect them to what you would like to experience. Positive memories combined with visualization will help rewire your brain.
Doing visualization in nature is another effective way to boost the power of the visualization. Connecting with natural elements will help you lift your spirit and make visualization much easier. You can also utilize a variety of guided visualization or meditations found online.
- Pray regularly.
Someone from Germany wrote: ‘Your ALOHA summer series is really great! It’s so nice to get to know the soul behind the word and the Hawaiian culture. I look forward to your video every week and keep breathing. Are you planning to include HO’OPONOPONO in the series? It’s such a wonderful ritual.’
HO’OPONOPONO is indeed a beautiful and powerful Hawaiian prayer for forgiveness and peace-making and I will discuss the ritual in great depth towards the end of this series.
We usually resort to pray when there is nothing left to rely on. For example, when we or our loved ones have a life-threatening disease or accident, or during the time of destructive natural disasters. Then we humbly kneel down, drop all judgements, and allow ourselves to be open for miracles.
When people share their life problems, whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, I recommend speaking prayers and positive life-affirming statements. How would you feel if you wouldn’t take a shower for a few days? Praying is like taking a cleansing shower because it frees you from energetically.
My friend and mentor Howard Wills, who lives on Kaua’i, teaches that our health and wellbeing is less about germs, viruses, and diseases and that it is about improving our relationships. It’s your choice if you want to stay in trouble or if you aim to live with more peace and free. The way you achieve more freedom is by making peace with others.
The relationships that affect us the most are found within our families and all their circles of friends. Both positive and negative things were said about you, and you too said both positive and negative things about them. If you want more freedom in life, you should create healthier relationships by releasing negativity.
In essence, the prayers are like training wheels. They are a simple way for taking yourself deeper in your consciousness, to free yourself of your pains and your burdens that you carry, whether you are aware of them or not, and to open yourself to a greater consciousness, and feeling more deeply connected with all that is.
By including cleansing prayers in your daily practice, your health will improve and you will achieve more freedom. Howard developed a highly beneficial concise prayer program. You can also do these prayers for others and for the whole world to benefit all.
I have been working with this program for a decade daily and shared it with many others. I highly recommend you give it a try. You can download it here.
Howard also leads one-hour weekly group healing Zoom calls on Thursdays where you can experience his wisdom and healing and what amazing effects these cleansing prayers bring.
Which techniques, practices, and tools of the ALOHA summer series were most helpful for you, and what was most challenging for you? I encourage you to send me any questions or comments to help you find clarity, peace, and wellbeing during these times of many changes.
Next week, we will look closely at the fourth principle of ALOHA which is to live with more humility and express it with modesty.
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa, Yves
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Understanding the value of humility (Part 6)
In ALOHA, the H stands for HA‘AHA‘A, and the value of humility.
HA‘AHA‘A refers to remain humble and modest, keep an open heart and mind and acknowledge we are part of a greater circle of life. HA’AHA’A also means having respect for and sincere appreciation of others. It’s the opposite of feeling or acting superior to someone else.
This fourth major principle of ALOHA helps us realize that no single individual can satisfy every need. Every single member of the ‘OHANA (meaning family in Hawaiian) is needed. All are to be respected and supported for the talent and uniqueness they bring. If your behavior shows superiority toward others and belittles their accomplishments, you are definitely not sharing the spirit of ALOHA.
When I met Pilipo, the wisdom keeper and Hawaiian cultural practioner on my vision quest on the beautiful island of Moloka’i 10 years ago, I asked him about pride in Hawaiian culture. He told me that there are two different aspects to consider regarding HA’AHA’A: HA‘AHEO is desired while HO‘OKANO is not.
HA’AHEO refers to having healthy pride in your accomplishments and recognizing there is merit in feeling proud of the good things you have done.
HO‘OKANO, however, comes with arrogance, the unfavorable aspect of pride, and is often expressed through narcissism, and egoism.
This week, I faced an unexpected ‘writer’s block’, a challenge many writers can relate to. When I started off with this ALOHA Summer Series by first recording all the videos on Kaua’i, I was full of inspiration and committed to sharing this series with you on a weekly basis.
I usually begin writing the blog for the following week at least one week before, which is after I send out my latest newsletter and post my blog for the week. However, this past week has been challenging.
I was more acutely aware of the collective pain and suffering people are feeling around the world plus my own personal disappointments in relationships. I found it really difficult to focus on writing inspirational and encouraging content.
I felt humbled and reminded myself of what I wrote one week earlier – accept myself as I am, focus on what I can be grateful for and visualize a positive outcome with a faith that a solution would come. Two days later, I received an email from my friend David Ashworth from England.
Besides his writing being profound and elegant as always (David is the author of several great books), the topic he addressed was humility this week. I can definitely say this was synchronicity at play. It reminded me of the song ‘With a little help from my friends’ by one of my favorite English singers Joe Cocker who is no longer with us.
I truly appreciate and welcome this ‘little help’ of my English friend David. I highly resonate with what he wrote, and with his kind permission, I am sharing the following excerpt of his writing on humility with you:
‘I don’t think the dictionary definition of ‘humility’ is the whole story. It is missing a potent and powerful element. For clarity, this is how the dictionary describes humility: ‘A humble view of one’s own importance.’ So, then we need to look at the word, humble, to understand that. ‘Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.’
I would approach humility in a totally different way, from the perspective of one who has experienced a number of spiritual processes that show us who we really are. For example, I know that I have great spiritual ability, literally at my fingertips. But knowing it and shouting about it are two different things.
If one is rewarded with great spiritual ability, then it can only be bestowed based upon one’s humility, and not upon one’s arrogance. Great power is only given to those who understand how to use it. For me then, humility is absolutely knowing one’s place in the hierarchy of all that is.
I am not so arrogant as to think that I know anything at all because based on my spiritual experiences, I really am at the bottom of the pile and know nothing. My ability is being able to open myself to allow a much higher form of consciousness to work through me to help others.
How could I possibly claim that this higher ability is mine? To do so would indeed incur lessons that I do not wish to experience. Therefore, I know my place in the hierarchy and give great thanks that I can be used to bring help to humanity and the Earth.
Humility is knowing that there is an ever-present threat that the ego consciousness might at any time step forward and overpower you, making you say or do things that later you may regret. Humility grows within you as you understand more about who we are as individuals, as a species and as a brother or sister animal to all other forms of life in this world.
Arrogance is the opposite of humility and unfortunately, it is the dominant aspect of human collective consciousness. Humans think they are better than every other form of life in this world, which is a huge mistaken belief. When you look at the animal kingdoms they are in perfect balance with their environment.
When you look at humans, they work constantly to change their natural environment and in so doing lose the connection with that which supports their whole life. Humility is understood more when you realize that we are really nothing in comparison to the greater consciousness that rules everything through a series of laws.
Humility is knowing who I am at the core of my being in the knowledge that life is eternal and I am learning to be a greater part of that great consciousness that creates our perceived reality. I am someone who is constantly learning to play my part in holding the whole of this reality together through helping to heal anything that suffers.
That is not a great or important thing, it is just something I do because I was opened to be able to see it needed doing. I was guided in learning the way to do it. It is no more important than sweeping a floor and sweeping a floor when it is needed, is very important, so it is about the balance of doing what needs to be done.
More than anything, I have been blessed to see and experience many lessons on this path and I am honored to be able to play a part in healing and creation. The realization of these blessings is what allows me to stand in a place of humility.’
David’s words on humility strongly resonate within me so I don’t think I can add more to that. To give a bit more introduction of David, he has helped thousands of people to find their way through the difficulties of life, including me since the awakening of his gifts more than 20 years ago.
Once a month, David offers the gift of Darshan. His next Darshan will be on Sunday, August 8th. Over the past years, I had many profound experiences while receiving David’s Darshan, and I recommend highly joining in this light-filled experience.
In conclusion, remember to celebrate your unique gifts and accomplishments, and yet be aware of the greater wheel of creation we are part of together with other humans, all living beings and nature.
Here are 5 ways to help you foster humility, without losing your healthy pride for your accomplishments. As always, balance is the key:
1) Practice mindfulness and focus on the present: Accept what is, rather than judging or resisting it. Accept yourself with all your faults and improve upon your strengths, instead of judging yourself or others for shortcomings.
2) Be grateful for what you already have: ‘Count your blessings’ and be thankful for them. Taking some time to write down what you are grateful for and what you appreciate every day, is beneficial for cultivating a more positive and humbler mind set.
3) Ask for help when you need it: There is a form of pride that lies in being able to solve your problems by yourself. Humility, therefore, lies in recognizing when you need help, and to be able to ask others for it appropriately.
4) Seek feedback from others: It can be helpful to ask others to give you their perspectives or feedback when you feel stuck in one point of view. Make it clear that you welcome their honest opinions. Listen to the feedback openly and grateful but remember it’s you who ultimately finds your own truth.
5) Review your thoughts and feelings: When someone compliments you for something, notice what thoughts, feelings and sensations arise within you. It is important to remain grounded and recognize these energetic responses in your body and name them instead of having them just stay in your head space.
I hope you now have a better understanding of the value of humility, HA‘AHA‘A and how this can be applied to your life. Again, I encourage you to send me any questions or comments to help you find clarity, peace, and wellbeing during these times of many changes.
Next week, we will look closely at the fifth principle of ALOHA which is about patience (waiting for the right moment), and how to express it with perseverance.
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa, Yves
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Persevering towards your dreams (Part 7)
Last week, I wrote about the principle of HA’AHA’A. The word AHA is contained in HA’AHA’A. It seems that this fourth principle of ALOHA led to many AHA moments as there were more responses and I received more messages than previous weeks.
Some said that what I wrote resonated a lot with them and that it was what they needed to hear while others asked insightful, deep questions based on their personal experiences of having been treated rudely by arrogant people, and their challenges with balancing humility with pride.
Other than passing on the knowledge I received from Hawaiian cultural practitioners and Āina (the land) of Hawaiian Islands, my main intention with writing the ALOHA summer series over the course of 10 weeks is to inspire, empower, and encourage readers of my blogs and those who watch my videos.
On July 29, I had a wonderful interview with my friend Kathy Mason from Colorado on her show Conscious Business Zone.
During the conversation, I mentioned that after watching perfectly crafted professional videos or reading books from well-known transformational leaders or authors, some of you may feel discouraged from sharing what’s on your hearts; your own wisdom and insights perhaps because you believe you cannot create such professional looking materials.
I know that the videos I share still have a lot of room for improvements. I love recording videos outside in nature and it comes with several challenges due to the natural elements. Winds on Kaua’i often made it challenging to record videos in nature although they are wonderful and refreshing while taking a walk or running. The audio quality can suffer from it.
And sometimes other people walking by and mosquitos interrupt or disturb the recording. Yet I was happy to hear from some of you that you enjoy watching the videos because beautiful Hawaiian sceneries and sounds of the waves or birds add to your experience in a positive way.
I believe all of us can offer in our own unique ways and contribute to the greater wheel of creation we are part of. Especially during this challenging time on the planet when we need each other more than ever, I want to encourage those of you who are doubtful if your message has any value for others to share your story authentically, even if the way you share is not technically perfect or professional looking.
Let’s now look at the last, fifth principle of ALOHA.
The second A in ALOHA comes from AHONUI, meaning patience in Hawaiian. To better understand how to express any of these principles – AKAHAI, LOKAHI, ‘OLU’OLU, HA’AHA’A and AHONUI – we often need to look at other related Hawaiian terms as well.
For AHONUI, it is related to the Hawaiian term HO’OMAU. Patience (waiting for the right moment) is expressed through the value of persistence and perseverance, or HO’OMAU in Hawaiian. HO’OMAU means to persevere and persist despite challenges and difficulties.
During the process of writing my book ‘Hawaiian Rebirth’, I faced many obstacles, internal and external such as self-doubt, lack of support, and communication issues, and I often wondered if I ever could finish the manuscript.
Over time, HO’OMAU became a helpful guide to me because it encouraged me to keep on going with writing my book. And right now, while I develop this series in interaction with those of you who interact with me, my understanding of HO’OMAU further deepened.
In essence, you cultivate HO’OMAU by looking at failures and mistakes as steppingstones on your life’s journey that ultimately lead you to fulfillment by persevering in your efforts. With HO’OMAU as your companion, you continue your journey with tenacity and without giving up on your dreams and values.
Persistence helps you remain focused on your goals, not giving up when the going gets tough, and find solutions even when you face adversity and lead you to where you want to be.
Before I talk about fostering your patience (AHONUI) next week, today I will first focus on how you can improve your perseverance skills, which is the foundation for becoming more resilient and patient.
The Hawaiian people are well-known for their history of being brave warriors fighting battles, but they are equally honored and appreciated for their deep compassion and respect for fellow human beings, the animals, and plants around them, which is deeply ingrained and expressed through their culture and the spirit of ALOHA.
Since I arrived in Hawaii for the first time in 2008, I was very impressed, inspired, and profoundly touched by their commitment, dedication, and loyalty to protect the Āina (land), the Kuleana (responsibility) they carry in their (community), and the way they honor their Kupuna (elders).
HO’OMAU relates to many struggles found within our modern society. In today’s fast paced world, sadly too often the wisdom of our grandparents and our ancestors, or those who live in harmony with nature (indigenous tribes) is overlooked, has been forgotten, or even worse was denied, suppressed and destroyed.
Sometimes, I too get lost in my own little world and feel discouraged by my life’s circumstances. However, when I find my center again, I remember that I am not alone and that there were others who were here before me who overcame difficulties too. For example, we can look at our grandparents and how they did not give up until their last breath.
As I write these words, I feel my grandfather who passed away in 2005 close to me. I recall the wisdom he shared with me when I was a teenager and had difficulties with classmates. He told me that the best things in his life were not easily won (he was in a high rank in the Swiss Army during the Second World War) and that he had to become resilient against opposition.
He encouraged me to try my best, not to worry too much about what my classmates said and instead remain focused on my dreams for life. He reminded me that the more something matters to us, the more passion, sacrifice, and dedication is required to IMUA (move forward). When we look back later, we can see that the reward was worth it, not only for ourselves, but also for those benefit from us fulfilling our dreams.
Another mentor in my life was my father. Thanks to him, I began long distance running from an early age. From the very beginning, I never liked giving up. Even when I was exhausted, I always finished my courses unless I sustained an injury. Persisting and persevering in my efforts is something I much later recognized as the value of HO’OMAU.
There is a saying, that anything worth having is worth working for. HO’OMAU is often the defining quality between those who don’t reach their goals and those who succeed.
You can see that clearly in sports events such as the Olympics in Tokyo that is happening right now. I am often impressed by inspirational stories by the athletes who were dismissed by everyone as underdogs but triumphed unexpectedly by persevering and not giving up on their dreams.
What can you do to develop more HO’OMAU in your life? Here are 7 ways of improving your perseverance:
1) Understand resistance: Develop a deeper understanding of resistance. Identify what kind of challenges hold you back and write them down. The more you name them, these blocks of resistance lose their power and you become stronger.
2) Write down your goals: Write down your short-term and long-term goals and your reasons for having these goals. Anytime you are faced with an obstacle or challenge, take a look at your goal list, evaluate the situation and keep moving forward.
3) Remember your ‘Why’: Ask yourself why these goals matter to you. Include sensations. Visualize how your life will look like when you achieve your goals and your dreams are fulfilled, and most importantly, the feeling you will have when you experience them.
4) Begin to take risks: You grow by change. Learn to take risks and go beyond your comfort zone. Develop strategies and find ways how to adapt and persist when challenges arise and understand what steps are necessary for you to keep moving forward.
5) Don’t be afraid to fail: Perseverance is also developed by keep getting back up even after you fall. Change your relationship with failures. See them as your honest friend and companion, rather than an enemy that holds you back forever.
6) Build a support network: Build a strong network of supports that may include your family, friends, co-workers, or master mind groups. This will create a more comfortable space for you to open up, follow through, and get helpful feedback and encouragements.
7) Exercise regularly: One of the best ways to develop perseverance certainly is physical training. Practicing your favorite sports regularly or going on long hikes in nature will help lay a strong foundation for becoming mentally and emotionally more resilient as well.
A few months ago, I talked with a friend in Switzerland who faced the loss of many family members this year. It touched me because this reminded me of the time when I lost my father and my grandparents in 2005 within 8 months. When I asked her how she was able to continue, she told me that giving up was never an option in her life. She certainly has a lot of HO’OMAU.
What about you? Were there times on your journey when you wanted to give up, or gave up? What did you learn from these experiences? And what helped you to persevere and continue towards the manifestation of your dreams? Again, I encourage you to send me any questions or comments to help you find clarity, peace, and wellbeing.
Remember to celebrate your gifts, talents, and strengths in the face of all adversity. By doing so, you will remind others that the obstacles that test you (and them) make everyone stronger and more resilient ultimately.
Next week, we will go deeper into what it means by waiting for the right moment, and I will share strategies how you can develop more patience.
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa,
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Slow down and enjoy every moment (Part 8)
Last week, I introduced AHONUI to you, the second A in ALOHA. AHONUI means “patience and tolerance.” I explained how HO’OMAU (Perseverance) is related to patience and shared 7 ways how you can boost your perseverance.
Of the word AHONUI, AHO means “breath, to breathe and to put great efforts”, and NUI stands for “large, long, big or great.” In essence, AHONUI can be translated as “many breaths”, and it stands for taking long breaths which helps develops more patience. I can attest that this Covid era, like many of you, tested my patience muscle multiple times.
Besides preparing for air travel to Switzerland with so many requirements a year ago, I had to be really patient for otherwise day-to-day normal activities such as getting a haircut or getting an appointment for a driver’s license renewal etc. when I was on Kaua’i. These are just my personal experiences on having to be patient, and I am aware that there are much bigger challenges people have to face in this world.
You probably noticed that when you are waiting for something, even a few minutes can feel like an hour. Your perception of time shifts depending on how urgently you want to see something happen, whether it be a long line at a cash register of a store, waiting time for a visa, an interview for your dream job, promotion, or a publication contract if you are an author.
There is saying patience is a virtue which I interpret to mean that being patient comes with many benefits. You may have experienced a situation where you regretted to have chosen alternative because you got tired of waiting for your first choice, which makes you realize good things take time.
For example, it can take years before you meet a right partner and when you finally can be with that person, you realize all the time you were being patient was truly worthwhile. Patient also helps us to make better decisions and is an important factor in helping you succeed in life.
Someone from Colorado sent me the following message:
‘I meditate and practice Yoga regularly for over a decade now, and it makes me feel peaceful and balanced after my practice. However, with some people I still get very irritated and impatient and I feel guilty about feeling that way. How can I be more patient with others, especially people close to me?’
Before we investigate some strategies that can help you develop more patience, it’s important that you get an understanding when and how impatience shows up in your life. The reasons for being impatient are many folds and will be different for everyone.
I invite you to answer these six questions to get more clarity:
- When you become impatient, do you make good decisions and respond wisely?
- Are there any particular persons with whom you find it difficult to be patient?
- Are there certain situations or circumstances that trigger your impatience the most?
- In what areas of your life are you struggling most to demonstrate patience?
- Through what emotions is your impatience expressed: Annoyance? Anger? Discontentment? Distrust?
- And what are the underlying reasons: Comfort? Pride? Selfishness? Frustration? Lack of Time?
Getting better at being patient will make your life and the lives of those around you easier and ultimately make you less stressed and more at peace. Patience will bring more space and grace to the present moment because your mind will race less toward a certain outcome in the future and get stressed. So by being patient, you become more centered, aware in the present moment.
Last week, I wrote that in the Hawaiian culture, the AINA (land) is protected and the KUPUNA (elders) are honored. I believe one of the best ways to develop patience is to learn from the elders who lived a long life with so much valuable wisdom to share with younger generations.
Right after I finished writing about HO’OMAU (perseverance) last week, I saw a post on a Facebook page called ‘Don’t worry be happy’ mentioning that nothing can replace the wisdom of the elder generations. 9 elderly people were portrayed with their name, age, and their advice for the younger generation.
I am a big advocate of being aware and paying close attention to synchronicity, and I notice synchronicity often in my life. I believe these cosmic clues appear via the intervention of a higher power or spiritual allies and that they are beneficial mediation points that can lead to great insights.
I just had written about my grandfather and was still feeling his presence next to me, so seeing this post on Facebook with the beautiful faces and the wisdom shared by these elderly people deeply touched me and I’d like to share their advice with you:
Natalie (Age 99): ‘Always be happy with yourself and others.’
Helen (98): ‘Be nice to everyone.’
Lois (93): ‘Try to love, not hate.’
John (92): ‘Enjoy every moment.’
Les (94): ‘Make sure you are financially stable.’
Lola (86): ‘Slow down.’
John (83): ‘Take hold of every opportunity given to you.’
Doris (89): ‘Take more time to enjoy life.’
Jean (85): ‘Be kind to everybody.’
Although these wise elders were not from Hawaii, they all embody and express what’s contained in ALOHA. You don’t have to live in Hawaii to share the spirit of ALOHA. You can share and express it wherever you are. 3 out of 9 of their advice relate to kindness, and 3 to patience: ‘Enjoy every moment. Slow Down. Take more time to enjoy life.’
Here are 7 strategies to slow down, take more time to enjoy life and developing your patience:
1) Pause and breathe:
In the accompanying videos to this series, I share a variety of simple and yet effective breathing techniques at the end. Just taking a few deep breaths will help your nervous system to slow down. It will help you to recenter and invite a calmer response. And after taking 10 deep breaths, your wait might be already over.
2) Use the extra time:
Sometimes in life, you just must wait and be patient until someone gets back to you. So, how can you spend the extra time wisely instead of keeping your attention on the unsettling situation? Focus on something else you normally don’t have enough time for: Read a book, listen to a podcast, share inspirational quotes with friends, go for a nice walk in nature, message or call your loved ones.
3) Befriend the situation:
By answering the 6 questions above, I hope you became more aware of what emotions arise when you get impatient. Whenever such an emotion arises, watch your impulse to perceive the challenge you are having as bad timing or unfair. What about assuming that the obstacle was put in your way because you needed to slow down and take a break?
4) Stop resisting:
Did you get some insights about the underlying reasons when you get impatient? There is an important distinction between responding and reacting. If you want to feel less stressed, learn how to respond rather than react to unwelcome circumstances. Find ways to reduce resistance of what is occurring or not occurring. And keep practicing acceptance when you can’t change something.
5) Find the lesson and reframe:
When we look back at earlier experiences in our lives, we sometimes realize that the way a certain situation turned out was for the better. When your patience gets tested, ask yourself: Is there anything about the inconvenient situation that may positively impact my life later? Can I find anything good around the situation now? Are there any parts of me being resistant to the underlying circumstance of what is happening?
6) Acknowledge the impact of impatience:
As you develop more awareness of your emotions that arise when you are being impatient, ask yourself: Do I have control over the situation? Is the feeling of impatience easing or intensifying the impact of the situation and the way I respond? What emotion would be more helpful right now for myself and others under these circumstances?
7) Try a short meditation:
Just like physical training is beneficial to strengthen your muscles, the practice of meditation is very beneficial to strengthen your patience muscle. Many don’t have enough time to meditate an hour every day. However, meditation doesn’t need to be always long. A short meditation every day will help you calm down feeling of frustration, anger, or other negative emotions that may result from unsettling situations.
In wrapping up, how can we now put together both principles of persistence and patience contained in AHONUI? One of my favorite authors, Serge Kahili King, who is a well-known author of many works on Huna and Hawaiian shamanism, expressed it eloquently:
“AHONUI is not the patience of waiting in a line. It is the persistence of knocking on a door until you get an answer. It is not the patience of waiting out a storm. It is the perseverance of moving through a storm to your destination. It is not waiting to get healed. It is using everything you know and doing everything you can to make the healing happen.”
Learn how to strengthen your patience muscle and calmly endure the setbacks, difficulties, and unwelcome roadblocks that may surface on your path. When you are led by the principles of AHONUI, you are not focusing any longer on what is missing, but you are empowered to focus on other good things that are already present and coming your way, while you are waiting.
Again, I encourage you to send me any questions or comments to help you find clarity, peace, and wellbeing. Next week, I will introduce you to a well-known Hawaiian practice for reconciliation and forgiveness, and I will share a powerful technique how to release stress and feel freer and at peace.
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa,
Until next week!
Mahalo Nui Loa,
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Forgive through Ho’oponopono and EFT (Part 9)
Over the last two weeks, we delved deeper into AHONUI, the fifth principle of ALOHA and I shared several ways of how you can improve your perseverance and develop more patience.
Based on the feedback and questions I received throughout the past two months, I realized that before completing this Aloha series in two weeks, it will be beneficial to include HO’OPONOPONO, a well-known practice for reconciliation and forgiveness in Hawaii and many parts of the world.
You probably asked yourself one of these questions: ‘Why is it sometimes so hard to forgive?’ ‘How can I forgive him or her who hurt me so much?’ ‘Can I be able to forgive myself?’ ‘What would happen, if I never forgive myself and others?’
In life, we can get hurt sometimes by actions of others or sometimes by our own actions. When we get out of balance emotionally and mentally, this negatively affects us energetically and physically as well.
As long as you are affected by past experiences and worried about reexperiencing them in the future, you lose balance and miss the present moment. You disempower and discourage yourself, and you will miss all the wonderful new opportunities and gifts of life every single day.
Holding on to grudges and disappointments will rarely change someone who hurt you but only worsen how you feel. Sometimes, we would like to go back and change what happened in the past however that is not possible. We can only work on doing better from now on and find ways to find peace again.
Earlier last week, I cut my skin while shaving. When we hurt ourselves physically and get a wound, the process to recovery is straight forward:
1) Cleaning the wound
2) Create circumstances for healing to happen
3) Be patient (the AHONUI we looked at the past two weeks)
4) Watch the wound and scar disappear
When it comes to mental or emotional wounds and forgiveness, I believe the process of healing is pretty much the same. Cleanse energetically, for example, through working with the prayers I shared by Howard Wills in Part 5 of this series, or with any other method that is helpful for you.
Then create the healing environment by working on forgiveness to restore balance and maintaining peace. And you can witness the emotional and mental wounding and scars. dissipate and disappear although it can take some time.
In essence, forgiveness is very much about you, and less about whoever or whatever harmed you. To truly forgive, you need to be willing to let go, reframe how you think, face unhealed emotions, take self-responsibility, KULEANA, for how you may have contributed to the situation, and ultimately trust the healing process. This could include learning from others who went through similar experiences and were able to forgive.
After I arrived in Hawaii for the first time in 2008, the healer Paul helped me to let go of the past and how I can move forward with new perspectives. Before Paul began to work with me, he asked me two very significant questions: ‘What do you want to leave behind?’ and ‘What would you like to experience instead from now on?’ My answer was clear: I wanted a new life, and having that intention laid the foundation for redirecting my life in a completely new way in Hawaii.
To me, it was no coincidence that the Hawaiian Term PAU is contained in his name. In Hawaiian, PAU means ‘completed, finished, terminated, or all done’. Through the profound healing experience gifted by Paul, I was able to find closure and make peace with what I struggled with in Switzerland for many years, and become more present, aware, and conscious of how to find new ways to improve my life.
Let’s look closer at the word HO’OPONOPONO. HO’O means ‘to do or to be’ and PONOPONO means ‘to make things right or correct something’. Many books have been written about Ho’oponopono, there are many ways of how people practice it around the world, and you can even find online courses on the practice of Ho’oponopono.
This series wouldn’t be complete if I wouldn’t acknowledge and honor another Hawaiian teacher and friend who I appreciate and respect. Lei’ohu Ryder is a Kumu Aloha, an emissary of Aloha and an advocate for the indigenous soul in all people. She sees herself as a human being evolving and expressing her divine nature. She has shared her gifts all around the world throughout Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe, and North America.
A few years ago, I was saddened about a challenging relationship with someone dear to my heart. I had a wonderful Hawaiian healing session with Lei’ohu on Maui. Through her gentle sharing of ALOHA, I could feel healing energies were transmitted palpably to all the cells of my being. After the session, Lei’ohu told me that we would find peace again with AHONUI (patience) and through Ho’oponopono.
Here is an excerpt of how Lei’ohu described Ho’oponopono a few years ago:
‘The Ho’oponopono that I want to share with you about is really the one that is an internal journey, not so much the external journey. The internal journey of Aloha and Ho’oponopono reflects what is outside. Where I grew up, everybody was related because my great-grandfather had ten siblings. Harmony was maintained by making sure we had right relations with ourselves, each other, our community, and the islands.
These relationships were very vital because in order to survive, we needed to help each other out. And we needed to make sure that the family was cared for and the communication was open. When we were discussing family matters and Aloha, if there were things that needed to be done or if something was out of sorts, we never called it Ho’oponopono.
Within this village, relationships were so important, and we knew we had to take care of each other. Maintaining the integrity of Aloha and the integrity of ‘Ohana maintained the integrity of Ho’oponopono. If we were in harmony as Aloha and as ‘Ohana, embraced with the Divine in prayer, the Spirit, Ke Akua, God, we didn’t have to have Ho’oponopono per se.
What I came to know is the truest practice, and most ancient understanding of Ho’oponopono is being in integrity with oneself. I have come to understand that the truest intent of Ho’oponopono is to come to integrity within oneself so that even if another does not want to make Pono with with you, it does not matter. Be willing to accept who you are in this present moment.
Everything we are in this moment, we want to embrace now as Pono, as Aloha, as spirit. Because all that we have gone through, all the hurt, the heartache, all the choices, all the fear has led us to this now moment. We are who we are now by embracing who we were. The greatest Ho’oponopono we can be is to embrace all of ourselves and who we were, because who we were before brought us to Aloha in this moment.”
For me this is the most meaningful and truest of everything that I have heard or read about Ho’oponopono so far. At its core, Lei’ohu’s touching words are about integrity with ourselves and others, about our willingness to accept and fully embrace who we are right here, right now, and that it truly is an internal journey.
Another well-known technique to resolve internal issues that initially appear to originate from external sources is EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique. This method can be very effective and deliver quick results for forgiveness. EFT, or tapping, is an alternative treatment for physical pain and mental and emotional distress.
By tapping certain meridian points in your body, you can restore balance in your body’s energy. Meridian points are areas where the body energy flows through according to the Oriental medicine. These pathways help balance energy flow and maintain your health. While acupuncture uses needles, with EFT you use your fingertips for tapping to apply pressure.
In short, EFT tapping for forgiveness can be divided into the following five steps:
- Identify the issue: First identify the forgiveness issue you have. This will be your focal point while you’re tapping. Focusing on only one person or situation at a time will enhance your outcome.
- Test the initial intensity: After you identified what person or situation you’d like to work with, you set a benchmark level of intensity, which is rated on a scale from 0 to 10. The scale assesses the physical, mental, or emotional pain and discomfort you feel from not having yet forgiven.
- The wording: Prior to tapping, you define the words that refer to what you’re addressing. These words must focus on acknowledging the unresolved forgiveness and accepting yourself despite that. A statement could be: “Although I have not been able to forgive (…) yet, I completely accept and appreciate myself.” By saying this, you already take some pressure off from the pent-up tension before starting the tapping process.
- EFT tapping sequence: Each internal organ corresponds to major meridians and mirror each side of your body. EFT mainly focuses on these 9 points: Karate chops, eyebrows, side of the eyes, under the eyes, under the nose, above the chin, beginning of the collarbones, under the armpits, and on the top of the head. When you combine Ho’oponopono with EFT, you can use these words: “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.”
- Test the final intensity: At the end of your sequence, rate your intensity level again on a scale from 0 to 10. Compare your results with your initial intensity level (Step 2). Keep repeating this process until you reach a very low number on the scale.
Sometimes it is much easier to see someone demonstrating a technique than reading a written description So, I created one more video for you where I guide you through the entire tapping process, and as always, you’ll find another breathing exercise at the end.
My last blog for this series will be shared in two weeks, and I will finish this week’s blog with the following Hawaiian quote: ‘He ‘ike ‘ana ia i ka pono.’ It is a recognizing of the right thing. One has seen the right thing to do and has done it.
Mahalo Nui Loa,
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Yves Nager is a renowned author, transformational healer, workshop facilitator, as well as a world-class mapper, orienteerer and explorer. His soul-lead path through life has taken him far and wide seeking out answers and healing through visiting a vast array of sacred sites and learning from many wisdom keepers and influential teachers across the world.
Yves’s mission in life is to be a purpose-driven guide offering his healing gifts in service to others in order to reconnect them their deepest passion and true happiness. His mission combined with a vast amount of training and experience allows him to act as a soul-guide facilitating clients back to their own purpose and a deeper connection to life.
He is also the author of Hawaiian Rebirth: Questions, Stories and Strategies to Guide You to Your Life’s Purpose and a co-author of the Amazon bestseller, Inspired by the Passion Test. He also contributed a chapter to the book Ilahinoor – Awakening the Divine Human by Kiara Windrider.
Yves is passionate about supporting people in transcending their limitations, creating new possibilities and transforming their challenges into freedom. Having overcome many life obstacles himself, he truly understands the power of forgiveness and gratitude and believes that when we focus on the heart’s desires and intentions, we can create miracles. Yves is dedicated to helping people discover their unique gifts and live a purposeful life with clarity, vitality, joy, love and abundance.