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the soul desires expression

the soul desires expression

we are all broken

each one of us

not just those who so generously

let us let it witness it,

but every human being

tied to her human family

with the pain, strife, war and famine

that have lived before us

and so live IN us also

 

we are here 

to learn to live

in the excruciating pain

of our humanity

 

we are here to acknowledge

our vulnerabilities,

to encounter

our shadows

 

we are here to be humbled

by the depth of our ancestral pain,

to walk into our shadowlands

accompanied by

the compassionate witness

who waits and watches and comforts,

who knows

that this baptism of fire

is the first step

towards our next evolution.

 

we have survived

that is true

but now we must learn to heal,

to spend time

giving to our ancestors

that compassion

which they didn't

have the luxury 

to gift themselves.

 

we must make room for each other's suffering

we must not look away from each other's agony

or hide from our own.

 

we are survivors,

but that which we ignored

in order to move forward

must now be brought

tenderly

into the light.

 

only the strong have survived

and so we are terrified

of our weaknesses

our damage

our despair

our defeat

our sensitivity

our hearts

broken beyond repair

 

but these precious defeats

live inside us

alongside our stories

of survival,

 silenced.

 so that the strong

can continue to inherit our earth

 

these rejects

ignored and shunned,

hold knowledge

we can no longer

afford to do without

they call out from within us,

they are desperate,

sending the best of us

to graves dug by our very own hands

 

these untouchables

 

 

connect us

with the ground beneath of feet

teach us the necessity of humility,

open doors

that have been locked

for the millennium.

 

they wait to guide us

gently

back

to our wholeness

both the darkness and the light

acknowledged at last.

 

our brokenness

is our way forward,

may we embrace it

may we acknowledge it

may we make room

for our greatest teacher.

 

9/11 and the mission of Freedom Song

9/11 and the mission of Freedom Song

Today is September 11th and I am reminded of the many ways the world changed on that fateful day, 17 years ago.

Mark and I were living in downtown Manhattan at the time, and when we were finally allowed back into our apartment we found it covered in the toxic, white dust that settled all over our beloved city.

The city that we loved, that had provided us with all we needed to make our creative dreams come true, changed almost overnight into a place where scared immigrants displayed the stars and stripes in their front windows, hoping it would be enough to save them from attack.

We read with horror accounts of sikh shop owners who had been killed for wearing turbans and we watched as fear mongering nationalists hijacked the city. 

Within a month of the attacks we decided to return home to New Zealand.

Since then the world has become a darker and more divided place than ever. The fear and division caused on that day has grown so much that when I look at America today I feel desperate about the future.

There are more refugees and displaced people than ever before, (67 million at last count) and new nationalist movements are taking the fear and anxiety of our age and using it to fuel their political ambitions.

I think many of us are feeling apprehensive about the future.

When the attacks happened all those years ago, I took refuge in my faith and in words that helped me to make sense of the chaos all around me. Freedom Song was a touchstone poem that I carried around with me back then, and I remember reading it during my toughest times to bring clarity to the confusion.

And now 17 years later that same poem is now a beautiful hard cover gift book and the message it brings is more relevant than ever. It looks at the world and all its heartbreak and gives a solution for these strange and divided times we are currently navigating.

The message is simple but very important at this time. We know deep in our hearts that our shared humanity is all that really counts, and yet sometimes we need a timely reminder.

People have told me that they have cried or choked up when they first read Freedom Song. This makes me happy because I know that it is doing its work and making us think about the big picture, and more importantly helping us to tap into how we are feeling about the way the world is right now.

Freedom Song didn't spring from a focus group or to plug a gap in the market, the words sprang from the depth of my soul, as it struggled to make sense of the human suffering it encountered.

It brought a message of love and connection to me at a time when I most needed and it and it exists now in the form of this book to connect with your soul in an authentic and healing way.

Freedom Song has changed and evolved with me through the last two decades. I was lucky to find the unique and wonderful paintings of Ewan McDougall to illustrate the deep themes running through the words. 

I wrote the first draft of the poem when I was in my early 20s and working as a journalist on a documentary with Rena Owen from the award winning New Zealand film, "Once Were Warriors". We were talking to people whose lives were similar to those depicted in the movie.

I was shocked when we met a young woman who told us the story of the death of her baby at the hands of her partner and how she had taken the rap and blamed post-natal depression to save her partner the jail time.

I thought I was pretty worldly twenty something but this confession broke my heart. There seemed to be little emotion in the woman's retelling and I was shocked and saddened by the lack of love, and devastating violence that was at the centre of her life. 

I felt helpless to do anything to make this woman's life any better and  her story was only one of many sad stories I heard through my research. I went to bed that night with a very heavy heart.

I fell into a fitful sleep and in the middle of the night woke to a urge to write. What emerged was the first draft of "Freedom Song". The words somehow distilled my distress and pain into a rhyming poem that answered some of the deep questions that I couldn't answer in my woken life. 

The words came from a deep well within that was working hard as I slept to bring meaning to my world. The whimsical tone, and compassionate words brought me peace that night and it has done the same thing on many nights since.

Freedom Song is a celebration of our shared humanity and a song of hope in these strange and uncertain times.

It came to me as a gift of clarity at a time when I really needed it. Now I offer it to the world with the same intention...may it bring peace, clarity and joy to all who come across it.

And in this same spirit I will donate a percentage of profits from Freedom Song to the Save the Children charity.

 

 

Heal fraught relationships with Ho’oponopono

Heal fraught relationships with Ho’oponopono

We all have people in our lives that we worry about. They may be in the clutches of addiction, they may be unwell, or we may have become estranged from them because of their bad behaviour. 

There are also people in our lives who hurt us and make us angry and whose very presence feels toxic to us.

Ho’ponopono is an ancient, simple and effective way to heal these relationships while at the same time healing ourselves and spreading the qualities of love and harmony in our world. 

Ho’oponopono originated in Hawaii as a healing method based on forgiveness. In it, the practitioner visualizes the person that has wronged them or that they have wronged and they say these four sentences to them in their mind.

I’m sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you

According to the Hawaiian worldview, the literal translation of Ho'oponopono is ‘to put to right; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.” 

According to Jonathan Davis on Uplift, Ho'oponopono came to wider attention through the work of a Hawaiian shaman, Dr. Hew Len. His perspective is the idea of taking responsibility for more than your personal self because ‘you are in me and I am in you’. His way of expressing Ho’oponopono contains an awareness that the discordance we find in others and in the world outside ourselves is due to ‘errors’ in thought stored in our personal and collective memories.

Read this interesting article for more information:

https://upliftconnect.com/hawaiian-practice-of-forgiveness/

It is advised to keep repeating the four sentences until you feel a shift - a more harmonious energy between you and the person you are visualising.

I know that it can seem counter-intuitive to say sorry to someone who has wronged you, but this practice is at the core of the unconventional wisdom of Ho’oponopono and when you use these four powerful sentences the wisdom will be revealed.

I have found when using it I can finally understand the problem from the point of view of the person that has hurt me, and I can understand the hurt in their own lives that have led them to act in such a way.

Through this process, I can often find true compassion for someone who has hurt me, and from there it is easier to think good thoughts about that person and to wish them well.

Ho’oponopono also works well with people that are unwell mentally and physically. And when you feel powerless to help somebody who is grieving, or who are suffering these four sentences can show us a way to connect with the person in a loving and life-giving way.

 The best part is that we don’t need to be in someone’s physical presence for Ho’oponopono to be effective. We can be separated from this person by geography or time and it still works just as wonderfully.

 We can also send Ho’oponopono to our loved ones who have died. It is a great way for us to recognize that this person is still alive but just not in this world. We can send them our love and our forgiveness and our gratitude and it is heartening to feel connected to those we are missing in the physical world.

Ho’oponopono offers forgiveness, love, and harmony to fraught relationships and can bring relief and healing. It is a simple and effective medicine for the soul and it is worth trying so you can feel for yourself the transformative potential of four simple, short sentences.

Give it a try with someone that has wronged you, or whom you have wronged and please let me know how it goes for you.

I'm sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you

And to help you use Ho'oponopono effectively I have a meditation video that can help you bring the practice into your daily life in a very simple way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=B6Z-Rbmz1vM