A balanced life - Week 5 in the Daily Notes Of Encouragement blog series
Depending on our frame of mind, a balanced life can mean a lot of things. It may look something like having good sleeping habits, eating a healthy diet for your body-type, having a well rounded spiritual/mental practice, spending some time doing physical activities, etc ... A balanced life may also look like enjoying a healthy work/school/home life with enough laughs and good times to equal out the difficult/stressful and grievous times. There seem to be so many areas in "life" where we could be better balanced, aren't there?
In my contemplation of living a more balanced life, I came across the word "Ho'Oponopono", a hawaiian word (and practice) that roughly translates "to make things right" or "bring back into balance" (https://graceandlightness.com/hooponopono-hawaiian-prayer-for-forgiveness/). . For the purposes of this short post, my interpretation of Living a Balanced Life starts deep within myself, and then expands to other areas of my life and the lives of those I care about, think about, and surround myself with.
How can we have an outwardly balanced life if our internal being is wavering, fearful, resentful, overwhelmed, and overworked? When we begin to look deep within ourselves, we will usually find that we have some healing to do from past decisions we've made, harmful ways we've talked to ourselves and others, past hurts, etc ... When we can start to forgive ourselves and heal deep within, our whole inner and outer world will slowly transform. We may start to see things in a more positive light than previously. We may notice that our relationships with people transform into more healthy ones as a result of our change in attitude/demeanor. We may look at circumstances differently and see possibilities where we didn't see them before. Life may become increasingly more bright and optimistic.
Our eyes and hearts may be opened to see, hear, and feel the beauty in life alongside the ugliness - and that beauty we see may just spread color onto the ugliness to transform it into its own form of blessing or strength.
Ho'Oponopono is such a simple, easy, and free practice to perform and it takes only a few minutes. Just a few minutes a day reciting this concept or mantra/prayer can make a world of difference in our psyche and attitude toward ourselves as well as others.
Ho'Oponopono is about feeling and expressing
Forgiveness (asking and receiving)
When first repeating this mantra, I find it helpful to envision saying it to myself to improve my own wellbeing and outlook. Once I've filled my own mental & emotional cup and recharged my inner batteries, I then repeat it with other people as my focus. Some days I repeat this while envisioning someone I feel I have wronged or feel ill-will toward (or who I feel may have wronged me in some way). Some days I repeat this while envisioning someone whom I feel needs an extra jolt of love and compassion that day. Some days I just spend the entire time envisioning myself if I am having a day of self-doubt, self-pity, or perceived guilt about something.
When we balance our own lives (our inner world) by showing contrition, forgiveness, gratitude, and love toward ourselves it will be easier and more natural to show the same toward others. There will always be days when we have to fake it, but that is totally fine. Close your eyes and say the words anyway, repeat them 5,8,10+ times as necessary. Our brain hears the words even if we say them in angst. It hears the words and absorbs them like nutrients ... nourishing our souls from the inside out, eventually allowing us to feel them.
This practice can have amazing results if you allow yourself to really feel the words as you say them. There isn't a wrong way to practice it, so make it your own and do what feels right to you.
Here are the steps. Below the steps You will see links to the guided meditations via InsightTimer and YouTube.
STEP 1: Find yourself in a comfortable seated position. Close your eyes. Feel free to place your hands over your heart center or leave them comfortably in your lap. If you happen to be in public and can not sit down or close your eyes, you can practice standing up with your eyes open.
STEP2: Call to mind any of the following
Yourself ... repeat the mantra 8-10 times
Someone you feel you have wronged ... repeat the mantra 8-10 times
Someone you feel has wronged you ... repeat the mantra 8-10 times
Someone you think needs to feel the compassion of these words
STEP 3: The mantra/prayer
You will repeat this phrase silently to yourself or out loud between 8-10 times as you deeply feel the meaning of each word. If you don't "deeply feel" the meaning - that is totally ok - repeat it anyway.
Please Forgive me
I love you
STEP 4: Take a deep breath in .... exhale love and compassion to the recipient and yourself.
This week's downloadable Affirmations PDF
This week's guided Ho'Oponopono meditations (with focus on ourselves as the recipient)
Slightly different version of "Making Things Right Within"
Pranayama: Variation of Diaphragmatic Breathing
Not mentioned in the video below, but worth noting: When we can strengthen our diaphragm & allow it to work at its full potential it will improve the capacity for oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange as well as improving function of the bladder and bowels. You see, when we take a deep inhale, the diaphragm contracts, moves in a downward position (flattens) pulling air into the lungs (medline plus). It also creates abdominal pressure to help expel urine, feces, etc ... (medlineplus) https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/diaphragm