My Chicago Love Letter Thank you I’m sorry Please forgive me

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

Ho’oponopono  atonement is a reconciliation, an overcoming of what has come before.It’s the gateway stepped through to become a better, more complete individual.  Sometimes this process is making up for a past wrong, at other times it is overcoming a crucible, a test, a major obstacle or challenge where we win the game, complete the degree, finish writing the novel we’ve put off writing for years, sell the product, do the thing we thought we couldn’t.  Meditation is one of my favorite meditations. You can read more about it in the book Zero Limits by Joe Vitale.

The Practice of Ho’oponopono
Begin by simply repeating the four phrases together:
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Although different mindfulness teachers will change the order of the 4 statements, I have found it profoundly moving no matter the order. Read more about this below.

The truth is I left Chicago as part of an escape to get away from an abusive relationship. My hero’s journey chose me. I didn’t plan on it. I loved my life in Chicagoland, in most parts. I especially felt deep fulfillment being the steward of Total Body Yoga. The Known World of my family and friends was everything to me. And not a day has gone by these last 7 years that I haven’t missed my old life in Vernon Hills. I never wanted to lose everything I owned, everything I knew, everyone I loved.

The Known World: What I remember most was feeling afraid for myself. I lacked essential freedoms. I wanted a way out of this hiding behind a perfect life because it wasn’t that way for me. (I’m sorry I had to leave.)

The Threshold: Towards the end of year 2 1/2 of my divorce process (which I didn’t make public) I met a man on a train in Italy who happened to live in Seattle. He was this Guardian for me and I was an Angel for him. The magic of our immediate connection was what gave me the courage to take steps to leave my familiar life in Vernon Hills. I started living in Seattle 1/1/10. (Thank you for amplifying my confidence.)

The Challenges: The experience of living on the other side of the United States without any family or friends was the next hardest thing I had ever had to face. What I missed most about “home” was my TRIBE at total body yoga. My community meant everything to me. They were my spiritual family unlike any I’ve ever known. Our time together was the mystical heart medicine I needed to heal while in my marriage. They supported me, they protected me, they believed in me, they inspired me to be my best self. Most of all, they loved me unconditionally. I finally felt no longer abandoned or alone which were wounds I carried half my life after the sudden death of my Father. I love you all so much and have carried the burden of shame in disappearing without proper closure and ritual.

The other challenges in going to the UNKNOWN territory are the usual suspects and more. I will be sharing the details in my Hero’s Journey Musings this month. (Please forgive me for not doing a better job at saying goodbye.)

Transformation: I traveled the world these years seeking answers. I found them. I met and studied intently with my best teachers: Great Spirit, my pain, my joy, divine love, sunshine, soft baby grass, and the blessed waters that fill our rivers and oceans. I have also studied with today’s great master teachers both names you know and those you don’t know. I invested in myself. I was selfish in order to transmute my pain into lessons. I was also very lonely.

I felt like I had to do this alone. I was wrong for that. I wasn’t strong enough to allow you to see me weak, confused, failing, trying, over efforting. I assumed you didn’t want to see my struggle. I incorrectly believed that you only loved me if I was perfect. Through this all rightly or wrongly I transformed. (I love you for giving me another chance to befriend you.)

Revelation: So many things have been revealed but one of the most important is what Brene Brown teaches, our vulnerability is our greatest strength. Letting go of control is essential to be born again fully into this life. Not only is surrender required for spiritual growth, once you think you are there then you must surrender MORE. Surrounding ourselves with people that accept us as we are without judgement makes ordinary happiness easier to maintain.

The Atonement: I stayed many dragons during these 7 years away from Chicagoland. Atonement is defined as a reconciliation, an overcoming of what has come before.It’s the gateway stepped through to become a better, more complete individual.  Sometimes this process is making up for a past wrong, at other times it is overcoming a crucible, a test, a major obstacle or challenge, complete the degree, finish writing the novel we’ve put off writing for years, do the thing we thought we couldn’t.

I mostly have met myself as the greatest saboteur to my happiness. I teach people now from the Yoga Sutras “How to unblock the obstacles to Happiness.” First I had to figure out what was holding me back only to discover my greatest obstacles was me. Once I recognized this everything changed. We get strongest through our weakest side, we are capable of anything.

The Return: The Hero returns to everyday life at a higher spiritual level and with the gifts gained along the way.

Yes I am back. I hope you will allow me to be welcomed back.

At the very least I hope you offer me a second chance at being a better friend, teacher, guide, leader of inspiration. It took me 7 years to get to this point. I couldn’t do it faster than this because everything has been for my SOUL’s growth and evolution. Now I’d be honored if you allow me to share the magical lessons I’ve gained so as to make it easier for you to love yourself, love your day, love your life!

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

“I’m Sorry. Please Forgive Me.”
If your goal is to focus on the positive—on those things that produce satisfaction, meaning, serenity, and joy—and you notice that you have been lost in replaying an argument you had with someone, or that you are wrapped in images of hurt, criticism, complaint or blame, you can instantly refocus by repeating, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me,” from your heart until you feel a sense of peace.

“Thank You. I Love You.”
Then, as peace enters you – and if you are genuine in asking for forgiveness, peace will indeed enter – you can respond to it with “Thank you. I love you.” Your thanks is for the gift of recognizing the negative thought, and for the relief that came when you chose to apologize for it. Your love is an appreciation for choosing to let go of the negative, to embrace the healing, the cleansing of it from your mind. And with your sincere utterance of gratitude and love, you set off a wave of joy.

You Are Responsible
According to the teachings of Ho’oponopono (and just about every other system of well-being as well), you are responsible for everything that you experience. Everything you see, think, notice, hear and feel is a creation of your own mind. All your reactions and interpretations are of your making, based in memories from the past.

Have you become upset? Are you irritated? Pressured? Repulsed? Disgusted? Distressed? Accept that you are reacting to nothing but memory, apologize and ask forgiveness, over and over and over again, until you feel release. Then give thanks for the grace that cleansed your mind and freed you from the weight of your burden.

Circumstances arise that expose us to our shadows, to the places in us where darkness dwells. They come as teachers, to give us an opportunity to see our errors of interpretation and to shine the correcting light of truth on them. Ho’oponopono’s mantra brings the correcting light. It’s not necessary to understand what caused the darkness or why; you only need to release it, and the mantra ushers in the release.

When a troublesome person enters your sphere, he or she, too, has come to teach you peace and joy. As you watch your automatic negative reactions rise, egin your inner mantra. “I’m sorry that I react to this person so negatively. I’m sorry that I have closed my heart and mind. I’m sorry that I’m not really listening, that I’m not seeing the person behind the behavior. Please forgive me. I’m sorry. Thank you. I love you.”

Whether you think so at the moment or not, on some level you love even the annoying or threatening one who is standing before you. In different circumstances, at a different time, you would clearly see what is there to be loved. Repeat “I love you” as you listen to the rant. See how it calms and centers you. See how it softens the moment. See how it impacts and transforms not only you but the one who came to teach you in the first place.

Moments of Beauty and Joy
When you first begin the practice of reciting this mantra, you may find that many repetitions are needed before you feel it doing its work in you. But after you have some experience, a single whisper of “I’m sorry” will immediately dissolve your negativity and leave a bright and peaceful positivity in its place.

Your “thank you” will steadily grow more heartfelt and more joyful, and the “I love you” will pour from you in sparkling streams. More of your moments will be spent in positivity—in engagement, amusement, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration and awe. Then the “thank you; I love you” becomes a vehicle for the up-welling of pleasure and delight, a means for expressing your genuine gratitude for life’s boundless goodness and grace.

Expanded Possibilities
When you are no longer reacting to the present moment on the basis of something you learned or experienced in the past—whether the ‘past’ was two seconds or decades ago—you are released to live in the present. You begin to see things as they are, uncolored by your projections and interpretations.

And because your heart and mind are no longer constricted, you discover that you are more creative and inventive, more open to the broad range of possibilities that each moment holds, more playful, more at peace.

In a word, you become happier. And isn’t that, after all, what each of us truly wants?

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