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Practicing Nonviolence Towards Yourself

Yogi Cameron

Practicing Nonviolence toward yourself … a thought provoking concept originally proposed over 2000 years ago by the Indian sage Patanjali, and brought to my attention by Yogi Cameron Alborzian, in his book “The One Plan”.

I have learned a lot about taking care of my physical health.  With the help of my family I have healed myself over the years from some very dark depths.   And there are times like last summer when I was feeling on top of the world, indestructible, fully alive…I was doing brilliantly what Patanjali would describe as practicing nonviolence towards my body.  And there are times when I make some very poor eating and health choices … even though I know better.  Yogi Cameron would say that I was committing physical violence against my body.

Every once and awhile I come across something that shifts my perception of reality…and this concept of practicing nonviolence was one of them.

“Physical violence is any violence that harms someone else’s body or our own.”   Yogi Cameron states that making poor food and eating decisions cam be considered as committing  physical violence against yourself.

Here are some selected behaviors that Yogi Cameron feels most of us consider a normal part of life but that actually do harm to our bodies.   Think about them … they hit me in-between the eyes, because they rang with truth:

We eat late at night – causing us to wake up feeling stiff and lethargic

We eat processed and genetically modified foods – we ingest toxicity into our body

We eat foods from far away – this compromises the nutritional value of the food

We eat meat – most animals come from farms using artificial growing practices and polluted water.  As well the more difficult foods are to digest the more resources our bodies have to commit to processing them.

We eat large meals – when we give the stomach too much to digest, it has to work overtime to process everything…this can compromise the immune system as well and also causes us to be sick more often

OK … can you check off “yes” to any of these?

I am certainly better than I used to be at practicing nonviolence .. but I still fall prey to these things way too often.  I’ll tell you, having Yogi Cameron look me in the eyes (well through the print of a book…lol) and tell me that I was being violent to my own body, certainly hits harder than telling myself I am just sneaking a cheat food.

We are always on a journey through life.   We may have a certain destination in our lives … but we go on and off course all the time, just like a jet flight from Toronto to Punta Cana.  The key, when we temporarily fall off course is to just re-adjust our settings and get back on course.

This concept of practicing nonviolence just straightened out my course again.  It is causing me to redefine my definition of normality again.

I love it when things just come together!   Isn’t life amazing!

Simplification by Elimination


I came across the concept of “simplification by elimination” while reading The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris.  Actually I should say RE-reading the book because I read it about 3 or 4 years ago.  I remember it really impacted me at that time and I implemented a few concepts from it.  But the funny thing is that upon reading it this time, I was struck by something completely different!  They say that you will get what you need when you are ready for it….and what I hadn’t realized until I read this the other night was that I had added too many things into my life.  I was interested in all of them..but there were getting to be so many things that they were starting to slowly bury me.  So I took a deep breath in, and started to decide how I would implement the concept of simplification by elimination.

In the book there is a great quote from the immortal Bruce Lee:  “One does not accumulate but eliminate.  It is not daily increase but daily decrease.  The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”

Today I will share with you one small thing I did which has really helped simplify my life utilizing the concept of simplification by elimination.

The very first thing I did was reflect on how my blackberry seemed to be ruling my life of late.  I was at it’s beck and call.  I started thinking back to a time when there were no such things as “smart?” phones.  How the heck did we ever survive?  Pretty nicely actually!   When I was doing something…I was there 100%.  I didn’t have to shift my attention the moment I heard a bing or a ding.  I mean of late it is the last thing I look at before I go to bed, the first thing I look at when I wake up, I look at it when I am walking the dog, I pull over when I am riding my bike to make sure I am not missing anything “critical”.    And many of these important things I get to just in the nick of time are things like Best Buy telling me they have a special sale in 3 weeks, or Facebook telling me I have very important updates waiting for me, or my favorite…learning that some poor soul in a 3rd world country just needs my help to get 40 million dollars out of their country and because I am such a trusted soul they will give me 10 million just to give them my bank account number and passwords.

I have even begun priding myself on the fact that I will return an email, text or BBM within seconds, 24-7.

But why?  Does it really matter?  Does it really make a difference? Nope.

Tim says to eliminate all the things that are not critical, or at least delegate them to someone else.

So I asked myself, what was the core reason for me to have my Blackberry?  The answer was that I want to be available to my family in the case they needed me.  This is critical to me.

So I have all my emails directed to my smartphone, and also texts and BBMs.  Well the rest of my family all have iPhones…so I decided I could afford not to worry about BBMs.

What I ended up doing was adjust the settings on the phone so that it was on silent.   Then I was able to set a distinctive sound JUST for my family members (they need to be entered in your phone as contacts).   Oh my gosh…I was so happy…and when I tested it out it actually worked.  Any texts, emails or calls that are from anyone other than those people I consider critical will just be silent.  And any of them from my family “ding”!    What it allows me to do is to just have my phone put away, or turned upside down on my desk and not worry that I am missing something very important!  I can’t even tell you what a difference that has made for me in the last couple of days.  Today for example in a meeting, I just set it by m side and totally ignored it…it allowed me to focus on the meeting so much more!  Simplification by elimination.  Thanks Tim.

The other big thing I did was take Facebook off my Blackberry.  This was actually my daughters suggestion.  Another big hassle eliminated.   I found that if I had commented “oh so cute” on a baby picture, any time anyone then commented on it it would let me know on my smartphone by lighting up and binging.  If there is anything less critical than that … I don’t know what it would be lol! 

I am a big fan of Tim Ferris…he is always exploring and experimenting .  I find it very inspiring.  You can check out his 4 Hour Work week blog here.

Try some simplification by elimination for yourself!  Feel free to share your results with our other readers by commenting below.



Ho’oponopono – Take Total Responsibility

Ho’oponopono.  What the heck is Ho’oponopono?

I want to share with you a book that I have probably read 8 times, cover to cover over the past couple of years, and each time it has always cut to the roots of my soul. The book is entitled “Zero Limits – The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace and More” by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len, PhD.    There is something about this book that connects with me, deeply, and yet never in exactly the same way.
Here is a quote from Morrhan Nalamaku Simeona, the creator of modern Ho’oponopono, and who was named a Living Treasure by the State of Hawaii in 1983: “Ho’oponopono is a profound gift that allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word and deed, or action be cleansed.  The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past.”
Read that quote about Ho’oponopono over and over, and try to let it sink into your mind and your soul.  What does it mean?  How can it help us?  I think to really understand what she is saying, you need to read the book (I got it from Chapters, but maybe it is available from your local library?)
The book details Joe Vitale’s quest to meet the man who has carried on the tradition of Ho’oponopono.  Joe had found an article on the internet about a counsellor who had healed an entire wing of “mental hospital” with out ever seeing the patients.  Joe was intrigued to find out more about this, and it started him down a road of self discovery.
I am not sure I can describe with any degree of clarity what exactly Ho’oponopono is, and how it works, but each time I read it, digest it, and practice it…it gets a little bit clearer (at least in my own mind) for me.  Ho’oponopono is about taking personal responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life, whether you feel it is your doing or not.  It is about working on yourself, on healing yourself.  And only then, once you have healed yourself on that matter, can that matter be solved.

4 Basic Phrases of Ho’oponopono

Dr. Hew Len taught Joe (and many others) 4 basic phrases to say constantly in Ho’oponopono, to work on yourself, in a process he calls “cleaning”.
I am sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you
If you feel you have been wronged by someone, Dr. Hew Len is saying that in Ho’oponopono you have to clean your own mind, your own thoughts, and only by doing this will you help the situation.  So if someone does something you think is backstabbing you, you need to take personal responsibility for causing it somehow, because reality only exists inside your mind…so somehow you must have created the incident.  It is YOUR life.
What threw me at first is I thought I was being asked to say those words to the person I was angry with.  Why should I ask this person to forgive me, when they have been the one who has wronged me?  But with further readings about Ho’oponopono in the book, it began to dawn on me that I am saying this to myself, to the higher consciousness or the Divine within myself.  As Dr. Hew Len said “I was simply cleaning the part of me that I share with them.”
Ho’oponopono says that there are 2 ways to live your life, “from memory or from inspiration.  Memories are old programs replaying.  Inspiration is the Divine giving you a message.  The only way to hear the Divine and receive inspiration is to clean all memories.  The only thing you have to do is clean.”
This is so powerful.

Ho’oponopono: Memories or Inspiration?

Are you just replaying old thoughts again and again and again?    Is your mind cluttered with old memories (that may not even be accurate any more) that do nothing except cause you to hold yourself down, to not allow yourself to achieve the happiness and greatness that you could.
What would it be like if you could actually free your mind to receive inspiration directly from the Divine?  How empowering would that be?  How different would you feel?  How would your life be different.
The other day I was out for my power walk.  There is an intersection with a very quick light, and so the do not walk sign flashes up before I can even take a few steps.  I waited as I should for the light to turn green, and started to cross in a proper fashion.  As I was crossing, a car pulled up close to me and honked.  I turned and saw an older gentleman sitting there, quite irate, shaking his finger back and forth, and pointing to the do now walk sign (however the traffic signal was still green).   He was so mad at me, when the do not walk clearly said DO NOT WALK.
I kept walking, feeling shaken, and then an anger overcame me.  I thought what a pompous crusty old bugger.  I’ll bet he has never bothered to walk across a road, he always drives his big old Benz.  But then I began to think about Ho’oponopono.  I thought about what I had read, and realized that I had caused this somehow.  I had to take personal responsibility for it, and clean my mind.  So I said what I had learned…
I am sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you
IMMEDIATELY all my anger and feeling of hurt dissipated.  My breathing calmed and cleared.  I felt strangely serene and happy.  It was wonderful.
Whenever I think of things from the past, things that are not happy, I realize I am living my life from memories that keep replaying.  No matter how bad they are, I just say those four phrases over and over and over…and I always, every single time…feel better.  There is something so magical and so powerful about Ho’oponopono.
Here is a link to a Ho’oponopono page on the web.  I am sure you can find other goodies if you look.
Please, if you have an opportunity, read this book.  You may read it and think I am a lunatic and it is a bunch of mumbo jumbo….but you may also read it, and something about it may strike the core of your soul as it has struck mine.
Peace of I