As well as winding down my old lifestyle – one in which I was perfectly happy, by the way, but which I’m changing anyway (from July 6th, I switch from eating dead food to eating only living food, so goodbye cake, chips, cookies, morning coffee, pasta, potatoes, bread, happiness and fun) – I’ve been experimenting with a crazy but fascinating new approach to life’s problems.
I picked up a book over the weekend by Dr Joe Vitale (pictured left with Mandy Evans, a woman with whom he is obviously well acquainted, while leaving the rest of us mystified). Joe was one of the stars of the movie The Secret – specifically, the little bald Italian star with the hippy necklace – and he’s written a string of self-help books, including the one I just bought: Zero Limits, which contains ideas so amazing that it completely stopped me getting any work done yesterday while I plowed through it.
It’s based on Joe’s discovery of ho’oponopono – the almost-impossible-to- spell-or-say Hawaiian technique for getting what you want out of life.
Basically, the trick to h0’oponopono (sadly, the Hawaiians are a proud people, they refuse to abbreviate anything) is that you rethink your issues. Instead of seeing a problem as being between you and, let’s say, another person, you take full, 100% responsibility for it, blaming no-one and nothing. From then on, your job becomes, not to solve the problem, but to be at peace with the energy behind it. Do that, and the problem will solve itself.
Sounds easy, right?
Nothing in life happens by chance, Joe argues in the book, so every difficult person or annoying issue you face comes your way for a reason, to teach you something. It wouldn’t be there if you didn’t have to learn from it.
But here’s the thing: for once, rather than point fingers and blame others for whatever situation you find yourself in, you do the opposite. You drop the whole blame-game angle, chant four little phrases in your mind to counteract the negativity and make peace with ‘the Divine’, as he calls it, and hey presto.
Now, this might seem ridiculous – what am I saying, might? – but I’ve been giving it a go these past couple of days, and I have to say, not only does it begin to make total sense after a while, but it actually works. I’ve already had a couple of small miracles happen this week as a result of this – and it’s only Tuesday. Astonishing. I might not be able to pronounce the technique I’m using, but that doesn’t stop me being impressed by it, or making it my New Big Thing.
Better still, ho’oponopono feels like a miraculous offshoot of the Peters Paradox.
What that says is: the harder you try in life, the more conscientious you are, and the more you commit to achieving something, the less successful you are likely to be overall; whereas the more you slope off and enjoy life, the higher you will rise and the more you will get accomplished. God loves a slacker, remember that.
The validity of the Paradox was proved yet again for me yesterday when I heard about a guy I used to work with at London’s major FM station, Capital Radio, in the ’80s. He was a reporter, but also the dullest, most uninspired, dead-eyed, limp, personality-free individual I have ever met. Back then, we used to consider him the benchmark for tedium. Even his voice had no expression to it and a conversation with him on any level left you feeling numb and desperate to get away.
Well, yesterday I came across him again, through a website. I discovered that, later on, Mr. Dull not only became mega-successful, but rose to the very top of the British entertainment business, running entire TV networks and production companies along the way. He’s now a major figure in the UK. Though, to judge by his picture and the expression on his face, his personality is exactly the same. That is to say, he doesn’t have one.
Anyway, back to the plot: this latest technique I’ve discovered fits very well into the Paradox too.
All you do is pick a problem, but instead of getting in a froth about it, like you normally would, this time you take a different approach. This time, internally, you say, “I love you. Please forgive me. I’m sorry. Thank you.” Over and over again ’til you believe them.
You aim these phrases, not at the issue or person causing the friction, though, but rather at “the Divine”, or whatever you choose to call it. This leaves you feeling relaxed and at peace with the issue, and lets the Divine do all the work to solve the problem. And as you know, letting other people solve your problems for you is very much a central tenet of the Peters Paradox.
Naturally, there’s more to it than that. There must be, because Joe spins it out into an entire book. Plus there are workshops you can attend and audiobooks you can buy. But I suggest as a starting point that you hurry to check out Zero Limits and see what, if anything, this amazing, unpronounceable little trick can do for you.
TV Swami – he off-topic today. But he say YES to ho’oponopono.
Don’t forget to watch Fast and Very Loose, Cash’s short movie. It’s more fun than you’ve had in a while.
Also, follow me on Twitter @cashpeters. I mean, y’know, only if you want to.