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"I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." I silently repeated these words of ho'oponopono after sideswiping a mountain with my car today. Nobody was hurt and I am now safely at Steve Robinson's log cabin home in Somes Bar, CA. The accident occurred around 4:30pm between Hoopa and Weitchpec, the middle of cell phone nowhere, on the narrow winding 96. I was driving passengers Rose and Tyh, the wwoofers Steve invited to help launch his garden this year in exchange for room and board.

I pulled over and we assessed the damage (missing hubcap and mirror, broken parking light and door handle, major scraping, and tire warpage on the bicycles racked on the back of the car). We all acknowledged feeling lucky to be unscathed. The car continued to run and handle just fine so Tyh took over driving and I rode shotgun while quietly invoking the Hawaiian mantra of reconciliation and forgiveness. "I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you."

As expected, invoking ho'oponopono helped me maintain a sense of peace and physical relaxation. I directed the energy behind the words at both of my new friends and at the universe at large. I didn't really think about whether to do this, I just noticed it happening. I was conscious of my calmness and realized it indicated presence. I also found solace in having an instinctive reaction of gratitude. I see this as a sign my aspiration toward pronoia (the belief the universe is conspiring on our behalf) has greatly advanced. These terms appear regularly at Manifest Positivity and reflect what I've recently started calling secular spirituality.

I first heard about ho'oponopono last fall from Sondra Schaub when I got involved with Humboldt Mediation Services. Shortly after that I saw this video of Meredith Aldrich talking about ho'oponopono. At the time, I kind of liked the idea but didn't integrate it in my life or imagine that it had sunk in as deeply as today revealed.

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Dave Berman, C.Ht. has extensive training and experience in Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Life Coaching. He is also a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, Ivy League graduate (B.S. in Communication from Cornell University), and a (more...)

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