This year in Drum Circle we’re working our way through the seven Huna principles, as defined by Serge Kahili King in The Urban Shaman.
The principles provide guidance on how to improve your life through healing relationships between mind/body, humans/nature, matter/spirit. This is done by cultivating love, gratitude, and compassion to overcome negative fear driven emotions such as guilt, envy, and anger. Thus, releasing the power that fear has over you and freeing you to shape your life with joy.
Put simply, they’re another way of packaging universal truths that remind us how to be healthy and happy.
This month, we’re working with the first principle…
The world is what you think it is
So, is today the oldest you’ve ever been or the first day of the rest of your life? Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Or do you know that it’s refillable?
The world is neutral. It’s only through the filter of our thoughts that it becomes good or bad. Even quantum mechanics has shown that things can change based on how we choose to measure them.
Perception and consciousness make things true. Is the world scary or safe? Abundant or not enough? Are you healthy and happy?
We dream our lives into being using focus, imagination and intent. So why not dream something fabulous?
You might think it’s naive to walk around thinking things are good when so much is wrong with the world, but what’s the alternative? As I read recently, there’s no point worrying about things you can’t change, and no point worrying about things you can. When left with the choice to feel good or bad, feeling good seems obvious.
Whether you think you can or think you can’t - you’re probably right
The placebo effect has shown repeatedly that our mind can heal just as well as medication. Even in some studies when people knew they were taking a placebo.
Loving and kind thoughts benefit our health. Expressing gratitude is one of the most psychologically powerful ways to fight feelings of sadness, anger and depression. Five minutes a day has been shown to increase longevity 5-10%.
Confidence, determination, love, and forgiveness make us well and increase performance. When you perform an act of kindness, you strengthen your immune system, the other person's immune system, and anyone else who witnesses it.
But thoughts can also make us ill. Negative fear-based thoughts like worry, anger and resentment deplete our immune systems. Bad memories aren’t upsetting because of what happened, they’re upsetting because of what you think about what happened.
Be mindful of your thoughts, they are shaping your life
In The Four Agreements, Toltec teachings that overlap and complement the Huna principles beautifully, Don Miguel Ruiz explains that we’ve been domesticated. Raised in our tribes we mindlessly take on their thinking patterns. Both Huna and Toltec teachings encourage us to review our beliefs and question whether what we think is actually true. What made you think that way? When/where did you form that opinion? Is it still true for you?
Thoughts are our choice, with practice we can shift and control them. When people cut you off in traffic it’s no more personal than the wind changing direction. Don’t waste energy getting upset, use it as an opportunity to practice. Learn to laugh it off and your world, at least in your car, will be a happier place.
The world is what you think it is - and what you think is your choice. You decide.
The movie Groundhog Day is a great metaphor for how the Universe teaches us. Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is sick of the world and stuck in a town he doesn’t appreciate. He becomes trapped, waking to the same song on the radio each day, and having all the same situations play out - until he gets the lessons.
Life is much the same. Before we take our skin suit we work out what it is that we want to learn during this earth walk and, while we’re here, the Universe orchestrates situations to help us learn.
Often it feels frustrating. We forget our grand plan or our higher purpose and get bogged down in the physical manifestation of things until we finally hear ourselves think “why does this keep happening to me?” If you’ve ever posed yourself that question, read on. If not, congratulations and keep learning.
The seven Huna principles is just one approach to breaking patterns and, as with most things, it’s pretty effective. Hold a pattern you would like to change in your awareness, then gently reflect on it using each of the seven principles.
The world is what you think it is
If you tell yourself you’re stuck, then you are. Try instead to think of your life as a story, where each situation or character in has been created to help you learn something.
Reflection: What is this pattern trying to teach you?
There are no limits
The world is full of unimaginable abundance. Your capacity to learn and grow is limitless. Each time you approach the same situation you do it from a higher perspective, with more knowledge from your previous attempts.
Reflection: What knowledge or skills have you gained so far to help break this pattern?
Energy flows where attention goes
If you keep focussing on what doesn’t work, on the patterns that keep repeating rather than on how you want your life to unfold, you are effectively feeding them.
Reflection: How much time do you spend trying to inhabit how you would like to feel?
Now is the moment of power
We all have a finite number of days left on this earth walk. Tomorrow you will have one less. Don’t waste them thinking about what’s wrong or wishing for things to be different. Today you must act, even if it is just to write down your plan.
Reflection: What action can you take today to make this shift? How will you incorporate taking one step in that direction every day?
Love means to be happy with
The only person you need to be happy with is you. Taking action to break patterns that don’t serve you or taking a risk to chase your dream takes courage but, regardless of the outcome, you can be happy with yourself for doing your best.
Reflection: If you have identified a pattern be happy with yourself for becoming aware (don’t beat yourself up for repeating it).
All power comes from within
We are all different (thank goodness). What others may think is important is only what they see from their perspective, it has no relevance to you. You have your own higher purpose in this life and it is up to you to go within and tap into what it is that truly makes you happy.
Reflection: What would do if no-one else mattered? That is the clue to finding what you are here for.
Effectiveness is the measure of truth
The only failure is not to try. The worst that can happen is that something won’t work as you planned. When that happens, it simply means that wasn’t the most effective method but you have learned something else to help you reach your dream another way.
Reflection: What can you do differently to change the pattern?
These simple reflections, pondered in relation to what you want to change, can help to identify what it is that holds a pattern in place. Awareness is the key to breaking the pattern, so reflect and become the observer. See what works and what if triggering repeat situations and eventually, like Phil the weatherman, you can make different choices that break the pattern and start your day with a new song.
Sometimes, even when you know the rules, you still don’t get the message.
Today I’m sitting still. I’m in bed with my knitting, phone, a book, and my laptop, and finally it has clicked.
I’ve been going over in my head (always a bad place to analyse things), why I’ve had such a bad run of health lately. I had the flu over Easter (the every individual bone aching in hands and feet, 3 day fever, plague version), a cold only a week ago (3 days sore throat followed by 4 days runny nose), and now I have food poisoning which kicked in around 30 hours ago waking me in the middle of the night and continued to escalate into aching bones, intense stomach cramps and the usual other symptoms.
Mr Wonderful just commented that he thinks I’m doing the right thing, pulling all my activities into bed and not getting up. “Not much choice on this occasion” was my response, and there was my ‘ah ha’ moment.
For three months I’ve been getting busier and busier and not taking time out to rest. Sure, I squeeze in a lot of meditation on the bus, but work has been manic, we’ve had loads going on at home, and my release from having too much on is to exercise. I only took one day off work with the flu (as it coincided with a long weekend), I continued to train and go out in the wintry nights while I had the cold last week, while clearly my body was urging me to ease off and have a rest.
And now what do you know? Another long weekend, another chance for me to cram in a whole lot of busy-ness, and my body has decided enough is enough! Stay home, sit still, stop doing stuff, and rest. And here I am. This time with no choice in whether I soldier on or not. This time I’m too crook to go anywhere.
Interesting that four of us ate the same meal on Saturday night yet I’m the only one that got sick, so apparently everyone else is getting enough down time. But now, finally, I’ve got the lesson that’s been blatantly obvious to everyone around me for months. Stop!
So that’s it for me. I give in, I surrender. Typing this tiny article is about as active as I’m going to get for now. I understand, finally, that clearly I need to spend some time doing nothing.
The Universe is constantly giving us signs on what we need to do to stay on our path and look after ourselves. It’s up to us to be open to that information and to act on it when we get it, especially when it’s so obvious.
And what do you know? Now I’ve acquiesced I’m starting to feel a little better already. Think I’ll celebrate, not with a 4km walk or a workout, this time I think I’ll celebrate with a snooze.