This is my first blog post, I’m so excited!
I wrote this as a letter to a friend a few years ago when I was going through a sort of an awakening process after learning the wisdom behind the Ho'oponopono techniques, the Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.
Read it with an open mind it, leave judgement behind, I trust you will.
This morning I run into Stephanie, I may not have mentioned her to you before because I don’t see her very often. Mainly because she is so different from me, she is extroverted with an outstanding personality, outgoing and bubbly. I can tell you that she has about a thousand friends on Facebook and I believe she catches up with at least half of them on a regular basis.
We were just having a quick chat, you know, nothing d&m and I told her about my last haircut, how horrible it was done and how it had taken me 8 months to get my hair to look a bit more decent, finally! And how I was due for getting it styled. For months, the only thing I could do was to joke about that. You know how important it is for me to have a good haircut! and this was a horrendous experience that left me looking like Charlie and the Chocolate factory, the Johnnie Depp version.
Taking all the opportunities that show up
She told me that she knew the perfect person to make that long-awaited cut, and why don't we just do it? She said she can drive me to this place at that very moment and how she was super excited to have run into me, that she hasn't seen me in such a long time and that this will be an excellent opportunity to continue to get up to date on what was happening in our lives. I found it interesting, especially since, as you know, I decided to take all the opportunities that show up. Because when something shows up in your life, it is because is it meant for you, isn't it? How is it called? Serendipity?
We got into her car, she received three calls from different people during the 20-minute drive, and she was infecting them with her joy. Even I was starting to feel happier, you know how difficult that is for me! but I was happy to be doing something super girly for a change!
We arrived at what I thought would be a spa / fancy hairdresser studio but no, we came to a small store in a small shopping centre. Alice, the owner, welcomed us with a huge smile. I was the only person there, there wasn’t any more furniture than the chair where I would sit, a small wooden table and a couple of not matching chairs. Alice hugged Stephanie with great enthusiasm.
I was impressed observing the walls, the only four walls were painted pink, the floor tiles and even the door of the even smaller bathroom were painted pink, but a strong pink, like the cranberry juice we like. The curtains that covered the entrance door were also the same colour but had small silver inlays.
"Everything was pink, cranberry-juice-pink, the floor, the walls, the curtains. Everything!"
Looking at Alice, I began to tell her all my misadventures with haircuts, how painful it has been for me to find someone to style my hair. She interrupted me saying: haircut 10 points, therapy 30 and she smiled at me, adding: "I am also a life coach."
"What an excellent idea, Alice" - I exclaimed - "Some people think that going to the hairdresser is a type of therapy, there are things they don't confess to anyone but to their hairdressers and you have combined the two practices. That's really clever because you actually have the qualifications to listen and help people."
Alice hidden secret
Alice gave Stephanie an accomplice look and said: "Before opening the hairdresser studio, I was only dedicated to my coaching practice. I saw patients every day, Steph was one of them. A few months ago, I was overwhelmed, I couldn't handle the workload and the only way I found to cope with stress was drinking."
"There came a moment when she only stopped drinking to sleep" - Stephanie added.
I was speechless. "You look so good now, I would never have thought." I did not leave my amazement of what I was hearing.
"We were worried about her."
Alice, sweetly looking at Stephanie continued: "Thankfully, with the help of friends as good as Stephanie, I recovered, reconnected with myself and my passion. I studied a short beauty course and opened the salon in which I focus on emphasizing the inner and outer beauty, helping my clients to discover beauty in their souls."
Beautiful and inspiring...
"What a beautiful story, very inspiring!" - I honestly exclaimed. A silence of that which gives peace flooded the environment.
A few seconds later, I remembered what I was doing there. I was there for a haircut, but not any haircut, a good one. It had taken a long time for my hair to grow back, tears and innumerable amounts of jokes to get over the disaster I had done in my hair. Alice's story, however lovely and inspiring, made me realized that she could not do it, she is new to the profession, and I am not willing to risk it. Not after the last time, I had promised myself, I won't do that to me again.
Then, very politely, I got off from my seat politely saying that I needed to go as I just remember that I had another appointment somewhere else. I told a teeny tiny lie, you know I don't like that but it was to not upset anyone.
I probably was a few steps from the main road when I saw Alice storming out her shop, crying hysterically, looking disappointed. Stephanie turned her head and looked at me and with furiously screamed: "Look what you have done, you are so selfish, you only think about yourself and can't see that your actions hurt people. It must be as horrible to be as superficial as you are. Worrying about a haircut, about your looks, when this woman had managed to rebuild her life when everything seemed lost, I can not believe what you've done! "
I couldn't believe my ears when I heard that
I froze and more when I noticed that Alice had a bottle of vodka in her hands and was pouring it down her throat like it was water.
"Ohh no, Alice!" - Stephanie shouted and with eyes burning with rage she yelled at me: "Look what you have done, you have made Alice go back to drinking, you ruined her life."
3,2,1 I need your thoughts here
I want you to take a pause here. I would like to know how would've you reacted to Stephanie's remarks - do not read my response - I want you to think and tell me honestly, what would've gone through your head if you were me.
- Remorse for being so selfish?
- Rage because Stephanie is blaming you for something that was not your intention?
I want you to focus on your feelings and describe them briefly.
My typical reaction would've been, of course, been a state of shock, feeling very stupid for having made this woman go back to that awful world from which it took her a long time to recover and, all for what, a haircut. Maybe it would've been better to let her cut my hair, it's just hair, it can grow back. Clearly, her problems are much bigger than mine. I would've felt that all the words Stephanie used to describe me, were true, and I deserved her hate.
STOP! RIGHT THERE AND DO NOT CONNECT WITH THE ABOVE.
When you are at peace with yourself, you choose what makes you happy and what is right for you. Letting Alice cut my hair, however banal and stupid it may seem to Stephanie, is important for me and impacts my happiness. It is true that there are people with tough decisions to face but that doesn't make my problems less critical to me. I, day in and day out, have more important decisions to make too, but if you don't learn to decide what makes you happy in smaller things, how can you determine what makes you happy in more important things? What will happen when you face a big decision in your life?
I wasn’t willing to risk it, not that day, not under those circumstances. Maybe some other day when I felt I can put someone else's happiness before mine because sometimes I choose to, but not that day.
I put into practice what I learned in the book "Zero Limits" by Joe Vitale based on the Hawaiian ritual Ho'oponopono*. "Sorry, forgive me please, thank you, I love you" I repeated before standing up off the seat in Alice's shop and then while Stephanie was desperately calling me names. I repeated those words to make peace with myself, get rid of with destructive ideas and to cleanse my soul.
Stephanie decided to call me all those adjectives, but I am not that person, I won't accept it, I didn't do anything wrong.
Not letting those destructive thoughts start in me, let me gain perspective and have a clearer picture and enable me to react in absolute calmness.
I looked at Stephanie and said: Alice needs help. I didn't do anything wrong, it's essential that she seeks professional help; whether on his own or with a group; it doesn’t matter who she is, what her qualifications are or how much she knows, when help is needed, it should be asked, there’s no shame on that.”
I'm sorry, forgive me please, thank you, I love you.
*Ho'oponopono practice is more than those words, it has more depth than what I've described. If you like to learn more, I invite you to read Zero Limits by Dr Joe Vitale and Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len - you can download it from iBooks - watch the presentation of Zero Limits live in Maui. Click Here! to find out more. or go one step forward and get the Ho'oponopono Practitioner Certification Click Here!
This is a fictional story with grounds in real life events that may or may not have to do anything with my hair. I strongly recommend seeking the advice of a professional in case you are dealing with addiction, anxiety or if you feel life is getting a little bit heavy and it is hard to cope. Contact your GP if you don't know where to start. Soon Wellfulness will offer a directory of qualified professionals with expertise in different areas and you will be able to choose was is best for you.
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