Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Clearance

For those who prefer more concise posts, I hereby apologize in advance for another rendition of Diarrhea of the Mouth.

Do you find it irritating when you're delayed in the grocery store line by the person ahead of you? Yesterday (Friday actually), I was in line in the 20 items or less queue at W*l-M*rt. I had my debit card out and was ready to go. In fact, I had already unloaded my stuff from the cart onto the counter. The line appeared to be moving quickly and the cashier was just about finished with the guy in front of me.

Then it happened.

I didn't catch the exact words, but I gathered that either the form of currency with which he'd intended to pay was from another planet and not useable at WM, or he didn't have quite enough on him to complete his purchase. He "just" had to run out to the car and get it.

You know where that leaves me. And the people falling in line behind me.


This is the time when you dare not leave the line for a shorter line because you'll find yourself behind the granny who pays for 50 individual cans of catfood with pennies. I stuck it out.

While we all stood there motionless, on hold, in a freeze-frame, I reflected on my latest readings into the world of the LoA, "Zero Limits" by my favorite guru, Joe Vitale. It's about an updated version of the ancient Hawaiian Ho'oponopono system. In brief, the theory is that each of us is 100% responsible for absolutely everything and everyone that graces our lives. We've created it. It's reminiscent of basic psychological understanding: if we see something in others that bothers us, it's because it's a reflection of a quality we ourselves hold. So if it really pisses you off when Susie gossips about her neighbors, well... better check yourself.

Ho'oponopono agrees with this but goes a step further: Ho'oponopono allows us to clean or clear those things and heal them—but not by healing others. Instead, we heal ourselves and by doing so, achieve complete freedom from the past. I can't begin to explain it here. Joe Vitale does a much better job in Zero Limits—more info on this website. From what I understand so far, the philosophy is very complex, and what I know so far is just tip of the iceberg graspings. But I've learned a basic clearing technique that can be done anywhere.

All I do is realize that the problem that is surfacing in someone else or because of someone else relates back to me, and ask myself "What's going on inside of me that is causing this problem to manifest in him/her?"

Then, I clear it using the four phrases:
  • I love you
  • I'm sorry
  • Please forgive me
  • Thank you
Yeah. It's that easy.

So I'm in WM, stalled out just like that commercial (the one with Herbie Hancock's song "Rockit" in it), and it occurred to me to ask myself, OK, what's going on in ME that produced this delay, this problem with the guy in front of me?

Oh, delays, disorganization, lack of preparedness, replied my brain absent-mindedly.

I shot back (silently), "But, I am prepared!" I had my card out and everything, ready to go.

As I thought that, the cashier suddenly stood up straight, broke out of the trance, cancelled the other guy's transaction and started ringing up my purchases.


It gets better.

Today, I was in B*g L*ts, looking for a second taboret for my music supplies (best picture I could find, much cheaper at BL) and happened to be nosing around in housewares, distracted by the throw pillows. A rather frantic but well-dressed woman (not your typical BL clientele) rushed down the aisle past me. She excused herself and said she was looking for her keys that she must've laid down somewhere. I thought, "bummer" and went on about my shopping. We crossed paths a couple more times—she was still looking for her keys. An announcement came over the intercom about it. I weaved up and down the aisles shopping and every so often she'd whiz past again, with various people in tow.

By now, I'd migrated over to curtains. Suddenly, the woman appeared in front of me again and stopped, looking around. Her entire demeanor was one of being hopelessly lost, frustrated and desperate. I inquired, "did you say you lost your keys?" She confirmed it. I asked more questions to see if I could help her locate them. I just felt like I had to help her somehow. (I mean, she kept crossing my path—there had to be a reason for it.)

She said she'd been rummaging through the curtains trying to find a specific set. She'd laid her keys down somewhere and couldn't understand how they'd be so hard to find because they were on a big chain and there were lots of them (kind of like the wad dangling from my belt loop—I have them on a carabiner and lock it to my belt loop rather than chance them falling from my pocket).

Then she kind of lost it. (Understandable.)

She moaned, "And I'm from [town about an hour from here], and that's my only set of car keys, and all I have is a skeleton key to get into my house, and I'm totally screwed, and I just knew I shouldn't have gotten out of bed this morning!" She turned slightly as if to go but paused when I asked what the keys looked like. (My mind was going about 90 MPH by now, noting the emotions, the limiting beliefs and negative thinking while trying to subsequently process the lost keys issue AND figure out why this is being presented to me.)

She described her keys before adding that she was probably jumping to conclusions, but there had been a couple of giggling teenage girls nearby, and what if they'd taken her keys for a joke? (OK, I'm thinking, what's going on with this woman that she's assuming the worst about teenagers? Interesting... because it's probably unrelated to the keys...) They'd gone to the Toy section. They were no longer in the store. The woman didn't know what to think. I ask if she'd looked in Toys, on the off chance they had taken them and dropped them there. She mumbled No... and reiterated that she'd been looking at curtains and bedding. She pulled out a few curtain bins to look behind them, then shrugged and departed down yet another aisle.

I decided it wouldn't hurt to look in Toys, abandoned my cart in the middle of the aisle and wandered over. A few minutes of poking around turned up nothing. I was thinking "if I were a lost set of keys, where might I be?" Then it hit me.


What is going on inside of ME that brought this woman and her problemS (plural) to my feet? Because if she's in front of me having a problem, it's relating back to something going on inside of me, according to Ho'oponopono.

I didn't wait for an answer this time. I said to myself, "Well, whatever it is, I'm sorry, I love you, please forgive me, thank you". I repeated it in my head several times and imagined having keys in my hand as I wandered from Toys back to curtains.

Don't ask me why I did this. I meant to snag my cart, give up the hunt, and resume my shopping. Instead, I found myself on auto-pilot. Bypassing my cart, I walked right to the end of the aisle which was also the near back corner of the store where the comforters were. This happened in a blur before I was even conscious of it: I arrived at the end of the aisle. I stopped. My gaze was cast downward, and it felt like a magnet pulling my eyes toward something. Before I was consciously aware of doing so, my hand was reaching for...

...the keys.

They were on the bottom shelf in the back corner beside some comforters. We'd probably both walked past them a dozen times without seeing them.

It was totally bizarre. It was like I "knew" where they were—once I stopped looking for them.

I raised my hand skyward in victory, keys clenched firmly, and said out loud "AHA!!!" then "THANK YOU!" and strode quickly toward the front of the store. I encountered an employee halfway there and said "I HAVE THE KEYS!" The message was relayed. The woman was in the parking lot. They retrieved her. She was beyond relieved. I was ecstatic that the keys were found. She was so happy she hugged me. We chatted for a minute or two before going on about our lives.

I don't know if she learned anything from this, but I did.

First of all, it blew my mind how unbelievably fast I was able to manifest things or put myself in alignment with things simply by stopping momentarily to "clear".

Secondly, I learned about desperate obsession repelling the very thing you want and how letting go draws it to you. Not just from the key search. From the story she told me after they were found. She was, as I often am, "on a mission". The curtains she wanted for her Victorian home (lots of windows, 84" length required) had been discontinued and she was going to every BL in NW Ohio trying to scarf up enough to outfit her home. She just needed ONE more set. (This explained why she was at a BL an hour away.)

I understood this, because I've done it. I just "have to have/can't live without" [insert item] and spend hours online hunting it down, or—I have a good one, yarn that JoAnn's discontinued that I'd decided I had to have a sweater out of in Tunisian Crochet, so I bought 22 balls of it from five different stores... all of which have been languishing in the plastic tub since 2006. In fact, the reason I was in Pillows to begin with... allow me to divert for a moment.

I myself have one set of curtains I love that were in my old home. I wanted to find a second set and use them in my bedroom. But they've been absent from T*rget for years now. Online turned up nothing. I almost agonized myself into a "mission" like this lady's—then I realized that the room I just painted has only one window, needs new curtains... except they clash with the sofabed. Well, said my brain, maybe you can find a slipcover or something at BL or WM that will coordinate.

I went to BL for the rolling storage cart. The first thing I laid eyes on was a display for slipcovers at a ridiculously low price. In exactly the colors of my curtains. And the right size. *ahem* So then I decided to see if Pillows had anything to match...

See? I almost set myself up for a Desperate Gotta Have It Mission Impossible. I might indeed have one day found the second set after much agony and a lot of wasted search time. Instead, I let go of the outcome (having THOSE curtains in my bedroom), saw it as a new opportunity to use them elsewhere, and... that opened the way to attract the slipcover which, I might add, totally rejuvenated the room, especially in combination with the new pillow I found at BL and the one I already had that coordinates.

I'll admit I divulged a little of my interest in the LoA to the now-beaming woman because I was utterly mind-blown that it had worked. Not sure she got it, though she did share a story about a co-worker and a lost earring, and how everyone looked and looked and couldn't find it, and after everyone gave up and went back to their offices, this woman happened to glance down and...

You guessed it.

I dunno. Maybe I planted a seed.

Thirdly, in the BL Lost Keys incident, I changed one thing about the clearing tactic. What I've been doing until today was asking my question, then waiting for the answer and analyzing the core issue, THEN clearing it. Today, I asked, and rather than waiting to see WHAT I was clearing, I just went ahead and cleared.

I figure it works because:
  • asking the question "What is it in me that is manifesting this problem?" connects with the core issue and allows it to rise to the surface of my consciousness
  • by saying "whatever it is", I directed the clearing toward the surfacing issue
  • once it has surfaced, it can be cleared with the four Ho'oponopono phrases
  • it doesn't matter if I know what's being cleared
I don't have to know what I'm clearing, I just have to know that I'm clearing it.

I don't have to know how things will manifest, I just have to know that it IS manifesting.

This stuff is pretty wild, don'tcha think?

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At 9:16 AM, January 20, 2008, OpenID sticksadventures said...


At 3:37 PM, January 20, 2008, Blogger Knoobie Knitter said...

No pictures of the pokey dude at W*lM*art? hee hee

At 7:59 PM, January 20, 2008, Blogger Sheepish Annie said...

Interesting...I'm usually the one helping strangers in the store. I tend to attract the helpless. But, I rarely have as effective a strategy for getting them to where they need to be. Well done!

At 8:38 PM, January 20, 2008, Blogger becky c. said...

Dude! My daughter lost her cell phone today and I'm going to make her read your post!!

At 3:39 PM, January 24, 2008, Anonymous Carrie K said...

This sounds so whacky but if it's working, more power to it and you!


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