A Message from Dakota …
Hi, my name is Dakota. I don’t know about you, but sometimes life can be difficult, especially when all my friends and my family and teachers have so many judgments and opinions about me. To be honest, I can be pretty quick to judge them, too, and I can be especially hard on myself.
It used to be worse.
I used to get so perplexed. I would ask myself hard questions, like, “Why are things so difficult?” and, “What do people want from me?” and “Who am I anyway?”.
Then something happened to me that helped me understand life in a new way, and things got wa-a-ay easier.
I can tell you in one word. “Ho’oponopono.”
With Ho’oponopono I have learned that “Who am I?” is the most important question I can ask myself, and that there is a very simple way to learn the answer.
But I’m getting ahead of myself a little. Here are some things about me you might want to know. I’m seventeen, so I call myself “Dakota17” in this book, as opposed to Dakota11, the kid I was 6 years ago, or Li’l D, the kid I was when I was 4.
This book is actually two books. Book One is mainly Dakota11’s story – what I’ve remembered about what happened to me when I was eleven. In some ways, that was another kid.
I don’t even know what the heck happened to me the day I turned eleven. Sometimes I think of it as the most crazy, cool, fantastical dream I’ve ever had. Other times I am positive it really happened.
Still, at other times I think that maybe I, Dakota11, was in the right place and time and just breathed in the perfect energy to meet my guide, Auntie Pono. Maybe she took me to some other reality. Sheesh, I don’t know. You tell me. For now, let’s just call it my inner journey.
When I was eleven, I had an intense fear of clowns. After my journey, I returned without the fear that I had held on to for over half my life.
After the night of my eleventh birthday, I was surprised to find that I didn’t let my shyness get in the way of talking to other kids about my amazing journey and asking them what they thought. Could we have parts of us inside our mind that are us when we were littlee? Can we solve problems in an instant? Every question led to another question. After some of the chapters in Book One, I added a bit of information I’ve learned. It won’t hurt to skip over the Data from Dakota sections if you just want to read the next chapter.
Book Two, Celebrating Ho’oponopono, has four parts. Part One, The Pono Club, tells about a club some friends and I started in my middle school to explore Ho’oponopono (and an internet full of related things) and a cool technique we call “slo-mo-pono”, which shows how Ho’oponopono can help us let go of problems. We had a celebration at the end of our last year of middle school. I thought I knew a lot, but I learned so much more when my friends shared how they use Ho’oponopono in their lives.
You may want to read Book Two, Chapter 5: The Ho’oponopono Celebration first to learn how my friends and I have been able to use Ho’oponopono ourselves. Then read Book One, I Love You Clowns Are Scary, all about my night time adventure, which showed me one way to understand how this ancient practice works.
Part Two of Book Two will teach you easy meditations and visualizations. You may pick one and stick with it the rest of your life. Or you can try them all out and investigate others. There are so many ways to meditate. Your way is out there to be discovered.
Part Three is full of quotes from religious leaders, people whose spirituality inspired them, and independent thinkers. They talk about love, gratitude, forgiveness, responsibility, meditation, and energy – all have a lot to do with Ho’oponopono. These are not meant to be read all at one time. You might pick one quote that is meaningful to you in the morning, reflect on it in your meditation, and it in mind for the day. Part Three ends with an ancient story, The Old Man and the White Horse, which was taught by a Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, over twenty-five hundred years ago.
Part Four is for parents, teachers, therapists, and students of psychology of any age. It explores the various ways Ho’oponopono is woven into the fabric of how we relate to one another and of various spiritual and therapeutic approaches. If you’re the type to imagine pictures when you read books, imagine them with this in mind: When I think back on my inner journey and the characters I met, Book One, I remember it like I was in a very colorful Pixar cartoon. The rest, my life since then, looks like a regular movie in my mind.