The Four Agreements

BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.
Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Don Miguel Ruiz

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

I had been writing a Christmas article for this year when I ran across this timeless article that was written in a New York newspaper called ‘The Sun’ 119 years ago. It was the answer to a question asked by a young girl named Virginia O’Hanlon. The response was printed as an unsigned editorial on September 21, 1897. It is the work of a veteran newsman named Francis Pharcellus Church.
Here is the article in its entirety:

Dear Editor,
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says ‘If you see it in ‘The Sun’ it’s so. Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon.

Virginia,
Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds.

All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little in this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life it’s highest beauty and joy.

Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus? You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove?

Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus, the most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.

Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders that are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, or even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else as real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the hearts of children.

Although this article was written 119 years ago, it still has a meaning today. We should put some trust in the magic of the inexplicable. I know that Santa doesn’t exist in the classic sense, not the fat jolly guy in the red suit, but rather, what he stands for and how he makes us feel during the holidays.

We find ourselves a little more thankful for the people who matter most in our life. The season makes us have more goodwill toward other people, saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to strangers as you pass them on the street or donating money to a good cause that is close to our heart, and being a little more thankful for those we love.

So what harm would it do to believe in Santa Claus, you will have to admit, something special is at work this time of year, I hope you can relax your mind and enjoy the magic of the season.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year.

Bob Toledo
December 2016

We Come From a Place of Peace and Love

The hundreds of thousands of years of human history and thousands of generations throughout that time, our ancestors saw creation as sacred and treated both the world and one another with respect and reverence. Only in the last hundred generations have we forgotten.

Modern day ‘primitive’ people tell us that ‘man’s innate nature is evil and dominating,’ this is a lie. The truth is that we are born to an innate knowledge and awe of the divine in all creation and our first and most basic instincts are compassion and love.

As we shift our view of the world and begin to practice anonymous acts of mercy and compassion, life will easily and naturally bring about the ways of living that are imbedded in our DNA.

Through this simple daily process, we can save our world.

Bob Toledo – 2012

The Talking Stick

The Talking Stick is an ancient tribal tool used to facilitate group discussions, solving problems, resolution of conflict, making decisions, and any other organization needs.

It empowers people to speak their truth. Use of the Talking Stick is indigenous to many cultures. The Hawaiian name for the Talking Stick is PAOA, which means ‘Talking from the Tree.’

The sticks are primarily made of aspen. The Polynesian Talking Sticks are made in increments of 5 inches. Hawaiian Huna Talking Sticks are 25 inches long.

After permission to use the wood is requested from the tree, the stick becomes our connection to the earth and all things through its life force or MANA which is sealed within the PAOA by burning the ends.

This life force empowers the holder of the stick to speak his/her truth and speak from the heart. The more it is used, the more Mana it will contain, until it truly becomes a magic wand.

Use of the Talking Stick achieves many magical outcomes all at once. It teaches us to bond heartily with others while also managing to ‘hold your own space.’

The word ‘Talking Stick’ is actually a misnomer, it could really be called ‘a listening stick’, empowering everyone to give full attention to everyone else in turn, hearing witness to their situation, their perspective and insight.

It is a key instrument in world transformation. I like to refer to the Talking Stick as a Healing Stick.

Bob Toledo
March 2012

For What It’s Worth

This was written by me in 1962 on Cape Cod, Mass. It was a warm summer afternoon on Old Silver Beach in Falmouth. I started writing this, not knowing why or where it was coming from. I Don’t think these words came to me, But rather came thru me. After it was completed, I realized that I was writing about myself. I have not share this with anyone in the past 45 years. Now I feel it is time to share it with you. I call this writing:

‘For What It’s Worth’

I don’t like what you seem to becoming. You must always stay ‘you’. You say you don’t care. Nonchalance is both good and unusual but don’t jump the thin line that separates it from apathy. This is truly an I-don’t-care attitude that can and will destroy both society as well as the person. This would be such a waste when all it takes to overcome is a little thought. ‘Know yourself’. Once this is done, everything else comes calmly, freely and as a matter of course in knowing oneself there must be first of all, honesty.Complete honesty. If you don’t like what you see change it, to suit yourself and no one else.

Next there must be self-love, for if we do not first love ourselves then we can not give a meaningful love or receive the same from others. Now, in this process we must always keep this first basic honesty. Never try to become as you think others want you. It doesn’t satisfy, but takes precedence over, and therefore destroys, anything you may have accomplished. Then comes caring. To care… those words are so important in every aspect of living. ‘To plant a seed in the earth is to be a mother. To feed a bird on a snowy day is to be a host to God.’

After feeling must come thought and action for without them everything so far accomplished will stagnate. Stagnation is one of the greatest evils of man for it is nothing. Even death is a more complete action for it is a definite end. Stagnation is wandering aimlessly. Becoming foul form lack of action.

Lastly, I think, comes pride. The respect for oneself to do and to be the best. This is the very quality of living. Never mistake it for vanity for this is futile and gets us no where, whereas, pride is a dignity and respect for oneself and one’s achievements. After this you can say, not, ‘I don’t care’ but ‘I don’t care what anyone else thinks,’ for you are now what you want, doing your best for yourself and others whether they know it or not.

This is truly being an individual. Anything less is a facade; anything more is superficial.

Does all this seem familiar? It should. It is the way we all are born and it is what we let ourselves and others destroy with apathy.

Bob Toledo

Cape Cod, MA.
1962

It’s Happening

I wrote this in 1968 the day Robert Kennedy was shot. It was not meant to be negative, Only my way of reacting to the days events. I think we have come along way since then, or have we? Maybe we have some work to do. Let us begin now.

‘IT’S HAPPENING’

Stop and think for a minute, I think we all should
‘I’d change it’, they say, if only I could
The hate, the turmoil, the despair and the grief
Maybe someday, if we’re lucky, we’ll all get relief.

People say, ‘Look at the weird one with the beard. ‘
But maybe the ‘Weird one’s’ got the right idea
I laugh at the excuses that people are using.
They are afraid to look past their wall of illusion.

Everyone’s trying to reach out into space
While we can’t get along with another race
Men go to war to fight for freedom, it’s true
We fight one battle, the black man fight two.

There was a man in politics to help us come out.
He was young, ambitious, strong and stout
‘If we all work together, we’ll change it’ he cries.
A bullet is shot. This good man dies.

The world we live in is turned upside down
Someday we should get together and turn it around
Our ‘great society’ will be good to you
Just don’t be negro, Catholic or Jew.

Some people pray, others just hope.
While ‘Our American Dream’ turns into a joke
All around us, everyday,
While people talk and children play —

It’s Happening.

Bob Toledo
1968

What I’ve Learned From e s t

Please take responsibility for reading this and understanding it and making it your own.

Responsibility starts with the willingness to acknowledge that you are cause in a matter. It starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from and with the point of view whether at the moment realized or not, that you are the source of what you are, what you do and what you have. This point of view extends to include even what is done to you, and ultimately what another does to another.

Responsibility is not fault, praise, blame, shame or guilt.

All these include judgments and evaluations of good and bad, right and wrong or better and worse. They are not responsibility as they are all beyond a simple acknowledgment that you are cause in your own experience………

Hawaii-1975

Hawaiian Facts

The state of Hawaii, with its natural beauty, is one of the most breath taking scenic places in the world. A fifteen hundred mile long chain consisting of 132 islands, reefs and shoals stretching from the southeast to the northwest. However, 99.9% of the land area is on a fairly close group of eight major islands. It has a population of about one million people with 80% of them living on oahu.

OAHU is the third largest island of the Hawaiian chain. Known as the gathering place because it once served as a meeting place for the Hawaiian island chiefs.

Oahu is also famous for some of the best surfing in the world on its north shore with 30ft plus winter waves. An island formed by the merging lava of two great volcanoes the koolau, whose mountains overlook Honolulu and Waikiki and the waiawae, which looms in the distance. Extinct for centuries, time and erosion have sculpted them into a series of giant palis (cliffs), magnificent bays (including Pearl Harbor) and meandering beaches.

MAUI is known as the valley island and the second largest island in the chain. It is believed it is named after the Sharman hero of legend, Maui kupua. Its largest volcano, haleakala, last erupted in 1790. The town of lahaina served as Hawaii’s capital for the first decades of the nineteeth century.

Today, lahaina is a modern tourist mecca. Maui plays host to visitors drawn by the awesome beauty of haleakala national park, hana’s glorious tropical rainforest with its waterfalls and natural pools, and a coastal string of beaches and resorts. The perfect blend of the old Hawaii and the new.

KAUAI, the garden island, eastern most and oldest of the major Hawaiian island, it is considered by Hawaiians as the most spiritual place in the islands. It is famous for its magnificent natural beauty, including the fern grotto and the na pali coast. Nature showed no restraint in creating kauai, carving great canyons, valleys, mountains and sea cliffs from the long extinct volcano called waialeale. Today Waialeale’s usually cloud banked summit is considered the wettest spot on earth, averaging between 450-650 inches annually. Legendary films such as South Pacific, Blue Hawaii and Jurassic Park were filmed on the island. No place in Hawaii outdoes Kauai.

MOLOKAI, Was once known as the ‘Lonely Island’, because sufferers of leprosy were segregated by the natural isolation of the kalaupapa peninsula, Today the island is known as ‘The Friendly Island’. Molokai is famous for its mule rides down beautiful cliff trails, Its many temples, And its low level of development. LANAI, is the sixth largest of Hawaii’s main islands, Lanai gets its nickname, The Pineapple Island, From this tropical fruit. Just about all of Lanai’s 2,400 residents lived in the town of Lanai City. Lanai invites the adventurous to set out and explore its up country forest and isolated beaches. The pineapples are gone now and resort development has taken their place.

HIIHAU, is the seventh largest island, And it is called The Forbidden Island. The whole island is 70 square miles and is a private ranch, Owned by the Robinson Family. People are under the impression that the Hawaiian’s there live in the old ways. Actually, What that means is that they live in a village like the plantation era of the 1800’s.

The island is famous for a particular kind of shell necklace made there. The population of the village is about 200. Hawaiian is the first language. KAHOOLAWE, is the smallest Major Island, Only 45 square miles. After Pearl Harbor, The navy took it over for bombing practice and still won’t give it back. The name kahoolawe means ‘The one that was taken away’ The old name of the island was Kanaloa.

HAWAII, Known as the big island because it is more than twice as big as all the other islands combined and still growing. It is the youngest island in the chain with five large volcanoes, Two of which are still active, Mauna Loa(Tallest Mountain in the world, Measuring from the sea bottom) and Kilauea (Legendary home of Pele).

The three inactive Volcanoes are, Mauna Kea (Where it snows sometimes) and Kohala (In the north) have not erupted in historical times. Hualalai, Overlooking Kona on the west coast, Last erupted in the 1800,s The big island is an island of Volcanic drama, Great natural diversity and powerful links to the Polynesian past. Most heavily populated of the islands in ancient times, The big island’s rebuilt Heiaus (Temples) today provide unique insights into the Hawaii of myth and legend.

The island is also famous for its orchids, coffee, and macadamia nuts, Dramatically eroded valleys and towering sea cliffs. It’s a combination that makes the big island impressive in more than just size. A new Volcano is erupting underwater about twenty miles off the southern coast of the big island. It is the beginning of a new island called LOIHI.

Bob Toledo – 2005

How Successful Are You?

The dictionary defines success as ‘Attaining Wealth, Prosperity and/or Fame”. Most people think success is measured by social status and wealth, money for some, is the main concern. It is a crucial necessity for those who are trying to ‘Succeed’ in life. People work their entire lives making money so they can satisfy their desires. The idea of being able to purchase the items that one can only dream about having, is to them, being successful. Many people take pride in what they possess, and then there are some who need to look successful in order to feel successful.

We live in a materialistic culture, television and mass media dictates what the meaning of success is- the new car, the job title, the big house, even what our bodies should look like. If we don’t have these things, some people tend to experience a lot of frustration, resentment, and jealousy, however, this is a deeply rooted misperception of success.

Think about the rich and famous and all the scandals, addictions and suicides. Some of them are extraordinary people but, a lot of them are extremely unhappy with their lives and are not able to see the true meaning of success. Wealth cannot be defined with money, but rather by what you value in your life that makes you a happy person, such as friendships, relationships and family. Success very rarely has to do with money, success is something much more personal and universal, it’s all in the meaning behind the action.

Success should never be defined as meaning only one thing. Some people might feel that it is more important to enjoy their job and get less money than it is to hate their job and get paid more. Another factor in achieving success for some, is one’s ability to enjoy whatever life gives Him or Her. And there are those who feel success is accomplishing all that they want to accomplish in their lifetime.

In order for you to be successful, you must begin living a life based on your own expectations and terms. The things in your life that bring you joy, a sense of accomplishment, service, and progress are where you should be investing your energy, and when you do this, you learn to stop chasing after those things that simply don’t matter.

If you choose to live on a Spiritual path, you will understand that success comes as the by-product of a life lived from the inside out. The key to living a successful life is knowing that you are enough, so be yourself, and believe that you have something special to offer. Once you know this, you will create the space within your consciousness that will allow you to align with your highest good. If you allow yourself to be moved by the world of effects, then your attention is not focused on the true calling of your Soul. As the 3rd principle of HUNA states, ‘Energy flows, where attention goes’.

The Greek word for prosper is; Euodousthai. It is a compound of eu (To be good) and odos (A road or path). It literally means ‘To have a Good Journey’. This helps to understand that success is a continuum, not a destination. It is more than a state of being, but rather like an evolving stage of consciousness.

Material gain is but a small aspect of the joy, love, creativity, compassion and kindness that you were sent here in this incarnation to receive and share. Sharing these gifts is the demonstration of a successful life. This is the awareness that will help to transform the consciousness of our planet.

Bob Toledo
February-2015

About Forgiveness

Forgiveness is letting go of the past. It’s about releasing a past hurt or resentment. Forgiveness does not require justice or even an apology. The person who wronged you may not deserve to be forgiven for the heartache or grief they caused you however, your mind, body, and Soul deserve to be free of hatred, anger, pain, and hurt. Likewise, if it was you who caused the pain, forgiving yourself is just as important. The act of forgiving allows you to begin a life without chains which tie you to the past. If you want to be happy in the present and the future, you need to untie yourself from your past hurt.

Perhaps the real issue is that we should forgive ourselves for allowing that personal pain to interfere with our need to move on with the flow of life. Forgiving yourself brings inner peace that allows you to live fully. Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change and healthy change is necessary to have a happy life and a happy life is your birthright.

Allowing negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, may find you being swallowed up by your own bitterness and a sense of injustice. Then, you become a victim twice; anxious and unable to enjoy the present while being stuck in the past.

Every act of forgiveness allows us to manifest a self-directed act of ‘soul retrieval’. Forgiveness empowers us and those who we forgive. While one may think of forgiving others of offenses (real or imagined) as ‘The right thing to do’, in reality, it is far more. Forgiveness frees one from the burden and energy drain of maintaining a connection to a past event or injury. It is a benevolent act that aids and heals others and the collective. For many, it can be one of the most difficult things that they will ever have to do. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind’.

There is an ancient Hawaiian practice for healing through forgiveness called Ho’oponopono, it is used when you need to forgive someone for a past transgression against you. Ho’oponopono teachers call this practice ‘cleaning’; you clean yourself of your own negative feelings and erase from your consciousness whatever negativity that is not working for you. Through this practice of ‘cleaning’ you are expressing the fact that you no longer wish to suffer from a current or past hurt. It is normal for you to wish the other person to change however; the only person you can change is you.

Another way to practice forgiveness is thru meditation. By quieting your mind, you open yourself up to the divine awareness of the present moment. Meditation will give you a powerful sense of clarity and a realization of the bigger picture. Meditation will also help you to clear all your mental and emotional negative energy and you will begin to feel an abundance of Love in your life. This will enable you to let go of the past much easier.

Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free then realizing that you were the prisoner.

Bob Toledo
October-2014