Do you know about mind-maps?
They are a visual technique for displaying or sorting information so that you are able to see the connections that hook up related thoughts and ideas to a central theme or core idea and to each other.
Modern mind-maps were originated by the Buzan brothers — Tony and Barry — and presented in their book, THE MIND MAP BOOK: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential. It is still probably the best guide to this technique.
The concept took off running and there are many examples and guidelines on the Internet that could be a source for making your own. You might like to check out this one at http://www.mindmapping.com.
What mind-mapping does, basically, is help you open up whole new ways of thinking as you look at the connections and linkages between seemingly disparate ideas.
Merging and morphing occurs. It is the coolest thing!
MORNING MIND-MAP RITUAL
Every morning it’s one of my practices to doodle this mind-map into my journal, even before constructing my To-Do List.
I call it my Ho’o-Cycle. (“Ho’o”- is Hawaiian for “to do” or “to make”.)
This mind-map grew out of a 20-plus year journey that I’ve been making trying to find the meaning and mana in an ordinary life lived life-sized. It reminds me of a way of walking that I’ve sussed out with a lot of help from wise guys, smarty-pants, masters of assorted skill-sets and other interesting sorts.
The Ho’o-Cycle has become my take on a mandala, I suppose. It sure does work as a way to clear away the early morning groggy.
The thing was constructed out of concepts that can be used in the process of building a workable, life-sized mindset that helps you get to the life you want to live.
It shows the flow of the creative energy you can tap into using your imagination, your intention, and your passions to build your very own story – the one with meaning and mana (inherent power) for you.
Using the Ho’o-Cycle construct helps you make your life into the movie where you’re the writer, the producer and the whole production crew as well as the star and it turns out the way you want.
The little hand-made drawings are all mine. They’re modeled after Hawaiian petroglyphs just because they’re a fun way to anchor the concepts in your mind.
What’s really weird about this Ho’o-Cycle paradigm is that it does work in sometimes strange and wondrous ways. That’s one reason I figured it might be a good thing to share with you.
THE ONE ABSOLUTE
The Ho’o-Cycle starts from one premise: THE ONLY REAL IS IMPERMANENCE.
No matter what you do or don’t do, at some point, the movie stops….
(roll the credits)
(nobody knows what happens next)
(The Big Mystery)
My theory in all of this is that the life you live (your story) is your answer to this appalling conundrum, that Impermanence (a.k.a. Change) is the only absolute.
The world where all of this story-building plays out is bounded by Life-Its-Own-Self with all the everything tossed into it – the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, order and chaos.
THE WORLD AND LIFE AS WE KNOW IT
The Ho’o-Cycle is actually a map of the World and Life as we know it. I’ll break it down for you….
At the bottom of it all is Pō Panopano, what the Hawaiians call the “Creative Dark.” It is the primal Abyss from which all possibilities arise. It is raw potential.
Above it all is ‘Ike Pāpālua, a Hawaiian term that literally means, “the long view.”
It is the result of all of the walks every human that ever was has made and all of the paths taken by the countless souls who have passed through this world of ours. It is the realization of the inherent potential contained in the Abyss.
We call the in-between space the World. It’s all the everyday places and spaces we see and move around in. It’s where we build our stories.
At the very center of the Cycle, in the World, is a boxed cross.
The cross shows the four directions. It’s also an ancient symbol that signifies the center of the world as well as the cosmic axis, the point of communication between Heaven and Earth.
The box around the cross indicates that there are boundaries in this world that limit the expansion of the cross which (when unbound) can just go on outward forever.
It could be argued that the boxed cross presents a true picture of our lives on the planet. Our possible expansion is limited by the knowledge we hold as well as by the time we are given on this earth. The thing is a picture of the stage on which we play out our stories.
The arrows show the flow of energy in the world and in the Ho’o-Cycle….around and around and around.
AND THEN THERE’S YOU
In between the parameters set by Life-Its-Own-Self and doing all sorts of things in the World that is a meeting ground for Heaven and Earth, is you, the wanna-be Tao-Dancer, probably standing there flat-footed and confused trying to make sense of it all.
Every one of us humans is a wanna-be Tao-Dancer. We move along in the World, making our own way, building our own stories.
If we put in a lot of effort and have a modicum of luck, we can use what we find in the World and in ourselves to construct a life that is joyous and rich with meaning and mana. It’s what every dancer really wants, if all the smarty-pants who study such things are right.
What every Dancer needs is some sort of user manual or map or maybe just a finger pointing.
There are many perfectly fine ones out there. Maybe you already have your own. (Good on ya!)
Here’s one more….
THE FOUR PHASES
There are four “phases” in the World of the Ho’o-Cycle paradigm, each one growing organically out of the previous one, through which a Dancer moves in the World. If the Dancer follows the sequence in its natural order, the story-building is likely to go more smoothly.
The Four Phases of the Ho’o-Cycle are:
- HO’OPULEO’O – to make an effective prayer or vision
- HO’OPAEPAE – to build a foundation
- HO’OMANAWANUI – to make time big
- HO’OHOLOMANA’O – to walk in wisdom
[To learn more about each of the four phases in the Ho’o-Cycle, click on each of the names above.]
IT JUST GOES ROUND AND ROUND
All of these phases of the Ho’o-Cycle are connected.
The flow naturally tends to go from visioning and prayer to building a foundation to dealing with time to walking in wisdom and then back to visioning and prayer again.
Every time you construct a story or make some other construct, it works better if you can move well and flow through each of these four phases, one after the other.
Sometimes certain projects and programs require you to go retrograde and backtrack to a previous phase. After you have reworked that one, you can go forward again through the phases of the cycle.
At the end of some project, when you have reached your goal or when you are wanting to ascend to a new level and ramp up your game, then you’re back to being prayerful again.
Not so hard, huh?
WHAT’S WITH ALL THE HAWAIIAN WORDS?
In case you’re wondering why I insist on using Hawaiian phrases as the names of the Four Phases and for the various parts of the Ho’o-Cycle paradigm, it’s because for me the words are like super-expandable boxes that you can keep filling up with ideas.
They are not everyday words so they are not likely to be mooshed into regular, tick-tock dailynesses.
They’ll teach you how to speak Hawaiian “like a haole.”
BUILDING THE HO’O-CYCLE…AND WHY
Throughout the ages there have been other Dancers who have worked out ways to navigate through the in-between space we call the World.
Some of them found ways that worked for them and even helped other people make great stories for themselves as well. We call these Dancers “wise,” “holy,” “saints,” “philosophers,” “great thinkers,” “smarty-pants,” and so on.
Mostly, when we try to follow in their footsteps, we fall down…a lot.
As we lie there all shredded and beating up on ourselves some more, we wonder: “What is WRONG with me? Why can’t I do it RIGHT?”
I have been there.
I have done that.
Then, one time, before I stood back up yet again after one more face-splat, I thought on a thing some wise guy or other said:
“In this world of constant change, the only constant is the human heart.”
And my thought was this: the only human heart I know about is my own.
And then I thought, maybe I can find the life I want to live by learning the lessons my own heart has to show me.
That was the seed that grew into my Ho’o-Cycle (and, later, into this blog).
BIRTH OF THE BLOG
My Ho’o-Cycle evolved over the course of a journey that started over 20 years ago.
During the intervening time, I found and checked out various premises and hypotheses and tested assorted strategies, tactics, and techniques promulgated and espoused by numerous wise guys, smarty-pants and other minds I’ve encountered on the way.
Some stuff I tried worked well for me. Others not so much. Eventually the Ho’o-Cycle emerged.
Along the way I also found a lot of cool stories and many inspiring people with admirable ways of walking.
I also made a lot of poems, often as a way to clarify some confusing situation or other.
In this blog, LIFE-BUILT POEMS: Living Out Loud, I share my continuing field notes, observations, snarkiness, heartful musings, and raves. (I throw in the poems too…a bonus.)
A CAVEAT, PROMISES AND AN INVITATION
The Ho’o-Cycle is just one map you can use to navigate through the world. If you want to make your own, different version that might work better for you, I say go for it!
The Ho’o-Cycle is only a tool and all good tools can be improved, modified, or adapted. If it works for you, that’s a good thing. If not, please feel free to noodle with it and fool around until you get it right for you.
The blog that’s attached to the Ho’o-Cycle (LIFE-BUILT POEMS: Living Out Loud) will not tell you what to think. No attempt will be made to tell you who you “should” follow.
There will be no dire doom-and-gloom pronouncements about what happens if you don’t do this. There are no glittering promises of the glorious rewards waiting for you if you hop on and try to ride this cycle.
All this blog does is show you how I’ve used the Ho’o-Cycle I built to explore the Mystery my own way.
You might like to try it your own self to make your own trails to the story you want to be living – a story that has meaning and mana for you.
That’s as woo-woo as I’m going to get with this whole thing.
Have fun with it, guys. (We ain’t getting out of this one alive….)
Header picture credit: Haku Lei by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]