Since turmoil and unrest continues in many places around the world, I want to share with you a practice that I’ve found hugely helpful and healing. To be honest, when I first heard of it, I thought, “This can’t possibly work”—but it does. It’s the practice of Ho’oponopono.
The origins of Ho’oponopono are ancient. A version is practiced mostly by heads of households and or/healers in Hawaii, throughout the South Pacific, and New Zealand. At its heart, the practice is about mending broken relationships, making things right.
However, in 1992 Hew Len took the practice to a new level. Working from the premise that we are all One, he used a very simple form of Ho’oponopono to heal an entire ward of the criminally insane.
How? Through healing himself. I’ve often talked about how we need to work with the parts of ourselves that are shadows—that we can’t simply place the blame “out there,” but that each of us must take responsibility (defined as “the ability to respond”) by healing those parts of ourselves that contribute to or even cause those things we want to blame others for.
Hew Len says, “The problem isn’t them. It’s with you. And to change them, you have to change you.” Blame is actually easier, as is shaming others. Instead, this practice calls us to love — and even more radically, to love ourselves.
It’s deceptively simple. It consists of four phrases:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
That’s it! Hew Len sat for four years doing this as he worked through the files of all the patients on his ward at Hawaii State Hospital, and the patients began to heal, some dramatically. He says that what these words do is heal the part of you that created that situation (or helped to create it). I know. It sounds too easy, too good to be true, but it is true. And it works.
The order of the phases doesn’t really matter. The phrases themselves each work with a different aspect of ourselves. What’s important is doing it in a way that’s authentic for you and for you to follow your own inner guidance.
What would happen if, with every situation that causes you to be angry, confused, upset, worried, or frightened, instead of railing at the situation and placing the blame “out there” (the White House, hurricanes, the situation in Yemen, the latest mass shooting, etc.), just what if you simply addressed each one of these situations by saying, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.”
The world needs you to heal those parts of yourself that you don’t want to acknowledge, and this simple and profound practice does just that.
I encourage you to try Ho’oponopono. Make it a daily practice for the next month. I’d love to hear what shifts and changes in you and in your life!
With love and gratitude,
If this sparked you and inspired you on your spiritual journey, and you want to learn more, please click here to book a free consultation.