Watch the video below where I talk about these powerful four sentences!
What is Ho’oponopono?
Ho'oponopono is a mouthful of a word. Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian healing technique.
In Hawaiian, Hoo means cause and ponopono means perfection. This translates into the idea that we have the ability to keep returning to a perfect state.
The Hawaiians believe that our purpose here is to let go and allow LOVE to solve our problems. We have the opportunity with each situation to take responsibility for the problem and get out of the way.
In Ho'oponopono, there is no talk of healing. Instead, it is about solving problems. For the Hawaiians taking responsibility, meant cleaning on each of the problems that we see.
Challenges in life become a question of: “What am I experiencing as a problem in me, that I can take responsibility for, and clear up and release?”
The Ho’oponopono process allows you to take 100% responsibility for the problem and let it go. One of the wonderful parts of this process is that it takes only one person to do it. Which means, no matter what is showing up in your life, you can apply Ho’oponopono to it and get the benefit.
The main Ho’oponopono practice involves saying the following four statements:
Please forgive me
I love you
Can you imagine what life would be like if you were able to see each problem as an opportunity to let go and to allow change to happen?
The History of Ho’oponopono
The original version of Ho'oponopono was used to resolve conflict in families. It required the whole family to be present for the Ho'oponopono session. Not one family member could be absent. There would be a moderator and each member of the family would have the chance to ask for forgiveness from the other family members. These days, even getting all family members together would often be challenging, let alone getting them to participate in this sort of session.
In the 1970s, a Hawaiian healer and leader, Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, created a new form of Ho'oponopono that required no one else to be present. This new form of Ho'oponopono was called Self Identity Ho'oponopono.
Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona said:
"The main purpose of this process is to discover the Divinity within oneself. The Ho'oponopono is a profound gift which allows one to develop a working relationship with the Divinity within and learn to ask that in each moment, our errors in thought, word, deed or action be cleansed. The process is essentially about freedom, complete freedom from the past.”
This form of Ho'oponopono came into the western self-help arena through the work of for Dr Hew Len and the book that he ended up co-writing with Joe Vitale, called Zero Limits. I read this book when it first came out more than ten years ago and I fell in love with Ho'oponopono and I have been using it since then.
Zero Limits is the story of Joe Vitale's quest to find a mysterious doctor who healed an entire hospital ward of mentally ill, criminally insane patients despite never seeing one of those patients privately.
That doctor eventually became his co-author, Dr Hew Len, who practiced the Ho'oponopono system by healing himself, first and foremost, and, therefore, miraculously transforming an entire ward of patients at the Hawaii State Hospital.
In 1983, Dr Hew Len was a new psychologist in a high security unit. This unit housed the worst violent criminals that were a threat to both other inmates and staff. These prisoners did not have family visitors and many where shackled and kept in seclusion because of their violence. As you can imagine, staff dreaded working at the unit and there was a high rate of sickness, absenteeism and staff turnover.
Instead of trying to work on changing the inmates and staff as others before him had done, Dr Hew Len used Ho'oponopono to focus in on himself. Through practising Ho’oponopono while looking at each prisoners’ file, incredible changes started to occur. Within a very short period of time, the prisoners started to change. So much so, that they were no longer shackled and they were allowed to have visitors. After just three years. There were no longer any prisoners in the unit and it was shut down.
So what did Dr Hew Len do?
He changed the world around him by changing his inner perception! He didn’t project criticism, blame or judge the prisoners. He just worked on himself.
Disclaimer: In researching background information for this show, I was quite disconcerted to find that there is some disagreement about whether Dr Hew Len really did transform the prisoners. Honestly, I can’t say definitively that he did, but I do know that Ho’oponopono works.
Imagine you have a blank piece of paper in front of you. This is how we all come into the world - clear, with no preconceived notions or ideas, and we know who we are – we are pure love.
Then we have our first thought of separation and we have picked up our first barnacle. We have gone into division, into left and right, good and bad, light and dark. We have caused a blemish on our wholeness to come into being. Through Ho'oponopono we can clear that barnacle. It is a process of returning to the clear state.
We have the ability to keep returning to this clear and perfect state, the blank page, by simply asking to release whatever lies within us that has caused a barnacle or division to be created in the first place as it is brought to the surface.
We ask for forgiveness that we have harboured this thought which has separated us from
Oneness with Spirit and the thought barnacle or division disappears.
When we are confronted by the barnacles in another, Dr Hew Len, suggests that instead of going into judgement (which only reinforces division us and them and us and source), we ask to clear our own consciousness of seeing the division.
If we can see the division – a problem between us and another person – we can only see it because we are carrying that division within us.
As we ask to release these divisive thoughts with us, our own state of Oneness returns. And almost magically, we no longer see this division reflect in our world. Our world is made whole as we clear ourselves.
So if you see someone in your life experiencing a problem or an issue, which is basically a division from their Oneness with Spirit, ask yourself what ideas within you have caused these reflections in your outer world? If we can see it, then it has something to do with us!
The solution to the problem we are experiencing or seeing is to clean it up from within. You take responsibility but this does not mean you take the blame or assume that you are wrong. Rather, it is the willingness to respond and be accountable for the memory that is running within you.
How We Create Problems
When something shows up in our life, we start thinking and the unconscious mind taps into the stories and beliefs that relate to the problem at hand. We react, we think, we cope, we react and think some more. Before we know it, a small problem has been built up into a huge problem.
It is easy to get caught up in this cycle of upscaling problems. Our beautiful mind is trying to protect us. To keep us safe. It is operating on programming based on past events and is replaying a pattern of response that we are unaware of. Our mind’s primary job is to keep us safe.
Most of the time, we are operating from our subconscious mind. "The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size," is a book that Dr Hew Len and Joe Vitale recommend as a resource for better understanding how limited the conscious mind is compared with the subconscious mind.
According to the author, Tor Nørretranders, who conducted a series extended experiments, the conscious mind is only capable of processing anywhere from 15 to 40 bytes of information per second. Whereas, the subconscious mind can process over 40 million.
Which is quite hard for my conscious mind to fathom.
It takes considerable and consistent effort to shine the light of consciousness on our problems so that we can choose to respond rather than react. When a problem arises, we are often not aware that we are replaying a memory.
How to Practice Ho’oponopono
Step 1: Notice Something Wrong, Notice the Feeling
This might be triggered by a thought, another person, an event, or anything else. It is creating an access point for you to clean up something in your subconscious. While something external to you has triggered the feeling in you, you realize that the problem lies within you. No one can make you upset or mad – you do that yourself through your own subconscious patterns. You pay attention to your feelings. You might be angry, upset, sad, afraid.
Step 2: Feel Your Feelings Without Judgement
This is not part of Ho’oponopono, but I feel that it is integral for releasing and cleaning our problems.
When a problem comes up, the key is to allow yourself to feel the feelings. Without judgement. Whatever you are feeling, just feel it. So often, we don’t allow ourselves to truly feel our feelings. We judge ourselves for feeling a certain way.
I will talk more about this in the next episode where I share with you a very special way to do Ho’oponopono that was taught to me recently by the amazing Jennifer McLean.
Step 3: Start Cleaning the Feeling
You know that you have somehow caused this feeling to arise within you. So it’s not about the other person, the thought, the situation, or anything else outside of yourself. You know the problem is within you, so only you can clean it. You say:
I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you
You can say them in any order that feels comfortable to you. Say them nonstop, over and over again, while feeling the problem. And you say them to the divine, whether that be God or universal energy or whatever works for you.
Step 4: Let Go Until Promoted to Take Inspired Action
Dr Hew Len suggests that if you are cleaning on a decision, do so three times. If the answer is the same after the three cleanings, then take action on it. This means that if you clean on a decision three times and you get an impulse to take action, this action is coming from a place of inspiration not memory.
Step 5: Repeat
There’s not shortcut to cleaning and reaching a point where we have zero patterns and memories replaying over and over. Ho’oponopono is a process of cleaning and cleaning and cleaning.
The Benefits of Ho'oponopono
Ho'oponopono works. I can vouch for that. And I haven’t even utilised it to its full potential yet. When my husband and I were first separating, it was incredibly painful in a way that I had not anticipated event though I had chosen to leave the marriage. And I found myself being triggered constantly.
I used Ho'oponopono and another technique called Spontaneous Transformation to help me deal with my own stuff as it came up. If I felt angry my husband, I would say over and over, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
Did the Ho'oponopono help my relationship with my husband?
I believe it did. We are in a pretty good place for a separated couple. Did it change him? I don’t know. But it changed me. I am more able to see him through the eyes of Love. Through using Ho'oponopono, I am able to see that there is nothing wrong with my husband when I can see him without any of my barnacles or sense of division – when I can see him through the eyes of God.
Am I still being triggered?
Yes, but I am dealing with it using powerful techniques like Ho'oponopono.
Ho’oponopono is like cleaning up the data in your subsconscious mind. The more you clean up, the more you can hear the divine whispers. You remove all the data that keeps you from knowing your divine self.