There is a simple Hawaiian trick that can transform your life. I say “can” because it only works if you do. If you give it thirty days of sincere effort, you will see that what I say is true. Want to hear about it? It’s called ho’oponopono. It means “to make right,” and it has four simple steps.
I am sorry
Step one is “I am sorry.” When you see something that you feel is not right in yourself, someone else, or the world – this could be a headache, your spouse’s negative attitude, the homeless, or war – acknowledge that you’re having judgmental or bad feelings about it. Say “I’m sorry.” The world is what you think it is. If you see ugly, it’s coming from your mind. So you are creating this.
Things are not bad or wrong. They are as they are meant to be. There is no land of sunshine and light in this realm because that’s not how life is designed. You see, universal law states that we are always moving from a place of order to chaos and from chaos to order. That’s done to create balance. So everything really is as it should be. When we attach judgment and meaning to things, we create disharmony within ourselves. So “I’m sorry” is an acknowledgement and apology for creating that anger, resentment, or imbalance within ourselves. It’s a way to make responsibility for what is in your life in preparation to remove it.
Please forgive me
Step two asks that you forgive yourself for creating the reality as you see it. This is not a request for someone else to forgive you nor is it about you forgiving someone else. All power comes from within so you don’t need a third party’s approval and don’t need to give it to someone else. Since you created the problem, you have the power to change it.
I love you
Saying “I love you” to yourself brings you back into right relationship with Creation and yourself. Something went astray to make you see things in an ineffective way. “I love you” realigns it. Love heals. Give it to yourself. To me, the “I am sorry” digs the wrong out. “Please forgive me” heals the wound. “I love you” seals the wound. Hawaiian spiritual principles say that to love is to be happy with, so this step brings the happiness back into your life.
This step is acknowledging that the work has been done. The change has already occurred and you don’t have to spend any more time on it. This doesn’t mean that things will come out the way that you want or expect. It just means that the healing has happened. Accept it.
Sounds really simple, doesn’t it? It is. However, sometimes simple things still need a bit of explanation to make them work seamlessly.
Here are some tips to make ho’oponopono more effective.
- Take your time when you are starting out. Don’t rush through it. You want to get clear on what you are transforming. When you have done it a while, you won’t need to spend as much time on it, but in the beginning, go slow. It will pay off in the long run.
- Feel what you are doing. Notice how the imbalance of what you are judging settles in your body. Feel what your body feels like when it lets go of that and realigns. Over time, this will clue you in to imbalances as they happen so that you can release them as they happen.
- Do it often. Do it regularly. More is more. Think of it as cleaning. You don’t clean your house once and then never do it again. It requires maintenance. So does your life. A house that is regularly cleaned is easy to keep clean.
- If it feels selfish to dwell on yourself, think about it in another way. Everything is connected. As you clean the judgments you feel about someone else, you may see your relationship with that person change. As you clean for your judgments about rape, murder, and thievery, you may see less crime. When you clean for anything, the effects ripple out into the world, so even though you are focusing on yourself, you’re actually cleaning for all of us.
- Start the practice in a mindful space. If your mind is full of clutter and you just repeat the words, nothing will happen. You have to be present. Be clear on what you are cleaning. You have to feel the meaning behind the words. If you’re making it a “giving to get” practice, your results will be limited. Be sincere.
- Keep it simple. It’s simple by design. It works just as it is, so don’t complicate it.
- If you run out of things to clean on or don’t know where to start, pick a topic. Write down all the things you don’t like about it. Clean on that list.
The beauty of ho’oponopono is self responsibility. Any dis-ease that you create, you can heal. There are never any victims. There is never any need for revenge, hate, or resentment. All there is is love, forgiveness, and peace. Everyone has the power to transform right now. Why not use it? Just think of what a great world it would be if we all did a little ho’oponopono each day.