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Ho’oponopono – The Ancient Art of Forgiveness

Having recently gone through a knee replacement, I was interested in how many frustrations were coming up for me.  I found at times I struggled to be kind to myself and I was aware of negative energy around areas of my recovery which I wanted to address.

Wherever you want to improve something in your life, start by looking inside yourself.  You are the most influential person in your life!  Love is the most powerful emotion in the universe, so my aim was to harness both to help me work on myself.

I’d come across Ho’oponopono, a gentle Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and healing a few times over the years.  The word comes from ho’o (to make) and pono (right).  It allows us to forgive ourselves and others we are connected to in a loving way, freeing us from carrying around hurt and resentment.  There are some amazing stories out there, so I thought I’d do a little experiment with myself.

We’re all affected by different challenges in our lives, both big and small.  They can have a hold on us for years and keep us from flourishing.  If you are holding onto negative emotions, you are constantly tied to the situation.  Ho’oponopono is about making peace and letting go, allowing you to move on and heal.

The steps

This is the way I did the exercise but there are other versions if this doesn’t feel right for you.

  1. Decide what you want to work on first – start with one thing to keep it simple.
  2. Make a list of the things that have been niggling at you around this area.  Go through your memories and make a note of everything that comes up, even the silly things.  They are all taking up space in your head and charging the negative emotions.
  3. Work your way through the list, feeling the emotion and say the mantra below.  You may not totally believe it at first, but use your posture, tone and the words to let yourself know the following with feeling and passion:

“I’m sorry”

“I forgive you”

“I love you”

“Thank you”

If you don’t want to write the list, you can keep it simple and when an opportunity for healing presents itself, think of where the emotion resides in you and with as much feeling as possible, say the mantra.

It is about building love and compassion for yourself as well as releasing any negative energy you are holding.  I noticed as I worked on myself, negative thoughts stopped having an emotional charge and I felt light and peaceful from doing it.

Learning to love yourself is the greatest way to improve yourself.  The more you work on yourself, the more you will have a positive effect on the world.

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.”  Lucile Ball