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Ho’oponopono – The practice of forgiveness and self-healing

Heidi Simmons

Certified Life Coach

Ho’oponopono, pronounced “Ho-po-op-pon-no” and translates as “to cause things to move back in balance” or to “make things right,” is an ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice that originated from the Polynesian islands of the South Pacific.

Ho’oponopono (Huna) was a traditional form of cleansing only administered by those who were spiritual. Used once only by Kahuna Lapa ‘au Kahea, one who heals with words, now centuries later, the practice is available for everyone to share.

So why should we do it? How do we do it? And what are the benefits?

Why should we do it?

Everyone holds inside them some bad memories, past and present. It could be as a child you were punished severely for something you did not do; you were abused or even guilty of stealing an item. Words were spoken that traumatized you by a parent, sibling, teacher or classmate. As you grew older and developed new relationships with a spouse, child, co-worker or close friend, the new painful experiences perpetuated the hurt and fear within. Regret sets in, and the self-shaming begins as to what we said or did in the moment that was hurtful. Now we feel powerless, living with the consequences.

What I found profoundly interesting is that we collect, then relive, all our bad memories repeatedly, many subconsciously. By releasing these memories and forgiving ourselves with the healing words of Ho’oponopono, magical things start to happen. If we do not practice it daily, we cannot move forward and become the person we were meant to be because our negative memories make it impossible. The belief is we create our own memories; therefore, we can change them.

How do we do it?

We become grateful, but this step is where our true self is tested. Why? Because we must start to be grateful for all the bad memories we have experienced because we created them. I know this thinking is contrary to most healing or self-help wisdom, I too was reluctant to embrace this idea. Everything I had learned in this area of healing the soul was counter intuitive; however, if it were true, then self-forgiveness must be required to heal the past and allow self-awareness and to create a different future.

With Ho’oponopono, it can be accomplished in four simple phrases that you say out loud or to yourself. The key to its effectiveness is to know when to say these words. The time to recite them is when you feel powerless, angry, guilty or ashamed. You must immediately forgive yourself for any action, thought or negative word you created.

These are the four key phrases that will bring about true freedom and peace into your everyday life.

“I Love You” confirms that you give yourself unconditional love.

“I’m Sorry” takes ownership for causing the pain and errors.

“Forgive Me” acknowledges “forgive me, I did not know I had that inside of me.”

“Thank you” for allowing me to cleanse this memory.

When you say these phrases after a negative event, you are saying them to yourself, the universe and God. Some people use these phrases before an event has even transpired, as a preventative measure for the future. You can say these words at a happy event, allowing your highest self to stay in the moment, not your ego.

What are the benefits?

By apologizing to yourself you can forgive yourself. From there, you cleanse and erase all negative memories, perpetuating a new love and respect for yourself and others. An open heart and harmony for your mind, body and soul produces results. Ho’oponopono connects with your thoughts and consciousness that can affect expression of your DNA, the materialization of your goal’s effects and the behavior of those around you. The process is deceptively simple, but when used properly, it can create everyday miracles.

Of course, if you are a skeptic, this process will only be a theory until you apply it. I did. I practiced Ho’oponopono for two weeks in the morning when I got up, throughout the day, during stressful events that I had no control over and before I went to bed. Here’s what happened to me. A friend I had not heard from in over 25 years contacted me on Facebook. Two new great opportunities sought me out, and an unexpected healing started to take place with a family member. I have only scratched the surface of this practice called Ho’oponopono, So I encourage you to read more books on this subject for you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Heidi Simmons, certified life coach, can be reached at [email protected].


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