A brief intro to Ho'oponopono
A little over a year ago, I learnt the four powerful phrases of the Hawaiian art of forgiveness (Ho’oponopono) from one of our teachers on the Wim Hof winter expedition in Poland. I guess, most of the participants of this expedition were mainly going there to challenge themselves physically and mentally. I don’t think they expected the week to challenge them on an emotional or even spiritual level as well. But when you expose yourself to extreme conditions and work with powerful breathing techniques several days in a row, stories and emotions that may have been buried for a long time are bound to come up.
While for some people, this might already happen during regular yoga classes or meditation, for me it took something stronger to „shake me up“ a bit and help me to let go of some old stuff. In this process, the four phrases of Ho’oponopono proved to be a wonderful tool. While in Poland, I didn’t even have a clue what Ho’oponopono was. I just repeated the four phrases after Bart. It was only when I came back that I found out more about this method. Up do this day, I use it almost daily when I feel that there is a distance, disagreement or conflict between me and another person. I just include it in my meditation or sometimes, I might do it during a break or while cycling around town.
With the phrase „I am sorry“, I acknowledge my own part in the difficulty between me and the other person. After that, I ask for forgiveness. Thirdly, I express my love for the other person and lastly I thank them for everything, especially the learning opportunities they have brought into my life.
I find it most effective to really say the phrases out loud, not just repeating them mentally. But if I am in a place where this isn’t possible, whispering or repeating them silently is definitely also a good idea. After doing Ho’oponopono, I always feel much calmer, even though the outward situation might not have changed at all. I find it therefore especially helpful for situations, in which I can’t do anything actively, where I just have to live with a situation and accept it as it is.
Another way of using Ho’oponopono is to do it with the physical body. Is there any part of your body that you don’t like or that creates difficulties for you by not „functioning“ the way it is supposed to?
If possible, place a hand on that part of your body and repeat the four Ho’oponopono phrases. Say that you are sorry for not taking enough care of that part of your body or carrying negative thoughts towards it. Then ask it for forgiveness. Say that you love this part of your body nevertheless. And finally thank this part of your body for teaching you something, even though you might not yet know what the teaching might be. I used Ho’oponopono a lot in this way when I had really nerve-wracking skin issues last year. It wasn’t easy but my skin has definitely taught me a lot and luckily is much better now.
As the Christmas season is approaching and Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of love, you may also find Ho’oponopono to be a useful tool to prepare yourself for the annual family gathering, which – as most of us know all too well – is by far not always as harmonious as we would wish it to be …
I hope I will find some time to write again before Christmas but in case I don’t, I already wish you now a wonderful and hopefully peaceful and joyful time with your loved ones.
From heart to heart,