Have you ever felt so frustrated when things didn’t go the way they supposed to?
Have you ever blamed yourself and taken fault?
Are you still holding on to a hurtful past even when you were not to blame?
Stress, anger, guilt, fear and frustrations are all part of life and quite often the way we learn to deal with it can sometimes be through disempowering measures. Especially with the way most of us were brought up in society, we are acustomed to think that it’s the fault of external and uncontrollable factors - namely the economy, the government, the laws, other people, the weather - or any sort of crisis that costs the welfare and wellbeing of oneself.
Though many of us are still able to carry out our daily lives without hindrance from having those thoughts at play at a subconscious level, this can all shift if we were to start living a life filled with joy and aspirations. To start, we’ll need to embrace acceptance.
As it turns out, we won’t need to look for the most cutting edge processes to start adopting an acceptance mindset because the ancient indigenous people who inhabited Hawaii have already gotten it down for many generations. This simple, practical and powerful process is called the Ho’oponopono. The word “ho‘oponopono” comes from “ho‘o” or “to make" and “pono” means "right". The double repetition of the word pono or “right” means "doubly right" or being right with both self and others.
The practice of Ho’oponopono teaches us how to look inwards and be responsible for issues and challenges in life with compassion, empathy and love which then helps us to accept, forgive and get complete with anyone and any matter. It is said that whatever is happening “out there” that is causing us to experience negative emotions of any sort, we could still take the responsibility to make it right by shifting our perceptions, challenging our beliefs and disconnecting any sort of connections or attachment to it. One thing we have to overcome will be the instinctive “ego” and “pride” that will be resistant to this process. By being aware that what is happening is happening for good reasons, we are already starting in the right direction.
There are a few approaches to the practice of Ho’oponopono. But let’s go with the most practical and easiest way because I believe that simplicity is the key to making something stick. And when something sticks, it becomes more powerful as a result.
So here are the steps to take:
- Bring to mind someone or something to which you feel a clash or misalignment towards: Visualize that person or experience the incidents viscerally (live out the physical or metal experience or emotion as if it were happening again).
- You will then take a few deep and gentle breaths and feel an infinite source of love flowing through you. If you find this hard, just imagine what it was like when you were at your happiest, seeing the person you treasure the most for the first time or perhaps a moment where you felt there was an abundance of love and joy in your life.
- Right at this very moment, all you have to say are these four phrases “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you”.
- You can say it in different orders depending on what feels natural to you in that situation.
- Keep repeating until you start to feel yourself liberated. If you are able to see your experience through the lense of love, then you’ll know there’s a shift.
Yes, you might feel awkward at first and your mind might do its best to talk you out of it. But as long as we are aware that acceptance is the ultimate key to living the life of joy, you must cultivate patience in making this practice feel natural.
This method and mantra has helped millions around the world - you too can adopt it as a ritual throughout the day. The more practice you get, the more impactful it becomes.
Dr Hew Len, a big Ho’oponopono proponent once introduced the method to an entire ward of serious criminals where therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors had previously given up hope on. With this simple practice, Dr Len managed to collectively raise the behavior and attitude of the entire ward. The best part is, he did it without ever meeting any of them in person!